Telephone System Administrator: Salary and Career Facts

Research what it takes to become a telephone system administrator. Learn about job responsibilities, education, skill requirements, and salary to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Computer Systems Administration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Telephone System Administrator?

Telephone system administrators are in charge of a company's telephone system - and in some cases broader telecommunications systems - to ensure that it operates properly. They monitor users of the phone systems and oversee and operate the switchboard, as well as training new employees on how to use the system and creating work schedules for other workers. They may also be tasked with analyzing trends of users to help optimize infrastructure and revise guidelines, instructions, policies, and more related to telephony.

In modern telephone and telecommunications systems, things like voice messaging, subscriber mailboxes and teleconferencing equipment may fall under these administrators' duties as well. Some telephone system administrators may need to maintain telephone directories for their employers. As administrators, they will typically oversee the work done by others in the company and direct them in activities like maintenance.

Degree Required High school degree and/or bachelor's degree usually required
Training Required Two years' work experience with telephone systems or phone administration required by most employers
Key Responsibilities Train users on how to use and access the system, monitor usage, program the system, manage repairs, provide user assistance
Job Growth (2014-2024) 8% (for all network and computer systems administrators)*
Median Salary (2015) $77,810 (for all network and computer systems administrators)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Is the Job Description of a Telephone System Administrator?

As a telephone system administrator, your job may involve setting up extensions and voice mail, training users on how to access and use the system's features, operating the switchboard, and programming the system. You'll also monitor usage, update equipment, and manage repairs. If users have problems, you may be the one to provide assistance. When repairs or updates are made, you'll keep records and document the completed work.

You might work with phone service providers and equipment vendors on pricing and billing issues. Your job could entail negotiating rates, setting up long-distance calling plans, and buying new equipment. If you're implementing a new system, you may hold orientation seminars on how to use it. You also must maintain the directory database of user names and extension numbers.

How Do I Prepare for This Career?

Education requirements can range from a high school diploma to a bachelor's degree in information technology or a related area. Most employers require at least two years' previous experience with telephone systems or phone administration. You need to be able to demonstrate familiarity with phone system technology, programming, and operations. Employers may look for specific skills in customer service and oral communications. Having record keeping experience and proven abilities to teach others may also be helpful for this career.

How Much Can I Earn?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) didn't report wage information for telephone system administrators, but reported wages for network and computer systems administrators can be used to give you an idea of what you might earn (www.bls.gov). The median annual wage the BLS recorded for these occupations was $77,810 in May 2015. Most people earned between $47,460 and $124,090.

Where Could I Work?

You may find employment opportunities in various industries, such as education, business, government, and healthcare. Any place that uses a complex telephone system needs a telephone system administrator. You could work with a business telephone system or operate more complex systems, such as a prison phone system or an emergency call center system. According to the BLS, job growth for all network and computer systems administrators was predicted to be 8% between 2014 and 2024, which is about average compared to all job sectors.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Telecommunications equipment installers and repairers fix and install telecommunication lines and electrical equipment in homes and business settings. Most employers require some secondary education, such as a certificate or associate's degree. Database administrators use encryption programs to securely store and organize digital files for an organization, ensuring they cannot be accessed by unauthorized individuals. Electronics engineers create various electronics for consumer and business use, analyzing existing creations for ways to improve them based on performance and customer needs. These two positions require a bachelor's degree for hiring.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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