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Occupational Employment Statistics
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Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2018

43-2021 Telephone Operators

Provide information by accessing alphabetical, geographical, or other directories. Assist customers with special billing requests, such as charges to a third party and credits or refunds for incorrectly dialed numbers or bad connections. May handle emergency calls and assist children or people with physical disabilities to make telephone calls.


National estimates for this occupation
Industry profile for this occupation
Geographic profile for this occupation

National estimates for this occupation: Top

Employment estimate and mean wage estimates for this occupation:

Employment (1) Employment
RSE (3)
Mean hourly
wage
Mean annual
wage (2)
Wage RSE (3)
5,160 6.8 % $18.93 $39,360 2.2 %

Percentile wage estimates for this occupation:

Percentile 10% 25% 50%
(Median)
75% 90%
Hourly Wage $11.14 $13.60 $17.91 $23.81 $29.14
Annual Wage (2) $23,160 $28,290 $37,240 $49,520 $60,610


Industry profile for this occupation: Top

Industries with the highest published employment and wages for this occupation are provided. For a list of all industries with employment in this occupation, see the Create Customized Tables function.

Industries with the highest levels of employment in this occupation:

Industry Employment (1) Percent of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Telecommunications 1,460 0.19 $22.70 $47,220
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 1,220 0.02 $17.55 $36,500
Offices of Physicians 560 0.02 $13.98 $29,070
Local Government, excluding schools and hospitals (OES Designation) 380 0.01 $20.30 $42,230
Traveler Accommodation 230 0.01 $16.71 $34,750

Industries with the highest concentration of employment in this occupation:

Industry Employment (1) Percent of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Telecommunications 1,460 0.19 $22.70 $47,220
Specialty (except Psychiatric and Substance Abuse) Hospitals 80 0.03 $18.79 $39,090
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 1,220 0.02 $17.55 $36,500
Offices of Physicians 560 0.02 $13.98 $29,070
Local Government, excluding schools and hospitals (OES Designation) 380 0.01 $20.30 $42,230

Top paying industries for this occupation:

Industry Employment (1) Percent of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Junior Colleges 40 0.01 $22.82 $47,460
Telecommunications 1,460 0.19 $22.70 $47,220
Management of Companies and Enterprises 30 (7) $21.00 $43,680
Local Government, excluding schools and hospitals (OES Designation) 380 0.01 $20.30 $42,230
Credit Intermediation and Related Activities (5221 And 5223 only) 70 (7) $19.73 $41,030


Geographic profile for this occupation: Top

States and areas with the highest published employment, location quotients, and wages for this occupation are provided. For a list of all areas with employment in this occupation, see the Create Customized Tables function.





States with the highest employment level in this occupation:

State Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
New York 840 0.09 2.50 $23.20 $48,270
Minnesota 620 0.22 6.05 $18.98 $39,470
California 480 0.03 0.80 $20.15 $41,900
Texas 360 0.03 0.83 $16.54 $34,410
Ohio 230 0.04 1.21 $17.19 $35,750




States with the highest concentration of jobs and location quotients in this occupation:

State Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Minnesota 620 0.22 6.05 $18.98 $39,470
New York 840 0.09 2.50 $23.20 $48,270
Louisiana 170 0.09 2.51 $15.88 $33,040
District of Columbia 60 0.09 2.46 $21.22 $44,150
Maryland 140 0.05 1.46 $17.69 $36,790




Top paying States for this occupation:

State Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
New York 840 0.09 2.50 $23.20 $48,270
District of Columbia 60 0.09 2.46 $21.22 $44,150
Hawaii (8) (8) (8) $21.17 $44,040
Connecticut 60 0.04 0.99 $21.16 $44,010
Virginia 110 0.03 0.79 $20.91 $43,480





Metropolitan areas with the highest employment level in this occupation:

Metropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA 710 0.07 2.08 $23.38 $48,620
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI 610 0.31 8.74 $19.02 $39,570
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI 180 0.04 1.06 $19.60 $40,780
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA 160 0.06 1.70 $17.20 $35,770
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV 120 0.04 1.09 $19.96 $41,530
Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH 120 0.04 1.18 $18.12 $37,680
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA 110 0.02 0.51 $20.00 $41,600
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD 80 0.06 1.74 $16.92 $35,190
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD 80 0.03 0.81 $18.77 $39,050
Kansas City, MO-KS 80 0.07 2.06 $16.23 $33,760




Metropolitan areas with the highest concentration of jobs and location quotients in this occupation:

Metropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI 610 0.31 8.74 $19.02 $39,570
New Orleans-Metairie, LA 70 0.13 3.71 $13.75 $28,600
Salt Lake City, UT 50 0.07 1.99 $18.12 $37,690
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA 710 0.07 2.08 $23.38 $48,620
Kansas City, MO-KS 80 0.07 2.06 $16.23 $33,760
Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY 40 0.07 1.84 $18.52 $38,520
Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT 30 0.06 1.61 (8) (8)
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD 80 0.06 1.74 $16.92 $35,190
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA 160 0.06 1.70 $17.20 $35,770
Cleveland-Elyria, OH 50 0.05 1.39 $14.88 $30,950




Top paying metropolitan areas for this occupation:

Metropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA 40 0.02 0.50 $25.28 $52,590
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA 710 0.07 2.08 $23.38 $48,620
Urban Honolulu, HI (8) (8) (8) $21.17 $44,040
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA 110 0.02 0.51 $20.00 $41,600
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV 120 0.04 1.09 $19.96 $41,530
Pittsburgh, PA (8) (8) (8) $19.81 $41,210
Lake Charles, LA (8) (8) (8) $19.78 $41,150
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI 180 0.04 1.06 $19.60 $40,780
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI 610 0.31 8.74 $19.02 $39,570
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD 80 0.03 0.81 $18.77 $39,050


About May 2018 National, State, Metropolitan, and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

These estimates are calculated with data collected from employers in all industry sectors, all metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas, and all states and the District of Columbia. The top employment and wage figures are provided above. The complete list is available in the downloadable XLS files.

The percentile wage estimate is the value of a wage below which a certain percent of workers fall. The median wage is the 50th percentile wage estimate--50 percent of workers earn less than the median and 50 percent of workers earn more than the median. More about percentile wages.


(1) Estimates for detailed occupations do not sum to the totals because the totals include occupations not shown separately. Estimates do not include self-employed workers.

(2) Annual wages have been calculated by multiplying the hourly mean wage by a "year-round, full-time" hours figure of 2,080 hours; for those occupations where there is not an hourly wage published, the annual wage has been directly calculated from the reported survey data.

(3) The relative standard error (RSE) is a measure of the reliability of a survey statistic. The smaller the relative standard error, the more precise the estimate.

(7) The value is less than .005 percent of industry employment.

(8) Estimate not released.

(9) The location quotient is the ratio of the area concentration of occupational employment to the national average concentration. A location quotient greater than one indicates the occupation has a higher share of employment than average, and a location quotient less than one indicates the occupation is less prevalent in the area than average.


Other OES estimates and related information:

May 2018 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2018 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2018 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2018 National Industry-Specific Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2018 Occupation Profiles

Technical Notes

 

Last Modified Date: March 29, 2019