Computer Operators

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About the Job

Monitor and control electronic computer and peripheral electronic data processing equipment to process business, scientific, engineering, and other data according to operating instructions. Monitor and respond to operating and error messages. May enter commands at a computer terminal and set controls on computer and peripheral devices.

It is also Called

  • Systems Operator
  • System Support Technician
  • Sorting Machine Operator
  • Software Technician
  • Peripheral Equipment Operator
  • Peripheral EDP Equipment Operator
  • Operations and Maintenance Technician
  • Office Automation Clerk
  • Network Manager
  • Micro Computer Data Processor
show all

What They Do

  • Clear equipment at end of operating run and review schedule to determine next assignment.
  • Type command on keyboard to transfer encoded data from memory unit to magnetic tape and assist in labeling, classifying, cataloging and maintaining tapes.
  • Supervise and train peripheral equipment operators and computer operator trainees.
  • Load peripheral equipment with selected materials for operating runs, or oversee loading of peripheral equipment by peripheral equipment operators.
  • Read job set-up instructions to determine equipment to be used, order of use, material such as disks and paper to be loaded, and control settings.
  • Oversee the operation of computer hardware systems, including coordinating and scheduling the use of computer terminals and networks to ensure efficient use.
  • Retrieve, separate and sort program output as needed, and send data to specified users.
  • Help programmers and systems analysts test and debug new programs.
  • Operate spreadsheet programs and other types of software to load and manipulate data and to produce reports.
  • Record information such as computer operating time, problems that occurred, and actions taken.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: I.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Investigative interests.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Support, but also value Independence and Achievement in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Telecommunications - Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Preparation Required

Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Wages

In 2016, the average annual wage in California was $48,580 with most people making between $27,400 and $68,100

Outlook

0.00%
avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 4,800 people in California. It is projected that there will be 4,300 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 0 openings due to growth and about 40 replacement openings for approximately 40 total annual openings.