Also called: Computer Operator, Computer Specialist, Control Room Operator, Operations and Maintenance Technician
Produced by CareerOneStop
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Many companies and government agencies use large computers, called mainframes. Computer operators oversee the operation of these machines, as well as linked networks of personal computers. To keep computers running smoothly, operators enter commands and set controls on computers and related devices. They track down problems in computer systems and correct them, and plan for supplies and maintenance. Computer operators need to understand and use servers, printers, mainframe consoles and different types of drives. They use a variety of software and databases, and keep their knowledge current by reading technical manuals and learning new equipment. Big organizations that process large quantities of data, such as banking, engineering, and manufacturing, are typical employers of computer operators. While most employers require a high school diploma and related experience, some operators may enter the field with vocational training or an associate's degree. On-the-job training is typically provided. Automation continues to reduce the need for computer operators, making this a field with few new openings. But a strong base of hardware and software skills can help these professionals network to a related job.
What they do: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.
On the job, you would:
- Enter commands, using computer terminal, and activate controls on computer and peripheral equipment to integrate and operate equipment.
- Oversee the operation of computer hardware systems, including coordinating and scheduling the use of computer terminals and networks to ensure efficient use.
- Monitor the system for equipment failure or errors in performance.
Engineering and Technology
- computers and electronics
- customer service
- administrative services
Arts and Humanities
- English language
Math and Science
- arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
- keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
- listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
- noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
People and Technology Systems
- figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it
- thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
- listen and understand what people say
- communicate by speaking
Ideas and Logic
- notice when problems happen
- use rules to solve problems
- quickly compare groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things
- see hidden patterns
- pay attention to something without being distracted
People interested in this work like activities that include data, detail, and regular routines.
They do well at jobs that need:
- Attention to Detail
- Analytical Thinking
You might use software like this on the job:
Operating system software
Data base user interface and query software
Backup or archival software