Pros and Cons of Working as a Call Center Agent

advantages and disadvantages of being a call center agent

You think about becoming a call center agent but are not entirely sure whether this is the right profession for you or not?

Stick with me since I will show you all the pros and cons of being a call center agent in the following article.

Call Center Agent Job Profile

Job DescriptionCall center agents answer the calls from clients to help them with several problems they might experience with a service or a product.
Salary$29,000 per year on average, most call center agents make between $24,000 and $34,000 per year.
Job SecurityRather poor since you will be replaceable pretty easily.
Job SatisfactionPoor since you will have to work in a crowded and noisy work environment.
Work-Life BalanceDecent since you will not have to work that many hours and will often also have free weekends.
Physically / Mentally Demanding?Can be mentally and emotionally demanding.
Future OutlookPoor since many jobs will be lost and call center agents will be replaced by machines.
RequirementsNo special educational requirements. Finishing high school will often be enough to become a call center agent.

Advantages of Working as a Call Center Agent

  1. Call center agents can avoid physical work
  2. You can work indoors
  3. Being a call center agent is not that stressful
  4. You will often have regular workweeks
  5. Free weekends and holidays are quite common
  6. Decent work-life balance for call center agents
  7. You don’t necessarily have to work full-time
  8. You can work for many different companies
  9. Call center agents learn how to deal with difficult people
  10. You don’t need a college degree
  11. Student loan debt will not be a problem

Call center agents can avoid physical work

One advantage of being a call center agent is that you can avoid heavy physical work.

While many other people out there have to lift heavy things that can seriously hurt their backs in the long run, you will just sit in an office chair and answer calls all day long.

While this can be mentally demanding, you will still not suffer from serious physical health issues or at least your probability to suffer from back pain and other physical health problems will be lower for you.

Consequently, while many other people who have to do physical work have to quit their jobs once they get older due to those health problems, you will be able to work as a call center agent for quite a long time.

You can work indoors

As a call center agent, you will also have the privilege to work indoors.

You may take this for granted.

Yet, the reality is that many people still have to work outdoors under harsh conditions.

It doesn’t matter whether it rains or snows.

If something needs to be fixed, construction workers and other people have to be there to fix those issues, no matter whether outdoors conditions are good or bad.

In contrast, call center agents will not have to care about those issues that much since they will be able to work indoors and will not be exposed to bad weather during their workday.

Being a call center agent is not that stressful

Another benefit of working as a call center agent is that it will simply not be that stressful.

Sure, you will have periods of the year where many people will need help at the same time and it can be quite demanding to help all of those people out.

Yet, if you have a rather calm attitude and don’t take things too seriously, you can have a pretty relaxed life as a call center agent if you understand how the game works.

Consequently, if you don’t want to work in an environment where you have to face stress and pressure every minute of your workday, chances are that a call center career may be suitable for you also in this regard.

You will often have regular workweeks

Depending on the call centre you work for and also on your work contract, you will often be able to have regular workweeks and don’t have to work many extra hours.

Hence, most callcenter agents work 40 hours or less and this gives you plenty of time for your hobbies or to meet up with your favorite people.

Free weekends and holidays are quite common

You may also be able to enjoy free holidays and weekends as a call center agent.

Sure, some people also have to do emergency shifts in call centers.

Yet, the majority of call center agents will still be at home on weekends to enjoy their leisure.

Thus, compared to other jobs like train drivers who have to work on many weekends, you will have more leisure time on weekends that you can use to make nice family trips or just to relax in your garden.

Decent work-life balance for call center agents

In general, call center agents also have a pretty decent work-life balance.

Since they often have free weekends and holidays and also don’t work that many hours, call center agents have plenty of time left for the things that they like more than work.

Consequently, becoming a call center agent can also make quite a lot of sense for you in case leisure is really important to you and you just don’t want to spend your whole life just working.

You don’t necessarily have to work full-time

Another upside to becoming a call center agent is that you will also be rather flexible regarding the hours you want to work.

In fact, many call center agents only work part-time to make some extra money while they still have a day job.

Moreover, working as a call center agent can also make quite a lot of sense for students or retirees to make some additional money.

You can work for many different companies

Many big companies have call centers where you could work.

This gives you a great level of freedom since you can decide in which call center you want to work and can choose the one that offers the best working conditions.

Sure, this also depends on the region you live in.

If you live in a rather rural area, you may have problems finding a job in a call center.

However, if you live in an urban environment, you should not have a hard time finding a job in this field.

Call center agents learn how to deal with difficult people

As a call center representative, you will also learn how to deal with difficult people.

While some people will be nice, others will just complain about every little detail and even if you try to help them out in the best possible manner, it will often not be enough to calm those people down.

While this can be exhausting and annoying, it still gives you the opportunity to grow in character and to learn how to deal with snarky comments.

You don’t need a college degree

Another advantage of a career as a call center agent is that you just don’t need any fancy education for it.

You will not need a college degree nor will you need any certificates.

Most of the time, it will be enough for you to finish high school and you will be good to go.

You will just learn many skills on the job and as long as you have profound knowledge of the local language, you will often be able to work in a call center without any prior experience.

This means that you will not have to spend many years of your life in college.

Instead, you can make money at an early age and can become independent of your parents pretty soon.

Student loan debt will not be a problem

Since you can avoid going to college, you can also save quite a lot of money on tuition and other expenses related to college.

In fact, to finance those expenses, many students take on student loans which they have to pay back later in their lives.

Those student loans can be a huge financial trap, especially if you don’t make enough money to pay them back.

Consequently, many people who take on student loans suffer from financial problems later on in their lives and you as a call center agent can avoid those issues since there will just be no need for you to go to college.

As you can see, the life of a call center agent can have many advantages.

Yet, you should not expect that it’s all upside.

In fact, there are many issues related to a career as a call center agent that I want to address in the following chapter.

Disadvantages of Becoming a Call Center Agent

  1. Call center agents lack job security
  2. You will not make that much money as a call center agent
  3. Call center agents have a low social status
  4. You may need a second job to cover your bills
  5. You may not be able to buy your own home
  6. Many call center agents suffer from old-age poverty
  7. Lack of health insurance can be an issue
  8. Clients can be difficult
  9. You may get bored pretty soon
  10. You may suffer from mental problems sooner or later
  11. People may not understand your career decision
  12. Overweight may become a problem
  13. You have to work in an artificial office environment
  14. Promotion opportunities are almost non-existent
  15. You may get stuck in your job
  16. Poor future job prospects
  17. You will not learn many valuable skills as a call center agent

Call center agents lack job security

One problem with being a call center agent is that you will have almost no job security at all.

Since almost everyone can do the job and there are no special educational requirements, barriers to entry are pretty low and this means that you will have to compete with many other people for jobs in this field.

It also implies that you may get fired pretty soon, even though you might do a good job.

Other people may just be willing to do the job for a lower wage than you and in such a case, you may lose your job from one day to the other.

Many call center agents also only have short-term contracts and don’t have any idea how their future will look like.

You will not make that much money as a call center agent

You should also not expect to make good money as a call center agent.

While some people make enough from their job at the call center to pay their bills, others are barely able to survive from what they are earning.

Hence, before becoming a call center agent, make sure that money and luxury are not important to you at all since you will simply not be able to afford many nice things.

Call center agents have a low social status

Another disadvantage of working at a call center is that you will also have a rather low social status.

While some people may appreciate your work, others will not see you as a valuable member of society.

Some people may even make fun of you due to your occupation.

Consequently, make sure that comments in this regard will not bother you and that you have a stable mindset to deal with people who will try to bring you down in a healthy manner.

You may need a second job to cover your bills

Since you will not make that much money as a call center agent, you may even need a second job to pay your bills.

In fact, many call center agents have to work two or even three jobs to survive, especially in regions where living costs are quite high and rents are not affordable for an average call center agent.

If you have to work two or even more jobs, your life will no longer be relaxed at all and trust me when I tell you that this is just not fun at all.

You will basically have no leisure and will only live to work rather than work to live.

Thus, before becoming a call center agent, make sure that you are willing to pay this price in the long run.

You may not be able to buy your own home

Due to your rather low income and the poor job security as a call center agent, you may also not be able to buy your own home.

Even if you were able to pay for your home, you would likely still struggle to get a mortgage since banks are often quite careful regarding whom they want to offer those loans since they fear that people don’t pay them back.

Hence, if your dream is to own a home one day, chances are that you should go for a different career path in the long run since chances are that you will not be able to fulfill your dream as a call center agent.

Many call center agents suffer from old-age poverty

Since most call center agents don’t make much money, many of them will also suffer from old-age poverty.

Those people are often not able to save and invest enough money for retirement since they have to spend most of their income on basic things of daily life.

In turn, when they get to retirement age, those people often don’t have sufficient financial measures to pay their bills and may even end up homeless in the worst case.

Lack of health insurance can be an issue

Another downside to working in a call center is that you will often also not be able to get proper health insurance.

Good health insurance plans are costly and since you will not earn much money as a call center agent, you may just not be able to benefit from those plans.

In turn, if there is the need for expensive medical treatment, you may not be able to pay for it and your overall life expectancy may also be significantly lower due to that compared to a person who enjoys those medical privileges.

Clients can be difficult

You should also not expect your clients to be nice all the time.

Sure, some people are kind and it can be a pleasure to talk to them.

Yet, others may be stressed or just have a bad day and may try to bring you down or even insult you.

In fact, you will often be the punching ball, even though you will not be the cause of peoples’ problems.

Thus, make sure that you are willing to take on this role and that you are able to deal with those difficult situations in a proper manner before you decide for working in a call center.

You may get bored pretty soon

Working in a call center is also not that exciting.

Sure, in the beginning, many call center agents really like what they are doing since everything is new.

However, after a while, many of them get bored and secretly with they would work in a different field that is more exciting.

You may suffer from mental problems sooner or later

Since you will always have to solve other peoples’ problems and will sometimes not be able to do so, you may also feel pretty bad and may also develop mental issues sooner or later.

In fact, constant problem-solving requires a certain sort of character and if you don’t have those strong personality traits, this job will eat you up pretty soon.

People may not understand your career decision

Many people will also just not understand why you have chosen this career path.

In fact, it is not the dream of most people to work in a call center.

Consequently, even your family and friends may make fun of you regarding your career choice and this can be really annoying and exhausting in the long run.

Overweight may become a problem

Since you will not have to work in a physical manner as a call center agent, you may also suffer from serious overweight or even obesity in the long run.

In fact, many call center agents have to go to the gym to lose some weight and to stay fit.

If you are not willing to do so, you will gain weight pretty soon and your risk of suffering from serious health problems that come along with obesity will increase substantially.

You have to work in an artificial office environment

Call centers are also just not the nicest places to work.

In fact, you will sit in a big office with dozens or even hundreds of other call center agents who will answer calls at the same time.

This means that you will often get distracted and will not be able to focus on your own work in a proper manner.

In turn, you may make mistakes and your clients may become pretty angry with you.

You may also feel like a chicken in a battery farm instead of a human being since those call centers are quite crowded.

Hence, if you are a person who really wants to have private space to work in, a call center will be the last place where you want to spend your time.

Promotion opportunities are almost non-existent

You should also not expect to get promoted anytime soon.

Even if you are good at what you are doing, you will still not have any viable promotion options.

Instead, you will have to work in the same job for decades and this can be really annoying since you will not see any progress in your career.

You may get stuck in your job

Another problem with working as a call center agent is that it will be hard for you to switch fields and to work in a different industry.

Consequently, you may get stuck in the call center industry with no hope to get out of your mess anytime soon.

Poor future job prospects

Call center agents will also suffer from rather poor future job prospects.

In fact, many jobs will be lost to machines in this industry and you may become unemployed pretty soon in the future.

You will not learn many valuable skills as a call center agent

Last but not least, you should also not expect to learn many valuable skills as a call center agent.

Sure, you will learn how to deal with difficult clients and some other soft skills.

Yet, you will still lack some hard skills that are demanded in the job market right now and your overall future career prospects will be pretty poor due to that.

Top 10 Being a Call Center Agent Pros & Cons – Summary List

Being a Call Center Agent ProsBeing a Call Center Agent Cons
Call center agents can work indoorsLack of job security as a call center agent
You can avoid physical workLow social status
Call center work is not that stressfulCall center agents don’t make good money
Free weekends are rather commonOverweight may become a problem
Decent work-life balanceClients can be annoying
You can work for many companiesYou may need a second job
You can talk to many different clientsOld-age poverty can be an issue
You learn how to deal with difficult peopleCall center agents don’t get mortgages
Call center agents don’t work long hoursYou may get bored soon
No college degree requiredHard to switch fields

Should You Become A Call Center Agent?

As you can see from the previous discussion, there are indeed many advantages and disadvantages of being a call center agent.

You should take your time to decide whether working in a call center is really what you want to do or if you rather want to go for a different career path instead.

If you are still interested in a call center agent career, make sure to also have a look at the salary, job prospects, educational requirements, working hours and job satisfaction of call center agents.

Also make sure to check out the following articles:

Advantages and disadvantages of working as a cashier

Advantages and disadvantages of working as a translator

Advantages and disadvantages of working as a food delivery driver

Sources

https://www.statista.com/statistics/880975/global-contact-center-market-size/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Call_centre

About the author

My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people about the different career paths that are possible in our current state of the world. In my opinion, people often make the mistake to choose their profession solely based on how much money they can earn from it instead of doing what makes them really happy.

This is quite sad and I just want to give people a more objective picture of how a fulfilling career could look like. I did the same when I started working in consulting after finishing my Master’s degree in Economics. However, I’ve quit pretty soon after that since I haven’t found true meaning in my job.

Now I can do what I really love to do and I want to enable as many other people as well to go this exciting path towards happiness instead of money.

I conducted various interviews with employees to give you a good impression of what working in different fields will look like and that you can make the best possible decision regarding your future career choice.

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