Career path, Job Search

What it takes to be a call center agent?

Working in a call center is not for everyone.

Do you want to become a call center agent? Well, if the idea is appealing to you and you’d like to give it a shot, you first need to know a few things. Just like in any other occupation, there are certain conditions you need to fill if you want to be a call center agent.

First, we need to be realistic: this is a customer service job. As a call center agent, you’re in direct communication with the end user, all the time.

Now, that being said, customer service jobs across the globe are very popular. And with the introduction of remote work, working as a call center agent seems more appealing than ever.

Why should you choose this job?

If you like talking to people, investigating issues, and figuring out solutions this is the right job for you. You will have plenty of questions coming your way and you will have to handle them on your own!

Certainly, there are different types of call centers, but most of these positions revolve around customer support of some sort.

This role is good for you if you like working in an office environment. Also, you might enjoy this role if you like the challenge of meeting targets.

Types of roles

The most common types of call center agent roles are:

  • sales agent – you can either get calls from people interested in the company’s services or products or you can be cold-calling them
  • technical support agent – people call you when something’s not working properly
  • customer care support agent – people call you with billing and general account-related queries
  • cancellation team agent – you talk to people who want to cancel their service or return an item
  • escalation agent – for all those lovely people who requested to speak to a manager

Requirements for a call center agent role

The most obvious one is the ability to listen. This is closely followed by the ability to remain calm and professional.

You need to be able to handle pressure not only because of questions and complaints but also because of targets. Targets are often the main indicator of your performance. How many calls or cases do you resolve in an hour and what is the percentage of a first-call resolution are the two most commonly looked at parameters.

A certain level of technical savviness is needed to be a call center agent.Call center agents have to be willing to take ownership of their callers and accounts. Basically, this means you have to be responsible enough to successfully do the job.

It is also required that an agent is computer savvy. As an agent, you will have to learn the system application the company uses, track webchats, and emails.

Because of the volume of your tasks as a call center agent, you will have to be able to prioritize them. You need to learn what’s important and what’s not. That means you have to be organized and good at time management.

You do not have to be a team player because you will have to take care of your own workload only.

It helps if you have an outgoing personality, but it is not indispensable – you just need to be comfortable enough to speak to people over the phone.

You don’t have to be a native speaker, but your English has to be fluent.

A bonus is if you like to set yourself goals and if you’re competitive because there are often incentives for top performers.


When we’re talking about the salary of a call center agent, the hourly rate depends on a few factors:

  • national minimum wage
  • location within the country
  • the company itself
  • performance

Overview of positives & negatives and career path for a call center agent

The good sides of this position are: you will meet a lot of new people, you will test your ability to remain calm, and you will probably improve your organizational skills.

The not-so-good sides are: people are way more unpleasant over the phone or chat than they are in person so be prepared. Also, your working hours can be unsocial.

When it comes to your career development, from this position, you can progress to the position of team leader. Depending on the company structure and your tendencies and interests, maybe afterward, you can move to operations management.

If you see yourself handling queries 7-8 hours a day, troubleshooting issues, and keeping records of all interactions, the position of a call center agent is the right choice for you!

But, if you are not sure about what to do next, hiring a career coach might be the right way to go. Check out our career coaching services here and feel free to get in touch.

How do I get a head start in my job search?

If you want to find a job, any job, and a call center agent included, you first need to sort out your CV! You need to convince the reader you can do the job. So, you need to write a CV in such a way but it’s not easy – it requires time and effort. You can go about it in 2 ways: you can save your time or money.

If you want to save your time and focus on things other than CV writing, then use the form below to get in touch and we’ll take care of it.

However, if you want to save money, invest your time in writing a CV. There’s loads of free advice on our blog but if you need extra support, spend a few coins on getting our step-by-step professional guide to CV and cover letter writing! Apply the principles outlined in this book and get more replies to job applications.

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