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PBX Operator Duties and Responsibilities

The duties a PBX operator takes on are determined by the organization they work for. Based on job listings we analyzed, a PBX operator's duties typically involve:

Answer Telephones As the person responsible for maintaining the switchboard area, answering phones is a primary task for PBX operators. They ensure that all calls are dealt with politely and quickly, and that callers are transferred to the correct person or assisted in finding an appropriate person if they're unsure who they need to speak to. Operating the switchboard means screening calls, routing them to the correct person, and relaying messages.

Make Emergency Calls As a company's first point of contact, PBX operators are familiar with emergency procedures and know how to handle dangerous or threatening situations safely. If anyone poses a threat to the organization, either via a call or in person, PBX operators have a duty to inform senior staff members or security.

Transfer Information PBX operators gather basic information from callers to understand who they need to be passed through to or to answer questions they may have, such as directions to the office or contact details for a particular staff member. For recipients of calls who aren't in the office, PBX operators take messages to relay at a later date or to pass on to another team member.

Troubleshoot Equipment Faults PBX operators need a basic understanding of how the telecommunication system works to make repairs if something breaks down. Basic maintenance tasks are part of the PBX operator's responsibility, meaning they need to attempt to fix any issues that arise to get the system working again as quickly as possible.

Perform Administrative Tasks Along with managing the switchboard, PBX operators also carry out clerical tasks such as typing, dealing with faxes, and proofreading. They also help with the general running of the company reception area, such as greeting the general public, logging visitors into the system, and processing deliveries.


PBX Operator Skills and Qualifications

PBX operators have great listening and speaking skills, are incredibly organized, and are comfortable working independently. Employers typically require a high school diploma and some previous customer service experience, as well as the following abilities:
  • Communication skills - PBX operators communicate with people within and outside of the company, and they need great communication skills to so
  • Customer service - this job involves speaking with external companies, customers, or agencies, so strong customer service skills are a must to handle these interactions in a professional and polite manner
  • Organization skills - PBX operators deal with multiple calls, often in large organizations, as well as with relaying important messages, so organization is key to ensure that all tasks are completed on time
  • Typing skills - PBX operators should have basic computer skills and the ability to use word-processing software to type correspondence, respond to emails, and perform administrative tasks
  • Patience - conflict resolution is often part of working as a PBX operator, especially if someone calls with a complaint and is angry. PBX operators must remain calm and try to diffuse the situation while assisting the caller at the same time

PBX Operator Education and Training

The minimum requirement to become a PBX operator is a high school diploma. Many employers also prefer candidates to have previous retail or customer service experience. Applicants for this job should have some basic computer skills, especially in data entry and word processing, as well as familiarity with programs such as Microsoft Word and Excel. The majority of a PBX operator's essential skills are learned through on-the-job training from more experienced colleagues.

PBX Operator Salary and Outlook

The median annual salary for PBX operators is $30,000, according to PayScale. PBX operators in the 10th percentile earn around $20,000 annually, while the highest paid earn close to $46,000 a year. Bonuses for the higher end of this pay bracket can reach up to $9,000. Many companies provide health benefits as part of their salary package, with almost 75 percent of people in this role receiving medical coverage.

Helpful Resources

We've collected some of the best resources to help you learn more about a career as a PBX operator:

Phone Switchboard Guide 2020 - Learn everything you need to know about phone switchboards in this comprehensive guide for 2020. "Understanding the Basics of Business Phone Systems" - this useful overview of PBX systems and how they've developed over the years also guides readers through the pros and cons of the newest technology and provides handy insight into why companies use this tech and how the system works

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