Computer Operators Career Video
Description: Monitor and control electronic computer and peripheral electronic data processing equipment to process business, scientific, engineering, and other data according to operating instructions. Monitor and respond to operating and error messages. May enter commands at a computer terminal and set controls on computer and peripheral devices.
Many companies and government agencies use large computers, called mainframes. Computer operators oversee the operation of these machines, as well as linked networks of personal computers. To keep computers running smoothly, operators enter commands and set controls on computers and related devices. They track down problems in computer systems and correct them, and plan for supplies and maintenance. Computer operators need to understand and use servers, printers, mainframe consoles and different types of drives. They use a variety of software and databases, and keep their knowledge current by reading technical manuals and learning new equipment. Big organizations that process large quantities of data, such as banking, engineering, and manufacturing, are typical employers of computer operators. While most employers require a high school diploma and related experience, some operators may enter the field with vocational training or an associate's degree. On-the-job training is typically provided. Automation continues to reduce the need for computer operators, making this a field with few new openings. But a strong base of hardware and software skills can help these professionals network to a related job.