A system operator is tasked with ensuring the effective delivery of electricity to consumers, businesses, and industries. They manage the power grid from a set of computer consoles in a control center. They work with field crews, general personnel, substation personnel, and other system operators in their jurisdiction. System operators can be market, interchange, balancing, or transmission operators. They provide clearance, caution, and location orders on system devices. Also, they coordinate the work activities in the system service area and with other departments.

Employers seek candidates with at least a high school diploma or its equivalent. You must have a valid NERC system operator certification. Key skills required for this position include analytical, communication, problem-solving, attention to detail, time management, computer, and organization skills. You must know about high voltage electrical utility operations and equipment. Experience using SCADA and EMS systems is a plus. This personnel makes about $60,320 per year. Their salary falls between $34,000 and $106,000.

What Does a Systems Operator Do

There are certain skills that many systems 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 communication skills, analytical skills and problem-solving skills.

Learn more about what a Systems Operator does

How To Become a Systems Operator

If you're interested in becoming a systems operator, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 43.2% of systems operators have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 4.5% of systems operators have master's degrees. Even though some systems operators have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Learn More About How To Become a Systems Operator

Systems Operator Career Paths

Average Salary for a Systems Operator

Systems Operators in America make an average salary of $38,182 per year or $18 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $51,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $28,000 per year.
Average Systems Operator Salary
$38,182 Yearly
$18.36 hourly

What Am I Worth?


Roles and Types of Systems Operator

The role of a systems operator includes a wide range of responsibilities. These responsibilities can vary based on an individual's specific job, company, or industry.Here are some general systems operator responsibilities:

  • Check incoming campaign orders for proper formatting
  • Develops,modifies, and maintains conventional computer programs. Integratesthe hardware, software, programming,
  • W/ww laborer learn, assist with, and perform under supervision, the maintenance

There are several types of systems operator, including:

Systems Administrator


Systems administrators are essential to most companies. So you could probably find a job almost anywhere. Which is great, especially if you're looking for a career with a lot of job opportunities. Of course, who's going to realistically turn down opportunity?

As a systems administrator, it's on your shoulders to keep the company servers up and working smoothly. Of course, there will be crashes you'll have to deal with. After all, that's why you're there in the first place.

When an employer looks for a systems administrator, they're usually looking for an individual who has a bachelor's degree. But that's not all. This isn't an entry-level position so you're going to need at least 3-5 years of experience under your belt as well. Once you get all of those checked off, you'll be well on your way to your dream career.

  • Average Salary: $77,156
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

Information Systems Technician


Information system technicians work with computers and communication systems. They build networks and databases, maintain intranet sites, install hardware and software, develop programs, protect the system from malware, and provide technical support for system users.

They may work for various organizations and are members of the IT staff comprising of programmers, IT specialists, software developers, and the like.

This is a very stable and predictable career path with next to no twists and turns along the way. It is hard to find an enterprise, big or small, that could bypass the use of computers, so you are highly unlikely to run out of work. On average, you will earn $44,850 a year.

  • Average Salary: $46,346
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

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.

  • Average Salary: $42,722
  • Degree: Bachelor's Degree

States With The Most Systems Operator Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active systems operator jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where systems operators earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Systems Operator Jobs By State

RankStateNumber of JobsAverage Salary
5New Jersey1,518$36,892
8New York1,106$38,010
11North Carolina913$36,422
24South Carolina376$32,061
29Rhode Island283$41,520
30New Mexico265$36,184
36New Hampshire204$42,909
44West Virginia125$33,821
45North Dakota118$34,479
46South Dakota114$44,217

Systems Operator Education

Systems Operator Majors

19.0 %

Systems Operator Degrees


43.2 %


28.0 %

High School Diploma

16.1 %

Top Colleges for Systems Operators

1. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition




2. University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA • Private

In-State Tuition




3. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition




4. Maine Maritime Academy

Castine, ME • Private

In-State Tuition




5. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition




6. California State University - Bakersfield

Bakersfield, CA • Private

In-State Tuition




7. SUNY at Binghamton

Vestal, NY • Private

In-State Tuition




8. Villanova University

Villanova, PA • Private

In-State Tuition




9. San Diego State University

San Diego, CA • Private

In-State Tuition




10. Bentley University

Waltham, MA • Private

In-State Tuition




Top Skills For a Systems 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, 13.3% of systems operators listed computer system on their resume, but soft skills such as communication skills and analytical skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Systems Operator Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Systems Operator templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Systems Operator resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Systems Operator diversity

Systems Operator Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among systems operators, 21.8% of them are women, while 78.2% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among systems operators is White, which makes up 64.5% of all systems operators.

  • The most common foreign language among systems operators is Spanish at 52.1%.

Online Courses For Systems Operator That You May Like

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1. Introduction to Hardware and Operating Systems


If you're ready to enter the world of Information Technology (IT), you need job-ready skills. This course enables you to develop the skills to work with computer hardware and operating systems, and is your first step to prepare for all types of tech related careers that require IT Fundamental skills. First, learn about the essential software brain of a computer—its operating system software when you explore Microsoft Windows. Next, discover internal key hardware computer components, including...

2. Embedded Hardware and Operating Systems


This course is intended for the Bachelor and Master's students, who like practical programming and making IoTs applications! In this course, we will talk about two components of a cyber-physical system, namely hardware and operating systems. After completing this course, you will have knowledge of both hardware components and operating systems. You are able to plan and use embedded operating systems in resource-constraint devices for Internet-of-Things (cyber-physical system) applications. In...

3. Operating Systems from scratch - Part 2


Learn memory management in operating systems as operating system forms the core of computer science...

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Best States For a Systems Operator

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a systems operator. The best states for people in this position are California, Connecticut, Michigan, and Alaska. Systems operators make the most in California with an average salary of $48,185. Whereas in Connecticut and Michigan, they would average $47,113 and $46,295, respectively. While systems operators would only make an average of $45,098 in Alaska, 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. Alaska

Total Systems Operator Jobs: 203
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. South Dakota

Total Systems Operator Jobs: 114
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. Connecticut

Total Systems Operator Jobs: 344
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Systems Operators

How Do Systems Operators Rate Their Jobs?

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Top Systems Operator Employers

Most Common Employers For Systems Operator

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
2Motorola Solutions$46,673$22.4413
4Continental Automotive Systems$45,170$21.7210
5Northrop Grumman$45,160$21.7121
6General Mills$44,183$21.249
7American Express$44,150$21.2312
8Lockheed Martin$42,609$20.4914
9Big Ass Fans$38,368$18.4510
10DXC Technology$38,304$18.4223

Systems Operator Videos