Computer Operator Job Description

Computer Operators control consoles of either mainframe or midrange computer installations in large Data Centers, ensuring that these machines are used as efficiently and securely as possible. They run computer tasks or “jobs” based on approved computer batch run schedules and manage data storage systems like DASDs on mainframes. Computer Operators often run on 24 hours work shifts 365 days in a year and are assigned in shifts and revolving weekends. However, increased data center automation and online computer management through telecommunication systems lessen the need for full-time operations, allowing operators to monitor systems remotely.

Computer Operator Duties and Responsibilities

  • Key-in commands on computer terminal, and activate controls on computer and peripheral equipment to operate computer equipment.
  • Monitor the system to prevent failures or errors in performance.
  • Act on program error messages by isolating and correcting problems or terminating a batch operation or procedure call program.
  • Notify computer maintenance technicians of any observed equipment failure or malfunction
  • Answer telephone calls to assist computer users encountering problems.
  • Record computer operating time, problems that occurred, and actions taken during downtime situations
  • Assist programmers test and debug new programs.
  • Retrieve and sort system output as needed and send printouts to specified user departments.
  • Coordinate and schedule the use of computer terminals, system printers and networks to ensure efficient use.

Computer Operator Skills and Specifications

  • Must have excellent learning ability to absorb the computer training mounted by the company
  • Must have excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Must have excellent analytical mind to perform initial troubleshooting of computer console systems

Computer Operator Education and Qualifications

  • As an entry level position, a high school diploma is basic as most employees in this position are trained in the computing platform they use.
  • An associate or certificated course in computer science is an advantage,

Computer Operator Salary

The median salary for a Computer Operator in 2009 stood at $17.36 hourly or $36,110 annually.