What Skills Do I Need as a Service Worker?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 17 September 2019
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Service workers provide a service or category of services to clients or customers. Among the most important skills needed for this position are reading and comprehension abilities, and most jobs require good communication skills as well. Listening skills are usually critical for service positions, as is the ability to solve problems quickly and courteously. Additionally, computer, telephone, and cash register skills are often desirable.

An employer will likely expect you to have basic reading and math skills when you work in the service industry. For these jobs, you will typically need the ability to read on a middle- to high-school level. Likewise, basic math calculation ability is usually critical. While you might not need to know how to perform algebraic calculations, the ability to add up monetary amounts and calculate tax and discounts is normally important.

Good communication skills are usually essential for a service worker as well. As part of the job, you will typically have to communicate with customers or clients verbally, and your employer will expect you to speak in a manner that is clear and easy to understand. In some cases, you may have to communicate well in writing. For instance, you might be called on to write a letter to a client or prepare a list of instructions. While you might not need excellent writing skills for all service-related positions, you may have a better chance of excelling if your writing is as easy to understand as your speech.


As a service worker, you will likely need good listening skills, which may help you in a couple of different ways. First, having good listening skills might mean you have a better chance of following your employer's instructions exactly. Without this ability, you could frequently misunderstand instructions and risk getting fired. Additionally, good listening abilities can translate into happier clients and customers. If a client believes you listen closely to his requests and make sincere efforts to meet his needs based on what you've heard, he'll be more likely to feel happy with your service and continue to patronize the business for which you work.

Problem-solving skills can also prove important when you have a job as a service worker. Often, people who work in these types of jobs have to deal with frequent complaints from clients and customers who aren't happy with the service they have received. Knowing how to diffuse tense situations quickly and solve problems in a timely manner will likely help you in this job. Additionally, it is usually critical that you can resolve problems on behalf of a customer or client in a calm, courteous manner.

For many service jobs, the ability to use office equipment or machines specific to a particular industry is often important. You may need computer skills or the ability to operate a phone that has more than one line, for instance. Some jobs will require the use of cash registers as well.



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