Computer Operators

Description

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.

Tasks

  • Enter commands, using computer terminal, and activate controls on computer and peripheral equipment to integrate and operate equipment.
  • Monitor the system for equipment failure or errors in performance.
  • Respond to program error messages by finding and correcting problems or terminating the program.
  • Notify supervisor or computer maintenance technicians of equipment malfunctions.
  • Answer telephone calls to assist computer users encountering problems.
  • Record information such as computer operating time, problems that occurred, and actions taken.
  • Operate spreadsheet programs and other types of software to load and manipulate data and to produce reports.
  • Help programmers and systems analysts test and debug new programs.
  • Retrieve, separate and sort program output as needed, and send data to specified users.
  • Oversee the operation of computer hardware systems, including coordinating and scheduling the use of computer terminals and networks to ensure efficient use.
  • 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.
  • Load peripheral equipment with selected materials for operating runs, or oversee loading of peripheral equipment by peripheral equipment operators.
  • Supervise and train peripheral equipment operators and computer operator trainees.
  • Type command on keyboard to transfer encoded data from memory unit to magnetic tape and assist in labeling, classifying, cataloging and maintaining tapes.
  • Clear equipment at end of operating run and review schedule to determine next assignment.

Knowledge

Food Production
Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.

Skills

Installation
Installing equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.

Abilities

Sound Localization
The ability to tell the direction from which a sound originated.
Spatial Orientation
The ability to know your location in relation to the environment or to know where other objects are in relation to you.
Speed of Limb Movement
The ability to quickly move the arms and legs.
Explosive Strength
The ability to use short bursts of muscle force to propel oneself (as in jumping or sprinting), or to throw an object.
Dynamic Flexibility
The ability to quickly and repeatedly bend, stretch, twist, or reach out with your body, arms, and/or legs.
Night Vision
The ability to see under low light conditions.
Peripheral Vision
The ability to see objects or movement of objects to one's side when the eyes are looking ahead.
Glare Sensitivity
The ability to see objects in the presence of glare or bright lighting.

Interests

Conventional
Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Realistic
Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Investigative
Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Enterprising
Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
Social
Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
Artistic
Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Work Style

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Stress Tolerance
Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Self Control
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Initiative
Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Persistence
Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Concern for Others
Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

Work Values

Support
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Independence
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Achievement
Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
Working Conditions
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Recognition
Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.
Relationships
Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

Lay Titles

Card Sorter
Card Tape Converter Operator
Computer Console Operator
Computer Operator
Computer Peripheral Equipment Operator
Computer Specialist
Computer Systems Support Specialist
Computing Machine Operator
Console Operator
Data Processing Auxiliary Equipment Operator
Data Processing Clerk
Data Processor
Digital Computer Operator
Digitizer Operator
Encoding Machine Operator
Environmental Web Crawler
Equipment Operator
High Speed Printer Operator
Imaging Specialist
Information Systems Operator
Information Technology Specialist
Input Output Clerk
Micro Computer Data Processor
Office Automation Clerk
Operations and Maintenance Technician
Peripheral EDP Equipment Operator
Peripheral Equipment Operator
Software Technician
Sorting Machine Operator
System Support Technician

National Wages and Employment Info

Median Wages (2008):
$18.46 hourly, $38,390 annual.
Employment (2008):
71,560 employees