A computer operator is responsible for overseeing a network or group of computers, making sure that all systems are running smoothly and efficiently. A computer operator's duties may also revolve around troubleshooting and resolving issues on hardware and software, processing data, designing a particular and secure database, and suggesting system improvements when necessary. Furthermore, there must be an active line of communication and coordination with the other staff or management, as most of the work will revolve around a team setting.

Computer Operator Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real computer operator resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Utilize IBM AIX systems to manage print and file transfers ques.
  • Manage and control administration on DoD local, and wide area networks.
  • Manage certificate revocation list, update expired certificates, ensuring DMS availability.
  • Manage multi-person team providing operational and investigative support to USAF and DoD counterparts.
  • Manage mainframe services, promote to analyst position to undertake analysis of enterprise migration to personal computer technology.
  • Perform operator tasks, troubleshoot IMS, hardware, and system problems.
  • Monitor four LPARS on 3090/600J mainframe and work with IBM AS/400's to ensure smooth operation for customers.
  • Arm security system, monitor HVAC and other system's status in computer room, place service calls as needed.
  • Answer telephone calls to assist computer users encountering problems with password resets, PC problems, AS/400 and mainframe issues.
  • Process mainframe tasks to keep all systems running at all times using TSO scheduler in a lock and secure location.
Computer Operator Traits
Customer-service skills involve listening skills that allow you to communicate efficiently and respectfully with a customer.
Listening is an important part of the communication process as it allows you to understand information.
Speaking skills is important to being able to communicate efficiently with multiple people regarding your thoughts, ideas and feedback.

Computer Operator Job Description

When it comes to understanding what a computer operator does, you may be wondering, "should I become a computer operator?" The data included in this section may help you decide. Compared to other jobs, computer operators have a growth rate described as "faster than average" at 10% between the years 2018 - 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, the number of computer operator opportunities that are predicted to open up by 2028 is 83,100.

On average, the computer operator annual salary is $38,335 per year, which translates to $18.43 an hour. Generally speaking, computer operators earn anywhere from $26,000 to $54,000 a year, which means that the top-earning computer operators make $28,000 more than the ones at the lower end of the spectrum.

It's hard work to become a computer operator, but even the most dedicated employees consider switching careers from time to time. Whether you're interested in a more challenging position or just looking for a fresh start, we've compiled extensive information on becoming a computer processing scheduler, data processing operator, computer technician, and computer programmer.

Computer Operator Jobs You Might Like

Computer Operator Resume Examples

Computer Operator Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 15% of Computer Operators are proficient in CAD, Customer Service, and Computer System. They’re also known for soft skills such as Customer-service skills, Listening skills, and Speaking skills.

We break down the percentage of Computer Operators that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • CAD, 15%

    Lead CAD operator for engineering company focusing on the construction industries including plumbing, electrical and mechanical.

  • Customer Service, 9%

    Maintained Remedy Honeywell customer service ticketing help desk functions taking user calls and resolving application software issues and documenting ticket escalation.

  • Computer System, 7%

    Operated computers, mounted tapes, prepared equipment for operation, operating all computer systems and their respective peripheral equipment.

  • Backup, 7%

    Monitored lottery gaming systems for functionality and user availability; in case of failure designate system backup and escalate as necessary.

  • Mainframe, 6%

    Managed mainframe services, promoted to analyst position to undertake analysis of enterprise migration to personal computer technology.

  • Hardware, 5%

    Controlled and monitored the daily operations of computer hardware and software systems and networks of personal computers ensuring efficient use.

Most computer operators list "cad," "customer service," and "computer system" as skills on their resumes. We go into more details on the most important computer operator responsibilities here:

  • Arguably the most important personality trait for a computer operator to have happens to be customer-service skills. An example from a resume said this about the skill, "computer support specialists must be patient and sympathetic" Additionally, other resumes have pointed out that computer operators can use customer-service skills to "printed customer statements on ibm 3900 high-speed production laser printers. "
  • Another commonly found skill for being able to perform computer operator duties is the following: listening skills. According to a computer operator resume, "support workers must be able to understand the problems that their customers are describing and know when to ask questions to clarify the situation." Check out this example of how computer operators use listening skills: "communicated critical information to support operators for troubleshooting and resolution of system problems. "
  • Computer operators are also known for speaking skills, which can be critical when it comes to performing their duties. An example of why this skill is important is shown by this snippet that we found in a computer operator resume: "support workers must describe the solutions to computer problems in a way that a nontechnical person can understand." We also found this resume example that details how this skill is put to the test: "set up, installed and addressed all challenges related to network issues on pc's, printers and forklift terminals. "
  • A computer operator responsibilities sometimes require "writing skills." The responsibilities that rely on this skills are shown by this resume excerpt: "strong writing skills are useful for preparing instructions and email responses for employees and customers, as well as for real-time web chat interactions." This resume example shows how this skill is used by computer operators: "assisted in writing, compiling, and testing of programs on dec-pdp/11 computer system and performed daily computer tape backups. "
  • Another common skill for a computer operator to be able to utilize is "problem-solving skills." Support workers must identify both simple and complex computer problems, analyze them, and solve them. A computer operator demonstrated the need for this skill by putting this on their resume: "monitored the computer and telecommunications systems, solved system problems, and implemented new procedures. "
  • See the full list of computer operator skills.

    After discovering the most helpful skills, we moved onto what kind of education might be helpful in becoming a computer operator. We found that 38.3% of computer operators have graduated with a bachelor's degree and 3.3% of people in this position have earned their master's degrees. While some computer operators have a college degree, you may find it's also true that generally it's possible to be successful in this career with only a high school degree. In fact, our research shows that one out of every four computer operators were not college graduates.

    Those computer operators who do attend college, typically earn either a computer science degree or a business degree. Less commonly earned degrees for computer operators include a drafting and design degree or a computer information systems degree.

    Once you're ready to become a computer operator, you should explore the companies that typically hire computer operators. According to computer operator resumes that we searched through, computer operators are hired the most by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Fiserv, and Food City. Currently, PricewaterhouseCoopers has 62 computer operator job openings, while there are 5 at Fiserv and 4 at Food City.

    If you're interested in companies where computer operators make the most money, you'll want to apply for positions at NANA Development, McLane Company, and Menards. We found that at NANA Development, the average computer operator salary is $51,752. Whereas at McLane Company, computer operators earn roughly $44,615. And at Menards, they make an average salary of $44,440.

    View more details on computer operator salaries across the United States.

    We also looked into companies who hire computer operators from the top 100 educational institutions in the U.S. The top three companies that hire the most from these institutions include IBM, United States Army, and EDS Electronic Financial Services.

    For the most part, computer operators make their living in the technology and finance industries. Computer operators tend to make the most in the government industry with an average salary of $38,811. The computer operator annual salary in the finance and health care industries generally make $38,684 and $38,270 respectively. Additionally, computer operators who work in the government industry make 6.0% more than computer operators in the technology Industry.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious computer operators are:

      What Computer Processing Schedulers Do

      In this section, we take a look at the annual salaries of other professions. Take computer processing scheduler for example. On average, the computer processing schedulers annual salary is $3,716 lower than what computer operators make on average every year.

      While the salaries between these two careers can be different, they do share some of the same responsibilities. Employees in both computer operators and computer processing schedulers positions are skilled in customer service, computer system, and batch jobs.

      As far as similarities go, this is where it ends because a computer operator responsibility requires skills such as "cad," "backup," "mainframe," and "hardware." Whereas a computer processing scheduler is skilled in "production schedules," "scheduling appointments," "outbound calls," and "peoplesoft." So if you're looking for what truly separates the two careers, you've found it.

      The education levels that computer processing schedulers earn is a bit different than that of computer operators. In particular, computer processing schedulers are 6.6% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree than a computer operator. Additionally, they're 0.2% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of a Data Processing Operator?

      The next role we're going to look at is the data processing operator profession. Typically, this position earns a lower pay. In fact, they earn a $7,114 lower salary than computer operators per year.

      Not everything about these jobs is different. Take their skills, for example. Computer operators and data processing operators both include similar skills like "computer system," "mainframe," and "peripheral equipment" on their resumes.

      But both careers also use different skills, according to real computer operator resumes. While computer operator responsibilities can utilize skills like "cad," "customer service," "backup," and "hardware," some data processing operators use skills like "data processing," "data base," "data entry," and "customer transactions."

      When it comes to the differences in education between the two professions, data processing operators tend to reach similar levels of education than computer operators. In fact, they're 1.1% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.2% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      How a Computer Technician Compares

      Computer technicians are skilled information technology professionals who handle concerns related to computers. They are responsible for assisting clients in software installations, troubleshooting needs, and repair needs. Computer technicians handle the maintenance and repair of both software and hardware of computers. They should be able to quickly pinpoint the causes of computer problems that the client encounters. They should also be able to answer the clients' computer-related inquiries and provide advice on proper computer handling. Computer technicians should have good analytical skills and decision-making skills.

      Let's now take a look at the computer technician profession. On average, these workers make lower salaries than computer operators with a $2,073 difference per year.

      While looking through the resumes of several computer operators and computer technicians we discovered that both professions have similar skills. These similarities include skills such as "customer service," "computer system," and "backup," but they differ when it comes to other required skills.

      There are many key differences between these two careers as shown by resumes from each profession. Some of those differences include the skills required to complete responsibilities within each role. As an example of this, a computer operator is likely to be skilled in "cad," "mainframe," "batch jobs," and "computer operations," while a typical computer technician is skilled in "personal computers," "technical support," "laptops," and "mac."

      Interestingly enough, computer technicians earn the most pay in the technology industry, where they command an average salary of $41,433. As mentioned previously, computer operators highest annual salary comes from the government industry with an average salary of $38,811.

      Computer technicians typically study at similar levels compared with computer operators. For example, they're 0.0% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 0.1% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of a Computer Programmer

      A Computer Programmer is a specialist in writing computer programs as well as mobile applications. In addition to writing and testing code written, they are responsible for installing updates for software, debugging or improving functionality, troubleshooting parts of the program that is not functioning, and rewriting code for computer programs to be compatible in different operating systems. They also work to prevent data leaks and breaches in security by identifying malicious software and building firewalls.

      Now, we'll look at computer programmers, who generally average a higher pay when compared to computer operators annual salary. In fact, the difference is about $28,822 per year.

      While their salaries may vary, computer operators and computer programmers both use similar skills to perform their jobs. Resumes from both professions include skills like "cad," "computer system," and "mainframe. "

      Even though a few skill sets overlap, there are some differences that are important to note. For one, a computer operator might have more use for skills like "customer service," "backup," "peripheral equipment," and "printers." Meanwhile, some computer programmers might include skills like "c #," "javascript," "java," and "css" on their resume.

      Computer programmers earn a higher salary in the technology industry with an average of $77,587. Whereas, computer operators earn the highest salary in the government industry.

      The average resume of computer programmers showed that they earn higher levels of education to computer operators. So much so that the likelihood of them earning a Master's Degree is 14.3% more. Additionally, they're more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree by 1.6%.