All About Computer Operators
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.
Computer Operator Responsibilities
- Load peripheral equipment with selected materials for operating runs, or oversee loading of peripheral equipment by peripheral equipment operators.
- Clear equipment at end of operating run and review schedule to determine next assignment.
- Read job set-up instructions to determine equipment to be used, order of use, material such as disks and paper to be loaded, and control settings.
- Operate spreadsheet programs and other types of software to load and manipulate data and to produce reports.
- Type command on keyboard to transfer encoded data from memory unit to magnetic tape and assist in labeling, classifying, cataloging and maintaining tapes.
- Monitor the system for equipment failure or errors in performance.
What Every Computer Operator Should Know
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 for this Occupation:
- Digital Computer Operator
- Sorting Machine Operator
- Desktop Engineer
- Encoding Machine Operator
- Data Processing Clerk
Computer Operator Employment Estimates
In the United States, there were 51,500 jobs for Computer Operator in 2016. There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Computer Operator. There will be an estimated 3,400 positions for Computer Operator per 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.
Do Computer Operators Make A Lot Of Money?
The average yearly salary of a Computer Operator ranges between $27,490 and $65,130.
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|
What Tools & Technology do Computer Operators Use?
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 do I Become a Computer Operator?
What kind of Computer Operator requirements are there?
What work experience do I need to become a Computer Operator?
Who Employs Computer Operators?
The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.
You May Also Be Interested In…
Those who work as a Computer Operator sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:
More about our data sources and methodologies.
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