Career summary

Details for Switchboard Operators, Including Answering Service


Description

Operate telephone business systems equipment or switchboards to relay incoming, outgoing, and interoffice calls. May supply information to callers and record messages.

Tasks

  • Answer incoming calls, greeting callers, providing information, transferring calls or taking messages as necessary.
  • Operate communication systems, such as telephone, switchboard, intercom, two-way radio, or public address.
  • Page individuals to inform them of telephone calls, using paging or interoffice communication equipment.
  • Relay or route written or verbal messages.
  • Place telephone calls or arrange conference calls as instructed.
  • Perform various data entry or word processing tasks, such as updating phone directories, typing or proofreading documents, or creating schedules.
  • Process incoming or outgoing mail, packages, or deliveries.
  • Perform administrative tasks, such as accepting orders, scheduling appointments or meeting rooms, or sending and receiving faxes.
  • Record messages, suggesting rewording for clarity or conciseness.
  • Monitor alarm systems to ensure that secure conditions are maintained.
  • Monitor emergency and code alarms, make emergency announcements, or route emergency calls to the appropriate location.
  • Greet visitors, log them in and out of the facility, assign them security badges, and contact employee escorts.
  • Answer simple questions about clients' businesses, using reference files.
  • Keep records of calls placed and charges incurred.
  • Stamp messages with time and date and file them appropriately.
  • Complete forms for sales orders.
  • Contact security staff members when necessary, using radio-telephones.
  • Perform various cash handling tasks, such as collecting payments, making bank deposits, or managing petty cash.
  • Place orders, such as for equipment, supplies, or catering for meetings.

Interests

  • Social - Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
  • Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
  • Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Education, training, experience

  • Education - These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
  • Experience - Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.

Knowledge

  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Skills

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