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Telephone Operators - 43-2021.00

O*NET-SOC Description

Provide information by accessing alphabetical, geographical, or other directories. Assist customers with special billing requests, such as charges to a third party and credits or refunds for incorrectly dialed numbers or bad connections. May handle emergency calls and assist children or people with physical disabilities to make telephone calls.

Sample of Reported Job Titles

  • 411 Directory Assistance Operator
  • Directory Assistance Operator
  • Information Specialist
  • Live Source Operator
  • Long Distance Operator (LD Operator)
  • Telecommunications Operator
  • Telephone Operator
  • Toll Operator

SOC Occupation Groups

Related Occupations


  • Calculate and quote charges for services such as long-distance connections.
  • Consult charts to determine charges for pay-telephone calls, requesting coin deposits for calls as necessary.
  • Interrupt busy lines if an emergency warrants.
  • Keep records of calls placed and received, and of related toll charges.
  • Listen to customer requests, referring to alphabetical or geographical directories to answer questions and provide telephone information.
  • Monitor automated systems for placing collect calls and intervene for a callers needing assistance.
  • Observe signal lights on switchboards, and dial or press buttons to make connections.
  • Offer special assistance to persons such as those who are unable to dial or who are in emergency situations.
  • Operate paging systems or other systems of bells or buzzers to notify recipients of incoming calls.
  • Operate telephone switchboards and systems to advance and complete connections, including those for local, long distance, pay telephone, mobile, person-to-person, and emergency calls.
  • Perform clerical duties such as typing, proofreading, and sorting mail.
  • Promote company products, services, and savings plans when appropriate.
  • Provide assistance for customers with special billing requests.
  • Provide relay service for users who are deaf or hard of hearing.
  • Suggest and check alternate spellings, locations, or listing formats to customers lacking details or complete information.
  • Update directory information.

Detailed Work Activities

  • Answer telephones to direct calls or provide information.
  • Assist disabled or incapacitated individuals.
  • Assist individuals with paperwork.
  • Calculate costs of goods or services.
  • Discuss account status or activity with customers or patrons.
  • Enter information into databases or software programs.
  • Maintain call records.
  • Operate communications equipment or systems.
  • Promote products, services, or programs.
  • Proofread documents, records, or other files to ensure accuracy.
  • Search files, databases or reference materials to obtain needed information.
  • Sort mail.

Military Crosswalk Titles

  • Command and Control Operations (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Command and Control Operations Apprentice (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Command and Control Operations Craftsman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Command and Control Operations Helper (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Command and Control Operations Journeyman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Command and Control Operations Superintendent (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Emergency Management (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Emergency Management Apprentice (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Emergency Management Craftsman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Emergency Management Helper (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Emergency Management Journeyman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Emergency Management Manager (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Emergency Management Superintendent (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Ground Electronics Telecommunications and Information Technology Systems Maintainer (Marine Corps - Enlisted)
  • Information System Technician (Coast Guard - Enlisted)
  • Interior Communications Electrician (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Operations Specialist (Coast Guard - Enlisted)
  • Special Reconnaissance (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Special Reconnaissance Apprentice (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Special Reconnaissance Craftsman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Special Reconnaissance Helper (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Special Reconnaissance Journeyman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Special Reconnaissance Superintendent (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Tactical Air Control Party (TACP) (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Tactical Air Control Party (TACP) Apprentice (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Tactical Air Control Party (TACP) Craftsman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Tactical Air Control Party (TACP) Helper (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Tactical Air Control Party (TACP) Journeyman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Tactical Air Control Party (TACP) Superintendent (Air Force - Enlisted)

Apprenticeship Crosswalk Titles

No information available.

DOT Crosswalk Titles

  • Central-Office Operator
  • Directory-Assistance Operator