Find Schools

Study Area & Zipcode

Computer Operator

Find Schools Near

What is a Computer Operator?

Computer Operator Job Description Monitor and control electronic computer and peripheral electronic data processing equipment to process business, scientific, engineering, and other data according to operating instructions. Monitor and respond to operating and error messages. May enter commands at a computer terminal and set controls on computer and peripheral devices.

Life As a Computer Operator

  • Oversee the operation of computer hardware systems, including coordinating and scheduling the use of computer terminals and networks to ensure efficient use.
  • Respond to program error messages by finding and correcting problems or terminating the program.
  • Notify supervisor or computer maintenance technicians of equipment malfunctions.
  • Type command on keyboard to transfer encoded data from memory unit to magnetic tape and assist in labeling, classifying, cataloging and maintaining tapes.
  • Enter commands, using computer terminal, and activate controls on computer and peripheral equipment to integrate and operate equipment.
  • Record information such as computer operating time, problems that occurred, and actions taken.

What a Computer Operator Should Know

Below is a list of the skills most Computer Operators say are important on the job.

Operation Monitoring: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

  • Equipment Operator
  • High Speed Printer Operator
  • Data Center Operator
  • Peripheral Equipment Operator
  • Debug Technician

Computer Operator Employment Estimates

There were about 51,500 jobs for Computer Operator in 2016 (in the United States). There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Computer Operator. The BLS estimates 3,400 yearly job openings in this field.

undefined

The states with the most job growth for Computer Operator are Washington, Maryland, and Alaska. Watch out if you plan on working in Illinois, Ohio, or West Virginia. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Average Computer Operators Salary

The salary for Computer Operators ranges between about $27,490 and $65,130 a year.

undefined

Computer Operators who work in District of Columbia, Alaska, or Washington, make the highest salaries.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Computer Operators in different U.S. states.

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $40,660
Alaska $57,770
Arizona $49,810
Arkansas $35,300
California $52,480
Colorado $48,470
Connecticut $50,970
Delaware $45,450
District of Columbia $60,100
Florida $46,370
Georgia $43,710
Hawaii $47,400
Idaho $45,040
Illinois $48,260
Indiana $42,000
Iowa $43,380
Kansas $49,130
Kentucky $45,890
Louisiana $38,490
Maine $48,260
Maryland $47,250
Massachusetts $52,030
Michigan $44,990
Minnesota $51,970
Mississippi $39,410
Missouri $41,320
Montana $36,780
Nebraska $45,380
Nevada $47,900
New Hampshire $52,000
New Jersey $45,130
New Mexico $44,920
New York $48,280
North Carolina $44,530
North Dakota $48,050
Ohio $42,280
Oklahoma $39,670
Oregon $48,060
Pennsylvania $45,150
Rhode Island $50,680
South Carolina $42,620
Tennessee $43,700
Texas $47,480
Utah $44,020
Vermont $43,580
Virginia $49,830
Washington $52,470
West Virginia $34,270
Wisconsin $48,350
Wyoming $41,010

What Tools & Technology do Computer Operators Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Computer Operators may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Web browser software
  • Python
  • Microsoft Access
  • Email software
  • SAP
  • Microsoft Windows
  • Microsoft SharePoint
  • Microsoft Visio
  • Structured query language SQL
  • Linux
  • IBM Notes
  • UNIX
  • Practical extraction and reporting language Perl
  • Microsoft Exchange Server
  • IBM Power Systems software

How do I Become a Computer Operator?

What education is needed to be a Computer Operator?

undefined

How many years of work experience do I need?

undefined

Who Employs Computer Operators?

undefined

Computer Operators work in the following industries:

undefined

Other Jobs You May be Interested In

Are you already one of the many Computer Operator in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:

References:

Image Credit: Kenneth Jensen via Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported

More about our data sources and methodologies.

Featured Schools

Find Schools Near You

Our free school finder matches students with accredited colleges across the U.S.