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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.

  • Avg. Salary $44,097.00
  • Avg. Wage $23.13
  • Minimum Education Varies
  • Outlook avg
  • Employed 15,000
  • In Demand Medium
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) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

57%
57%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Interest Codes
The Call Centre Agent is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Call Centre Agents
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

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 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 More

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

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.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
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.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019

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.

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2019

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.

Call centre agents are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 6552: Other customer and information services representatives. In Alberta, 78% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 12,800 Albertans are employed in the Customer service, information and related clerks occupational group. This group is expected to have an average annual growth of 1.7% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 218 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover. Note: As call centre agents form only a part of this larger occupational group, only some of these newly created positions will be for call centre agents.

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

In Alberta, the B553: Customer Service, Information and Related Clerks occupational group is expected to have an average annual growth of 1.7% from 2016 to 2020. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 218 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2019
Other customer and information services representatives

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $15.00 $29.23 $19.28 $18.00
Overall $15.00 $35.50 $23.13 $22.31
Top $15.50 $45.00 $27.66 $25.96

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.

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.


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

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

57%
57%)

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

21%
21%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

5%
5%

Vacancy Rate

1%
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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