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Career profile Telemarketer

Also known as Telemarketer, Telemarketing Sales Representative, Telephone Sales Representative (TSR), Telephone Service Representative (TSR), Telesales Representative, Telesales Specialist


Also known as Telemarketer, Telemarketing Sales Representative, Telephone Sales Representative (TSR)

Interests Profile
  • Enterprising
  • Conventional
  • Realistic
Pay Range
$19,820 - $45,820 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Speaking
  • Persuasion
  • Active Listening
Knowledge Areas
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Telecommunications
Core tasks
  • Deliver prepared sales talks, reading from scripts that describe products or services, to persuade potential customers to purchase a product or service or to make a donation.
  • Contact businesses or private individuals by telephone to solicit sales for goods or services, or to request donations for charitable causes.
  • Explain products or services and prices and demonstrate use of products.
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What does a Telemarketer do?

Telemarketers solicit donations or orders for goods or services over the telephone.

What kind of tasks does a Telemarketer perform regularly?

Telemarketers are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Deliver prepared sales talks, reading from scripts that describe products or services, to persuade potential customers to purchase a product or service or to make a donation.
  • Contact businesses or private individuals by telephone to solicit sales for goods or services, or to request donations for charitable causes.
  • Explain products or services and prices and demonstrate use of products.
  • Obtain customer information such as name, address, and payment method, and enter orders into computers.
  • Record names, addresses, purchases, and reactions of prospects contacted.
  • Adjust sales scripts to better target the needs and interests of specific individuals.

The above responsibilities are specific to Telemarketers. More generally, Telemarketers are involved in several broader types of activities:

Selling or Influencing Others
Convincing others to buy merchandise/goods or to otherwise change their minds or actions.
Working with Computers
Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Communicating with People Outside the Organization
Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

What is a Telemarketer salary?

The median salary for a Telemarketer is $27,920, and the average salary is $30,930. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Telemarketer salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Telemarketers earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Telemarketers earn less than $19,820 per year, 25% earn less than $22,960, 75% earn less than $35,270, and 90% earn less than $45,820.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Telemarketers is expected to change by -18.3%, and there should be roughly 13,900 open positions for Telemarketers every year.

Median annual salary
Typical salary range
$19,820 - $45,820
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)

What personality traits are common among Telemarketers?


Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Telemarketer are usually higher in their Enterprising and Conventional interests.

Telemarketers typically have very strong Enterprising interests. Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Also, Telemarketers typically have strong Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.


People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Telemarketer tend to value Relationships, Support, and Achievement.

Most importantly, Telemarketers moderately value Relationships. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Second, Telemarketers moderately value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Lastly, Telemarketers moderately value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Telemarketers must consistently demonstrate qualities such as stress tolerance, integrity, and persistence.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Telemarketers, ranked by importance:

Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.

What education and training do Telemarketers need?

Working as a Telemarketer usually requires a high school diploma.

Telemarketers need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Telemarketers

  • 6.3% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 33.5% completed high school or secondary school
  • 29.6% completed some college coursework
  • 10.8% earned a Associate's degree
  • 16.9% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 2.7% earned a Master's degree
  • 0.3% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Telemarketers

Telemarketers may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as sales and marketing, customer and personal service, or telecommunications knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Telemarketers might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Sales and Marketing
Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
Communications and Media
Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

Important Abilities needed by Telemarketers

Telemarketers must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Telemarketers need abilities such as oral expression, oral comprehension, and speech clarity in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Telemarketers, ranked by their relative importance.

Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Speech Clarity
The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
Speech Recognition
The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Written Comprehension
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Critical Skills needed by Telemarketers

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Telemarketers frequently use skills like speaking, persuasion, and active listening to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Telemarketers, ranked by their relative importance.

Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
Active Listening
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Social Perceptiveness
Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Service Orientation
Actively looking for ways to help people.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.