Advertising is an essential part of a business's marketing strategy because consumers won't buy products unless they are aware of the products and their benefits. Telemarketers are workers who call individuals and businesses on the phone in an attempt to solicit donations or sell goods and services. Becoming a telemarketer does not require formal education — necessary skills can be learned through on-the-job training.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the average annual income of telemarketers was $25,920 in May 2010. This translates to an average wage of $12.46 an hour. The top 10 percent of workers in the occupation earned more than $39,440 a year, while the bottom 10 percent made less than $16,840. Fifty percent of all telemarketers earned annual incomes between $18,610 and $29,930.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that Vermont was the highest-paying state for telemarketers in May 2011 and that workers in the state made $39,370 a year on average. Telemarketers in Connecticut made $34,920 on average, workers in Massachusetts made $33,360 on average and workers in Nevada made $31,900 on average. Florida employed the most telemarketers of any state, followed by Ohio and California. Workers in Florida made $24,470 on average, while workers in Ohio and California made $23,570 and $29,630 respectively.
Some companies hire their own telemarketers, while others work for companies that provide telemarketing services to other businesses. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that telemarketers in the business support services industry made $23,390 on average in May 2011. Telemarketers working in the newspaper, periodical and book publishing industries made $27,220 on average, workers in the employment services industry earned $25,890 and workers involved in banking earned $30,620 on average. Telemarketers employed by wireless communication carriers were among the most highly compensated in the occupation, at $38,520 in average annual earnings.
Some consumers consider telemarketing calls to be an annoyance, so they may take steps to avoid getting calls. The Federal Trade Commission oversees a national "do not call" registry that allows phone users to block many solicitations. Blocking of phone solicitations and increasing use of other forms of communication like text messages and email serve to reduce the need for telemarketers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects employment of telemarketers to grow 7 percent from 2010 to 2020, which is half as fast as the expected growth rate for all jobs. Despite relatively slow growth, job prospects are often good for new workers in low-income jobs like telemarketing, because workers often leave their jobs to pursue other opportunities.