Occupational Employment Statistics

Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2010

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)
18,650 7.1 % $16.06 $33,400 1.3 %

Percentile wage estimates for this occupation:

Percentile 10% 25% 50%
(Median)
75% 90%
Hourly Wage $9.18 $11.52 $15.37 $20.83 $24.31
Annual Wage (2) $19,090 $23,950 $31,970 $43,320 $50,560


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 10,940 1.79 $17.09 $35,540
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 1,560 0.03 $15.59 $32,430
Business Support Services 1,510 0.18 $11.63 $24,190
Other Telecommunications 800 0.69 $17.53 $36,460
Local Government (OES Designation) 570 0.01 $17.15 $35,670

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 10,940 1.79 $17.09 $35,540
Other Telecommunications 800 0.69 $17.53 $36,460
Business Support Services 1,510 0.18 $11.63 $24,190
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 1,560 0.03 $15.59 $32,430
Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Hospitals 50 0.02 $15.30 $31,810

Top paying industries for this occupation:

Industry Employment (1) Percent of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Other Telecommunications 800 0.69 $17.53 $36,460
Local Government (OES Designation) 570 0.01 $17.15 $35,670
Wired Telecommunications Carriers 10,940 1.79 $17.09 $35,540
Management of Companies and Enterprises 120 0.01 $15.97 $33,220
Individual and Family Services 40 (7) $15.93 $33,130


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)
California 3,340 0.24 1.63 $18.10 $37,640
Pennsylvania 2,360 0.43 2.93 $15.94 $33,160
New York 1,210 0.14 0.98 $17.76 $36,940
Texas 1,110 0.11 0.75 $14.99 $31,170
Georgia 840 0.23 1.53 $11.61 $24,140




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)
West Virginia 400 0.59 4.00 $17.96 $37,370
Pennsylvania 2,360 0.43 2.93 $15.94 $33,160
Vermont 100 0.36 2.45 $17.01 $35,390
Maryland 630 0.26 1.74 $20.18 $41,960
Kentucky 410 0.24 1.64 $15.19 $31,600




Top paying States for this occupation:

State Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Maryland 630 0.26 1.74 $20.18 $41,960
Rhode Island (8) (8) (8) $19.69 $40,960
Virginia 350 0.10 0.68 $19.14 $39,810
Illinois (8) (8) (8) $18.64 $38,770
California 3,340 0.24 1.63 $18.10 $37,640

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)
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA Metropolitan Division 1,330 0.35 2.37 $19.12 $39,770
New York-White Plains-Wayne, NY-NJ Metropolitan Division 770 0.15 1.05 $17.40 $36,180
Baltimore-Towson, MD 400 0.32 2.21 $20.20 $42,030
Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, CA Metropolitan Division 300 0.22 1.47 $16.56 $34,450
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI 290 0.17 1.17 $19.56 $40,680
Providence-Fall River-Warwick, RI-MA 280 0.53 3.62 $20.32 $42,260
Salt Lake City, UT 250 0.43 2.90 $11.86 $24,670
Nassau-Suffolk, NY Metropolitan Division 180 0.15 1.04 $18.20 $37,860
Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX 140 0.06 0.40 $20.41 $42,450
St. Louis, MO-IL 140 0.11 0.75 $15.45 $32,130




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)
Chattanooga, TN-GA 130 0.58 3.92 $11.32 $23,540
Providence-Fall River-Warwick, RI-MA 280 0.53 3.62 $20.32 $42,260
Salt Lake City, UT 250 0.43 2.90 $11.86 $24,670
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA Metropolitan Division 1,330 0.35 2.37 $19.12 $39,770
Baltimore-Towson, MD 400 0.32 2.21 $20.20 $42,030
Reading, PA 50 0.29 1.99 $13.36 $27,780
Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI 90 0.25 1.73 $17.76 $36,950
Santa Ana-Anaheim-Irvine, CA Metropolitan Division 300 0.22 1.47 $16.56 $34,450
Ann Arbor, MI 40 0.20 1.34 $13.86 $28,820
Richmond, VA 110 0.19 1.29 $16.30 $33,900




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)
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA 90 0.08 0.51 $22.51 $46,830
Detroit-Livonia-Dearborn, MI Metropolitan Division (8) (8) (8) $20.69 $43,040
Bethesda-Frederick-Gaithersburg, MD Metropolitan Division 80 0.14 0.97 $20.47 $42,580
Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX 140 0.06 0.40 $20.41 $42,450
Providence-Fall River-Warwick, RI-MA 280 0.53 3.62 $20.32 $42,260
Baltimore-Towson, MD 400 0.32 2.21 $20.20 $42,030
San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, CA Metropolitan Division (8) (8) (8) $19.87 $41,320
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI 290 0.17 1.17 $19.56 $40,680
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Division (8) (8) (8) $19.18 $39,900
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA Metropolitan Division 1,330 0.35 2.37 $19.12 $39,770

Nonmetropolitan areas with the highest employment in this occupation:

Nonmetropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Eastern New Mexico nonmetropolitan area 30 0.26 1.79 $9.56 $19,880

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

Nonmetropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Eastern New Mexico nonmetropolitan area 30 0.26 1.79 $9.56 $19,880

Top paying nonmetropolitan areas for this occupation:

Nonmetropolitan area Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Kansas nonmetropolitan area (8) (8) (8) $18.04 $37,510
Eastern New Mexico nonmetropolitan area 30 0.26 1.79 $9.56 $19,880


About May 2010 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 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.

(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 2010 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2010 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2010 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2010 National Industry-Specific Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

List of Occupations in SOC Code Number Order

List of Occupations in Alphabetical Order

Download May 2010 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates in Zipped XLS files

Technical Notes

Last Modified Date: May 17, 2011

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