How Much Do Telemarketers Get Paid?

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes data on the average salary of a telemarketer.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes data on the average salary of a telemarketer. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

As a telemarketer you should be prepared for aggressive selling, and contact with a wide variety of individuals ranging from businesses to consumers. In this position you can work from home or from a call center in an office. Before you start looking for a telemarketing position know in advance how much this phone sales job pays on average.

Job Description

A telemarketer must call prospects to inform them of new products and services then attempt to close a sale over the phone. In most cases this is a cold-calling situation, in which the telemarketer is making first contact with the potential buyer and doesn't even know for sure if the buyer is interested in the product or service. The telemarketer must manage leads lists, field questions from prospective buyers and collect order data to close sales. A telemarketer must be able to handle rejection and hangups from leads.

Salary

The average hourly salary for a telemarketing sales representative, as of May 2010, is $12.24 (average annual salary is $25,470), according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Telemarketers who work in the metal and mineral industry make the highest average salary at $24.50 per hour or $50,970 per year.

Commission

The average salary that telemarketers receive sometimes includes commission payments. The commission is either a flat fee or percentage of the sale. Companies offer the commission on top of the hourly rate to motivate telemarketers to strive harder to close sales. They may also receive bonus payments for successful quarters or years.

Other Considerations

To work as a telemarketer you may need a minimum of a high school diploma. Companies offer training programs for new hires, where experienced telemarketers show them the ropes. If you have past experience in phone or general sales, though, you may command a higher hourly rate. In addition to your basic duties as a telemarketer you must also observe federal and state laws. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provides guidelines for telemarketing agencies to follow, such as observing the wishes of individuals on the FTC’s Do Not Call list.

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