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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 $43,394.00
  • Avg. Wage $23.09
  • Minimum Education Varies
  • Outlook avg
  • Employed 11,400
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

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

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) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

18%
18%
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 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.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Academy of Learning - Airdrie

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

Certification Requirements
Updated Dec 14, 2016

Certification is not required, as there is currently no legislation regulating this occupation.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 14, 2016

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
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 $12.50 $27.87 $17.91 $16.83
Overall $14.00 $35.45 $23.09 $20.22
Top $16.00 $65.56 $30.43 $26.25

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

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

47%
47%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

18%
18%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

6%
6%

Vacancy Rate

2%
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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