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Abiding by a script and dialing up a set list of customers can sound overly programmatic and repetitive. But the responsibilities of a telemarketer are multidimensional. The never-know-what-you-might-get element associated with calling complete strangers or receiving calls from them requires a calm, cool and collected mentality. A central objective is generating revenue for your company. To do so means burning up the phone lines, tapping into your inner negotiator and being nimble enough to persuade prospective clients about the merits of the product you're selling. Another key objective: serving as the bridge between your company and the caller, and in doing so, providing the highest quality customer service possible. Multitasking is also a critical component. As they complete the sale, telemarketers must chat up customers while simultaneously entering their information into a company database. Occasionally, telemarketers might hit a bit of luck when eager customers call them to make a purchase and need only a calming voice to complete the transaction.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics projects the telemarketing industry will grow 7.7 percent from 2012 to 2022, creating approximately 19,200 new positions.


Telemarketers earned a median salary of $22,330 in 2012, or $10.74 per hour, according to the BLS. The best-paid in the occupation earned $38,640 in 2012, while the lowest-paid earned $17,000. Metropolitan areas that compensate telemarketers best include Lake County, Ill., New Haven, Conn., and Barnstable Town, Mass.

Salary Range

75th Percentile $29,210
Median $22,330
25th Percentile $18,710


Starting your career as a telemarketer requires a high school diploma. Depending on where you work and the product you’re pushing, on-the-job training can last anywhere from two weeks to a full year. New employees can seek the advice of veteran co-workers who may provide tips and tricks for succeeding in the occupation.

Reviews & Advice

With some positions mandating inordinate years of experience, it can be tough to land an interview, let alone a job. But an exhaustive résumé is not needed to become a telemarketer. “The companies that are hiring post things all over,” says Chris Haerich, vice president of member services for the Professional Association for Customer Engagement, a nonprofit that helps companies engage customers.

If you're interested in selling a particular product for a company, Haerich recommends contacting its local human resources department to inquire about the interview process and if there are requirements like placement tests.

Job Satisfaction

Upward Mobility good High
Stress Level fair Average
Flexibility good Above Average
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Last updated by Kimberly Castro.

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