Call centre operator

customer service agent call centre agent
Retail and customer services

Career outlook for call centre operator

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would answer people’s questions, give them advice and sort out their problems by phone and email.

You’d help customers with clear, friendly advice and information. Sometimes you’d help them complete a task such as pay a bill or buy a product which they may find confusing or difficult.

You’d probably speak with people on the phone or use email, text and instant messaging to chat with them. But you might also respond by post or fax.

You could work in a lot of different sectors.

If you work for a retail company, shop or mail order business, you would:

  • Deal with customer orders
  • Handle credit and debit card payments
  • Answer enquiries
  • Respond to complaints

If you work or a financial institution you’d advise people about the products and services. You’d also do telesales to sell the products and do market research.

If you worked on an information technology (IT) helpline you’d help customers fix their computer problems. You might talk them through the process.

You could also help the people who call advice lines for services like:

  • Counselling
  • Welfare and benefits advice
  • Legal information
  • Help with careers

You would usually access and update customers' records on computer databases.

With experience, you could mentor and train staff and check calls to ensure customers get a good service.

Working conditions


Full-time jobs are normally 35 to 40 hours a week. You would often have a choice of full-time or part-time hours. Many companies offer flexible working, sometimes on a shift system.


You would spend most of your time at a computer wearing a telephone headset. At some call centres you may not have a permanent desk but would take the first available one when you start your shift.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Positive attitude
  • Attention to detail
  • Verbal communication
  • Cooperating
  • Respecting
  • Empathising

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Getting in

Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.


Qualifications at SCQF levels 4 to 6 or relevant work-based experience and qualifications such as a Scottish Vocational Qualification in Customer Services (SVQ level 2/3).

Useful subjects

  • English
  • ICT
  • Administration or business subjects.

Helpful to have

Qualifications and experience that demonstrate administrative and IT skills, a good telephone manner and customer service skills will be helpful.

It is helpful to have relevant work-based qualifications such as a Scottish Vocational Qualification in Contact Centre Operations (SVQ level 2/3) or be willing to work towards qualifications once in a job.