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Call Centre Agent

Call centre agents respond to questions and inquiries, build customer relationships, resolve customer problems and provide information about company policies, products and services over the phone and via electronic communication.

  • Avg. Salary $40,951.00
  • Avg. Wage $21.89
  • Minimum Education Varies
  • Outlook avg
Also Known As

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

NOC & Interest Codes
The Call Centre Agent is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Call Centre Agents
NOC code: 1453.2
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 Dec 14, 2016

Duties and responsibilities vary from one organization to another but, 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 when appropriate.

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

Working Conditions
Updated Dec 14, 2016

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 call centre agents may work from home. Handling high numbers of calls and working in an environment of rapid technological change can be stressful.

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

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Call centre operators need the following characteristics:

  • a pleasant telephone voice that conveys sincerity and confidence
  • the ability to build customer or client relationships over the phone 
  • good written and oral communication skills
  • organization and multitasking skills
  • emotional resilience
  • the ability to work independently or as part of a team
  • the ability to remain interested and focused when repeating information
  • the ability to think quickly and respond to complaints smoothly and tactfully.

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

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 14, 2016

There is no standard education requirement for call centre agents but most employers prefer to hire 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 definite assets. Some employers require job applicants to 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.

Call centre agents usually are trained on the job. They need to learn about the employer and its products, services and policies so they can talk about them confidently and answer questions correctly.

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

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Average occupational growth is expected in Alberta for 2016 to 2020. Job openings are a result of employment turnover and newly created positions.

Call centre agents are employed by:

  • insurance companies
  • telephone companies
  • power, water and gas utility companies and contractors
  • retail establishments
  • wholesale establishments such as mail-order and Internet-based companies
  • educational schools
  • government
  • other organizations with a strong customer service orientation.

Increasingly remote agents are doing the same job from their own home. They may be required to supply their own phone and computer as well as pay the related cable, Internet and phone line costs.

Experienced operators may be able to move into related positions (for example, in quality assurance or scheduling) or 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 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.

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Call centre agents are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 6552: Other customer and information services representatives.

According to the 2015 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey, Albertans in the Other customer and information services representatives occupational group earned on average from $17.62 to $26.98 an hour. The overall average wage was $21.89 an hour. For more information, see the Other customer and information services representatives wage profile.

Related High School Subjects
  • Business, Administration, Finance and IT
    • Management and Marketing
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Clerical and Administrative Support
  • Personal and Food Services

Updated Mar 08, 2016. 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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