dcsimg

Computer Operator

Computer operators work with mainframes, minicomputers, or personal computer networks. They make sure these types of machines are used properly and efficiently by various users. Their duties vary greatly, but usually they control a mainframe digital computer or a group of minicomputers, using written instructions from programmers, users, or operations managers. Computer operators may load tapes, disks or paper into computer equipment, monitor and respond to error messages, and keep detailed logs of their activities while at their workstation. They may also assist systems analysts with the maintenance and debugging of the system. An increasing number of computer programmers are working on personal computes or minicomputers linked together by local area networks or multi-user systems.

Computer Fundamentals Basic Computer Skills

Job Skills

Besides being analytical and technical experts, computer operators should also be flexible and willing to learn and adapt. They must be ready to deal with new or unique problems that a computer is not designed to handle. They should be good at communicating with programmers, users, and other operators. Because they may receive little or no direct supervision, computer operators must be able to work independently.

Income

In 2002, computer operators earned a median annual salary of $29,650. Earnings ranged from the lowest 10%, who earned less than $18,610, and the highest 10%, who earned more than $46,780. The following shows the median annual salaries for the industries employing the highest numbers of computer operators:

  • Management of companies and enterprises - $32,770
  • Computer systems design and related services - 30,280
  • General medical and surgical hospitals - 28,310
  • Data processing, hosting, and related services - 27,440
  • Depository credit intermediation - 24,160

Training and Education

The main quality employers of computer operators look for in a candidate is prior work experience using the specific type of equipment the employer uses. Computer operators usually receive on-the-job training, the length of which varies with the type of job and the prior experience of the employee. Formal training is becoming more common as a requirement, due to changes in technology and an increase in automation. A degree through a community or technical college is recommended. The U.S. Armed Forces, as well as some computer manufacturers, offer formal training in computer operation. For those interested in advancement to managerial positions, a bachelor's degree can be very useful.

Employment

In 2002, computer operators held about 499,000 jobs. Industries employing computer operators included government, wholesale and retail trade, manufacturing, data processing serves and finance and insurance. Because more companies are choosing to contract out their data processing operations, computer operators will be employed by firms in computer systems design and related services.

Job Outlook

Between 2002 and 2012, the number of computer operators is expected to decline. Advances in technology have yielded computer hardware and software that is capable of automating more tasks, and that is considerably more user-friendly. This has greatly reduced the need for computer operators. Because of this, computer operators will monitor a greater number of systems and be responsible for solving more complicated problems. Some computer operators whose jobs become obsolete due to automation may be reassigned to support staff, while others who have updated their skills and participated in training may move into network administration and technical support.

Directory of Schools Offering Training in Office Administration

Computer Operator Training

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            1 Program(s) Found
            • Push Your Creativity To The Next Level.
            • Full Sail’s curriculum combines elements of creativity, art, business and life skills, technical prowess, and academic achievement.
            • Full Sail offers accelerated programs, so a degree that would normally take four years takes 24 months on average.
            • Students work with industry-standard tools and technologies, allowing them to gain practical knowledge and real-world experience.
            • Join us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram to interact with our community, read about grad success, and see campus images.
            • Online Courses
            5 Program(s) Found
            ABCO Technology , Los Angeles
            • An accredited computer training academy preparing students to enter the IT industry as Network Engineers, Software Engineers, Web Apps Developer, Website Designers, Programmers, Database Administrators since 2000.
            • Holds A+ certification from CompTIA.
            • Located in Los Angeles, approximately 10 minutes away from LAX.
            • Flexible class schedules offered during day times, evenings and weekends.
            • Helping students start a career in technology within 3 - 9 months.
            • Educates with the mission to serve the needs of the local community and graduates by matching opportunities to skills.
            • Military friendly school.
            Show more [+]
            • Financial Aid
            1 Program(s) Found
            • Many programs require externships, allowing students to gain real-world experience.
            • Approved A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 1984.
            • Offers 22 accelerated, career-focused program options including business administration, medical assisting, and more.
            • Regionally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).
            • 11 campuses across California, with an online division as well.
            Show more [+]
            • Financial Aid
            1 Program(s) Found
            • Ranked among top Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
            • Ranked 37th among the Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
            • Stands as the largest private, nonprofit university in the nation with 100,000+ students.
            • Offers over 230 programs online, from the certificate to the doctoral level.
            • Has a student-faculty ratio of 25:1, and 42.3% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            1 Program(s) Found
            Mayfield College , Cathedral City
            • A Better Business Bureau (BBB) Accredited Business, with an A+ rating.
            • Computer Support Technician program is based on guidelines set by the Computer Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) and Microsoft.
            • Offers free student services, including tutoring, campus internet access, career placement, and a student lounge.
            • Accredited by the Council on Occupational Education (COE).
            • 2 locations in Cathedral City and Twentynine Palms, California.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            1 Program(s) Found
            • Provides students the opportunity to train at home in their spare time to get their high school diploma, train for a new career, or enhance current skills.
            • Offers programs in psychology/social work, business management, medical billing, criminal justice, and more.
            • Member of the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA), the Canadian Network for Innovation in Education (CNIE), and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE).
            • Features a fully flexible schedule with no classes to attend, leaving the study pace up to the student.
            • Online Courses
            UEI College , El Monte
            • Dedicated to providing  career training since 1975.
            • Has 13 campus locations in Southern California and a campus in Morrow, GA.
            • Provides flexible class times including weekends.
            • Offers curriculum that ranges from 8 month diploma programs to 16-month Associate of Applied Science degree programs.
            • Has admissions professionals available to help students decide which diploma or degree program they should pursue.
            • Gives job placement assistance strengthened by relationships with local employers.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Accredited
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            • Has students attend one four-week class at a time and take their final exam before moving on to their next class.
            • Offers 24/7 online tech support, with a typical response time of 4 hours or less.
            • Has online help centers that offer assistance with writing, statistics, medical assisting, and more.
            • Provides job placement assistance to all its students and alumni.
            • Researches trends for growing fields to tailor a more effective curriculum.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Offers programs in nursing, medical assisting, pharmacy technology, dental assisting, and more.
            • Six Campuses across Northern CA: Fremont, San Jose, Sacramento, S. San Francisco, Hayward, and Concord.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges, with programmatic approvals from the California Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians and the Board of Registered Nursing.
            • Approved by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) with an A+ rating since 2010.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
            Show more [+]
            Good for Working Adults
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits