What do call center representatives do?
If you’ve been blessed with the gift of gab, then you'd probably make a pretty good call center representative. Call center representatives are the people you speak with when you call your bank, order a new sweater from a catalog or make airline reservations. They do everything from assisting people with customer service complaints to making telemarketing calls.
Most call center jobs fall into one of three categories. The most popular is customer service: for example, the people you speak with when you have a problem with your cable. You might also work in inbound sales, where you take calls from people who want to make a purchase. Another popular call center job is in outbound sales; think of the people who call you trying to sell you a used car warranty.
Most call center jobs require workers to use a telephone with a headset and a computer. Many of these jobs are located in office buildings, although some companies let employees work from home. Many call centers are open around the clock so your hours will be varied, possibly including some early mornings and some late evenings. With any luck you'll be able to find a job that fits your schedule. A fair warning about call center jobs: you've got to have a pretty long fuse in order to excel. You'll have people scream at you, hang up on you and call you names, so if you get angry easily, find a different career.
How much do call center representatives make?
Call center workers who work in sales can make upwards of $9.86 an hour. Since many of these jobs are commission-based, you have the opportunity to make as much money as you want, as long as you're a good salesperson. For call center employees who work in customer service, the average pay is $14.36 - but they don't get commission and on occasion may have to deal with extremely difficult callers. If you're bilingual, you can usually earn more.
What are the education requirements?
A high school education is usually preferred but not required if you want to work at a call center. More and more people with bachelor's degrees are entering the field, so getting a degree is a good idea if you want to excel in this field.
Career paths for call center representatives
After becoming an expert in customer service or sales, you can move up to a better-paying position with more desirable hours. After that, most call center representatives become managers or move on to corporate positions in the company, although you may have to get a degree in order to be qualified for those positions.
The future of call center jobs
This is still a pretty good field to get into, even as companies outsource some of their call center needs. Companies in the U.S. will continue to expand over the next decade and will require more call center representatives to help them manage their incoming and outgoing phone calls. If you're looking to enter this field, then focus on getting a call center position in customer service. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects that field to increase very rapidly over the next eight years.
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