Employment Prospects


Approximately 136,900 people work part time or full time as telemarketers. Work is available at a wide variety of establishments, from large multinational corporations, educational publishers, and government agencies to nonprofit organizations, retail catalog outlets, and service businesses. Jobs in telemarketing can be found nationwide, but the cost of operating call centers varies, depending on their location. Some of the most expensive cities in which to operate call centers, for example, are San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and New York, while the least expensive cities include Columbia, South Carolina, and Mobile, Alabama. Large corporations often house their telemarketing centers in cities where both operating costs and salaries are low.

Starting Out

Agencies that hire telemarketers usually advertise for new employees through employment agencies, many of which specialize in placing telemarketers with firms. It is important to note that employers of telemarketers sometimes interview job applicants over the phone, judging a person's telephone voice, personality, demeanor, and assertiveness. Being prepared for such an interview before contacting an agency can make the difference between getting the job and having to continue to look.

Employees undergo a great deal of on-the-job training after they have been hired. Trainers instruct novice telemarketers on the use of equipment, characteristics of the product or service they will be selling, and proper sales techniques and listening skills. They rehearse with the trainees using the script that has been prepared and guide them through some practice calls.

If a telemarketer's phone calls focus on a complex product or service, as is the case with many business-to-business calls, people trained in the specific field involved may be hired and then instructed in telephone and sales techniques.

Advancement Prospects

Employees at telemarketing agencies can advance to jobs as telemarketing managers. These professionals have a variety of responsibilities, including preparing reports, writing telephone scripts, setting goals and objectives, implementing new service programs, monitoring and analyzing inquiries and complaints, recruiting, scheduling, and training. Telemarketing managers may also enjoy rapidly increasing salaries because they can often earn commissions on the net sales achieved by the agency.

Some telemarketers move into telephone-sales training, either with agencies or as independent consultants. Experienced telemarketers can sometimes find new jobs with higher paying firms, while others start their own telemarketing agencies.

Tips for Entry

Read The Customer Communicator ( to learn more about developing strong communication skills. 

Find educational programs and training opportunities at the Association of National Advertisers Web site,

Contact telemarketing firms to learn more about job opportunities.