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Call Centre Agent

Call centre agents respond to questions, build customer relationships, and resolve customer problems. They do this over the phone or electronic communication. They also provide information about company policies, products, and services.

Also Known As

1-800 Line Operator, Contact Centre Agent, Customer Service Representative, Information Clerk, Operator

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Call Centre Agents (1453.2) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Customer Service, Information and Related Clerks (B553) 
  • 2011 NOC: Other customer and information services representatives (6552) 
  • 2016 NOC: Other customer and information services representatives (6552) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Call Centre Agents

2006 NOC: 1453.2

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group
METHODICAL

Interest in copying information to take orders for goods and services

SOCIAL

Interest in speaking with customers to respond to enquiries and emergencies

innovative

Interest in investigating complaints and in responding to emergencies

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Duties and responsibilities vary from one organization to another. In general, call centre agents:

  • Respond to customer queries by phone, e-mail, web chat, video, or text
  • Provide information about services, legislation, policies, or products
  • Obtain and process the information required to serve customers and solve problems
  • Keep transaction records
  • Update and maintain databases of information
  • Arrange billing or accept credit card payments for products and services
  • Investigate customer complaints and arrange for refunds, exchanges, or credit
  • Promote or sell products and services

In some cases, call centre agents also handle inquiries from walk-in customers.

Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2019
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg

Call centre agents work in indoor, open-space environments where there may be little privacy. Managers may record conversations and track how agents spend their time. Some agents work from home. Handling high numbers of calls and working in an environment of rapid technological change can be stressful.

Some call centres provide a similar service to all customers. Others offer a variety of services. An agent may handle various call types and situations from call to call.

Depending on the employer, agents may work shifts. Some call centres operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Call centre operators need:

  • A pleasant telephone voice that conveys sincerity and confidence
  • The ability to build customer or client relationships over the phone
  • Communication skills
  • Organization and multitasking skills
  • Emotional resilience
  • The ability to work independently or as part of a team
  • The ability to stay interested and focused when repeating information
  • The ability to think quickly and respond to complaints smoothly and tactfully
  • Computer skills and an ability to work in an online environment
  • The ability to type 30 words per minute

They should enjoy taking a methodical approach to their work. They also should enjoy talking to people and providing information.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2011 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Other customer and information services representatives

2011 NOC: 6552

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 99 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Aug 16, 2022 and Sep 29, 2022.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Tasks: Answer inquiries and provide information to customers
Construction Specialization: Client focus
Attention to detail
Construction Specialization: Effective interpersonal skills
Construction Specialization: Organized
Construction Specialization: Reliability
Construction Specialization: Team player
Health benefits: Health care plan
Construction Specialization: Excellent oral communication
Health benefits: Dental plan
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019
  • Minimum Education Varies

There is no standard education requirement for call centre agents. Most employers prefer applicants who have a high school diploma or some post-secondary education. Sales experience, the ability to speak another language, and strong computer and keyboarding skills are assets. Some employers require that job applicants have qualifications related to their industry. For example, banks may require applicants to have a background in the finance industry; retailers may require post-secondary education related to the types of products they sell.

Agents usually train on the job. They need to learn to talk confidently about the organization and answer questions about its products, services, and policies.

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019
  • Certification Not Regulated

There is currently no provincial legislation regulating this occupation in Alberta.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2019

Call centre agents are employed by:

  • Insurance companies
  • Telephone companies
  • Power, water, and gas utility companies and contractors
  • Retail companies
  • Wholesale companies such as mail-order and internet-based companies
  • Schools
  • Government
  • Other organizations with a strong customer-service orientation

A growing number of agents do their jobs remotely, such as from their own home. They may need to supply their own phone and computer. They also may need to pay the related cable, internet, and phone line costs.

Experienced operators may move into related positions in quality assurance or scheduling. They may advance to supervisory or training positions. Further advancement generally requires additional education.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 6552: Other customer and information services representatives occupational group, 79.8% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 6552: Other customer and information services representatives occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.8% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 251 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2019

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Other customer and information services representatives

2016 NOC: 6552
Average Wage
$23.37
Per Hour
Average Salary
$44,097.00
Per Year
Average Hours
35.6
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
11.9
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 6552 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $15.00 $30.03 $19.31 $17.65
Overall $15.00 $40.10 $23.37 $21.43
Top $17.00 $52.79 $30.27 $25.82

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

Utilities
Construction
Public Administration
Manufacturing
Business, Building and Other Support Services
Wholesale Trade
Educational Services
Other Services (Repair, Personal Services and Related)
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Leasing
ALL INDUSTRIES
Transportation and Warehousing
Retail Trade
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
Accommodation & Food Services
Agriculture
Information, Culture, Recreation

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
47%
47%)
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
24%
24%
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
4%
4%
Vacancy Rate
2%
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Clerical and Administrative Support
  • Personal and Food Services

Updated Mar 31, 2019. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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