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Call centre operator

Alternative titles for this job include Contact centre operator, call centre assistant

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

Average salary (a year)

£15,000 Starter


£28,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

38 to 40 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends / bank holidays on shifts

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Call centre operator

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

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for these courses vary.

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

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.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

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
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

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.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

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.

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Patient Liaison Apprentice

  • Wage: £9,984 a year Annually
  • Location: BILLERICAY

Apprentice Customer Service Advisor

  • Wage: £13,312 a year Annually

Courses In England

Pathway 3 Level 1 Certificate Preparing for Working Life (Customer Services)

  • Start date: 02 September 2024
  • Location: Durham

Travel & Tourism with Hospitality - Level 3 - Year 1

  • Start date: 09 September 2024
  • Location: Halesowen

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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