Computer Operator Salary

Earnings for Computer Operators in the United States come in at around $17.20 per hour on average. Compensation ranges from $11.49 per hour on the lower end to $25.83 on the higher end. Location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career length. Making up 72 percent of those who took the survey, male Computer Operators greatly outnumber their female counterparts. A strong majority enjoy medical and dental coverage in this occupation, and a majority get vision benefits. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. The data for this synopsis comes from respondents who took the PayScale 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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At the upper end, Computer Operators who move into an Information Technology Project Manager role can end up with a hefty increase in pay. The average income for Information Technology Project Managers is a much higher $86K per year. When Computer Operators are ready for the next step in their careers, they often become Mainframe Computer Operators or Information Technology Specialists. Those roles pay an additional $1K and $8K, respectively.

Computer Operator Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Computer Operator


Computer Operators generally report applying a varied skill set 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 are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Microsoft Office, Windows Operating System General Use, and Windows NT / 2000 / XP Networking. The majority of those who know Microsoft Office also know AS/400, Network Support, and Mainframe. Most people who know Windows Operating System General Use also know Mainframe.

Pay by Experience Level for Computer Operator

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


Computer Operators with more experience do not necessarily bring home bigger paychecks. In fact, experience in this field tends to impact compensation minimally. The median compensation for relatively untried workers is $34K; in the five-to-10 year group, it's higher at around $39K. After working for 10 to 20 years, Computer Operators make a median salary of $42K. Veterans who have worked for more than two decades do tend to make the most in the end; the median pay for this group is $48K.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $40,103

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

Surpassing the national average by 45 percent, Computer Operators in Seattle receive some of the highest pay in the country. Computer Operators can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like New York (+42 percent), Phoenix (+34 percent), Boston (+33 percent), and San Diego (+11 percent). Computer Operators in Atlanta take home the lowest salaries, earning a whopping 38 percent less than the national average. Workers in Houston and Chicago earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (17 percent less and 9 percent less, 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.

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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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