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Telemarketers call potential customers to sell goods and services, request donations or conduct surveys.

  • Avg. Salary $18,697.00
  • Avg. Wage $15.61
  • Minimum Education Varies
  • Outlook above avg
  • Employed 3,700
  • In Demand Medium
Also Known As

Salesperson, Telephone Solicitor, Outbound Sales Associate

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: Telephone Solicitors and Telemarketers (6623.4) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Other Elemental Sales Occupations (G973) 
  • 2011 NOC: Other sales related occupations (6623) 
Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

Average Wage
  • Certification Not Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Interest Codes
The Telemarketer is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Telephone Solicitors and Telemarketers

Interest in comparing information to quote prices and follow a prepared sales talk


Interest in persuading customers by soliciting sales for goods and services


Interest in distributing sales orders to other workers for further processing; may develop lists of prospective customers from city and telephone directories

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

Updated Dec 15, 2016

Telemarketers may telephone businesses or private individuals to:

  • identify potential customers and arrange appointments for sales demonstrations
  • build relationships with current and potential customers
  • solicit sales for goods or services
  • ask for donations for charitable causes
  • conduct market or client surveys
  • communicate product or account changes which could lead to sales opportunities
  • conduct customer satisfaction surveys.

They may obtain names and telephone numbers from lists of previous customers or donors, reply cards from magazines, lists obtained or purchased from other sources, telephone directories or Internet searches.

Duties and responsibilities vary from one organization to another but, in general, telemarketers:

  • telephone prospective customers to describe the service or merchandise offered, or to solicit information for surveys
  • deliver prepared sales talks that are designed to initiate conversations about products and services, and persuade customers to buy
  • answer questions and quote prices
  • record names, addresses, purchases and reactions, or sign people up to attend sales presentations.
Working Conditions
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Telemarketers may work flexible hours from their own homes, or work shifts in an automated office environment. Evening and weekend work usually is required.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Telemarketers need the following characteristics:

  • a pleasant telephone voice that conveys sincerity and confidence
  • tenacity, a strong sense of self-esteem and a sense of humour
  • good organizational skills
  • the ability to work independently or as part of a team
  • the ability to perform repetitious tasks
  • the ability to deal with the stress of handling rejections
  • the ability to think quickly and answer smoothly and tactfully.

They should enjoy taking a methodical approach to their work, persuading people and distributing information to other workers.

Educational Requirements
Updated Dec 15, 2016

There are no minimum education requirements for telemarketers but most employers prefer to hire high school graduates.

The following are definite assets:

  • sales experience
  • strong keyboarding skills
  • the ability to smoothly navigate through multiple computer systems and applications
  • the ability to speak more than one language.

Telemarketers need to learn about the product or service they promote so they can talk about it confidently and answer questions correctly. Therefore, most employers offer in-house training programs.

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

Certification Requirements
Updated Dec 15, 2016

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

Employment & Advancement
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Telemarketers are employed by:

  • organizations with in-house telemarketing departments
  • outsourcing companies or service bureaus that contract out telemarketing services to other companies and charities.

Experienced telemarketers may advance to supervisory, training, quality assurance or script writing positions. Telemarketers with additional education and leadership skills may advance to contact centre management positions.

Telemarketers are part of the larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 6623: Other elemental sales occupations. In Alberta, 80% 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 eventsaffecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • locationin 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 5,400 Albertans are employed in the Other elemental sales occupations occupational group. This group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 1.8% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 97 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover. Note: As telemarketers form only a part of this larger occupational group, only some of these newly created positions will be for telemarketers.

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

Wage & Salary
Updated Dec 15, 2016

Telemarketers may be paid an hourly wage or work on commission. Earnings for those who work on a commission basis may be higher but vary from month to month depending on how much they sell.

Other sales related occupations

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
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $12.20 $23.08 $13.96 $12.20
Overall $12.50 $32.31 $15.61 $12.61
Top $13.00 $34.62 $20.98 $22.30

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.

C: Lower Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Lower Reliability, represents a CV of between 15.01% and 33.00% and/or if fewer than 20 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 33% of all estimated employment for the occupation.

Industry Information

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years


Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties


Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months


Vacancy Rate

Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Clerical and Administrative Support

Updated Feb 01, 2012. 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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