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Career and Education Opportunities for Telephone Operators in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Telephone operator career and educational opportunities abound in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. There are currently 1,350 working telephone operators in Pennsylvania; this should shrink by 31% to 950 working telephone operators in the state 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%. Telephone operators generally provide information by accessing alphabetical and geographical directories.

Telephone operators earn approximately $15 hourly or $31,450 annually on average in Pennsylvania. Nationally they average about $15 per hour or $31,670 annually. Compared with people working in the overall category of Telephone, people working as telephone operators in Pennsylvania earn more. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Telephone nationally.

There are eighty-three schools of higher education in the Pittsburgh area, including one within twenty-five miles of Pittsburgh 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 Pittsburgh 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

Community College of Beaver County - Monaca, PA

Community College of Beaver County, One Campus Drive, Monaca, PA 15061-2588. Community College of Beaver County is a small college located in Monaca, Pennsylvania. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,695 students. Community College of Beaver County has a one to two year program in Customer Service Support/Call Center/Teleservice Operation.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania photo by Conk 9

Pittsburgh is located in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. It has a population of over 310,037, which has shrunk by 7.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Pittsburgh, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Pittsburgh cost $196,700 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, one hundred eighty-five new homes were built in Pittsburgh, up from one hundred seventeen the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Pittsburgh are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, health care, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 23 minutes. More than 26.2% of Pittsburgh residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.5%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Pittsburgh is 7.8%, which is less than Pennsylvania's average of 8.4%.

The percentage of Pittsburgh residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 71.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Saint Pauls Cathedral, Saint Patrick Roman Cathlic Church and Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church are some of the churches located in Pittsburgh. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the United Methodist Church.

Pittsburgh is home to the Mount Washington Overlook and the Golden Triangle as well as Magee Playground and Kennard Playground. Shopping centers in the area include Shadyside Shopping Center and Allegheny Center Mall. Visitors to Pittsburgh can choose from Best Western University Center, Avalon Motel and Four Points By Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport for temporary stays in the area.