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Career and Education Opportunities for Telemarketers in Columbia, Maryland

There are many career and education opportunities for telemarketers in the Columbia, Maryland area. There are currently 5,720 working telemarketers in Maryland; this should shrink by 10% to about 5,160 working telemarketers in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for telemarketers, which sees this job pool shrinking by about 11.1% over the next eight years. Telemarketers generally solicit orders for goods or services over the telephone.

Telemarketers earn approximately $12 hourly or $25,720 per year on average in Maryland. Nationally they average about $10 per hour or $21,960 yearly. Compared with people working in the overall category of Sales and Clerical, people working as telemarketers in Maryland earn less. They earn less than people working in the overall category of Sales and Clerical nationally.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can study to be a telemarketer, among 109 schools of higher education total in the Columbia area. Telemarketers usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a telemarketer if you already have a high school diploma.


Telemarketer video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, telemarketers solicit orders for goods or services over the telephone.

Telemarketers explain products or services and prices, and answer questions from clients. They also obtain customer data such as name and payment method, and enter orders into computers. Finally, telemarketers deliver prepared sales talks, reading from scripts that describe products or services, so as to persuade potential clients to acquire a product or service or to make a donation.

Every day, telemarketers are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. It is also important that they listen to and understand others in meetings.

It is important for telemarketers to record names and reactions of prospects contacted. They are often called upon to adjust sales scripts to better target the needs and interests of specific individuals. They also deliver prepared sales talks, reading from scripts that describe products or services, so as to persuade potential clients to acquire a product or service or to make a donation. They are sometimes expected to contact businesses or private individuals by telephone in order to seek sales for goods or services, or to request donations for charitable causes. Somewhat less frequently, telemarketers are also expected to maintain records of contacts and orders.

Telemarketers sometimes are asked to answer telephone calls from potential clients who have been solicited through advertisements. They also have to be able to telephone or write letters to respond to correspondence from clients or to follow up initial sales contacts and conduct client or market surveys so as to obtain data related to potential clients. And finally, they sometimes have to schedule appointments for sales representatives to meet with prospective clients or for clients to attend sales presentations.

Like many other jobs, telemarketers must be able to deal with stress and deal with situations calmly and have exceptional integrity.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Columbia include:

  • Advertising Agent. Sell or solicit advertising, including graphic art, advertising space in publications, custom made signs, or TV and radio advertising time. May obtain leases for outdoor advertising sites or persuade retailer to use sales promotion display items.
  • Cage Cashier. Exchange coins and tokens for patrons' money. May issue payoffs and obtain customer's signature on receipt when winnings exceed the amount held in the slot machine. May operate a booth in the slot machine area and furnish change persons with money bank at the start of the shift, or count and audit money in drawers.
  • Cashier. Receive and disburse money in establishments other than financial institutions. Usually involves use of electronic scanners, cash registers, or related equipment. Often involved in processing credit or debit card transactions and validating checks.
  • Insurance Agent. Sell life, property, or other types of insurance. May refer clients to independent brokers, work as independent broker, or be employed by an insurance company.
  • Product Demonstrator. Demonstrate merchandise and answer questions for the purpose of creating public interest in buying the product. May sell demonstrated merchandise.
  • Retail Sales Manager. Directly supervise sales workers in a retail establishment or department. Duties may include management functions, such as purchasing, budgeting, and personnel work, in addition to supervisory duties.
  • Retail Salesman. Sell merchandise, such as furniture, motor vehicles, or apparel in a retail establishment.
  • Sales Team Manager. Directly supervise and coordinate activities of sales workers other than retail sales workers. May perform duties, such as budgeting, accounting, and personnel work, in addition to supervisory duties.
  • Technical Service Representative. Sell goods for wholesalers or manufacturers where technical or scientific knowledge is required in such areas as biology, engineering, and electronics, normally obtained from at least 2 years of post-secondary education.
  • Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representative. Sell goods for wholesalers or manufacturers to businesses or groups of individuals. Work requires substantial knowledge of items sold.


Howard University - Washington, DC

Howard University, 2400 Sixth St NW, Washington, DC 20059-0001. Howard University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,696 students and an admission rate of 49%. Howard University has a bachelor's degree program in Insurance which graduated eight students in 2008.


National Professional Certification in Sales: The Certification was designed to capture the core Sales duties for a broad range of entry-level through first-line supervisory positions across the sales and service industries.

For more information, see the National Retail Federation Foundation website.


Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.