Occupational Employment Statistics

Occupational Employment and Wages, 2002

43-2021 Telephone Operators

Provide information by accessing alphabetical and geographical 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
State profile for this occupation
Metropolitan area 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)
46,420 5.3 % $14.11 $29,340 1.2 %

Percentile wage estimates for this occupation:

Percentile 10% 25% 50%
(Median)
75% 90%
Hourly Wage $8.09 $9.86 $13.75 $18.35 $20.80
Annual Wage (2) $16,820 $20,510 $28,600 $38,170 $43,270

Industry profile for this occupation: Top

Industries with the highest levels of employment in this occupation:

Industry Employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage Employment rank Wage rank
Wired telecommunications carriers 21,270 $15.67 $32,600 1 5
Wireless telecommunications carriers 7,720 $13.76 $28,610 2 13
Business support services 3,190 $9.74 $20,250 3 25
General medical and surgical hospitals 1,010 $12.65 $26,320 4 17
Local government (OES designation) 980 $13.13 $27,310 5 16

Top paying industries for this occupation:

Industry Employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage Employment rank Wage rank
Newspaper, book, and directory publishers 30 $16.33 $33,960 22 1
Cable and other program distribution 80 $16.17 $33,630 13 2
Rail transportation 40 $15.87 $33,020 20 3
Other telecommunications (6) $15.67 $32,600 (6) 4
Wired telecommunications carriers 21,270 $15.67 $32,600 1 5

State profile for this occupation: Top

States with the highest concentration of workers in this occupation:

State Employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage Percent of State employment Wage rank within State
New Mexico 800 $9.22 $19,180 0.110% 484
Alaska 240 $14.01 $29,140 0.084% 336
Florida 4,170 $11.54 $23,990 0.059% 515
New Jersey 2,030 $14.76 $30,690 0.053% 467
California 7,650 $14.54 $30,230 0.053% 470

Top paying States for this occupation:

State Employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage Percent of State employment Wage rank within State
Virginia 1,170 $18.35 $38,180 0.035% 264
Ohio 1,360 $15.85 $32,970 0.025% 367
Texas 4,720 $15.12 $31,460 0.051% 343
Illinois 2,830 $15.08 $31,360 0.049% 414
Rhode Island 170 $15.06 $31,310 0.036% 298

Metropolitan area profile for this occupation: Top

Metropolitan areas with the highest concentration of workers in this occupation:

MSA Employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage Percent of MSA employment
Fitchburg-Leominster, MA PMSA 100 $10.21 $21,230 0.189%
Albuquerque, NM MSA 400 $10.89 $22,650 0.117%
Anchorage, AK MSA 90 $15.47 $32,180 0.066%
Tulsa, OK MSA 210 $14.32 $29,780 0.056%
Fort Worth-Arlington, TX PMSA 400 $17.02 $35,410 0.053%

Top paying Metropolitan areas for this occupation:

MSA Employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage Percent of MSA employment
Washington, DC-MD-VA-WV PMSA 1,230 $17.68 $36,770 0.046%
Orange County, CA PMSA (6) $17.55 $36,500 (6)
New York, NY PMSA 1,130 $17.17 $35,710 0.028%
Fort Worth-Arlington, TX PMSA 400 $17.02 $35,410 0.053%
Austin-San Marcos, TX MSA 130 $16.76 $34,860 0.020%

About 2002 National, State, and Metropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

To see profiles of other occupations, select from the major groups below:

These estimates are calculated with data collected from employers in all industry sectors in metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas in every State and the District of Columbia. The top five employment and wage figures are provided above. The complete list is available in the downloadable Excel files(XLS).

Percentile wage estimates show the percentage of workers in an occupation that earn less than a given wage and the percentage that earn more. 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) Data for detailed occupations does not sum to the totals because the totals include data for 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 mean 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.

(6) Estimates not released.

All Office and Administrative Support Occupations

2002 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

2002 Metropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

2002 National Industry-Specific Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

List of Occupations in SOC Code Number Order

List of Occupations in Alphabetical Order

Download 2002 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates in Zipped Excel files

Technical notes

Last Modified Date: November 26, 2003

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