Australian Call Centre Award Rates for 2022

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Australian Call Centre Salaries for 2024

A 3.75% increase to the minimum wage was announced on the 3rd of June 2024 that will come into effect on 1 July, 2024.

The minimum for Australian Call Centre Salaries in 2024 is determined by the Contract Call Centre Award set by the Fairwork Commission, Australia’s national workplace tribunal.

The Fair Work Commission has a range of powers and functions and for the purposes of this article, they are responsible for setting out the minimum rates, hours, conditions etc, that must be paid to employees who work in a call centre role.

Most recently, on 1 July 2023, the minimum wage in Australia was increased by 5.75%.

As Australian contact centre salaries were already considered high as compared to a global scale, there was a high appetite to send call centre jobs offshore to take advantage of lower salaries and saving companies millions of dollars in operating expenses.

However… When COVID decimated many popular offshore call centre locations, in particular the Philippines, Australian companies got a little spooked and brought the majority (if not all) of their call centre jobs back to Australia.

This increased demand for talent and combined with record low unemployment levels, there is a distinct lack of available employees reported by most call centre managers and recruitment is often cited as the biggest challenge for most Australian contact centre managers.

But even prior to COVID, recruitment in the contact centre industry has always been a challenge!

As of 2024, 32% is the average rate of attrition meaning if a contact centre employed 100 staff at the start of the year, 32 would have left by the end of the year so there is also pressure on trying to retain staff (i.e. retention) and recruitment.

As a result, most contact centres in Australia are paying well above the minimum award rate to attract and retain good employees.

You’ll find the latest local (Australian) salary benchmarking data for 2024 at the bottom of this document that is based on real-world data thanks to Smaart Recruitment which specialise in contact centre recruitment in Australia.

This article contains information about the Australian Call Centre Award Rates for 2024 including hourly and weekly rates, penalty rates, overtime, superannuation and how the different roles are classified.

Minimum Australian Call Centre Salaries

The minimum Australian Call Centre Salaries are determined by the Contract Call Centres Award which outlines a range of different classifications that we have listed below.

These rates are current as of 01 August 2023.

It’s worth noting that the minimum award rates are typically reviewed each year and a pay rise of between 1% and 3% is considered normal.

Classification

 Minimum Weekly Rate

(for a full-time employee)

Australian call centre salaries per hour
Customer Contact Trainee $914.90 $24.08
Customer Contact Officer Level 1 $945.00 $24.87
Customer Contact Officer Level 2 $995.00 $24.76
Principal Customer Contact Specialist $1,058.30 $27.85
Customer Contact Team Leader $1,085.60 $28.57
Principal Customer Contact Leader $1,164.10 $30.63
Contract Call Centre Industry Technical Associate $1,258.00 $33.11

Penalty Rates

In addition to a base salary, Australian Call 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 Fair Work for more information.

Leave Loading

In addition to the penalty rates mentioned above, some employees are also entitled to Leave Loading.

Leave Loading is an added bonus that is paid on top of your annual leave pay, typically 17.5%.

Learn more about Leave Loading >

Standard Hours of Work

The Australian Call Centre Award Rates for 2024 apply to full time, part-time and casual employees with the definitions explained below.

Full-Time employees:

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

Part-time employees:

  • are 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 of 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.
  • Casual Employees are NOT entitled to annual leave.

Working 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 to 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 in Australia is 11.0% with this to increase to 12% in 2025.

  • 1 July 2024  – increases to 11.5%
  • 1 July 2025 – increases to 12.0%

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

As the Australian Contact Centre industry does not have any formalised accreditation standards, the Contract Call Centres 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 Fair Work Australia Contract Call Centres Award page >

It’s worth noting that many of these classifications are ‘loose’ at best and the qualifications referenced e.g. Advanced Diploma in Telecommunications Computer Systems are hardly going to put anyone in good stead for a career in contact centres.

As good contact centre practices are consistent across the world, there are a number of terrific training courses to help call centre agents on the frontline through to Team Leader, Contact Centre Manager and Specialist courses.

You can see all the available ACXPA endorsed training courses on the ACXPA Events Calendar.

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.

Average Australian Contact Centre Salaries for 2024 

Whilst the Contract Call Centre Award sets out the minimum salaries, as I mentioned earlier 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 that as well as providing salary benchmarking data for call centres, it also includes Key Performance Indicators, Offshoring, Technology, Mental Health, Absenteeism and lots more.

Access the full summary of the 2023 Australian Contact Centre Industry Best Practice Report >

Average Frontline Call Centre Agent Salaries for 2024

National AVE SA QLD VIC NSW WA
$59,100 $55,000 $55,600 $57,600 $62,800 $64,500

Australian Call Centre Salaries for 2024 – National Averages

Frontline Employees

  • Blended Sales & Service – $58,300 + Superannuation
  • Inbound Sales – $61,300 + Superannuation
  • Outbound Sales – $62,200 + Superannuation
  • Collections – $62,500 + Superannuation
  • Helpdesk Level 1 – $55,200  + Superannuation

Team Leaders

  • Customer Service Team Leaders – $83,200 + Superannuation + average bonus of $8,500
  • Inbound Sales Team Leaders – $80,100 + Superannuation + average bonus of $11,400
  • Outbound Sales Team Leaders – $84,700 + Superannuation + average bonus of $13,000
  • Helpdesk/Technical Team Leader – $80,900 + Superannuation + average bonus of $6,400

Learn more about the Call Centre Team Leader role including KPIs, common duties and more >

Specialist Roles

  • Knowledge Management Specialist – $85,300 + Superannuation
  • Contact Centre Trainer – $61,600 + Superannuation
  • Training Manager – $82,500 + Superannuation
  • Workforce Manager – $132,000 + Superannuation
  • Forecaster – $64,200 + Superannuation
  • Scheduler – $86,000 + Superannuation

Senior Roles

The National Average for Senior Roles in 2024 include:

  • Operations Manager ($127,000 + super + $16,500 bonus)
  • Senior Operations Manager ($182,100 + super + $41,100 bonus)
  • Contact Centre Manager ($131,100 + super + $7,200 bonus)
  • Senior Contact Centre Manager ($156,000 + super + $12,200 bonus)
  • Head of Contact Centres ($190,200 + super + $27,800 bonus)
  • Head of Customer Service/CX ($204,600 + super + $19,400 bonus)

To see the average salaries for all roles, view our summary or sign up for the Smaart Recruitment digital copy of the benchmarking report.

Summary

There is no doubt that the global impact of COVID positively impacted the local contact centre industry, with thousands of new jobs ‘available’.

I’m not going to say new jobs ‘created’ as most of those jobs existed previously before they were relocated offshore to deliver increased profits on the back of some significant labour savings offered by offshore call centres (typically around 40% – 75% cheaper than running a contact centre in Australia).

The real test of the commitment to local Australian contact centre jobs will be what happens as businesses come under increasing cost pressures with rising inflation, combined with the continued labour shortages, and whether this will again force companies to explore cheaper and more plentiful call centre jobs offshore.

Time will tell.

There’s a reason Human Resource professionals, Lawyers and Advisors specialise in Employment Awards – they’re complicated! We always encourage you to get specialist support if you aren’t sure what the right option is for your business.  Don’t forget though, ACXPA Members can also use our Support Forums and Private Groups to ask other members what they’ve experienced, get some tips, share information etc.

The Fair Work Commission can also be a great support – search here for their contact details >

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