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Sales & marketing

Call centre operator

Call centre operators answer enquiries from customers by telephone, email, webchat, text and post.

Annual Salary

£15,000 to £28,000

Average UK salary in 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

38 to 40 a week

You could work: evenings / weekends / bank holidays; on shifts

Future employment

There will be 6% more Call centre operator jobs in 2026.
In your local area

Day to day tasks

Depending on your role, you could:

  • answer calls, emails and web chat enquiries from customers
  • make telesales and market research calls to new and existing customers
  • deal with customer orders, card payments, enquiries and complaints
  • advise about products and services
  • support customers to fix computer problems
  • offer counselling, welfare and benefits advice, legal information or help with careers
  • update customers' records on computer databases

Working environment

You could work in a contact centre.

You can get into this job through:

  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • applying directly

You can start by doing a course like:

  • Level 1 Certificate for Introduction to Customer Service
  • Level 2 Certificate in Contact Centre Operations

For more information

You could get into this job through an intermediate customer service practitioner or advanced customer service specialist apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • some GCSEs, usually including English and maths, or equivalent, for an intermediate apprenticeship
  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
For more information
Direct application

There are no set requirements for applying directly for jobs, though employers may ask for some GCSEs. Basic computer skills and admin experience can be useful.

If the job requires more specialised knowledge, for example on an IT support helpline or an advice service, you'll usually need a relevant qualification.

More information

Career tips

Employers look for people with personal qualities like confidence and a good telephone manner. Job interviews often include practical telephone and keyboard tests.

Temporary work can be a useful way to get started in this career and can lead to permanent jobs.

Professional and industry bodies

You can join the The Institute of Customer Service to access training and meet other people working in customer service roles.

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With experience and training, you could progress to team leader or manager.

Depending on your interests and experience, you could also move into human resources, resource planning, marketing and training.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • customer service skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to work well with others
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • active listening skills
  • administration skills
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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