Career Definition for Customer Service Professionals
Customer service professionals communicate with customers on behalf of the company they work for. They can do so in person, over the phone, by email, by fax, via regular mail, or over instant messenger. Typical duties include answering customers' questions, addressing concerns about products, services, or company policies, and performing administrative tasks, such as opening and closing accounts, taking orders, receiving payments, and providing customers with refunds and exchanges.
|Education||High school diploma or equivalent|
|Job Duties||Communicate with customers, answer questions, address concerns|
|Median Salary (2018)*||$33,750 (customer service representatives)|
|Job Growth (2016-2026)*||5% (customer service representatives)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
A high school diploma is sufficient for most customer service positions although some employers may require an associate or bachelor's degree. There is no specific major requirement although courses in English, business, and psychology may be helpful.
Customer service professionals must have excellent oral and written communication skills. Problem-solving abilities and the ability to think on one's feet are also important. Basic computer and typing skills may also be required. Those who communicate with customers in writing should have a basic knowledge of grammar and spelling. Fluency in a foreign language, such as Spanish, can be helpful in some cases.
Career and Economic Outlook
According to the BLS, the median annual wage for customer service representatives was $33,750 in May 2018. Employment is expected to grow by 5% between 2016 and 2026, with approximately 136,300 new jobs being created during that period. Call center jobs are expected to grow as fast as jobs in other areas.
Alternate Career Options
Similar career options in this field include:
Computer Support Specialist
Depending on the position, training ranges from postsecondary courses to a bachelor's degree for these specialists, who assist people in the use of computers. According to the BLS, the annual median wage for computer user support specialists in 2018 was $50,980. A faster-than-average employment growth of 11% was projected from 2016 through 2026.
Retail Sales Worker
Jobs selling retail merchandise to customers, helping them with locating products, and taking their payments for products may be secured even before earning a high school diploma. The BLS forecasts slower-than-average employment growth of 2% for these positions from 2016 to 2026, and it revealed their annual median salary as $24,200 in 2018.