Australian contact centre salaries

Australian Contact Centre Wage

Australian contact centre salaries are often considered high as compared to a global scale with the minimum rates a contact centre employee must be paid determined by the Contract Call Centre Award that sets out the minimum rates, hours, conditions etc.

Of course, this award just sets out the minimum payments – many Australian contact centres pay above the award rate to attract and retain good employees and we have included some benchmarking data towards the bottom of this document.

Typically, annual increases to the minimum salary take effect on 1 July each year however due to the Coronavirus, the Australian Government put a hold on increases depending on how impacted various industry clusters were impacted.

Contact Centres were in a cluster classified as Group 2 and as a result, the 1.75% increase to the minimum wages takes effect from 1 November 2020.

What at the minimum Australian Contact Centre Salaries?

Minimum contact centre salaries are covered by the Contract Call Centres Award (yes its still called Call Centres, not Contact Centres 🤦‍♂️) which outlines a range of different classifications that we have listed below.

These rates are current as of 1 November 2020.

 

Classification  Minimum Weekly Rate

(for a full-time employee)

Minimum Hourly Rate
Customer Contact Trainee $805.10 $21.19
Customer Contact Officer Level 1 $832.80 $21.92
Customer Contact Officer Level 2 $877.60 $23.09
Principal Customer Contact Specialist $933.50 $24.57
Customer Contact Team Leader $957.60 $25.20
Principal Customer Contact Leader $1026.70 $27.02
Contract Call Centre Industry Technical Associate $1109.60 $29.20

Australian Penalty Rates

In addition to a base salary, Australian Contact Centre Salaries are also impacted by the shift times a contact centre agent is expected to work. It can be a bit tricky to work out but the following is a general guide as a percentage of the minimum rate.

For non-designated shift workers, the following penalty rates are applied:

  • Normal shift – 100%
  • Working outside your normal spread of hours – 125%
  • Saturday – 125%
  • Sunday 7 am to 7 pm – 150%
  • Sunday 12 am to 7 am and 7 pm to 12 am – 175%
  • Public Holiday – 250%

For designated shift workers:

  • Ordinary hours – 100%
  • Afternoon and Night shift – 115%
  • Permanent night shift – 130%
  • Public Holiday – 200%

There are lots of permutations, interpretations and so on so refer directly to the award or contact centre Fair Work Ombudsman for more information.

Standard Hours of Work

The Award defines a full-time employee as someone engaged to work an average of 38 hours per week.

A part-time employee:

  • is engaged to work less than 38 ordinary hours per week;
  • has reasonably predictable hours of work; and
  • receives, on a pro-rata basis, award pay and conditions equivalent to those of full-time employees on the basis that ordinary weekly hours for full-time employees are 38.

Casual Employees

Given the nature of contact centre work can be quite dynamic with defined peaks and troughs, many Australian contact centres rely on a casual workforce to help.

There are lots of rules around the use of casual employees but some key things to note:

  • Casual Employees are paid a 25% loading on top of the minimum award rate.
  • On each occasion a casual employee is required to attend work the employee is entitled to payment for a minimum of 3 hours work.
  • Employment of a casual employee may be terminated by an hour’s notice given either by the employer or the employee, or by the payment or forfeiture of an hour’s wage as the case may be.

Overtime

If a contact centre worker works beyond their scheduled shift hours, they are entitled to the following overtime loading:

  • Monday to Saturday—first 3 hours – 150% Loading
  • Monday to Saturday—after 3 hours – 200% Loading
  • Sunday – all-day – 200% Loading

Superannuation

In addition the minimum award rates, employers also need to pay superannuation – essentially a fund to help provide financial support for retirement.

The current rate for superannuation rate in Australia is 9.5% with this to increase to 12% in 2025.

In addition to the Employer having to make the compulsory contribution, employees are also encouraged to contribute additional funds and there are typically tax benefits in doing so.

Australian Contact Centre Classifications

Short of the Australian Contact Centre industry having any formalised accreditation standards, the Award has defined classifications that determine the appropriate salary to be paid based on duties and qualifications.

These don’t tend to change much so I’ve listed them all below for your reference but you can always find the latest version on the Award page >


Contact Centre Trainee

(i) A Customer Contact Trainee is engaged in a course of training and development (other than through a new apprenticeship/traineeship) to enable them to perform customer contact functions in the telecommunications industry.

(ii) An employee at this level would not normally perform customer contact functions without direct/immediate supervision.

(iii) An employee would normally graduate from the course of training as a Customer Contact Officer Level 1.


Customer Contact Officer Level 1

Role Definition

A Customer Contact Officer Level 1 is employed to perform a prescribed range of functions involving known routines and procedures and some accountability for the quality of outcomes. Such an employee will:

● receive calls;

● use common call centre telephone and computer technology;

● enter and retrieve data;

● work in a team; and

● manage their own work under guidance.

Such an employee provides at least one specialised service to customers such as sales and advice for products or services, complaints or fault enquiries or data collection for surveys.

Indicative Tasks

An employee at this level would normally perform the following indicative tasks:

● follow work health and safety policy and procedures;

● communicate in a customer contact centre;

● work in a customer contact centre environment;

● respond to inbound customer contact;

● conduct outbound customer contact;

● use basic computer technology;

● use an enterprise information system; and

● provide quality customer service.

An employee at this level would also normally perform some of the following indicative tasks:

● fulfil customer needs;

● process sales;

● action customers’ fault reports;

● resolve customer complaints;

● process low-risk credit applications;

● process basic customer account enquiries; and

● conduct data collection.

Qualifications

An employee who holds a Certificate II in Telecommunications (Customer Contact) or equivalent would be classified at this level when employed to perform the functions in the role definition and taking into account the indicative tasks.


Customer Contact Officer Level 2

Role Definition

A Customer Contact Officer Level 2 is employed to perform a defined range of skilled operations, usually within a range of broader related activities involving known routines, methods and procedures, where some discretion and judgment is required in the selection of equipment, services or contingency measures and within known time constraints. Such a person will:

● receive calls;

● use common call centre telephone and computer technology;

● enter and retrieve data;

● work in a team; and

● manage their own work under guidance.

An employee at this level performs a number of functions within a customer contact operation requiring a diversity of competencies including:

● provide multiple specialised services to customers such as complex sales and service advice for a range of products or services, difficult complaint and fault inquiries, deployment of service staff;

● use multiple technologies such as telephony, internet services and face-to-face contact; and

● provide a limited amount of leadership to less experienced employees.

Indicative Tasks

An employee at this level would normally perform the following indicative tasks:

● follow work health and safety policy and procedures;

● communicate in a customer contact centre;

● work in a customer contact centre environment;

● respond to inbound customer contact;

● conduct outbound customer contact;

● use basic computer technology;

● use an enterprise information system; and

● provide quality customer service.

An employee at this level would also normally perform some of the following indicative tasks:

● send and retrieve information over the internet using browsers and email;

● manage work priorities and professional development;

● manage workplace relationships in a contact centre;

● use multiple information systems;

● manage customer relationships;

● deploy customer service staff;

● conduct a telemarketing campaign;

● provide sales solutions to customers;

● negotiate with customers on major faults;

● resolve complex customer complaints;

● process high-risk credit applications; and

● process complex accounts, service severance and defaults.

Qualifications

An employee who holds a Certificate III in Telecommunications (Customer Contact) or equivalent would be classified at this level when employed to perform the functions in the role definition and taking into account the indicative tasks.


Principal Customer Contact Specialist

Role Definition

A Principal Customer Contact Specialist is employed to perform a broad range of skilled applications and provide leadership and guidance to others in the application and planning of the skills. Such an employee will:

● receive calls;

● use common call centre telephone and computer technology;

● enter and retrieve data;

● work in a team; and

● manage their own work.

The employee works with a high degree of autonomy with the authority to make decisions in relation to specific customer contact matters and provides leadership as a coach, mentor or senior staff member.

An employee at this level performs a number of functions within a customer contact operation requiring a diversity of competencies including:

●providing services to customers involving a high level of product or service knowledge, often autonomously acquired;

●using multiple technologies such as telephony, internet services and face-to-face contact;

●taking responsibility for the outcomes of customer contact and rectifying complex situations involving emergencies, substantial complaints and faults, disruptions or disconnection of service or customer dissatisfaction; and

An employee at this level may provide on the job training instead of customer contact and assist with developing training programs where they are not receiving calls.


 

Customer Contact Team Leader

Role Definition

A Customer Contact Team Leader is employed to perform a broad range of skilled applications including evaluating and analysing current practices, developing new criteria and procedures for performing current practices and providing leadership and guidance to others in the application and planning of the skills. Such an employee will:

● receive calls;

● use common call centre telephone and computer technology;

● enter and retrieve data;

● work in a team; and

● manage their own work.

The employee works with a high degree of autonomy with the authority to make decisions in relation to specific customer contact matters and provide leadership in a team leader role.

This employee performs a number of functions within a customer contact operation requiring a diversity of competencies including:

● providing services to customers involving a high level of product or service knowledge, often autonomously acquired;

● using multiple technologies such as telephony, internet services and face-to-face contact; and

● taking responsibility for the outcomes of customer contact and rectifying complex situations involving emergencies, substantial complaints and faults, disruptions or disconnection of service or customer dissatisfaction.

Indicative Tasks

An employee at this level would normally perform the following indicative tasks:

● follow work health and safety policy and procedures;

● communicate in a customer contact centre;

● work in a customer contact centre environment;

● respond to inbound customer contact;

● conduct outbound customer contact;

● use basic computer technology;

● use an enterprise information system;

● provide quality customer service; and

● provide leadership in a contact centre.

An employee at this level would also normally perform some of the following indicative tasks:

● lead operations in a contact centre;

● monitor safety in a contact centre;

● implement continuous improvement in a contact centre;

● lead innovation and change in a contact centre;

● administer customer contact telecommunications technology;

● implement customer service strategies in a contact centre;

● implement information systems in a contact centre;

● acquire product or service knowledge;

● gather, collate and record information;

● analyse information;

● lead teams in a contact centre;

● develop teams and individuals in a contact centre; and

● develop and lead on the job training.

Qualifications

An employee who holds a Certificate IV in Telecommunications (Customer Contact) or equivalent would be classified at this level when employed to perform the functions in the role definition and taking into account the indicative tasks.


Principle Customer Contact Leader

Role Definition

A Principal Customer Contact Leader is employed in the application of a significant range of fundamental principles and complex techniques across a wide and often unpredictable variety of functions in either varied or highly specific functions.

Contribution to the development of a broad plan, budget or strategy is involved and accountability and responsibility for self and others in achieving the outcomes is involved.

A Principal Customer Contact Leader would co-ordinate the work of a number of teams within a call centre environment, and would typically have a number of specialists/supervisors reporting to them.

Indicative Tasks

The following tasks are indicative of those performed by an employee at this level:

● manage personal work priorities and professional development;

● provide leadership in the workplace;

● establish effective workplace relationships;

● facilitate work teams;

● manage the operational plan;

● manage workplace information systems;

● manage quality customer service;

● ensure a safe workplace;

● promote continuous improvement;

● facilitate and capitalise on change and innovation; and

● develop a workplace learning environment.

Qualifications

An employee who holds a Diploma—Front Line Management or equivalent would be classified at this level when employed to perform the functions in the role definition and taking into account the indicative tasks.


 

Contract Call Centre Industry Technical Associate

Role Definition

A Contract Call Centre Industry Technical Associate performs work involving the application of a significant range of fundamental principles and complex techniques across a wide and often unpredictable variety of contexts in relation to either varied or highly specific functions.

Contribution to the development of a broad plan, budget or strategy is involved and accountability and responsibility for self and others in achieving the outcomes is involved.

An employee in this role is involved in:

  • design, installation and management of telecommunications computer equipment and systems; and
  • design, installation and management of data communications equipment.

This role includes assessing installation requirements, designing systems, planning and performing installations, testing installed equipment and fault finding. It involves a high degree of autonomy and may include some supervision of others.

Indicative Tasks

The following tasks are indicative of those performed by an employee at this level:

  • undertake qualification testing of new or enhanced equipment and systems;
  • undertake system administration;
  • undertake network traffic management;
  • undertake network performance analysis;
  • create code for applicants; and
  • prepare a detailed design for a communication network.

Qualifications

An employee who holds an Advanced Diploma in Telecommunications Computer Systems or equivalent would be classified at this level when employed to perform the functions in the role definition and taking into account the indicative tasks.


Australian Contact Centre Salaries Benchmarking Data

As I mentioned earlier, the award sets out minimum salaries however many contact centres pay well above the minimum rates to attract and retain top employees.

Each year the team at SMAART Recruitment conduct a comprehensive industry benchmarking report (this year was 100 pages) that outlines key benchmarking data including salaries, Key Performance Indicators, Offshoring, Technology, Mental Health, Absenteeism and lots more.

Average Australian Contact Centre Salaries in 2020

  • Customer Service agent – $53,066 + super with an average bonus of $1,999
  • Outbound sales – $53,758 with an average bonus of $10,528 plus super
  • Blended Sales & Service – $53,450 with an average bonus of $3,156 plus super
  • Customer Service Team Leaders – $74,500 with an average bonus of $4,500 plus super
  • Contact Centre Manager – $132,300 with an average bonus of $10,300 plus super
  • Head of Contact Centres – $178,300 with an average bonus of $21,000 plus super

Where to get more help

I hope this guide has provided you with some insight however there is a reason there are lots of lawyers and Human Resource professionals who specialise in Awards – it’s complicated!

Make sure you subscribe to my newsletter to stay up to date with what’s happening in the industry and if you need some more help, I’ve listed some handy links for you below:

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Justin Tippett
About Justin Tippett 73 Articles

I'm the founder of CX Group Australia and one of the leading authorities on Contact Centres and Customer Experience in Australia. I help businesses to deliver and optimise their customer experience to deliver measurable business outcomes and was named as one of the Top 25 CX Influencers for 2019.


I'm also the person responsible for the memes on the Call Centre Legends page😮