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Switchboard Operators, Including Answering Service

Operate telephone business systems equipment or switchboards to relay incoming, outgoing, and interoffice calls. May supply information to callers and record messages.

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    Work Activities

    Work Activities

    • Answer incoming calls, greeting callers, providing information, transferring calls or taking messages as necessary.
    • Operate communication systems, such as telephone, switchboard, intercom, two-way radio, or public address.
    • Page individuals to inform them of telephone calls, using paging or interoffice communication equipment.
    • Record messages, suggesting rewording for clarity or conciseness.
    • Monitor alarm systems to ensure that secure conditions are maintained.
    • Monitor emergency and code alarms, make emergency announcements, or route emergency calls to the appropriate location.
    • Greet visitors, log them in and out of the facility, assign them security badges, and contact employee escorts.
    • Relay or route written or verbal messages.
    • Answer simple questions about clients' businesses, using reference files.
    • Place telephone calls or arrange conference calls as instructed.
    • Perform various data entry or word processing tasks, such as updating phone directories, typing or proofreading documents, or creating schedules.
    • Keep records of calls placed and charges incurred.
    • Stamp messages with time and date and file them appropriately.
    • Process incoming or outgoing mail, packages, or deliveries.
    • Complete forms for sales orders.
    • Contact security staff members when necessary, using radio-telephones.
    • Perform administrative tasks, such as accepting orders, scheduling appointments or meeting rooms, or sending and receiving faxes.
    • Perform various cash handling tasks, such as collecting payments, making bank deposits, or managing petty cash.
    • Place orders, such as for equipment, supplies, or catering for meetings.


    • Speaking

      Talking to others to convey information effectively.

    • Active Listening

      Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

    • Social Perceptiveness

      Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.


    Applied Math
    Workplace Documents
    Graphic Literacy


    • Oral Comprehension

      The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

    • Oral Expression

      The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

    • Speech Recognition

      The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.


    • Customer and Personal Service

      Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

    • English Language

      Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

    • Telecommunications

      Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.

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    Ohio Employment Trends

    • Currently Employed 3,250
    • Yearly Projected Openings 270

    Typical Education


    Conventional: People interested in this work like activities that include data, detail, and regular routines.They do well at jobs that need:
    • Dependability
    • Integrity
    • Self Control
    • Cooperation
    • Concern for Others
    • Attention to Detail


    • Two way radios
    • Premise branch exchange PBX systems
    • Intercom systems
    • Inkjet printers
    • Alarm systems


    • Word processing software
    • Office suite software
    • Enterprise resource planning ERP software
    • Electronic mail software
    • Data base user interface and query software

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