What Does it Take to Be a Computer Operator?
Career 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: What Do They Do?
- Clear equipment at end of operating run and review schedule to determine next assignment.
- Record information such as computer operating time, problems that occurred, and actions taken.
- Answer telephone calls to assist computer users encountering problems.
- Operate spreadsheet programs and other types of software to load and manipulate data and to produce reports.
- Oversee the operation of computer hardware systems, including coordinating and scheduling the use of computer terminals and networks to ensure efficient use.
- Retrieve, separate, and sort program output as needed, and send data to specified users.
Skills Needed to be a Computer Operator
When polled, Computer Operators say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:
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.
Related Job Titles
- Equipment Operator
- Computer Specialist
- Desktop Engineer
- Debug Technician
- Data Processing Clerk
Job Opportunities for Computer Operators
In 2016, there was an estimated number of 51,500 jobs in the United States for Computer Operator. There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Computer Operator. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 3,400 job openings in this field each year.
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.
Computer Operator Average Salary
Computer Operators make between $27,490 and $65,130 a year.
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|
|District of Columbia||$60,100|
Tools & Technologies Used by Computer Operators
Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Computer Operators:
- Microsoft Excel
- Microsoft Word
- Microsoft Office
- Microsoft PowerPoint
- Microsoft Outlook
- Web browser software
- Microsoft Access
- Email software
- Microsoft Windows
- Microsoft SharePoint
- Microsoft Visio
- Structured query language SQL
- IBM Notes
- Practical extraction and reporting language Perl
- Microsoft Exchange Server
- IBM Power Systems software
How to Become a Computer Operator
Learn what Computer Operator education requirements there are.
What work experience do I need to become a Computer Operator?
Where Computer Operators Work
Computer Operators work in the following industries:
Career changers with experience as a Computer Operator sometimes find work in one of the following fields:
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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