Contact Centre Worker
Kaimahi Pokapū Whakapā
Contact centre workers answer enquiries and provide or organise help for those who contact them. They may also deal with customer complaints, or sell goods or services.
Contact centre workers with up to five years' experience usually earn
$42K-$48K per year
Senior contact centre workers usually earn
$45K-$75K per year
Source: Hays and Madison, 2018.
Pay for contact centre workers depends on their skills, experience and responsibilities, and the size and type of contact centre they work for.
- Entry-level contact centre workers usually start on minimum wage.
- After one to five years' experience they usually earn $42,000 to $48,000.
- Team leaders with more responsibilities can earn between $45,000 and $75,000.
- Contact centre managers can earn between $70,000 and $150,000.
Sources: Hays, 'The FY 18/19 Hays Salary Guide: Salary & Recruitment Trends', 2018; and Madison, 'New Zealand Employment Market Report 2018', 2018.
- PAYE.net.nz website - use this calculator to convert pay and salary information
- Employment New Zealand website - information about minimum wage rates
(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our pay information)
What you will do
Contact centre workers may do some or all of the following:
- resolve customer enquiries and complaints
- provide information, advice or appointments to people who contact an organisation
- forward enquiries to relevant departments
- follow up enquiries by sending information
- ring customers to promote products or services
- conduct surveys
- provide feedback about customer experiences to managers.
Other duties vary according to where contact centre workers are employed. For example, those who work in ambulance centres may give first aid advice.
Skills and knowledge
Contact centre workers need to have:
- excellent speaking and listening skills
- excellent writing skills, to respond to enquiries through email, web chat, or letters
- good computer and data-entry skills
- knowledge of their organisation's products or services.
Contact centre workers:
- may work full or part-time hours, during evenings, nights and weekends, and sometimes on rotating shifts
- work in contact centres or from reception desks, though some may work from home
- may work in stressful conditions – for example, in an emergency contact centre.
What's the job really like?
Contact centre worker video
Kingi explains how his call centre qualifications have helped him - 2.45 mins. (Video courtesy of Skills)
Juanita: What I was outstandingly impressed by was the fact that Kingi – his own passion for wanting to work in this industry, being an expert, being perceived as an expert by his peers but also his staff – went a hundredfold. His passion to do a really good job for his customers and clients has been just amazing. He's achieved a lot from doing the qualification.
Kingi: It's just opened my mind to more than just a call centre. It's more than just selling a product. It's understanding the operation. Having a qualification can actually lead me to something better than just being a team leader for call centres. And that's where I think Skills has definitely helped me.
Juanita. So it is something that we have decided as a company to engage in, and for the long haul. We see the benefits far outweigh the difficulties or challenges that we have faced in implementing it. Kingi's been a critical part of that process, piloting that for us. We're quite keen to process people to the next level. Definitely for Kingi his sights are to Level 5 and beyond and he is really passionate about remaining in the industry and improving, being the best version of Kingi that he can be.
Kingi: I've started as an agent, moved on to a team leader, I'm now in the management side of Telelink Limited. The next level to be operations, to run operations, how to run operations, how to hit targets for everyone, how to bring in business and then from there to run the company, to be managing director of the company. Obviously, it's in steps. Those are the steps I'm actually going through. Skills is definitely giving me huge knowledge on not just the call centre but sales itself.
There are no specific requirements to become a contact centre worker. However, a New Zealand Certificate in Contact Centres (Level 3 or 4) may be useful.
Emergency services have specific training for people working in their communication centres. These workers may also need to undergo security checks and vision and hearing tests.
No specific secondary education is required for this job, but business studies to at least NCEA Level 2 is useful.
Contact centre workers need to be:
- able to relate to people from a range of cultures and backgrounds
- calm and patient, even when under pressure
- good communicators
- able to work well in a team
- able to maintain confidentiality.
Useful experience for contact centre workers includes:
- customer service
- retail work with sales targets
- hospitality work
- reception and office work.
Contact centre workers need to have:
- clear speech
- good hearing.
Find out more about training
- 0508 754 557 - firstname.lastname@example.org - www.skills.org.nz
What are the chances of getting a job?
Demand for contact centre workers growing
Demand for contact centre workers is growing because:
- companies that used overseas contact centres are shifting work back to New Zealand centres to improve their public image
- international companies are increasingly using New Zealand-based contact centres to save money
- businesses now use a range of channels, such as phone, email and social media, to communicate with customers. This requires more contact centre workers
- many contact centres expect to increase staff numbers in 2020 to meet the growing number of customer enquiries.
Between 400 and 500 contact centres exist in New Zealand, with staff numbers ranging from six to 2,000. Most contact centres employ 20 to 25 workers.
According to the Census, 4,599 contact centre workers worked in New Zealand in 2018.
Regular vacancies due to high turnover
Contact centre worker vacancies arise regularly as people tend to stay in the job for a short time only. This is because workers often:
- progress to other roles in an organisation
- move to contact centre jobs in companies that offer higher pay.
Social media and web chat experience in demand
Your chances of securing a contact centre worker job are best if you:
- have experience using social media, web chat programs, and email
- are willing to work shift or weekend hours.
Types of employers varied
Contact centre workers are employed by many types of organisations, including:
- government services
- insurance companies
- power companies
- telecommunication companies.
- Gerlach, A, consultant, Madison, careers.govt.nz interview, September 2018.
- Green, D, co-chairperson, Contact Centre Institute of New Zealand, careers.govt.nz interview, September 2018.
- Hays, 'Contact Centres – Jobs in Demand: July-December 2018', 2018, (www.hays.co.nz).
- Hays, 'The FY 18/19 Hays Salary Guide: Salary & Recruitment Trends', 2018, (www.hays.net.nz).
- Infometrics, 'Contact Centre 2017 Sector Profile', 2018.
- Mitchell, P, 'Fairfax Brings Manila Call Centre Back to Palmerston North', 19 June 2017, (www.stuff.co.nz).
- Oliver-Free, E, head of sectors, Skills, careers.govt.nz interview, September 2018.
- Stats NZ, '2018 Census Data', 2019.
- Stock, R, 'Talking Your Way to a Career – How a Contact Centre Job Can Get You on Your Way', 17 July 2017, (www.stuff.co.nz).
(This information is a guide only. Find out more about the sources of our job opportunities information)
Progression and specialisations
Experienced contact centre workers can progress into team leader or supervisor roles, management, or other roles in their organisation.
Contact centre workers may specialise as emergency services call centre workers.
Last updated 12 May 2021