Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.


Career and Education Opportunities for Telephone Operators in Grand Rapids, Michigan

Telephone operators can find many career and educational opportunities in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area. The national trend for telephone operators sees this job pool shrinking by about 3.6% over the next eight years. In general, telephone operators provide information by accessing alphabetical and geographical directories.

Telephone operators earn approximately $21 per hour or $44,250 per year on average in Michigan. Nationally they average about $15 per hour or $31,670 per year. Earnings for telephone operators are better than earnings in the general category of Telephone in Michigan and better than general Telephone category earnings nationally.

There are nineteen schools of higher education in the Grand Rapids area, including one within twenty-five miles of Grand Rapids where you can get a degree to start your career as a telephone operator. Given that the most common education level for telephone operators is a high school diploma or GED, you can expect to spend only a short time training to become a telephone operator if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Telephone Operator

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

In general, telephone operators provide information by accessing alphabetical and geographical directories. They also assist customers with special billing requests.

Every day, telephone operators are expected to be able to articulate ideas and problems. They need to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they understand what others are saying to them even in a noisy environment.

It is important for telephone operators to suggest and check alternate spellings and/or listing formats to customers lacking details or complete data. They are often called upon to offer special assistance to persons such as those who are unable to dial or who are in emergency situations. They also perform clerical duties such as typing and sorting mail. They are sometimes expected to 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. Somewhat less frequently, telephone operators are also expected to promote company products and savings plans when appropriate.

Telephone operators sometimes are asked to promote company products and savings plans when appropriate. They also have to be able to furnish assistance for customers with special billing requests and observe signal lights on switchboards, and dial or press buttons to make connections. And finally, they sometimes have to furnish relay service for hearing-impaired users.

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

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Grand Rapids include:

  • Computer Systems Support Specialist. Monitor and control electronic computer and peripheral electronic data processing equipment to process business, scientific, and other data according to operating instructions. May enter commands at a computer terminal and set controls on computer and peripheral devices. Monitor and respond to operating and error messages.
  • Customer Care Specialist. Interact with customers to provide information in response to inquiries about products and services and to handle and resolve complaints.
  • Receptionist. Answer inquiries and obtain information for general public, customers, and other interested parties. Provide information regarding activities conducted at establishment; location of departments, offices, and employees within organization.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Telephone Operator Training

Davenport University - Grand Rapids, MI

Davenport University, 6191 Kraft Avenue S.E., Grand Rapids, MI 49512-9396. Davenport University is a large university located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 10,773 students and an admission rate of 91%. Davenport University has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Customer Service Support/Call Center/Teleservice Operation which graduated zero and seven students respectively in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Grand Rapids, Michigan
Grand Rapids, Michigan photo by Grguy2011

Grand Rapids is located in Kent County, Michigan. It has a population of over 193,396, which has shrunk by 2.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Grand Rapids, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Grand Rapids cost $98,700 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, forty-three new homes were built in Grand Rapids, down from ninety-two the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Grand Rapids are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, transportation equipment, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 19 minutes. More than 23.8% of Grand Rapids residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 8.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Grand Rapids is 15.4%, which is greater than Michigan's average of 14.3%.

The percentage of Grand Rapids residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 52.9%, is more than both the national and state average. Church of Jesus Christ, Immanuel Church and Trinity Church are among the churches located in Grand Rapids. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Christian Reformed Church in North America and the Reformed Church in America.

Grand Rapids is home to the Kent Country Club and the Walker Juvenile Court as well as Comstock Riverside Park and Richmond Park. Visitors to Grand Rapids can choose from Hampton Inn Grand Rapids, Hampton Inn Grand Rapids/North- Mi and Hampton Inn Fax for temporary stays in the area.