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Also known as:
Computer Peripheral Equipment Operator, Computing Machine Operator, Console Operator, Information Systems Operator
Nowadays, most of us think of computers as the small machines that sit on a desk. But long before personal computers became popular, computer operators were needed to help handle the huge computers that helped run big business. Many companies and government agencies still rely on large computers, ca ...
lled mainframes, or in groups of linked minicomputers. Computer operators oversee the operation of these machines, as well as networks of personal computers.
Often, they're called upon to load tapes, disks, paper, or other media. It's a job that might require spending time on your feet. The job of a computer operator is to keep computers running smoothly and communicating with each other. You must be able to troubleshoot problems and plan for supplies and maintenance.
Computer operators are usually trained on the machines they'll be responsible for, but they often move on to other machines. Therefore, the ability to read technical manuals and learn new equipment is important. Computer training is available at community colleges, technical schools, through the Armed Forces, and from most computer manufacturers.
All kinds of companies use computers - from banks to manufacturers. The trend is toward more automation, however, and as computers increasingly learn to manage themselves, there will be fewer jobs for computer operators.
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.
Critical decision making
Level of responsibilities
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
Dealing and handling conflict
Competition for this position
Communication with others
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
Comfort of the work setting
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
Exposure to job hazards
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Load peripheral equipment with selected materials for operating runs, or oversee loading of peripheral equipment by peripheral equipment operators.
Oversee the operation of computer hardware systems, including coordinating and scheduling the use of computer terminals and networks to ensure efficient use.
Record information such as computer operating time, problems that occurred, and actions taken.
Read job set-up instructions to determine equipment to be used, order of use, material such as disks and paper to be loaded, and control settings.
Retrieve, separate and sort program output as needed, and send data to specified users.
Notify supervisor or computer maintenance technicians of equipment malfunctions.
Monitor the system for equipment failure or errors in performance.
Operate spreadsheet programs and other types of software to load and manipulate data and to produce reports.
Answer telephone calls to assist computer users encountering problems.
Enter commands, using computer terminal, and activate controls on computer and peripheral equipment to integrate and operate equipment.
Respond to program error messages by finding and correcting problems or terminating the program.
Interacting With Computers
Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work
Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Computers and Electronics
Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
Public Safety and Security
Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
Production and Processing
Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Complex Problem Solving
Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.