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Become A Computer Systems Operator

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Working As A Computer Systems Operator

  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
  • Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Getting Information
  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • Unpleasant/Hazardous Environment

  • Repetitive

  • $116,942

    Average Salary

What Does A Computer Systems Operator Do

Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators manage a system of machines, often through the use of control boards, to transfer or treat water or wastewater.

Duties

Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators typically do the following:

  • Add chemicals, such as ammonia or chlorine, to disinfect water or other liquids
  • Inspect equipment on a regular basis
  • Monitor operating conditions, meters, and gauges
  • Collect and test water and sewage samples
  • Record meter and gauge readings and operational data
  • Operate equipment to purify and clarify water or to process or dispose of sewage
  • Clean and maintain equipment, tanks, filter beds, and other work areas
  • Follow U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations
  • Ensure safety standards are met

It takes a lot of work to get water from natural sources—reservoirs, streams, and groundwater—into people’s taps. Similarly, it is a complicated process to convert the wastewater from drains and sewers into a form that is safe to release into the environment.

The specific duties of plant operators depend on the type and size of the plant. In a small plant, one operator may be responsible for maintaining all of the systems. In large plants, multiple operators work the same shifts and are more specialized in their duties, often relying on computerized systems to help them monitor plant processes.

Water treatment plant and system operators work in water treatment plants. Fresh water is pumped from wells, rivers, streams, or reservoirs to water treatment plants, where it is treated and distributed to customers. Water treatment plant and system operators run the equipment, control the processes, and monitor the plants that treat water to make it safe to drink.

Wastewater treatment plant and system operators do similar work to remove pollutants from domestic and industrial waste. Used water, also known as wastewater, travels through sewer pipes to treatment plants where it is treated and either returned to streams, rivers, and oceans, or used for irrigation.

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How To Become A Computer Systems Operator

Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators typically need a high school diploma and a license to work. They also typically undergo on-the-job training.

Education

Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators need a high school diploma or equivalent to become operators. Employers may prefer applicants who have completed a certificate or an associate’s degree program in a related field such as environmental science or wastewater treatment technology, as it reduces the amount of training a worker will need. These programs are generally offered at community colleges, technical schools, and trade associations.

Training

Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators need long-term on-the-job training to become fully qualified. Trainees usually start as attendants or operators-in-training and learn their skills on the job under the direction of an experienced operator. The trainees learn by observing and doing routine tasks, such as recording meter readings, taking samples of wastewater and sludge, and performing simple maintenance and repair work on plant equipment.

Larger treatment plants usually combine this on-the-job training with formal classroom or self-paced study programs. As plants get larger and more complicated, operators need more skills before they are allowed to work without supervision.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators must be licensed by the state in which they work. Requirements and standards vary widely depending on the state.

State licenses typically have multiple levels, which indicate the operator's experience and training. Although some states will honor licenses from other states, operators who move from one state to another may need to take a new set of exams to become licensed in their new state.

Advancement

Most states have multiple levels of licenses for water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators. Each increase in license level allows the operator to control a larger plant and more complicated processes without supervision.

At the largest plants, operators who have the highest license level work as shift supervisors and may be in charge of large teams of operators.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators must conduct tests and inspections on water or wastewater and evaluate the results.

Detail oriented. Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators must monitor machinery, gauges, dials, and controls to ensure everything is operating properly. Because tap water and wastewater are highly regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, operators must be careful and thorough in completing these tasks.

Math skills. Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators must have the ability to apply data to formulas that determine treatment requirements, flow levels, and concentration levels.

Mechanical skills. Water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators must know how to work with machines and use tools. They must be familiar with how to operate, repair, and maintain equipment.

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Do you work as a Computer Systems Operator?

Computer Systems Operator Jobs

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Computer Systems Operator Career Paths

Computer Systems Operator
Computer Technician Office Manager
Administrative Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Information Technology Manager Information Technology Director
Chief Information Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Network Administrator Engineer Operations Manager
Chief Operating Officer
12 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Systems Engineer Senior Software Engineer
Chief Technology Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Information Systems Technician Network Technician Network Manager
Director, Network Operations
10 Yearsyrs
Information Systems Technician Network Administrator Information Technology Director
Director, Technical Operations
10 Yearsyrs
Information Technology Manager Owner Construction Superintendent
Field Operation Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Computer Technician Network Technician Network Administrator
Information Systems Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Director
10 Yearsyrs
Systems Administrator Network Engineer Network Administrator
Information Technology Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Computer Operator Technical Support Specialist Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Operations Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Information Technology Consultant Information Technology Project Manager
Infrastructure Project Manager
11 Yearsyrs
Help Desk Analyst Lead Technician Operation Supervisor
Operations Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Network Administrator Project Manager General Manager
President/Chief Executive Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Computer Operator Systems Administrator Project Manager
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Technical Support Specialist Specialist Operations Manager
Site Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Help Desk Analyst Information Technology Technician System Technician
Systems Supervisor
5 Yearsyrs
Network Technician Specialist Service Technician
Technical Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Systems Engineer Systems Administrator Information Technology Director
Vice President Of Information Technology
12 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Computer Systems Operator?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Computer Operator 4.3 years
Systems Operator 3.9 years
Computer Analyst 3.2 years
Top Employers Before
Clerk 3.0%
Cashier 3.0%
Top Employers After
Consultant 3.6%
Manager 3.6%
Technician 3.4%

Do you work as a Computer Systems Operator?

Computer Systems Operator Demographics

Gender

Male

70.8%

Female

27.6%

Unknown

1.6%
Ethnicity

White

63.2%

Hispanic or Latino

13.5%

Black or African American

12.9%

Asian

6.9%

Unknown

3.6%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

41.7%

Chinese

8.3%

Korean

8.3%

Portuguese

4.2%

Serbian

4.2%

Dutch

4.2%

German

4.2%

Cantonese

4.2%

French

4.2%

Norwegian

4.2%

Cheyenne

4.2%

Mandarin

4.2%

Croatian

4.2%
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Computer Systems Operator Education

Schools

Community College of the Air Force

28.2%

University of Phoenix

16.1%

University of Maryland - University College

8.1%

Strayer University

4.8%

Park University

4.8%

Ashford University

4.8%

Pennsylvania State University

3.2%

Trident University International

2.4%

ECPI University

2.4%

Georgia Institute of Technology -

2.4%

Grantham University

2.4%

Liberty University

2.4%

Webster University

2.4%

University of Massachusetts - Lowell

2.4%

Bellevue University

2.4%

Capella University

2.4%

Colorado State University

2.4%

The Academy

2.4%

Eastern Michigan University

1.6%

Columbus State University

1.6%
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Majors

Business

18.8%

Computer Information Systems

16.0%

Information Technology

13.7%

Computer Science

13.1%

Computer Networking

4.3%

Criminal Justice

3.4%

Computer Programming

3.1%

Electrical Engineering

3.1%

Information Systems

3.1%

Management

2.8%

Project Management

2.6%

Education

2.3%

Computer Systems Security

2.3%

Management Information Systems

2.0%

Political Science

1.7%

Computer Applications

1.7%

Accounting

1.7%

Computer Technical Support

1.4%

Nursing

1.4%

Liberal Arts

1.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

35.8%

Other

22.0%

Associate

21.0%

Masters

12.9%

Certificate

5.8%

Diploma

1.2%

Doctorate

1.0%

License

0.2%
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Top Skills for A Computer Systems Operator

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  1. Computer
  2. Communications-Computer Systems
  3. Customer Service
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Resolved and debugged computer related problems received from programmers.
  • Manage communications-computer systems security programs and activities including information protection.
  • Provided exceptional customer service and technical assistance to 130 local users.
  • Secured top-secret security clearance to maintain base-to-base communications.
  • Managed SIPR/NIPR Active Directory 2003, Exchange 2003, Remedy administration, Windows XP, and Windows 2000.

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Top Computer Systems Operator Employers

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Jobs From Top Computer Systems Operator Employers

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