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Average Wages

Computer Operators


Industry Outlook

Career outlook is: excellent for the next 12-18 months

Job 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.


Also known as:
Computer Specialist, Computer Console Operator, Computer Technician, Information Technology Associate, Computer Operator, Systems Operator, Desktop Engineer, Software Technician, Control Room Operator, Operations and Maintenance Technician

Average Career Wages

Co-Op / Internship

Securing an internship for this position is a good way in which to understand the expectations required for full time employment.

Typical Job Tasks

  • Operate computers or computerized equipment.
  • Schedule operational activities.
  • Monitor equipment operation to ensure proper functioning.
  • Answer telephones to direct calls or provide information.
  • Maintain office equipment in proper operating condition.


  • Compile data or documentation.
  • Send information, materials or documentation.
  • Maintain operational records.
  • Report maintenance or equipment problems to appropriate personnel.
  • Format digital documents, data, or images.
  • Read work orders to determine material or setup requirements.
  • Supervise clerical or administrative personnel.
  • Develop computer or online applications.
  • Load materials or equipment.


Required Skills

People in this career often have these skills:
  • Operation Monitoring – Watching gauges, dials, or display screens to make sure a machine is working.
  • Critical Thinking – Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
  • Monitoring – Keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements.
  • Active Listening – Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
  • Reading Comprehension – Reading work-related information.


  • Complex Problem Solving – Noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it.
  • Speaking – Talking to others.


Projected Employment Numbers


2016 Employment

2026 Employment

Percent change

Annual projected job openings

What Experience and Education do you Require?

Individuals in this field typically have:

  1.  High school diploma or equivalent
  2.  No work experience
  3.  1 to 12 months on-the-job training

Typical Education Level Required

Background Knowledge

People in this career often know a lot about:
  • 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.

Successful people in this career have ...

  • Near Vision – Seeing details up close.
  • Problem Sensitivity – Noticing when problems happen.
  • Oral Comprehension – Listening and understanding what people say.
  • Oral Expression – Communicating by speaking.
  • Deductive Reasoning – Using rules to solve problems.
  • Selective Attention – Paying attention to something without being distracted.


  • Perceptual Speed – Quickly comparing groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.
  • Information Ordering – Ordering or arranging things.
  • Written Comprehension – Reading and understanding what is written.