We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

How Do I Become a PBX Operator?

By Vicki Hogue-Davies
Updated Mar 02, 2024
Our promise to you
Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Practical Adult Insights, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A private branch exchange (PBX) operator manages a switchboard to route incoming telephone calls for a company or other organization. A high school diploma is the minimum education usually required to become a PBX operator. Many PBX switchboard systems are computerized, so computer proficiency to quickly learn the system will help you be successful in this job. Strong communication skills and a customer-service orientation are often expected of a PBX operator. Some companies require their telephone operators to perform other clerical tasks in addition to handling phone calls, so flexibility and an ability to multitask also are important.

Many PBX operators learn how to run PBX switchboards on the job, often by sitting with an experienced operator. Understanding basic office procedures can provide you with the foundation needed to learn more quickly. Knowledge of word processing, spreadsheets and other software will help you take messages and keep records of telephone calls. An ability to move quickly is important, whether to answer telephone calls in a timely manner or to route messages to organizational employees. Fast typing skills also will help you in this job.

High school coursework that can help prepare you for the job and make you an attractive job candidate to employers include computer courses, business math classes, speech training and training in office processes and procedures. There also are clerical and administrative certificate programs at technical and vocational schools that include training in using switchboards. Taking such a program will give you a good grounding in basic office processes.

An ability to handle pressure, such as when several telephone calls come in at once, is important if you want to become a PBX operator. The phone operator often is the first person at an organization that clients or customers encounter, so having a courteous and patient personality are important. A clear speaking voice to answer calls and to use a paging system is important. Good hearing also is beneficial if you want to become a PBX operator.

Companies sometimes combine the roles of a switchboard operator and a receptionist into one position, so a neat and professional appearance is important. A professional appearance also is helpful if you desire to move into a higher-level position. Being a team player to interact with a variety of departments within an organization also is helpful if you want to become a PBX operator. This job is a very sedentary one, so an ability to sit for long periods of time is necessary.

Practical Adult Insights is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By sanawwer — On Jan 08, 2014

An Epabx system is a basic need for every organization and pbx operators play an important role in any organization. A pbx operator manages the calls and transfers them to the correct extensions.

By ceilingcat — On Aug 14, 2011

@SZapper - I might be able to handle just answering the phone, but I think answering the phone and dealing with people coming in would be too much for me too!

I actually didn't even know the job of telephone system operator even still existed. I kind of though we had moved beyond that, technologically speaking. I don't think I've ever dealt with an operator while making a phone call myself.

I think it might be nice though. Instead of dealing with a bunch of telephone prompts, you could just tell a real person who you are trying to reach! Imagine that.

By SZapper — On Aug 13, 2011

A fried of mine used to work as a receptionist, and part of her job was to operate the PBX phone system. I personally don't think she got paid enough for everything she did on a daily basis!

First of all, the amount of multitasking required by the job would be too much for some people. Me, for example. My friend was responsible for dealing with all the incoming foot traffic, as well as answering the phone and directing the calls where they needed to go.

My friend wasn't very stressed out when she had that job, but I think I would be! I guess some people are just better at multitasking than others!

Practical Adult Insights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Practical Adult Insights, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.