Computer Operator Salary

Pay for Computer Operators in the United States sits in the ballpark of $17.20 per hour. Compensation ranges from $11.49 per hour on the lower end to $25.83 on the higher end. Geography and years of experience each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Making up 72 percent of those who took the survey, male Computer Operators greatly outnumber their female counterparts. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Computer Operators. A fair number claim medical and dental insurance and a majority get vision coverage. This snapshot results from replies to PayScale's salary survey.

$29,606 - $79,549
(Median)
$30K
$45K
$80K
MEDIAN: $44,777
10%
50%
90%

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$11.49 - $25.83
(Median)
$11
$17
$26
MEDIAN: $17.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$27K$54K$81K
Salary
$29,606 - $79,549  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,750  
Profit Sharing
$98.63 - $5,463  
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).
)
$25,814 - $62,511  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 338
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$14$28$42
Hourly Rate
$11.49 - $25.83  
   
Overtime
$16.43 - $41.83  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$28K$56K$84K
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,750  
   
Profit Sharing
$98.63 - $5,463  
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).
)
$25,814 - $62,511  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 560
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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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For Computer Operators, progressing to an Information Technology Project Manager role may result in a significant raise. On average, an Information Technology Project Manager can earn $86K annually. Typical career progression for a Computer Operator involves becoming a Mainframe Computer Operator or an Information Technology Specialist, roles that pay $1K more and $8K more on average.

Computer Operator Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Computer Operator


Overall, survey participants reported applying a fair number of skills to their work. Most notably, skills in UNIX, Mainframe, Windows 2003 Server, and Network Support are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that pay less than market rate include Microsoft Office, Windows Operating System General Use, and Windows NT / 2000 / XP Networking. It is often found that people who know Microsoft Office are also skilled in AS/400, Network Support, and Mainframe. Those proficient in Windows Operating System General Use are, more often than not, also skilled in Mainframe.

Pay by Experience Level for Computer Operator

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


Experience does not seem to be a strong driver of pay increase in this role. The average inexperienced worker earns $34K, and someone who has worked for five to 10 years can expect a bigger median salary of $39K. Computer Operators claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $42K. After two decades in the workforce, the average Computer Operator generally earns more than ever; median pay for this group is estimated at $48K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $40,103

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

Seattle is home to an above-average pay rate for Computer Operators, 45 percent higher than the national average. Computer Operators will also find cushy salaries in New York (+42 percent), Phoenix (+34 percent), Boston (+33 percent), and San Diego (+11 percent). Compared to the national average, Atlanta Computer Operators have considerably lower salaries, 38 percent below the national average to be exact. Location appears to be a major driving force in pay for those in this profession. Employers also pay below the national average in Houston (17 percent lower) and Chicago (9 percent lower).

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

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Experience Affects Computer Operator Salaries



National Average
$40,000



Skills That Affect Computer Operator Salaries

up arrow 9%

Mainframe
up arrow 3%

Windows 2003 Server
up arrow 2%

Network Support
0%

National Average
$40,000

AS/400
up arrow 2%

Windows NT / 2000 / XP Networking
up arrow 4%



Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 119 votes.

Gender

Female
28 %
Male
72 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
29%
5-9 years
18%
10-19 years
25%
20 years or more
25%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 79%
dental benefits
Dental: 74%
medical benefits
Vision: 64%
dental benefits
None: 17%
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