At-Home Call Center Representative

If you are interested in becoming an at-home call center representative, it is important to first learn more about the education, skill and home office requirements for the job.

Generally, the work performed as a remote agent will be similar to the work you would perform at a physical call center. For instance, you may be expected to handle customer service, technical support, billing and sales tasks, depending on your role and your employer. It is also worth knowing that not all at-home call center representatives are considered employees, as many are considered self-employed.

Most at-home call center representatives will only be required to obtain a high school diploma or GED. However, a certain amount of experience is strongly preferred in this competitive field. As a general rule, you will be far more likely to get your foot into this industry by honing your customer service skills, possessing basic computer knowledge and having a strong discipline that can help you succeed as a remote worker. These skills are essential for you to be considered for more at-home call center representative opportunities. To learn more about at-home call center representative careers, review the sections below.

What is an at-home call center representative?

The general duties of a call center agent include customer service, sales, retention, billing and technical support. In general, calls are inbound, as customers are calling a call center representative to resolve an issue or acquire a product or service. However, calls may also be outbound, in which a call center rep cold calls customers for sales or perform customer support follow-ups. While you may be familiar with what it means to be a customer service representative at a physical call center, it is important to know what the differences are when you work as a remote one.

Overall, an at-home call center representative performs many of the same tasks as the reps in a physical call center. However, calls are received from the comfort of their own home. This in itself can provide agents with an immense benefit, as working from home offers a greater flexibility, a casual dress code and the ability to save time and money on commuting. On the other hand, this form of work is not for everyone, as it takes a great deal of discipline to perform work while unsupervised. Furthermore, there are various titles that categorize how at-home call center representatives are referred to, such as remote customer service and virtual call center representative.

What benefits do businesses gain by hiring remote representatives?

There are a number of businesses that hire remote call center representatives, as there are a lot of benefits for employers to do so. At-home call center representatives generally offer far lower investments and operation costs, as a business does not have to rent a physical location nor pay for equipment such as computers, headsets and other computer accessories. There are also fewer requirements pertaining to IT and management. Moreover, training is provided virtually, which is generally less expensive than training done in person. There are a number of large businesses that have already begun to offer careers to at-home call center representatives, including, but not limited to:

  • Xbox
  • Amazon
  • Verizon
  • Enterprise
  • U-Haul

Employee or self-employed?

At-home call center representatives may be classified as either employees or contractors, depending on the employer. If you are considered an employee, you may have a slightly less flexible schedule, but you will gain benefits such as health insurance, 401(k) and other forms of bonuses.

On the other hand, if you are considered a contractor, you will be considered self-employed. Self-employed professionals typically have more flexibility when it comes to the hours and days that they would like to work. However, they lack benefits like access to company-sponsored health insurance. In addition, it is worth knowing that self-employment taxes are handled differently and are generally higher. Conversely, you may be able to deduct a variety of items from your taxes when working from home, such as a portion of your living expenses, work equipment and supplies. As a general rule, potential employers must inform you up front whether a position is for employment or on a contract basis.

Education and Experience Needed to Become an At-Home Call Center Representative

Most at-home call center representative jobs will not require you to have a formal higher education or degree. Most positions will simply require that you possess a high school diploma or equivalent, such as a GED. Additionally, the experience required for each position will vary greatly on the company and the responsibilities of that particular role. For example, some employers will require you to have remote customer service experience. Conversely, other hiring managers may only look at the amount of experience you have in customer service as a whole. Furthermore, there are entry-level positions that may not require much customer experience at all, providing a great opportunity for you to get your foot in the door.

Additionally, it is important to be experienced with computers. It is great to have experience with Windows and Microsoft Office programs, as well as basic web navigation skills.

Skills Needed for a Remote Call Center Representative Position

Certain skill sets can help you succeed in a remote call center representative position. These skills include:

  • The ability to type quickly and accurately. In general, customer service reps must type 30 to 40 words per minute.
  • The fluency to write and speak English.
  • Basic understanding of Microsoft Office software.
  • The ability to work independently, without supervision.
  • Great verbal and listening skills.

Additionally, it is worth knowing that individuals who are fluent in more than one language may have a greater number of at-home call center representative opportunities available to them.

Home Office Requirements

Each employer may present different home office requirements for each employment opportunity. However, there are certain pieces of equipment that are required by most companies when it comes to at-home call center representatives. Furthermore, most employers will not cover the expenses of the equipment you must acquire. For that reason, these items must already be set up within your home before accepting employment. These basic equipment requirements include:

  • An updated computer that meets an employer’s requirements.
  • A USB headset that contains a microphone.
  • High-speed internet access. In general, satellite broadband is not allowed.
  • A landline phone.

Overall, potential employers will require you to have a quiet place within your home for you to work in. That is because your calls must not involve a lot of background noise. Moreover, be mindful that companies may check for this kind of noise on a regular basis.

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