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Career and Education Opportunities for Telephone Operators in Portland, Oregon

Telephone operators can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Portland, Oregon area. The national trend for telephone operators sees this job pool shrinking by about 3.6% over the next eight years. Telephone operators generally provide information by accessing alphabetical and geographical directories.

The average wage in the general category of Telephone jobs is $12 per hour or $25,740 per year in Oregon, and an average of $13 per hour or $27,945 per year nationwide.

There are fifty-nine schools of higher education in the Portland area, including one within twenty-five miles of Portland 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 Portland include:

  • 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

Clark College - Vancouver, WA

Clark College, 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver, WA 98663-3598. Clark College is a large college located in Vancouver, Washington. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,378 students. Clark College has a less than one year program in Receptionist which graduated one student in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon
Portland, Oregon photo by Fcb981

Portland is located in Multnomah County, Oregon. It has a population of over 557,706, which has grown by 5.4% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Portland, 103, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Portland are priced at $194,700 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, six hundred forty-eight new homes were constructed in Portland, down from 1,205 the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Portland are health care, educational services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 23 minutes. More than 32.6% of Portland residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 11.4%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Portland is 10.7%, which is greater than Oregon's average of 10.6%.

The percentage of Portland residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 45.7%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Charismatic Churches Independent.

Portland is home to the Barnes Yard and the Haig as well as Cottonwood Bay City Park and Wallace City Park. Visitors to Portland can choose from Motel 6, Shilo Inns & Resorts and Comfort Inn Portland for temporary stays in the area.