Computer Operator Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

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Computer Operator duties and responsibilities

Computer Operators support the users of their employer’s computer systems by working to improve and maintain important computer processes. Their responsibilities may vary depending on their employer’s size and technical infrastructure but usually include the following duties:

  • Identifying and correcting file and system errors
  • Performing data processing operations according to a business production schedule
  • Performing backup procedures to reduce the risk of data loss
  • Maintaining computer equipment and inventory and organizing repairs as needed
  • Collaborating with Programmers and Systems Analysts to coordinate testing environments and resolve system problems
  • Maintaining and managing processing logs and run procedures manuals
  • Answering questions and troubleshooting problems for users
  • Notifying maintenance personnel of system malfunctions
  • Monitoring and scheduling jobs
  • Monitoring the running of nightly updates
  • Manually submitting batch processing jobs
  • Running application performance management scans
  • Processing phone requests
  • Cleaning printers and performing preventive maintenance
  • Providing support during business continuity exercises
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Computer Operator Job Description Examples

What does a Computer Operator do?

Computer Operators manage computer systems to ensure they running smoothly and securely to maintain productivity and minimize disruptions for their employers. They solve problems with software and hardware as they occur and identify ways to improve business computer systems for greater performance and productivity. Most Computer Operators are exclusively responsible for company databases, but some also manage overall mainframes. They can work for any type of organization in any industry and collaborate with executives and other teams to continually improve the computer systems of a company.

Computer Operator skills and qualifications

Computer Operators use a variety of soft skills, technical abilities and industry knowledge to provide the most comprehensive support they can. These skills and qualifications can include:

  • Familiarity with common operating systems and network monitoring programs
  • Knowledge of data user interface and query software, object- or component-oriented software 
  • Excellent data entry skills for accurately maintaining processing logs
  • Keen attention to deal, critical thinking and analysis skills
  • Problem-solving skills to effectively resolve database and system issues and user concerns
  • Time management and organization skills for prioritizing tasks accurately based on a production schedule
  • Teamwork and collaboration skills
  • Customer service and interpersonal skills
  • Integrity to maintain confidentiality when working with sensitive business data
  • Verbal communication to explain complex technical information to users with little technical knowledge

Computer Operator salary expectations

Computer operators earn an average of $17.67 per hour. Pay rate may depend on the level of education, experience and geographical location.

Computer Operator education and training requirements

Most candidates are likely to have at least a high school diploma or GED, though some may have an associate or bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field. Entry-level candidates with a high school education may need to have completed computer science courses or earned relevant professional certifications. Candidates with an undergraduate education may also have professional certifications, including those for specific computer systems, software, programming languages or cyber- and computer security issues.

Computer Operator experience requirements

Entry-level Computer Operators may not have previous professional experience but may have begun developing the technical skills and knowledge required for the role. These candidates may also benefit from on-the-job training or support in earning professional certification if they have not already. Candidates applying for more advanced Computer Operator positions or those with leadership responsibilities should have a few years of relevant experience in information technology or computer systems management. For organizations that use specific software or computer systems, candidates who have previous experience working with those may need less training.

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