Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2016

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)
8,860 14.2 % $20.69 $43,030 6.9 %

Percentile wage estimates for this occupation:

Percentile 10% 25% 50%
(Median)
75% 90%
Hourly Wage $10.96 $13.55 $17.79 $27.05 $31.84
Annual Wage (2) $22,790 $28,180 $37,000 $56,270 $66,230


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)
Wired Telecommunications Carriers 1,950 0.34 $22.23 $46,240
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 1,570 0.03 $16.15 $33,590
Business Support Services 590 0.06 $14.51 $30,170
Offices of Physicians 570 0.02 $14.79 $30,770
Local Government (OES Designation) 440 0.01 $20.81 $43,290

Industries with the highest concentration of employment in this occupation:

Industry Employment (1) Percent of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Wired Telecommunications Carriers 1,950 0.34 $22.23 $46,240
Other Telecommunications 150 0.21 $11.32 $23,550
Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except Satellite) 80 0.07 $20.40 $42,420
Business Support Services 590 0.06 $14.51 $30,170
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 1,570 0.03 $16.15 $33,590

Top paying industries for this occupation:

Industry Employment (1) Percent of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Wired Telecommunications Carriers 1,950 0.34 $22.23 $46,240
Management of Companies and Enterprises 50 (7) $21.78 $45,300
Local Government (OES Designation) 440 0.01 $20.81 $43,290
Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except Satellite) 80 0.07 $20.40 $42,420
Depository Credit Intermediation 60 (7) $18.32 $38,110


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 800 0.09 1.40 $22.30 $46,390
Illinois 590 0.10 1.60 $16.92 $35,180
California 520 0.03 0.52 $21.27 $44,250
Florida 430 0.05 0.83 $14.08 $29,300
Texas 350 0.03 0.47 $17.08 $35,530




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)
Rhode Island 60 0.13 1.99 $17.02 $35,390
Connecticut 210 0.13 2.02 $16.14 $33,560
Delaware 50 0.12 1.85 $15.73 $32,720
Massachusetts 340 0.10 1.55 $21.47 $44,660
Illinois 590 0.10 1.60 $16.92 $35,180




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 800 0.09 1.40 $22.30 $46,390
New Jersey 120 0.03 0.50 $22.01 $45,780
Virginia 140 0.04 0.59 $21.54 $44,810
Massachusetts 340 0.10 1.55 $21.47 $44,660
Maryland 190 0.07 1.16 $21.39 $44,480





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-Jersey City-White Plains, NY-NJ Metropolitan Division 480 0.07 1.16 $22.63 $47,060
Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights, IL Metropolitan Division 460 0.13 2.02 $16.91 $35,180
Philadelphia, PA Metropolitan Division 230 0.26 4.13 $20.86 $43,380
Nassau County-Suffolk County, NY Metropolitan Division 140 0.11 1.77 $20.00 $41,600
Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, MI Metropolitan Division 140 0.12 1.87 $14.48 $30,130
Providence-Warwick, RI-MA 140 0.25 3.90 $22.30 $46,380
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Division 120 0.05 0.79 $17.19 $35,750
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA Metropolitan Division 120 0.03 0.44 $18.72 $38,930
Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA NECTA Division 100 0.06 0.91 $17.70 $36,820
Cleveland-Elyria, OH 100 0.10 1.59 $14.96 $31,130




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)
Philadelphia, PA Metropolitan Division 230 0.26 4.13 $20.86 $43,380
Providence-Warwick, RI-MA 140 0.25 3.90 $22.30 $46,380
Flint, MI 30 0.23 3.69 $14.45 $30,060
Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights, IL Metropolitan Division 460 0.13 2.02 $16.91 $35,180
Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, MI Metropolitan Division 140 0.12 1.87 $14.48 $30,130
Nassau County-Suffolk County, NY Metropolitan Division 140 0.11 1.77 $20.00 $41,600
Springfield, MA-CT 30 0.10 1.57 $17.59 $36,590
Wilmington, DE-MD-NJ Metropolitan Division 40 0.10 1.61 $15.77 $32,790
Cleveland-Elyria, OH 100 0.10 1.59 $14.96 $31,130
Memphis, TN-MS-AR 60 0.09 1.47 $14.98 $31,150




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)
Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, MD 90 0.07 1.07 $25.97 $54,010
New York-Jersey City-White Plains, NY-NJ Metropolitan Division 480 0.07 1.16 $22.63 $47,060
Providence-Warwick, RI-MA 140 0.25 3.90 $22.30 $46,380
Newark, NJ-PA Metropolitan Division 30 0.03 0.43 $20.97 $43,610
Philadelphia, PA Metropolitan Division 230 0.26 4.13 $20.86 $43,380
Urban Honolulu, HI (8) (8) (8) $20.23 $42,080
Nassau County-Suffolk County, NY Metropolitan Division 140 0.11 1.77 $20.00 $41,600
Anaheim-Santa Ana-Irvine, CA Metropolitan Division 50 0.03 0.47 $19.58 $40,730
Lake County-Kenosha County, IL-WI Metropolitan Division (8) (8) (8) $19.57 $40,710
Pittsburgh, PA (8) (8) (8) $19.37 $40,300


About May 2016 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 2016 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2016 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2016 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2016 National Industry-Specific Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2016 Occupation Profiles

Technical Notes

 

Last Modified Date: March 31, 2017