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Working as a Computer Operator

Betty Snyder Holberton, Jean Jennings Bartik, Marlyn Wescoff Meltzer, Francis Bilas Spence, Ruth Lichterman Teitelbaum, Kathlyn McNulty Mauchly Antonelli...

Did you know that the first-ever electronic computers built were operated and programmed by these 6 brilliant women? Back in the 1940s, they were helping to calculate ballistic trajectories for men who went to war. The calculations, done manually, were aimed at helping soldiers find correct firing angles, based on the distance of their targets and other factors such as weather conditions.

Consequently, two engineers named John Mauchly and J.Presper Eckhart designed the ENIAC, an abbreviation for Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer. A digital computer with which these six women performed faster calculations. It was a challenging task intellectually and physically as programming meant configuring wires across a 50-by-30 foot room.

These days, with the advent of internet search engines, computer operators are playing just as important a role. Monitoring mainframe systems and computer networks have become essential, as they store and manage the data that runs our daily internet activities. Working hours for computer operators are generally 9 to 5, spending most of their time in the office, and can sometimes involve an overnight shift when working in data centers. This role earns an average of $19 per hour, requiring a high school diploma and some technical experience dealing with computer systems.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a computer operator. For example, did you know that they make an average of $18.89 an hour? That's $39,294 a year!

What Does a Computer Operator Do

There are certain skills that many computer operators have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed customer-service skills, listening skills and speaking skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a computer operator, we found that a lot of resumes listed 15.1% of computer operators included cad, while 8.5% of resumes included customer service, and 7.3% of resumes included computer system. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the computer operator job title. But what industry to start with? Most computer operators actually find jobs in the technology and finance industries.

How To Become a Computer Operator

If you're interested in becoming a computer operator, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 33.2% of computer operators have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 4.5% of computer operators have master's degrees. Even though some computer operators have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a computer operator. When we researched the most common majors for a computer operator, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on computer operator resumes include high school diploma degrees or diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a computer operator. In fact, many computer operator jobs require experience in a role such as senior computer operator. Meanwhile, many computer operators also have previous career experience in roles such as lead computer operator or customer service representative.

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Average Salary$39,294
Job Growth Rate10%

Computer Operator Career Paths

Top Careers Before Computer Operator

Top Careers After Computer Operator

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Average Salary for a Computer Operator

Computer Operators in America make an average salary of $39,294 per year or $19 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $53,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $28,000 per year.
Average Salary
$39,294

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary
Burlington, MA
Salary Range41k - 65k$52k$52,065
Washington, DC
Salary Range40k - 63k$51k$51,045
Kirkland, WA
Salary Range36k - 54k$45k$44,690
New York, NY
Salary Range35k - 55k$44k$44,421
McLean, VA
Salary Range35k - 54k$44k$43,838
Milwaukee, WI
Salary Range34k - 53k$43k$43,079
$28k
$65k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Computer Operator
Computer Operator
International Gaming Technology Inc.
International Gaming Technology Inc.
01/28/2021
01/28/2021
$33,50001/28/2021
$33,500
Computer/Peripheral Operator 4
Computer/Peripheral Operator 4
Peraton
Peraton
01/25/2021
01/25/2021
$47,22901/25/2021
$47,229
Computer/Peripheral Operator
Computer/Peripheral Operator
Peraton Corporation
Peraton Corporation
01/21/2021
01/21/2021
$47,22901/21/2021
$47,229
CAD Operator
CAD Operator
Tuff Shed, Inc.
Tuff Shed, Inc.
01/06/2021
01/06/2021
$43,82701/06/2021
$43,827
Computer Operator I
Computer Operator I
Cobb County Police Department
Cobb County Police Department
12/19/2020
12/19/2020
$35,33312/19/2020
$35,333
See More Recent Salaries

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Computer Operator Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Computer Operator. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Computer Operator Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Computer Operator resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

Computer Operator Demographics

Gender

male

62.6 %

female

33.7 %

unknown

3.7 %

Ethnicity

White

69.1 %

Asian

11.7 %

Hispanic or Latino

8.1 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

50.5 %

French

6.9 %

Russian

4.3 %
See More Demographics

Computer Operator Education

Majors

Business
17.5 %

Degrees

Bachelors

33.2 %

Associate

30.3 %

High School Diploma

14.5 %

Top Colleges for Computer Operators

1. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

2. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,584
Enrollment
10,764

3. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

4. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

5. California State University - Bakersfield

Bakersfield, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$7,309
Enrollment
9,142

6. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Public

In-State Tuition
$9,808
Enrollment
13,990

7. San Diego State University

San Diego, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$7,488
Enrollment
30,018

8. Boston University

Boston, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,948
Enrollment
17,238

9. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

10. Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Worcester, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,530
Enrollment
4,571
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Computer Operator

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 15.1% of computer operators listed cad on their resume, but soft skills such as customer-service skills and listening skills are important as well.

Best States For a Computer Operator

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a computer operator. The best states for people in this position are Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Nevada. Computer operators make the most in Rhode Island with an average salary of $52,377. Whereas in Connecticut and Massachusetts, they would average $52,200 and $52,141, respectively. While computer operators would only make an average of $51,847 in Nevada, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Rhode Island

Total Computer Operator Jobs:
19
Highest 10% Earn:
$80,000
Location Quotient:
1.28
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Nevada

Total Computer Operator Jobs:
35
Highest 10% Earn:
$76,000
Location Quotient:
1.17
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. New Hampshire

Total Computer Operator Jobs:
26
Highest 10% Earn:
$79,000
Location Quotient:
1
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Computer Operator Employers

1. IBM
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$35,606
Computer Operators Hired: 
328+
2. Electronic Data Systems
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$40,525
Computer Operators Hired: 
272+
3. United States Army
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$36,157
Computer Operators Hired: 
219+
4. Lockheed Martin
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$39,570
Computer Operators Hired: 
130+
5. Unisys
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$38,074
Computer Operators Hired: 
101+
6. GTECH
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$38,742
Computer Operators Hired: 
99+

Computer Operator Videos

Updated October 2, 2020