Communications equipment operators
Number employed in 2006: 209,000
Percent change in 2016: Switchboard operators, -12.1; telephone operators, -39.5.
Education/training: Most receive a combination of on-the-job training and classes that last from a few hours to a few weeks. Customer service training is common for switchboard operators.
2006 median salary: Switchboard operators, $22,640; telephone operators, $34,140.
Job outlook: Opportunities for switchboard and telephone operators are expected to decline rapidly because of the growth of technology, including voice recognition systems.
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