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Career and Education Opportunities for Telemarketers in Columbia, South Carolina

Many educational and employment opportunities exist for telemarketers in the Columbia, South Carolina area. There are currently 2,350 jobs for telemarketers in South Carolina and this is projected to shrink by 12% to about 2,080 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for telemarketers, which sees this job pool shrinking by about 11.1% over the next eight years. In general, telemarketers solicit orders for goods or services over the telephone.

Income for telemarketers is about $10 per hour or $21,580 yearly on average in South Carolina. Nationally, their income is about $10 per hour or $21,960 annually. Telemarketers earn less than people working in the category of Sales and Clerical generally in South Carolina and less than people in the Sales and Clerical category nationally.

The Columbia area is home to twenty schools of higher education, including two within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree as a telemarketer. Telemarketers usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so it will take only a short time to learn 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.
  • Wholesale and Manufacturing Sales Representative. Sell goods for wholesalers or manufacturers to businesses or groups of individuals. Work requires substantial knowledge of items sold.


Midlands Technical College - West Columbia, SC

Midlands Technical College, 1260 Lexington Drive, West Columbia, SC 29170-2176. Midlands Technical College is a large college located in West Columbia, South Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,157 students. Midlands Technical College has an associate's degree program in Sales, Distribution, and Marketing Operations which graduated thirty-six students in 2008.

University of South Carolina-Columbia - Columbia, SC

University of South Carolina-Columbia, , Columbia, SC 29208. University of South Carolina-Columbia is a large university located in Columbia, South Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 27,500 students and an admission rate of 59%. University of South Carolina-Columbia has a bachelor's degree program in Insurance which graduated three 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.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Columbia, South Carolina

Columbia, South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina photo by Akhenaton06

Columbia is located in Richland County, South Carolina. It has a population of over 127,029, which has grown by 9.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Columbia, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Columbia cost $142,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, four hundred thirty-four new homes were built in Columbia, down from seven hundred the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and public administration. For men, it is educational services, public administration, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 18 minutes. More than 35.7% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 14.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Columbia is 16.1%, which is greater than South Carolina's average of 12.0%.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 41.6%, is less than both the national and state average. Progressive Church, Bishop Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church and Lutheran Seminary are among the churches located in Columbia. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Columbia is home to the Booker T Washington Center and the Longstreet Annex as well as Irwin Park and Columbia Historic District II. Shopping centers in the area include Five Points Shopping Center, Market Place Shopping Center and Columbiana Centre Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from Marriott Columbia, Hampton Inn Columbia-SE-Fort Jackson and Embassy Suites Hotel for temporary stays in the area.