Computer Operator Salary
The median total income of Computer Operators is around $40K, and for the average worker in this area, a good chunk of that (slightly less than two-thirds, in fact) comes from commissions. Residence and experience level each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. Generally, women make up less than a third of all Computer Operators who answered the questionnnaire. Medical benefits are awarded to a fair number, and the larger part earn dental coverage. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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.Read More...
A computer operator must have experience in a mainframe/mini-computer environment, as well as knowledge in computing system operations terminology. They also must be able to use basic computer software such as the Microsoft Office suite, as well as the operating systems of Windows and Macintosh. A computer operator must also be an effective communicator who is able to form effective relationships with superiors and colleagues.
Computer Operator Tasks
- Diagnoses and resolves system problems.
- Support production operations environment including multiple servers, networking, batch processing, backup and related activities.
- Oversee the computer mainframe and supporting system equipment.
- 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.
Common Career Paths for Computer Operator
Computer Operators do not often transition into Information Technology Manager roles. The role averages $77K per year. The most common next step for a Computer Operator is to become a Mainframe Computer Operator or an Information Technology Specialist. The former position pays an additional $1K per year on average, and the latter position pays $8K more per year.
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Popular Skills for Computer Operator
Computer Operators report using a wide range of professional skills. Most notably, skills in Windows 2003 Server, UNIX, Mainframe, and AS/400 are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Windows Operating System General Use, Windows NT / 2000 / XP Networking, and Network Support. Most people who know Windows Operating System General Use also know Mainframe and Network Support. Most people familiar with Microsoft Office also know Network Support and Mainframe.
Pay by Experience Level for Computer Operator
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For Computer Operators, experience does not seem to be a major factor in determining pay. The average worker who claims fewer than five years of experience earns around $36K. In contrast, however, individuals who report five to 10 years in this occupation see a much larger median of $43K. For Computer Operators, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $43K. Veterans who have acquired more than 20 years report a median income of $49K, which is generally higher than the pay reported by other tenure groups.
Pay Difference by Location
For Computer Operators, busy Seattle offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 44 percent above the national average. Computer Operators will also find cushy salaries in New York (+34 percent), Phoenix (+33 percent), Boston (+25 percent), and Dallas (+24 percent). Computer Operators' salaries are heavily influenced by location — Computer Operators in Atlanta bring in salaries that are 38 percent lower than the national average. Not at the bottom but still paying below the median are employers in Chicago and Houston (18 percent lower and 14 percent lower, respectively).
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