How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Call Center?

What is the cost of hiring a call center? I just can’t give a cut and dry response to this frequently asked question as there is just not a simple answer. Why is that?
Call Center

By A.J. Windle, Director of Client Engagement

What is the cost of hiring a call center? I just can’t give a cut and dry response to this frequently asked question as there is just not a simple answer. Why is that? Because there are so many variables that can impact the cost of hiring a call center.

For instance:

  • Program size
  • Inbound, Outbound, dedicated or shared resources
  • Complexity
  • Anticipated length of a project
  • Technology licensing (if integrating with internal CRM)
  • Other special certification requirements such as HIPAA, PCI Level 1, or licensed insurance agents to name a few.

In addition, most call centers will charge separately for program setup and training. These fees can range anywhere from $2500 to $10,000 (or higher), depending on the complexity of your program.


Call Center Pricing


Hourly outbound call center pricing

Most call centers will charge for outbound programs on a per hour basis. That said, pay for performance and hourly plus pay for performance are additional options that may be offered. Because volume and complexity will vary here is a simple guide of what to expect when determining what is the cost of hiring a call center.

  • High Volume/Low Complexity – $28-$32 per telemarketing hour
  • High Volume/High Complexity – $33-$34 per telemarketing hour
  • Low Volume/Low Complexity – $35-$39 per telemarketing hour
  • Low Volume/High Complexity – $40+ per telemarketing hour

Additionally, you will want to factor in a set-up fee (will vary), training cost (typically at a reduced hourly rate), and any additional costs for special requirements.


Inbound call center pricing

Most companies have two separate pricing models for inbound call center outsourcing campaigns; per minute and hourly.

How much does it cost to hire a call centerIf a client’s incoming calls, emails and chat messages are low volume or inconsistent, their program will most likely be priced on a per minute basis. This is because programs with low volume or inconsistent volume patterns are best placed into an environment that is either shared with another inbound call client or blended with an outbound campaign. When a program has enough inbound volume to warrant dedicated contact call center agents, most companies will price the service on an hourly basis.

  • Shared/Blended model – Pricing ranges from about $0.80 to $1.25 per minute, domestic
  • Dedicated Agent model – Pricing ranges from $25 – $40 plus, depending on complexity and special requirements needed to perform the project such as PCI Level 1, 24/7 or multi-lingual.


Call center vs internal team

Besides avoiding all the headaches associated with managing an internal team, overseeing HR, managing the staff and training, consider the expenses an outsourced partner eliminates for companies. In most cases an outsourced partner saves companies a lot of money when evaluating what goes into the ‘true cost’ of an employee. Examples of these costs are:

  • Hourly rate of internal employees and management overhead
  • Benefits (insurance, holiday, and vacation) savings
  • Technology (licensing, telephony, etc.) savings
  • Rent, utilities and other potential expenses relating to running an internal calling team

Once the decision is made to work with a call center, choosing the right partner to work with is a decision that needs to be made with great precision. To help the decision making process, we’ve created a call center requirements checklist to use as a guide.

The best way to answer “what is the cost of hiring a call center” is to give us a call and have a discussion with our team. With so many factors and variables, it’s best to have a conversation to truly dial in the business objectives and requirements.

Quality Contact Solutions has years of experience with B2B outbound sales, inbound sales & support, lead generation, technical support and so much more. We act as an extension of our clients and pride ourselves on putting the right call team in place for each of our programs.


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A.J. Windle is the Director of Client Engagement of Quality Contact Solutions. A.J. is responsible for ensuring his clients programs are successful, and helping new clients transform their vision into real-world telemarketing application. With a deep call center operations background, A.J. is a hands-on leader and has built his career on creating -win-win relationships for his clients and QCS. A.J can be reached at or 516-656-5106.


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