Switchboard Operator

Manage a company's telephone system.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$18,000 – $37,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Switchboard Operators do?

As a Switchboard Operator, you manage the telephone system for a company. You control a panel of telephone lines, answering incoming calls, transferring calls to different locations, and taking messages. These calls may be internal or external, and being able to direct them effectively means that you need to be familiar with all employees and the office functions of the business. In a very large company, this aspect of the job may require a great deal of information gathering, and for you to be the company’s social butterfly, for a time at least.

While the Switchboard Operator’s primary function is related to the telephone system, many Switchboard Operators are also required to monitor equipment for the company, such as alarms, remote cameras, and emergency equipment. Additionally, you may be required to function as a Receptionist and greet people when they visit the company, as well as operating a computer and various types of software, including Microsoft Office, Microsoft Excel, and Microsoft Word.

A typing test is often required for the position because many firms will allocate some of their typing duties to you. Therefore, in addition to the communication and multi-line telephone system skills you must possess, you will need typing certification of at least 35 wpm in order to accomplish all of the tasks potentially required in the position.


Should I be a Switchboard Operator?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • Also known as: Switchboard Receptionist, Telephone Switchboard Operator

    How to become a Switchboard Operator

    Switchboard Operators often have a Certificate or higher. Chart?chd=s:9uegaa&chl=no+college+%2866%25%29|certificate+%2822%25%29|associate%27s+%285%25%29|bachelor%27s+%287%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,66,66
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