Job Duties of a Switchboard Operator


Switchboard operators are used in many different industries, such as telecommunications, medical facilities and hotel chains. These customer service workers must posses attractive speaking voices and calm demeanors as they transfer many incoming phone calls to the appropriate parties. Job duties of switchboard operators range from performing wake-up calls for hotel guests to paging doctors at a hospital.

Assist With Customer Service Inquiries

  • Since switchboard operators are usually the first human voices that customers hear after making a phone call to a company, these operators must be able to answer pertinent questions regarding company matters or be able to transfer the caller to someone who can. This may include giving information regarding a company's history, giving out information about company policy and answering questions about a customer's shipping order as well.

Clerical Duties

  • After answering a series of phone calls for a large company's staff, a switchboard operator must be able to enter information regarding these phone calls into the company's main computer database. Statistics such as how many phone calls were answered within a two-hour period along with information regarding customer's requests for specific questions to be answered should all be entered into the switchboard operator's computer files.

Routing Phone Calls to Correct Phone Lines

  • Large corporations with 1000 or more employees need to hire multiple switchboard operators to handle the large amounts of incoming calls to various company employees, including vice-presidents, office managers and sales staff personnel. These phone calls must be routed to the correct phone lines of the appropriate party by the switchboard operator on a daily basis. And when the party is not available to take the phone call, the operator must be able to take clear messages that display the specifics of what the caller needs from the individual the caller was trying to contact.

Operating the Paging System

  • In large medical facilities and in airports, a switchboard operator is responsible for paging certain individuals so that they can call the operator for a forwarded message or for an important phone call they would miss otherwise. Doctors and airline pilots are usually too busy to answer their cell phones at certain times, so a paging system connected to a medical building or airport's indoor speaker system allows the operator to contact the appropriate person in public, requesting that the individual call the operator back.

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  • Photo Credit retro age telephone switchboard image by Yali Shi from
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