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Occupational Employment Statistics
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Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2019

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)
4,740 5.6 % $18.24 $37,940 1.4 %

Percentile wage estimates for this occupation:

Percentile 10% 25% 50%
(Median)
75% 90%
Hourly Wage $11.23 $13.32 $17.19 $22.90 $27.70
Annual Wage (2) $23,360 $27,700 $35,750 $47,630 $57,620


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)
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 1,320 0.02 $17.70 $36,820
Telecommunications 790 0.11 $22.72 $47,260
Offices of Physicians 570 0.02 $13.73 $28,550
Local Government, excluding schools and hospitals (OES Designation) 390 0.01 $20.80 $43,270
Traveler Accommodation 320 0.02 $16.54 $34,410

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 790 0.11 $22.72 $47,260
Specialty (except Psychiatric and Substance Abuse) Hospitals 130 0.05 $19.25 $40,040
Traveler Accommodation 320 0.02 $16.54 $34,410
Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Hospitals 40 0.02 $14.20 $29,530
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 1,320 0.02 $17.70 $36,820

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 $24.94 $51,870
Telecommunications 790 0.11 $22.72 $47,260
Local Government, excluding schools and hospitals (OES Designation) 390 0.01 $20.80 $43,270
Insurance Carriers 30 (7) $19.94 $41,480
Other Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services 130 0.02 $19.45 $40,450


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 620 0.07 2.02 $21.86 $45,470
California 580 0.03 1.03 $21.21 $44,120
Ohio 420 0.08 2.36 $15.20 $31,620
Texas 270 0.02 0.66 $13.95 $29,030
Georgia 240 0.05 1.65 $15.86 $33,000




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)
District of Columbia 90 0.12 3.67 $23.62 $49,130
Rhode Island 40 0.08 2.53 $19.06 $39,630
Ohio 420 0.08 2.36 $15.20 $31,620
New York 620 0.07 2.02 $21.86 $45,470
Mississippi 80 0.07 2.08 $13.40 $27,870




Top paying States for this occupation:

State Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
District of Columbia 90 0.12 3.67 $23.62 $49,130
New York 620 0.07 2.02 $21.86 $45,470
California 580 0.03 1.03 $21.21 $44,120
Minnesota (8) (8) (8) $20.88 $43,440
Connecticut (8) (8) (8) $20.65 $42,950





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 580 0.06 1.85 $22.26 $46,290
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA 160 0.06 1.78 $17.22 $35,820
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV 130 0.04 1.26 $21.30 $44,300
Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH 130 0.05 1.43 $19.15 $39,840
Columbus, OH 120 0.11 3.38 $14.84 $30,870
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA 110 0.02 0.54 $23.00 $47,830
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD 90 0.07 2.12 $17.12 $35,610
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD 90 0.03 0.93 $19.02 $39,550
Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI 90 0.02 0.57 $18.66 $38,810
Providence-Warwick, RI-MA 80 0.14 4.45 $23.40 $48,670




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)
Fresno, CA 60 0.17 5.12 $24.76 $51,490
Providence-Warwick, RI-MA 80 0.14 4.45 $23.40 $48,670
Jackson, MS 40 0.13 4.09 $13.92 $28,950
Columbus, OH 120 0.11 3.38 $14.84 $30,870
Dayton, OH 40 0.09 2.85 $16.24 $33,770
Salt Lake City, UT 50 0.07 2.16 $19.12 $39,780
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD 90 0.07 2.12 $17.12 $35,610
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA 580 0.06 1.85 $22.26 $46,290
Louisville/Jefferson County, KY-IN 40 0.06 2.01 $14.81 $30,790
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA 160 0.06 1.78 $17.22 $35,820




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)
Fresno, CA 60 0.17 5.12 $24.76 $51,490
Providence-Warwick, RI-MA 80 0.14 4.45 $23.40 $48,670
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA 70 0.03 0.89 $23.31 $48,480
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA 110 0.02 0.54 $23.00 $47,830
New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA 580 0.06 1.85 $22.26 $46,290
Pittsburgh, PA (8) (8) (8) $21.60 $44,930
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV 130 0.04 1.26 $21.30 $44,300
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI (8) (8) (8) $20.88 $43,440
San Diego-Carlsbad, CA 70 0.05 1.54 $20.40 $42,440
Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH 130 0.05 1.43 $19.15 $39,840


About May 2019 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 2019 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2019 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2019 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2019 National Industry-Specific Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2019 Occupation Profiles

Technical Notes

 

Last Modified Date: March 31, 2020