Call Center

Average Call Center Salary Nationwide


Overview and Basic Information


If you looooove to talk, then you’d probably make a good call center representative. They’re the people you talk with when you call your utility company or order something by phone.

Most call center jobs fall into one of three categories:

  • Customer service. These are the people you call when your cable’s out.

  • Inbound sales. This representative takes calls from people who want to buy something.

  • Outbound sales. These are the people who call hoping to sell you something.

Most call center jobs require you to use a telephone with a headset and a computer. A lot of jobs are located in office buildings, but some companies let employees work from home. Many call centers are open 24/7 so your hours can vary, possibly including some early mornings or late evenings. A fair warning about call center jobs—they’re definitely not for everyone. You need pretty thick skin to succeed. People will yell at you, hang up on you and swear at you, so if you get angry quickly, you’d better look for a different job.

Example call center representative job description

We’re hiring polite, professional call center representatives to provide outstanding customer service. You’ll answer questions, handle complaints and troubleshoot problems with our products and services. The call center representative will handle a high volume of inbound and outbound calls and should provide a positive experience for every customer. You’ll listen to customers to understand the reason for their call, address all questions or complaints and provide an accurate and efficient response.

To be a successful call center representative, you must be customer-focused, good at problem-solving, detail-oriented and efficient. You should also be polite, reliable, knowledgeable and flexible.

Typical duties include:

  • Answering or making customer calls to address their needs

  • Responding efficiently and accurately to callers

  • Engaging with callers to confirm or clarify information and calming angry customers, as needed

  • Building relationships with customers and other call center agents

  • Appropriately using software, databases, scripts and tools

  • Understanding and striving to meet or exceed call center metrics

  • Providing consistent customer service

  • Making sales or recommendations for products or services

  • Taking part in training and other learning opportunities


  • High school diploma or GED

  • Exceptional customer service, active listening and verbal and written communication skills

  • Professional phone voice

  • Willing to learn company products, services and policies

  • Proficiency with computers, especially customer relationship management (CRM) software

  • Strong typing skills

  • Ability to ask prying questions and diffuse tense situations

  • Strong time management and decision-making skills

  • Adaptability and accountability

  • Bilingual a big plus

Common questions about call center representative jobs

How much does a call center representative make?

The average call center representative makes about $16.25 an hour. The pay can be higher if the company pays bonuses for meeting sales goals.

What are the education requirements?

A high school education or equivalent is usually required. Most training is on-the-job.

Career paths for call center representatives

Once you become an expert in customer service or sales, you can move up to a position with better pay and hours. After that, most call center representatives become managers or move on to corporate positions in the company. But you might have to have a degree to qualify for those positions.

The future of call center representatives

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), overall job opportunities for call center reps and other customer service representatives are predicted to rise 36% from 2016-26. Candidates with good customer service skills and those who have a lot of experience using computer software should have the best job prospects.

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