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Computer Operator Salary

An average Computer Operator in the United States can expect to take home roughly $17.36 per hour. Cash earnings for Computer Operators — which occasionally include more than $3K from bonuses and more than $2K from profit sharing — stretch from around $26K to approximately $59K. Geography and experience level each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Medical benefits are awarded to a fair number, and a strong majority earn dental coverage. Male Computer Operators are far more common among survey respondents than their female counterparts, who typically comprise less than one-third of the field. Most Computer Operators report high levels of job satisfaction. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale salary survey.

$29,516 - $63,009
(Median)
$30K
$44K
$63K
MEDIAN: $43,876
10%
50%
90%

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$11.60 - $25.45
(Median)
$12
$17
$25
MEDIAN: $17.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$22K$44K$66K
Salary
$29,516 - $63,009  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,991  
Profit Sharing
$100.33 - $2,492  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$25,931 - $59,040  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 291
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$14$28$42
Hourly Rate
$11.60 - $25.45  
   
Overtime
$15.09 - $41.54  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$28K$56K$84K
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,991  
   
Profit Sharing
$100.33 - $2,492  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$25,931 - $59,040  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 503

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Job Description for Computer Operator

A computer operator performs a variety of tasks, including the operation of multiprocessing computers and organizing, maintaining, and distributing related reports. They must able to operate electronic computer systems in a big-data communication environment, as well as be able to read and understand manuals and instructions to perform job duties. Some of the most important functions of a computer operator include having to operate computers, mini/micro computers, printers, PCs, and mainframes. He or she also creates and maintains operations documents and must be able to plan a daily schedule for job control set-up. Additionally, they need to do some math calculations quickly and accurately and type at a fast rate. A computer operator need to have a strong knowledge in the specific operations expected by their organization; they should be able to work independently in performing his or her job duties.

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Computer Operator Tasks

  • Install, maintain, monitor, analyze, and troubleshoot data center equipment and software in support of data center operations.
  • Ensure the processes remain uninterrupted and the program jobs run as scheduled.
  • Oversee the computer mainframe and supporting system equipment.
  • Diagnoses and resolves system problems.
  • Support production operations environment including multiple servers, networking, batch processing, backup and related activities.

Common Career Paths for Computer Operator


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As Computer Operators transition into upper-level roles such as Information Technology Project Manager, they may see a strong upturn in salary. Information Technology Project Managers earn $86K on average per year. More often than not, a Mainframe Computer Operator role is the next step for Computer Operators moving up in the field. Mainframe Computer Operators usually make $41K per year. Many other Computer Operators choose to take on a Network Support Technician role, where salaries are typically $38K.

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Popular Skills for Computer Operator


Survey results suggest that Computer Operators put a wide range of professional skills to use. Most notably, skills in UNIX, Mainframe, Windows 2003 Server, and AS/400 are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 7 percent and 11 percent. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Microsoft Office, Windows Operating System General Use, and Windows NT / 2000 / XP Networking. Those educated in Microsoft Office tend to be well versed in Mainframe and Network Support.

Pay by Experience Level for Computer Operator

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Experience and pay tend to be weakly linked for Computer Operators — those with more experience do not necessarily bring in higher earnings. Relatively untried employees who have fewer than five years of experience earn around $34K on average. People who have worked for five to 10 years can expect a higher median salary of $38K. After working for 10 to 20 years, Computer Operators make a median salary of $43K. Veterans who have surpassed the 20-year mark may make only slightly more than those who are navigating the mid-career stage; the more senior group reports median earnings of around $47K.

Pay Difference by Location


Boston is home to an above-average pay rate for Computer Operators, 42 percent higher than the national average. Computer Operators will also find cushy salaries in Phoenix (+36 percent), New York (+23 percent), Memphis (+10 percent), and San Diego (+8 percent). With compensation 5 percent below the national average, Cleveland is not known for hefty paychecks and actually represents the lowest-paying market. Chicago and Austin are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 4 percent lower and 3 percent lower, respectively.

Computer Operator Reviews

What is it like working as a Computer Operator?

Computer Operator in Arcadia:
"Stress Level."
Pros: Not a lot of stress.
Cons: No advancement opportunities.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Computer Operator Salaries



National Average
$40,000



Skills That Affect Computer Operator Salaries

up arrow 11%



AS/400
up arrow 1%

Network Support
0%

National Average
$40,000

Windows NT / 2000 / XP Networking
up arrow 3%

Windows Operating System General Use
up arrow 4%


Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 132 votes.

Gender

Female
28 %
Male
72 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
27%
5-9 years
19%
10-19 years
25%
20 years or more
26%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 80% dental benefits Dental: 73%
vision benefits Vision: 61% employee benefits None: 17%