Occupational Employment Statistics

Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2011

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)
14,890 7.1 % $16.48 $34,270 1.3 %

Percentile wage estimates for this occupation:

Percentile 10% 25% 50%
(Median)
75% 90%
Hourly Wage $9.69 $12.23 $15.74 $20.53 $25.20
Annual Wage (2) $20,150 $25,430 $32,730 $42,710 $52,420


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 7,350 1.25 $17.85 $37,120
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 1,810 0.03 $15.60 $32,440
Business Support Services 1,610 0.20 $13.75 $28,590
Local Government (OES Designation) 550 0.01 $17.37 $36,140
Other Telecommunications 480 0.42 $15.02 $31,240

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 7,350 1.25 $17.85 $37,120
Other Telecommunications 480 0.42 $15.02 $31,240
Business Support Services 1,610 0.20 $13.75 $28,590
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals 1,810 0.03 $15.60 $32,440
Specialty (except Psychiatric and Substance Abuse) Hospitals 50 0.02 $20.11 $41,830

Top paying industries for this occupation:

Industry Employment (1) Percent of industry employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
Specialty (except Psychiatric and Substance Abuse) Hospitals 50 0.02 $20.11 $41,830
Wired Telecommunications Carriers 7,350 1.25 $17.85 $37,120
Local Government (OES Designation) 550 0.01 $17.37 $36,140
Employment Services (8) (8) $15.71 $32,680
Management of Companies and Enterprises 250 0.01 $15.65 $32,560


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 3,050 0.22 1.87 $18.23 $37,920
Pennsylvania 1,440 0.26 2.23 $16.94 $35,240
New York 1,360 0.16 1.39 $19.04 $39,600
Florida 790 0.11 0.95 $13.71 $28,510
Texas 580 0.06 0.48 $13.19 $27,420




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 420 0.60 5.19 $18.44 $38,360
Vermont 100 0.34 2.90 $17.13 $35,630
Pennsylvania 1,440 0.26 2.23 $16.94 $35,240
California 3,050 0.22 1.87 $18.23 $37,920
Alabama 400 0.22 1.93 $15.56 $32,360




Top paying States for this occupation:

State Employment (1) Employment per thousand jobs Location quotient (9) Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage (2)
North Carolina (8) (8) (8) $21.47 $44,660
Massachusetts 390 0.12 1.05 $21.11 $43,910
New Hampshire 70 0.12 0.99 $20.88 $43,420
New Jersey 290 0.08 0.66 $19.57 $40,710
Virginia 190 0.05 0.46 $19.54 $40,650





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-White Plains-Wayne, NY-NJ Metropolitan Division 800 0.16 1.36 $18.54 $38,560
Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL Metropolitan Division 270 0.08 0.65 $17.53 $36,470
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI 270 0.16 1.36 $19.89 $41,370
Birmingham-Hoover, AL 230 0.48 4.15 $20.54 $42,720
Nassau-Suffolk, NY Metropolitan Division 210 0.17 1.48 $18.24 $37,950
San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX 170 0.20 1.73 (8) (8)
Edison-New Brunswick, NJ Metropolitan Division 160 0.16 1.41 $21.66 $45,040
Providence-Fall River-Warwick, RI-MA 160 0.29 2.50 $23.35 $48,570
Salt Lake City, UT 140 0.24 2.07 $12.76 $26,540
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Division 130 0.06 0.48 $20.72 $43,100




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)
Birmingham-Hoover, AL 230 0.48 4.15 $20.54 $42,720
Utica-Rome, NY 40 0.35 3.05 $16.84 $35,020
Providence-Fall River-Warwick, RI-MA 160 0.29 2.50 $23.35 $48,570
Salt Lake City, UT 140 0.24 2.07 $12.76 $26,540
Chattanooga, TN-GA 50 0.24 2.10 $14.50 $30,150
Ann Arbor, MI 50 0.24 2.03 $13.77 $28,650
San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX 170 0.20 1.73 (8) (8)
Dayton, OH 70 0.20 1.74 $10.18 $21,180
Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT 80 0.18 1.59 $16.94 $35,240
Nassau-Suffolk, NY Metropolitan Division 210 0.17 1.48 $18.24 $37,950




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)
Providence-Fall River-Warwick, RI-MA 160 0.29 2.50 $23.35 $48,570
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA 80 0.07 0.62 $22.58 $46,970
Edison-New Brunswick, NJ Metropolitan Division 160 0.16 1.41 $21.66 $45,040
Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick, MD Metropolitan Division 70 0.13 1.13 $21.14 $43,970
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Division 130 0.06 0.48 $20.72 $43,100
Birmingham-Hoover, AL 230 0.48 4.15 $20.54 $42,720
San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, CA Metropolitan Division (8) (8) (8) $20.18 $41,960
Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA NECTA Division 110 0.07 0.59 $20.04 $41,680
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI 270 0.16 1.36 $19.89 $41,370
Philadelphia, PA Metropolitan Division (8) (8) (8) $18.76 $39,020

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)
North Central West Virginia nonmetropolitan area 150 1.06 9.10 (8) (8)
Central New York nonmetropolitan area 40 0.34 2.95 $24.14 $50,220
Hawaii / Maui / Kauai nonmetropolitan area 30 0.20 1.71 $16.70 $34,750

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)
North Central West Virginia nonmetropolitan area 150 1.06 9.10 (8) (8)
Central New York nonmetropolitan area 40 0.34 2.95 $24.14 $50,220
Hawaii / Maui / Kauai nonmetropolitan area 30 0.20 1.71 $16.70 $34,750

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)
Central New York nonmetropolitan area 40 0.34 2.95 $24.14 $50,220
Hawaii / Maui / Kauai nonmetropolitan area 30 0.20 1.71 $16.70 $34,750


About May 2011 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.

(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 2011 National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2011 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2011 Metropolitan and Nonmetropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

May 2011 National Industry-Specific Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

List of Occupations in SOC Code Number Order

List of Occupations in Alphabetical Order

Download May 2011 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates in Zipped XLS files

Technical Notes

Last Modified Date: March 27, 2012

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