Industries

contact centre

Apprenticeships, Degree Apprenticeships and Work Experience

Contact Centre


If you love helping people and findings solutions to problems, a career in this industry could be perfectly suited to you. This sector continues to grow so who knows where it’ll be in a few years’ time…

Industry Summary

Although a career at a contact centre may sound quite simple, your role could change considerably depending on where you work. Your day-to-day job could involve you helping customers with insurance, supporting them through challenging or difficult times or even acting as a dispatcher at an emergency services centre!

Often, contact centres deal with customers and clients all over the world, so you’ll be speaking to a diverse range of people on a daily basis. If you’re a kind of person who wants to make a difference, can hold a conversation and want to contribute to the development of your organisation, a career at a contact centre could be for you.

There are a number of opportunities for progression in contact centres, particularly if you’re interested in management. You could soon be managing your own clients or problem areas, or you could be team leading on managing an office.

 

What options can I take for a career in the contact centre industry?

 

Work Experience

Work experience is incredibly important when it comes to working in a contact centre because the main part of the role is all about how you talk to and deal with customers. Employers look for relevant work experience in their potential recruits as this is evidence that you’re driven and have the essential skills that make you a great employee. It’s a great idea to start looking for work placements, however experience in roles where you talk to customers regularly over the phone or in person will give you the edge too.

Unsure about what a work placement could involve? You should’ve asked!

 

Apprenticeships

An apprenticeship at a contact centre will give you hands-on experience in the role from the day you start, while you work towards a qualification, all while being paid! You’ll be getting real responsibility, the ability to learn from the inside and apply this knowledge form your studies into your everyday work. The practical experience and qualifications you’ll earn will really set you up for a great career! Some contact centre apprenticeships include;

  • Level 2 – Customer Service Practitioner
  • Level 2 – Recruitment Resourcer
  • Level 3 – Emergency Service Contact Handling
  • Level 3 – Recruitment Consultant

Want to know what apprenticeships are all about? We have you covered!

 

University

If you do choose a degree that involves a lot of studying based on contact centres at university (whether that’s direct in a Customer Contact degree or something related such as Business Administration), you can expect to learn some useful theoretical knowledge behind the industry and be able to apply this academic theory to your role when you graduate. You’ll also be able to pick the units you’re more interested in, so if that’s management or planning that’s up to you.

If you are studying a different subject, don’t worry. You’ll still be able to learn the necessary transferable skills that make you a great employee, and then apply these into your career at a later date. All those group projects where you interact with others both face-to-face and organising things over text will really come in useful in a contact centre. Here are some examples of the degrees that you could do: 

  • Customer Contact BSc (Hons)
  • Customer Contact Planning and Management BSc (Hons)

Want to find out what University could offer you? We have your back!

 

Graduate Jobs

This industry has many graduate roles. Some call centre management positions may be open to graduates – especially if you possess a degree in a related area, such as business management or another language. However, it is also possible to enter with an unrelated degree subject at a call centre operative level and get the chance to work your way up to a management role.

Want to know what graduate jobs are all about? We can help!

 

Other routes

Due to the environment of a contact centre, many people go straight into a job there. There are lots of opportunities for progression too, with many people starting out and then leading teams of sometimes the whole office floor! This isn’t to say that qualifications aren’t important, as they could put you ahead of other candidates as your career develops.

A contact centre career is calling, why don’t you answer it?

Career Progression, Discover Your Future

Call and contact centre occupations

Work Description

Workers in this unit group receive and respond to telephone calls from potential clients and existing customers regarding the products and services offered by an organisation.

Qualification

There are no formal academic entry requirements, although many employers expect candidates to possess GCSEs/S grades. Training is typically provided on-the-job, supplemented by specialist short courses.

Job Tasks

answers incoming telephone calls from existing or prospective customers; interviews caller to establish the nature of any complaint or the requirements of the client; informs existing and potential customers on any immediate action to be taken, and refers the matter to a more senior member of staff if necessary; advises on services available and sells additional products or services; maintains details of calls received, the action taken as a result of a call and updates customer database as required; arranges for field staff to visit the caller if further assistance is required.

Related Jobs

Adviser, centre, call Adviser, centre, contact Adviser, communications Adviser, customer Adviser, lines, personal Adviser, management, customer Adviser, retention, sales Adviser, service, customer Adviser, telephone Agent, centre, call Agent, centre, contact Agent, enquiry Associate, collections Clerk, lines, personal Clerk, order, mail Clerk, telephone Handler, call Operative, centre, call Operative, service, customer Operator, callcentre Operator, centre, call Operator, centre, contact Operator, helpline Operator, line, answer Operator, response, serviceline Operator, response, tele Operator, service, customer Operator, services, customer Telephonist, centre, call 

Estimated Pay

Information on weekly pay (average, median and decile) is taken from a combination of two sources: the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE); and the Labour Force Survey (LFS) (both conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS)). ASHE is widely regarded as the most reliable source of information on Pay and Hours, however it does not include information on pay by qualification as well as some other characteristics (such as self-employment).

Unemployment Data

The level and rate of UK unemployment for this career path measured by the Labour Force Survey (LFS) as a percentage, using the International Labour Organisation's definition of unemployment.

Projected Employment Levels

Estimated Hours

Telephonists

Work Description

Telephonists receive and direct callers in commercial, industrial and other establishments, and operate telephone (public) and office (private) switchboards to advise on, and assist with, making telephone calls and to relay incoming, outgoing and internal calls.

Qualification

Academic qualifications may not be required. On-the-job training is provided.

Job Tasks

receives callers and directs them to appropriate person or department; operates switchboard to connect outgoing calls or to relay incoming or internal calls; reports any faults on telephone operating system; gives advice on dialling and other special features available; provides directory information, dialling codes and details of charges; alerts emergency services in cases of fire, crime or accident.

Related Jobs

Attendant, board, switch Attendant, telephone Handler, call Operative, telephone Operator, enquiry, directory Operator, night Operator, switchboard Operator, telephone Operator Telephonist, shorthand Telephonist Telephonist-clerk Telephonist-receptionist Telephonist-secretary Telephonist-typist 

Estimated Pay

Information on weekly pay (average, median and decile) is taken from a combination of two sources: the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE); and the Labour Force Survey (LFS) (both conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS)). ASHE is widely regarded as the most reliable source of information on Pay and Hours, however it does not include information on pay by qualification as well as some other characteristics (such as self-employment).

Unemployment Data

The level and rate of UK unemployment for this career path measured by the Labour Force Survey (LFS) as a percentage, using the International Labour Organisation's definition of unemployment.

Projected Employment Levels

Estimated Hours

Communication operators

Work Description

Job holders in this unit group operate telecommunications equipment to transmit and receive signals and messages.

Qualification

Academic qualifications may not be required. On-the-job training is provided.

Job Tasks

receives messages, weather reports and other material to transmit; tunes transmitter to required channel or wavelength and relays or receives message to/ from person or vehicle; uses a teleprinter or telex keyboard to transmit messages to other teleprinters or telexes; keeps record of messages sent and received; performs routine tests and maintenance on equipment and reports faults; receives and handles incoming calls for emergency services, transmitting to the appropriate services.

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Announcer Assistant, communications Assistant, control, ambulance Assistant, control, traffic, air Assistant, control Assistant, room, control Assistant, traffic Clerk, control, traffic, air Controller, ambulance Controller, cab Controller, communications Controller, divisional Controller, office, taxi Controller, radio Controller, service, transport, patient Controller, taxi Controller Controller Despatcher, radio Despatcher, room, control Dispatcher, medical, emergency Dispatcher, radio Dispatcher, taxi Dispatcher Handler, call Observer, radar Officer, communications Officer, control, fire Officer, control Officer, control Officer, deployment Officer, duty, emergency Officer, radio, police Officer, radio Officer, radio Officer, radio Officer, room, control Officer, telecommunications Officer, traffic, telecommunications Officer, traffic Operator, bureau Operator, cable Operator, centre, control Operator, communications Operator, control, fire Operator, despatch, aided, computer Operator, homecall Operator, lifeline Operator, radar Operator, radio Operator, room, control Operator, telecommunications Operator, telephone, radio Operator, teleprinter Operator, teletype Operator, telex Operator Overseer, radio Signalman, civilian Signalman, marine Signalman, port TTO Telegraphist 

Estimated Pay

Information on weekly pay (average, median and decile) is taken from a combination of two sources: the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE); and the Labour Force Survey (LFS) (both conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS)). ASHE is widely regarded as the most reliable source of information on Pay and Hours, however it does not include information on pay by qualification as well as some other characteristics (such as self-employment).

Unemployment Data

The level and rate of UK unemployment for this career path measured by the Labour Force Survey (LFS) as a percentage, using the International Labour Organisation's definition of unemployment.

Projected Employment Levels

Estimated Hours

Market research interviewers

Work Description

Market research interviewers conduct interviews to collect information on the opinions and preferences of consumers, businesses, the electorate and other selected groups.

Qualification

There are no formal academic entry requirements. Training is typically provided on-the-job. NVQs/ SVQs in Market Research (Interviewing) are available at Level 2.

Job Tasks

approaches members of the public, individuals, households and organisations to arrange and conduct face-to-face interviews, telephone interviews, focus groups, panel interviews etc.; records progress of interviews by noting answers, completing questionnaires, making audio or visual recordings or inputting responses into a computer; collects questionnaires, diaries, and other research materials left with interviewees and conducts follow-up interviews; collates and reviews information collected and compiles reports to pass back to the organisation/individual commissioning the market research.

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Assistant, research, marketing Canvasser, political Collector, data Enumerator, traffic Interviewer, commercial Interviewer, research, market Interviewer, telephone Interviewer Interviewer Investigator, research, market Representative, telesurveys Researcher, market Researcher, telephone Researcher Researcher Shopper, mystery 

Estimated Pay

Information on weekly pay (average, median and decile) is taken from a combination of two sources: the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE); and the Labour Force Survey (LFS) (both conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS)). ASHE is widely regarded as the most reliable source of information on Pay and Hours, however it does not include information on pay by qualification as well as some other characteristics (such as self-employment).

Unemployment Data

The level and rate of UK unemployment for this career path measured by the Labour Force Survey (LFS) as a percentage, using the International Labour Organisation's definition of unemployment.

Projected Employment Levels

Estimated Hours

Customer service occupations n.e.c.

Work Description

Job holders in this unit group perform a variety of customer service occupations not elsewhere classified in MINOR GROUP 721: Customer Service Occupations.

Qualification

There are no formal academic entry requirements, although many employers expect candidates to possess GCSEs/S grades. Training is typically provided on-the-job, supplemented by specialist short courses.

Job Tasks

receives enquiries from potential and existing clients, discusses requirements, and recommends products or services; discusses pricing processes with clients, agrees payment arrangements and handles customer accounts; makes reservations, books tickets, organises insurance policies on behalf of customers; follows up clients to ensure their satisfaction with a product or service and to gain renewal of customer service agreements; addresses customer complaints and problems; informs customers of special promotions and new product launches.

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Administrator, service, customer Administrator, services, customer Adviser, care, customer Adviser, consumer Adviser, customer Adviser, relations, customer Adviser, service, customer Adviser, service Adviser, services, customer Advocate, customer Agent, reservations Agent, services, customer Ambassador, student Assistant, care, customer Assistant, centre, service Assistant, liaison, customer Assistant, relations, customer Assistant, reservations Assistant, service, customer Assistant, services, customer Associate, care, customer Clerk, consumer Clerk, liaison, customer Clerk, query, sales Clerk, reservations Clerk, service, customer Clerk, services, consumer Clerk, services, customer Consultant, care, customer Consultant, sales, after Consultant, service, customer Controller, consumer Coordinator, care, customer Coordinator, service, customer Executive, relations, customer Executive, relations, guest Executive, services, customer Father Christmas Guide, store Handler, complaint Officer, care, customer Officer, commercial Officer, complaints Officer, liaison, customer Officer, liaison, sales Officer, relations, customer Officer, service, customer Officer, services, customer Representative, relations, customer Representative, service, customer Representative, services, customer Reservationist Specialist, service, customer 

Estimated Pay

Information on weekly pay (average, median and decile) is taken from a combination of two sources: the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE); and the Labour Force Survey (LFS) (both conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS)). ASHE is widely regarded as the most reliable source of information on Pay and Hours, however it does not include information on pay by qualification as well as some other characteristics (such as self-employment).

Unemployment Data

The level and rate of UK unemployment for this career path measured by the Labour Force Survey (LFS) as a percentage, using the International Labour Organisation's definition of unemployment.

Projected Employment Levels

Estimated Hours

Customer service managers and supervisors

Work Description

Job holders in this unit group plan, organise and co-ordinate resources necessary for receiving and dealing with the responses, complaints or further requirements of purchasers and users of a product or service, and supervise customer service occupations.

Qualification

There are no pre-set entry requirements. Candidates are recruited with a variety of academic qualifications and/or relevant experience. Specialist qualifications may be required for work within certain sectors.

Job Tasks

develops and implements policies and procedures to deal effectively with customer requirements and complaints; co-ordinates and controls the work of those within customer services departments; discusses customer responses with other managers with a view to improving the product or service provided; plans and co-ordinates the operations of help and advisory services to provide support for customers and users.

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Adviser, media, social Head of customer quality Head of customer services Leader, team, centre, call Leader, team, services, customer Leader, team Leader, team Manager, aftersales Manager, area, telephone Manager, business Manager, care, customer Manager, centre, call Manager, complaints Manager, desk, help Manager, development, services, customer Manager, helpdesk Manager, hotline, regional Manager, liaison, customer Manager, relations, customer Manager, reservations Manager, sales, after Manager, service, customer Manager, service, passenger Manager, services, customer Manager, services, passenger Manager, support, customer Manager, team, service, customer Manager, team Manager of product support Moderator, chat Moderator, content, online Moderator, content, on-line Moderator, web Moderator, website Moderator Superintendent, radio Superintendent, room, ambulance Superintendent, services, customer Superintendent, telecommunications Superintendent, traffic, telecommunications Supervisor, centre, call Supervisor, chief Supervisor, chief Supervisor, communications Supervisor, field Supervisor, grade, higher Supervisor, liaison, customer Supervisor, room, control Supervisor, service, customer Supervisor, services, customer Supervisor, support, customer Supervisor, switchboard Supervisor Supervisor 

Estimated Pay

Information on weekly pay (average, median and decile) is taken from a combination of two sources: the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE); and the Labour Force Survey (LFS) (both conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS)). ASHE is widely regarded as the most reliable source of information on Pay and Hours, however it does not include information on pay by qualification as well as some other characteristics (such as self-employment).

Unemployment Data

The level and rate of UK unemployment for this career path measured by the Labour Force Survey (LFS) as a percentage, using the International Labour Organisation's definition of unemployment.

Projected Employment Levels

Estimated Hours

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