Job Prospects... At a glance
Job prospects for contact centre workers are below average. This is a large occupation, but employment is projected to decline. Wages are average, but can vary depending on skills, expertise and performance. Formal qualifications are usually not needed, but falling employment numbers might make it harder to get contact centre jobs in the future for inexperienced workers.
Contact centre workers answer phones, emails and internet inquiries for companies and other organisations. They often take complaints or provide information for customers. Some also call potential customers and try to sell the customers products.
There are no entry requirements to work as a contact centre worker, but many employers will require training to be completed before starting the job.
Once employed, contact centre workers can obtain a New Zealand Certificate at Level 3 or 4, if their employers are willing. Most of the requirements for the level 3 qualification are likely to be included in a company’s internal training. Sometimes, all that has to be done in order to get a qualification is to pass an assessment. The New Zealand Certificate in Contact Centres (Level 3, 4, and 5) is managed by the Skills Organisation.
Good keyboard skills may be an advantage along with a good command of English both written and spoken. A calm temperament will help when dealing with challenging customers.
For some contact centre roles, it is necessary for employees to have a specialised qualification. For example, it is common that workers at IT support contact centres need to have a certificate, diploma or degree in IT.
The Skills Organisation: skills.org.nz
|Learning on the job|
Learning on the job is the least expensive way to become a contact centre worker. The training many employers require new employees to go through is usually free.
Rents vary from place to place. Estimated market rents by region, city and suburb are available on the MBIE Tenancy Services website.
The StudyLink website provides general budget advice for students, and the Sorted website provides help with detailed budget planning.
The Industry Training Organisation (ITO) that looks after training for contact centre workers is the Skills Organisation. They manage qualifications nationwide.
The Skills Organisation: skills.org.nz
Contact Centre Workers may register with the Association of Administration Professionals NZ (AAPNZ).
Registration is voluntary but members can work towards AAPNZ certification, which can improve skills and work prospects. Achievement of AAPNZ certification requires a Level 5 diploma or above, plus other criteria.
Further information on this can be found on the AAPNZ website.
AAPNZ, certification: aapnz.org.nz/certification.aspx
The annual income for contact centre workers is estimated to be around $45,000. The more specialised workers with degrees usually earn more than normal contact centre workers.
Some contact centre workers are paid based on performance. Income will then depend on sales made or inquires handled.
|Estimated Average Income|
Source: MBIE estimates based on Statistics NZ Census and Labour Cost Index.
Contact centre workers’ employment
Source: Statistics NZ Census and MBIE projections. Percentages are compound annual growth rates.
* Growth projections are based on the category “Call or Contact Centre Information Clerk”.
The number of contact centre workers in employment fell slightly from 2006 to 2013. This trend is expected to speed up going forward to 2025. This means that it could become harder to get employment as a contact centre worker in the future.
Some contact centres have strict requirements on how many calls should be made or inquiries answered in a given time frame. Employees must then make sure to fulfil these requirements.
Source: Statistics NZ Census and MBIE projections
Contact centre workers are not on Immigration New Zealand's skill shortage lists.
Immigration NZ, skill shortage list: skillshortages.immigration.govt.nz
Since 2008, the number of online job vacancies for ‘Call or Contact Centre Workers’ has grown at a slower rate than for the average of all vacancies. This indicates that demand for these workers has also grown at a slower than the average for all occupations over the same period.
Jobs advertised chart
Source: Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment
Contact centre vacancies are advertised through public media such as the Trade Me Jobs and Seek websites.
Contact centre workers can become supervisors or team leaders at a contact centre. Other than this, there is no clear career path for contact centre workers.
The following occupations are related roles or alternative titles. Some of the roles may require a higher level of skill than entry-level contact centre workers.
More information on contact centre workers is available on the Careers New Zealand website.
Careers New Zealand: www.careers.govt.nz
The Australian New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) is the official classification of occupations in New Zealand.
The occupation of contact centre workers has been coded to the following ANZSCO codes for the purpose of this report:
3131 – ICT Support Technicians
5411 – Call or Contact Centre Workers