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Computer Operators picture    Computer Operators image

Computer Operators

Computer operators oversee the operation of computer hardware systems and make sure the machines are used efficiently and securely. Computer operators may work with mainframes, networks of personal computers and minicomputers. They control the console of a mainframe digital computer or a collection of minicomputers. They set the controls of computers in order to run computer tasks.

A larger number of computer operators are dealing with minicomputers and personal computers. They work with operating instructions that were developed by computer programmers, operations managers or users. They also solve problems that happen during computer operations. The duties performed by a computer operator vary by the policies of the employer, the size of the installation and the types of equipment being utilized.

A computer operator working with a personal computer network assists a network administrator in making sure all network connections are in place and the organization's network and servers are running properly. They may also help employees connect computer peripherals and set up new computers.

Some sample job titles are operations and maintenance technician, information technology specialist, computer console operator, computer specialist, systems operator and computer technician.

Responsibilities

  • Oversee the operation of computer hardware systems
  • Load equipment with supplies
  • Retrieve and sort program output and send data to specific users
  • Monitor the control console and respond to computer and operating messages
  • After receiving an error message, locate and solve the problems or terminate the program
  • Monitor the system for performance errors and equipment failures
  • Enter commands using a computer terminal
  • Maintain logbooks of operating records
  • Notify computer maintenance technicians or supervisors of equipment malfunctions
  • Answer telephone calls to help computer users that are having problems

Job Characteristics

Computer operators usually work in well-ventilated comfortable rooms. Due to many companies utilizing their computers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, computer operators may work evening or night shifts and during the weekends. However, due to the increasing use of automated operations there may be a decrease in the need for shift work since computers can take over operations during the undesirable work hours.

Employment Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics has forecasted a minus 19 percent employment growth for computer operators from 2008 to 2018. Sophisticated software combined with robotics allows computers to perform many basic tasks that used to be performed by computer operators. Loading and downloading programs, scheduling, running periodic reports and rerouting messages can usually be accomplished without a computer operator.

With advances in technology, the duties of many computer operators are moving to areas including user support, network operations and database maintenance. Individuals that have formal computer education, have knowledge about a variety of operating systems and about the newest technology will have the best employment opportunities. In addition, the median annual earnings for computer operators in 2008 was $35,600.

Education, Certification, and Licensing

Employers typically require only a high school diploma for computer operators. They receive on-the-job training. Many computer operators seek to advance to other positions in the field of information technology within a few years.

Resources

Major Employers

The primary employers are insurance companies, banks, manufacturers, educational institutions, data processing services firms and government agencies.

Schools for Computer Operators are listed in the Browse Schools Section.

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for:
Computer Operators

Listed below are metro areas sorted by the total number of people employed in Computer Operators jobs , as of 2015

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

     
Metro Area (Alabama) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Birmingham 260 $38,570
Hoover 260 $38,570
Huntsville 100 $25,630
Montgomery 90 $32,510
Mobile 50 $31,020
     
Metro Area (Alaska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anchorage 100 $55,450
Fairbanks 40 $56,400
     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Scottsdale 300 $44,520
Mesa 300 $44,520
Phoenix 300 $44,520
Tucson 50 $38,470
     
Metro Area (Arkansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Conway 120 $34,540
North Little Rock 120 $34,540
Little Rock 120 $34,540
Hot Springs 40 $28,370
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Long Beach 1640 $42,130
Los Angeles 1640 $42,130
Anaheim 1640 $42,130
Oakland 830 $43,570
San Francisco 830 $43,570
Hayward 830 $43,570
Arden 480 $46,780
Arcade 480 $46,780
Sacramento 480 $46,780
Roseville 480 $46,780
Carlsbad 450 $48,620
San Diego 450 $48,620
Ontario 430 $44,180
Riverside 430 $44,180
San Bernardino 430 $44,180
Santa Clara 240 $54,010
Sunnyvale 240 $54,010
San Jose 240 $54,010
Fresno 80 $40,230
Visalia 70 $35,640
Porterville 70 $35,640
Thousand Oaks 60 $40,180
Oxnard 60 $40,180
Ventura 60 $40,180
Bakersfield 60 $43,390
Lodi 50 $42,050
Stockton 50 $42,050
Santa Maria 50 $45,010
Santa Barbara 50 $45,010
El Centro 40 N/A
Redding 40 $52,920
Fairfield 30 $53,470
Vallejo 30 $53,470
Napa N/A $19,550
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lakewood 350 $53,610
Aurora 350 $53,610
Denver 350 $53,610
Colorado Springs 80 $52,000
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Hartford 270 $42,100
East Hartford 270 $42,100
West Hartford 270 $42,100
Stamford 70 $46,040
Bridgeport 70 $46,040
Norwalk 70 $46,040
New Haven 40 $56,250
     
Metro Area (Delaware) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dover 70 $46,010
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fort Lauderdale 690 $41,780
Miami 690 $41,780
West Palm Beach 690 $41,780
St. Petersburg 410 $30,270
Tampa 410 $30,270
Clearwater 410 $30,270
Sanford 300 $37,290
Kissimmee 300 $37,290
Orlando 300 $37,290
Jacksonville 200 $45,720
Tallahassee 130 $30,120
Winter Haven 80 $38,230
Lakeland 80 $38,230
Daytona Beach 70 $29,460
Ormond Beach 70 $29,460
Deltona 70 $29,460
Gainesville 60 $33,520
Palm Bay 60 $41,440
Titusville 60 $41,440
Melbourne 60 $41,440
Cape Coral 30 $41,240
Fort Myers 30 $41,240
Ferry Pass N/A $27,570
Brent N/A $27,570
Pensacola N/A $27,570
Ocala N/A $38,980
Sarasota N/A $55,830
Bradenton N/A $55,830
North Port N/A $55,830
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Atlanta 1670 $32,330
Roswell 1670 $32,330
Sandy Springs 1670 $32,330
Macon 60 $26,360
Warner Robins 50 $29,260
     
Metro Area (Hawaii) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Urban Honolulu 250 $45,620
     
Metro Area (Idaho) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Boise City 110 $37,340
     
Metro Area (Illinois) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Springfield 140 $55,050
Bloomington 70 $45,080
Peoria 30 $41,920
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anderson 380 $47,260
Indianapolis 380 $47,260
Carmel 380 $47,260
Bloomington 90 $44,890
Fort Wayne 30 $43,450
La Porte N/A $29,830
Michigan City N/A $29,830
     
Metro Area (Iowa) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Des Moines 150 $42,540
Des Moines 150 $42,540
Cedar Rapids 30 $44,680
     
Metro Area (Kansas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Wichita 110 $47,090
Topeka 90 $34,930
Lawrence N/A $36,930
     
Metro Area (Kentucky) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fayette 50 $44,330
Lexington 50 $44,330
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
New Orleans 160 $39,100
Metairie 160 $39,100
Baton Rouge 130 $42,140
Bossier City 40 $45,440
Shreveport 40 $45,440
     
Metro Area (Maine) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Portland 60 $44,540
Portland 60 $44,540
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Towson 620 $30,380
Columbia 620 $30,380
Baltimore 620 $30,380
     
Metro Area (Massachusetts) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
New Bedford 80 $46,060
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Dearborn 530 $39,220
Warren 530 $39,220
Detroit 530 $39,220
Wyoming 110 $38,850
Grand Rapids 110 $38,850
Ann Arbor 90 $27,530
East Lansing 90 $49,230
Lansing 90 $49,230
     
Metro Area (Minnesota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rochester 30 N/A
     
Metro Area (Mississippi) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Jackson 180 $28,640
Pascagoula 50 $35,540
Biloxi 50 $35,540
Gulfport 50 $35,540
     
Metro Area (Missouri) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Springfield 40 $34,700
     
Metro Area (Montana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Billings N/A $45,160
     
Metro Area (Nebraska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lincoln 160 $33,770
Grand Island 70 $27,440
     
Metro Area (Nevada) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Paradise 260 $45,740
Henderson 260 $45,740
Las Vegas 260 $45,740
Reno 70 $37,670
     
Metro Area (New Hampshire) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Manchester 60 $37,110
     
Metro Area (New Jersey) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Trenton 180 $51,200
Hammonton 40 $40,690
Atlantic City 40 $40,690
     
Metro Area (New Mexico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albuquerque 140 $40,460
     
Metro Area (New York) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Troy 290 $48,950
Schenectady 290 $48,950
Albany 290 $48,950
Rochester 240 $39,170
Niagara Falls 230 $44,460
Cheektowaga 230 $44,460
Buffalo 230 $44,460
Binghamton 110 $27,460
Syracuse 70 $37,500
Rome 70 $38,170
Utica 70 $38,170
     
Metro Area (North Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Raleigh 290 $36,790
Winston 130 $32,200
Salem 130 $32,200
Chapel Hill 120 $34,060
Durham 120 $34,060
Greensboro 80 $37,900
High Point 80 $37,900
Fayetteville 50 $41,340
Asheville 30 $29,670
     
Metro Area (North Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bismarck 40 $36,510
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Cleveland 380 $39,950
Elyria 380 $39,950
Columbus 360 $36,340
Akron 120 $36,980
Dayton 70 $35,230
Toledo 60 $32,910
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Oklahoma City 190 $36,070
Tulsa 120 $31,050
     
Metro Area (Oregon) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Eugene 60 $35,210
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Pittsburgh 720 $35,830
Harrisburg 140 $45,040
Carlisle 140 $45,040
Scranton 110 $48,290
Wilkes 110 $48,290
Hazleton 110 $48,290
Barre 110 $48,290
Reading 60 N/A
Hanover 50 $36,760
York 50 $36,760
Lancaster 50 $45,400
Erie N/A $36,990
     
Metro Area (Puerto Rico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Caguas 670 $20,250
Carolina 670 $20,250
San Juan 670 $20,250
     
Metro Area (South Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Columbia 130 $35,260
Greenville 110 $38,470
Mauldin 110 $38,470
Anderson 110 $38,470
North Charleston 40 $34,450
Charleston 40 $34,450
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Murfreesboro 860 $42,470
Franklin 860 $42,470
Davidson 860 $42,470
Nashville 860 $42,470
Knoxville 250 $36,800
Johnson City 120 $32,140
Jackson 40 $34,960
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fort Worth 1860 $45,430
Dallas 1860 $45,430
Arlington 1860 $45,430
Houston 910 $41,070
Sugar Land 910 $41,070
The Woodlands 910 $41,070
Austin 370 $36,250
Round Rock 370 $36,250
San Antonio 310 $29,930
New Braunfels 310 $29,930
El Paso 200 $30,700
Killeen 100 $34,980
Temple 100 $34,980
Amarillo 40 $28,670
Tyler 30 $32,560
Corpus Christi 30 $39,970
Edinburg N/A $36,980
McAllen N/A $36,980
Mission N/A $36,980
     
Metro Area (Utah) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salt Lake City 200 $39,490
Clearfield 100 $42,210
Ogden 100 $42,210
     
Metro Area (Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Richmond 260 $43,310
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bellevue 550 $45,180
Seattle 550 $45,180
Tacoma 550 $45,180
Spokane Valley 80 $45,740
Spokane 80 $45,740
Tumwater 30 N/A
Olympia 30 N/A
     
Metro Area (West Virginia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Charleston 120 $26,630
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Milwaukee 300 $43,600
Waukesha 300 $43,600
West Allis 300 $43,600
Madison 170 $39,240
Eau Claire 40 $46,180
Green Bay 30 $38,640
Neenah 30 $40,890
Oshkosh 30 $40,890
     
Metro Area (Wyoming) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Cheyenne 30 $40,210

Most Popular Industries for :
Computer Operators

Industries representing at least 1% of total jobs for the occupation.

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Industry Jobs Percent Annual Median Salary
Professional And Technical Services 14,610 13% $35,860
Office Services And Staffing 10,760 10% $31,420
Banking And Credit 8,750 8% $31,680
Government 7,760 7% $39,040
Education 7,670 7% $35,970
Internet Service Provider 7,130 6% $33,690
Business Management 6,710 6% $36,480
Insurance 5,460 5% $36,510
Hospital 4,690 4% $35,500
Durable Goods Wholesale 3,160 2% $38,180
Grocery Stores 2,930 2% $30,040
Non-durable Goods Wholesale 2,790 2% $35,300
Traditional Publishing 2,780 2% $36,310
Telecommunications 2,130 1% $42,410
Postal Service 1,600 1% $57,080
Printing 1,540 1% $36,900
Securities And Investment 1,470 1% $39,030
Storage 1,460 1% $36,790
Auto And Auto Parts Dealers 1,290 1% $36,270
These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles). Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
 
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CityTownInfo Career and College Resources

We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Computer Operators.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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