Customer Service Representative Salary: How Much They Make?
Don’t feel like reading? Listen here!
A customer service representative job may be right for you if you enjoy communicating with others and helping customers with their orders or with any questions they may have regarding a product or service. However, before searching for job offers, it’s good to get a general idea of how much a customer service representative makes.
There is an industry-standard salary range, but of course, there are several factors that can influence how much a customer service representative makes:
- Level of experience
- Level of technical expertise required
- Size and location of the hiring company
- Performance bonuses
- Additional skills offered (e.g., foreign languages)
While the hourly wage for a customer service representative can vary anywhere from $11 to $22, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median hourly wage for a customer service representative (as of 2020) is between $17 and $18. And the median yearly salary is around $36,000. Other aggregate sources have these numbers a little bit lower (between $13 and $15 an hour for a customer service representative with no prior experience).
Regardless of the sources we consult, we see that the wage or salary of a customer service representative has remained relatively steady over the last eight years.
While how much a customer service representative makes is generally commensurate with the cost of living in the company’s location, many customer service representative jobs can be carried out remotely. This makes customer service representative jobs particularly attractive to job seekers who live in an area with a low cost of living.
To get a better idea of what a customer service representative makes, let’s take a look at a few variables.
While many customer service representative jobs do not require prior experience in the field, typically, candidates with experience will be offered a higher wage. If we start with the median rate of $17 an hour, we can expect the following increases based on experience.
- 1 – 4 years experience – a 10% increase (or around $18.50)
- 5 – 9 years experience – a 15% increase (or around $19.50)
While many customer service representative jobs provide in-house training, a candidate with specific complementary skills will be offered a higher salary. We speak in terms of salary here and not a wage, as a skilled customer service representative is generally reserved for long-term, full-time salary positions. These skill sets lead to the following expected increases in salary:
- SAP Production Planning – 30% to 34% increase
- SAP Enterprise Resource Management – 33% to 36% increase
- Case Management – 35% to 38% increase
- Foreign Language – 30% to 40% increase
Not all companies that hire customer service representatives offer performance bonuses, but many do and warrant its inclusion in our list of variables. The typical motives for handing out bonuses include:
- Overtime and holiday pay
- Percentage of tickets or orders handled
- Meeting or exceeding customer interaction targets
- Referrals (for recommending friends for other positions within the company)
The amount of money in bonuses and commissions a customer service representative can expect to make depends on the company and the employee’s performance. However, by examining the cumulative data, we see that a customer service representative can expect to accrue between $7,000 and $9,000 a year on average.
A customer service representative job can be an excellent option—and financially rewarding, especially for someone located in an area with a low cost of living and who wants to work remotely. Many companies offer additional training that will arm the customer service representative with skills to utilize in both current and future jobs. Furthermore, this training more often than not leads to a salary increase.
Incentivizing customer service representatives with performance bonuses and commissions is a common practice in the industry. This makes the job of customer service representative— like many other service-related jobs—one in which you truly get out of it what you put in.