Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2017

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)
6,310 8.1 % $18.47 $38,410 2.5 %

Percentile wage estimates for this occupation:

Percentile 10% 25% 50%
(Median)
75% 90%
Hourly Wage $10.85 $13.23 $17.46 $23.64 $28.44
Annual Wage (2) $22,580 $27,520 $36,320 $49,170 $59,150


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 1,880 0.24 $22.10 $45,980
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 1,350 0.02 $17.22 $35,820
Offices of Physicians 570 0.02 $13.65 $28,390
Local Government, excluding schools and hospitals (OES Designation) 510 0.01 $20.31 $42,240
Business Support Services 440 0.05 $15.10 $31,400

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 1,880 0.24 $22.10 $45,980
Business Support Services 440 0.05 $15.10 $31,400
Specialty (except Psychiatric and Substance Abuse) Hospitals 90 0.04 $18.18 $37,820
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 1,350 0.02 $17.22 $35,820
Offices of Physicians 570 0.02 $13.65 $28,390

Top paying industries for this occupation:

Industry Employment (1) Percent of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Telecommunications 1,880 0.24 $22.10 $45,980
Management of Companies and Enterprises 40 (7) $20.94 $43,550
Local Government, excluding schools and hospitals (OES Designation) 510 0.01 $20.31 $42,240
Credit Intermediation and Related Activities (5221 And 5223 only) (8) (8) $19.94 $41,480
Specialty (except Psychiatric and Substance Abuse) Hospitals 90 0.04 $18.18 $37,820


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 900 0.10 2.21 $23.12 $48,100
California 570 0.03 0.77 $18.97 $39,450
Texas 420 0.04 0.79 $18.06 $37,570
Illinois 390 0.07 1.49 $16.64 $34,610
Pennsylvania 300 0.05 1.16 $18.59 $38,680




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)
Connecticut 280 0.17 3.81 $15.68 $32,610
Hawaii 70 0.11 2.39 $21.42 $44,550
New York 900 0.10 2.21 $23.12 $48,100
Rhode Island 40 0.08 1.73 (8) (8)
Louisiana 150 0.08 1.72 $16.02 $33,330




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 900 0.10 2.21 $23.12 $48,100
Hawaii 70 0.11 2.39 $21.42 $44,550
District of Columbia 50 0.08 1.73 $21.31 $44,320
Virginia 180 0.05 1.04 $20.99 $43,660
New Jersey 70 0.02 0.37 $19.62 $40,800



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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 490 0.07 1.64 $23.67 $49,230
Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights, IL Metropolitan Division 280 0.08 1.73 $17.08 $35,520
Nassau County-Suffolk County, NY Metropolitan Division 230 0.18 4.02 $21.72 $45,180
Philadelphia, PA Metropolitan Division 130 0.14 3.27 $18.65 $38,800
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA Metropolitan Division 130 0.03 0.67 $18.05 $37,540
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Division 110 0.04 0.95 $18.71 $38,910
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA 100 0.04 0.86 $19.79 $41,160
Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA NECTA Division 100 0.05 1.19 $16.93 $35,220
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT 70 0.17 3.76 $14.21 $29,550
Kansas City, MO-KS 60 0.06 1.31 $15.09 $31,380


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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)
Nassau County-Suffolk County, NY Metropolitan Division 230 0.18 4.02 $21.72 $45,180
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT 70 0.17 3.76 $14.21 $29,550
Philadelphia, PA Metropolitan Division 130 0.14 3.27 $18.65 $38,800
New Orleans-Metairie, LA 50 0.09 1.99 $13.49 $28,050
Memphis, TN-MS-AR 50 0.08 1.85 $15.45 $32,130
Chicago-Naperville-Arlington Heights, IL Metropolitan Division 280 0.08 1.73 $17.08 $35,520
Providence-Warwick, RI-MA 40 0.07 1.52 $19.33 $40,200
Silver Spring-Frederick-Rockville, MD Metropolitan Division 40 0.07 1.49 $19.65 $40,860
New York-Jersey City-White Plains, NY-NJ Metropolitan Division 490 0.07 1.64 $23.67 $49,230
Kansas City, MO-KS 60 0.06 1.31 $15.09 $31,380


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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)
New York-Jersey City-White Plains, NY-NJ Metropolitan Division 490 0.07 1.64 $23.67 $49,230
San Francisco-Redwood City-South San Francisco, CA Metropolitan Division 40 0.04 0.87 $22.11 $45,980
Nassau County-Suffolk County, NY Metropolitan Division 230 0.18 4.02 $21.72 $45,180
Urban Honolulu, HI (8) (8) (8) $21.27 $44,250
Newark, NJ-PA Metropolitan Division 30 0.03 0.59 $20.79 $43,240
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA (8) (8) (8) $20.10 $41,810
Lake Charles, LA (8) (8) (8) $19.98 $41,560
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA 100 0.04 0.86 $19.79 $41,160
Silver Spring-Frederick-Rockville, MD Metropolitan Division 40 0.07 1.49 $19.65 $40,860
Pittsburgh, PA (8) (8) (8) $19.55 $40,660


About May 2017 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 2017 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2017 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2017 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2017 National Industry-Specific Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2017 Occupation Profiles

Technical Notes

 

Last Modified Date: March 30, 2018