Computer Operator Salary
Median pay for Computer Operators in the United States is around $16.38 per hour. Geographic location and career duration each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Generally, women make up less than a third of all Computer Operators who answered the questionnnaire. A fair number enjoy medical while a majority get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to the larger part. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Computer Operators. The figures in this rundown are based on the results of 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
- 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
There are some Computer Operators — though it's uncommon — that transition into Information Technology Managers, where earnings are an average $77K annually. Career advancement for the typical Computer Operator often leads to becoming a Mainframe Computer Operator or an Information Technology Specialist; median salaries in these positions are $1K higher and $8K higher, respectively.
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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 Windows 2003 Server, UNIX, Mainframe, and Network Support are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Windows Operating System General Use, Windows NT / 2000 / XP Networking, and Microsoft Office. It is often found that people who know Windows Operating System General Use are also skilled in Mainframe and Network Support. Most people who know 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.
Experience does not seem to be a strong driver of pay increase in this role. Salaries of relatively inexperienced workers fall in the neighborhood of $36K, but folks who have racked up five to 10 years see a notably higher median of $41K. After working for 10 to 20 years, Computer Operators make a median salary of $43K. In the end, more experience does seem to mean larger paychecks; seasoned Computer Operators with more than 20 years of experience earn a predictably higher median salary of $48K.
Pay Difference by Location
Home to some of the best pay for Computer Operators, Seattle offers exceptional salaries, 44 percent above the national average. Computer Operators will also find cushy salaries in New York (+34 percent), Phoenix (+32 percent), Boston (+32 percent), and Dallas (+23 percent). One of the biggest compensable factors for Computer Operators is geography, with workers in Atlanta earning a whopping 38 percent below the national average. Employers pay around 14 percent less in Houston and 10 percent less in Chicago, below-median salaries for those in this field.