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Career and Education Opportunities for Telephone Operators in St. Paul, Minnesota

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for telephone operators in the St. Paul, Minnesota area. Currently, 200 people work as telephone operators in Minnesota. This is expected to shrink 46% to 110 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for telephone operators are expected to shrink by about 3.6%. In general, telephone operators provide information by accessing alphabetical and geographical directories.

Telephone operators earn approximately $12 per hour or $26,240 annually on average in Minnesota. Nationally they average about $15 per hour or $31,670 yearly. Earnings for telephone operators are not quite as good as earnings in the general category of Telephone in Minnesota and better than general Telephone category earnings nationally.

There are seventy-seven schools of higher education in the St. Paul area, including five within twenty-five miles of St. Paul where you can get a degree to start your career as a telephone operator. The most common level of education for telephone operators is a high school diploma or GED. It will take only a short time to learn to be 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 St. Paul 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.
  • Front Desk Manager. Accommodate hotel, motel, and resort patrons by registering and assigning rooms to guests, issuing room keys, transmitting and receiving messages, keeping records of occupied rooms and guests' accounts, making and confirming reservations, and presenting statements to and collecting payments from departing guests.
  • Interviewer. Interview persons by telephone, mail, or by other means for the purpose of completing forms, applications, or questionnaires. Ask specific questions, record answers, and assist persons with completing form. May sort, classify, and file forms.
  • 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

Dakota County Technical College - Rosemount, MN

Dakota County Technical College, 1300 145th Street East, Rosemount, MN 55068-2999. Dakota County Technical College is a small college located in Rosemount, Minnesota. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,919 students. Dakota County Technical College has a less than one year program in Receptionist which graduated two students in 2008.

Minneapolis Community and Technical College - Minneapolis, MN

Minneapolis Community and Technical College, 1501 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403-1779. Minneapolis Community and Technical College is a medium sized college located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,539 students. Minneapolis Community and Technical College has a less than one year program in Customer Service Support/Call Center/Teleservice Operation which graduated two students in 2008.

Anoka Technical College - Anoka, MN

Anoka Technical College, 1355 W Hwy 10, Anoka, MN 55303. Anoka Technical College is a small college located in Anoka, Minnesota. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,072 students. Anoka Technical College has a one to two year program in Receptionist which graduated one student in 2008.

East Metro Opportunities Industrialization Center - Saint Paul, MN

East Metro Opportunities Industrialization Center, 1919 University Ave Suite 500, Saint Paul, MN 55104-3435. East Metro Opportunities Industrialization Center is a small school located in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 122 students. East Metro Opportunities Industrialization Center has a one to two year program in Receptionist which graduated one student in 2008.

American Indian OIC Inc - Minneapolis, MN

American Indian OIC Inc, 1845 E. Franklin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404-2221. American Indian OIC Inc is a small school located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 111 students. American Indian OIC Inc has a less than one year program in Receptionist which graduated five students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: St. Paul, Minnesota

St. Paul, Minnesota
St. Paul, Minnesota photo by Gridge

St. Paul is located in Ramsey County, Minnesota. It has a population of over 279,590, which has shrunk by 2.6% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in St. Paul, 99, is near the national average. New single-family homes in St. Paul are valued at $213,300 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, thirty new homes were built in St. Paul, down from seventy-four the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in St. Paul are educational services, health care, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and construction. The average commute to work is about 21 minutes. More than 32.0% of St. Paul residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in St. Paul is 7.4%, which is greater than Minnesota's average of 7.0%.

The percentage of St. Paul residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 61.3%, is more than both the national and state average. Zion Church, Convent of the Visitation and Saint Paul Cathedral are some of the churches located in St. Paul. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Baptist General Conference.

St. Paul is home to the Saint Paul Orphange and the Wilder Center as well as Terrace Park and East View Playground.