A switchboard operator is responsible for managing their company's telephone switchboard system. They receive incoming calls and reroute them to the various departments as requested. The switchboard operator might also be tasked with answering general questions from the public. Some switchboard operators are employed at hospitals, in which case they have to respond to emergency alerts and route information to the appropriate parties, as well as have knowledge of hospital codes. Additionally, they might be tasked with using a paging system in addition to a telephone system. The switchboard operator usually has to keep a record of all calls received and made.
In some places, a switchboard operator might double as a receptionist, so they might have to take registrations and questions at the front desk. Some hospital positions might require the switchboard operator to leave the position to take registrations in patient rooms. In some jobs, the switchboard operator might have to provide support to other departments and perform clerical duties.
The minimum requirement for this job is generally a high school diploma or equivalent. Relevant experience might also be needed, especially in settings requiring the use of emergency response procedures. Excellent communication and telephone skills are essential for this position. Switchboard operators may work day or night shifts depending on the position and needs of their employer; full-time and part-time positions are available.
Switchboard Operator Tasks
Place telephone calls or arrange conference calls as instructed.
Perform clerical duties; typing, proofreading, accepting orders, scheduling appointments, and sorting mail.
Answer incoming calls, greeting callers, providing information, transferring calls and/or taking messages as necessary.