CareerGPS

Computer Operators
Summary Occupational Forecast Data for Computer Operators
Employment Employment Change Average Annual Job Openings Wage & Training Levels
2018 2023 Numerical Percent New Jobs Replacement Jobs Total Median Hourly Median Annual Training Levels
258 267 9 3.65% 2 27 29 $28.30 $58,872 High school diploma or equivalent
Description: Monitor and control electronic computer and peripheral electronic data processing equipment to process business, scientific, engineering, and other data according to operating instructions. May enter commands at a computer terminal and set controls on computer and peripheral devices. Monitor and respond to operating and error messages.
Staffing Pattern Data Forecast Data Source: EMSI (2nd Quarter 2018)

Occupation Details

The information in this section represents occupational characteristics included in O*NET which defines key features of an occupation as a standardized, measurable set of variables called "descriptors". These distinguishing characteristics of an occupation are described in greater detail in the O*NET Content Model. All items are listed in descending order of importance.

  • Enter commands, using computer terminal, and activate controls on computer and peripheral equipment to integrate and operate equipment.
  • Monitor the system for equipment failure or errors in performance.
  • Notify supervisor or computer maintenance technicians of equipment malfunctions.
  • Respond to program error messages by finding and correcting problems or terminating the program.
  • 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.
  • Operate spreadsheet programs and other types of software to load and manipulate data and to produce reports.
  • Retrieve, separate and sort program output as needed, and send data to specified users.
  • Load peripheral equipment with selected materials for operating runs, or oversee loading of peripheral equipment by peripheral equipment operators.
  • Answer telephone calls to assist computer users encountering problems.
  • 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.
  • Supervise and train peripheral equipment operators and computer operator trainees.
  • Help programmers and systems analysts test and debug new programs.

Knowledge

79%
Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
74%
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.
72%
English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
69%
Clerical - 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.
52%
Telecommunications - Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.

Skills

69%
Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
65%
Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
62%
Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
60%
Active Listening - 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.
56%
Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
56%
Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
56%
Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
56%
Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
56%
Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
53%
Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
53%
Systems Analysis - Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
53%
Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
53%
Quality Control Analysis - Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
53%
Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
53%
Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
50%
Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
50%
Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Abilities

69%
Problem Sensitivity - 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.
65%
Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
62%
Information Ordering - 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).
62%
Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
62%
Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
62%
Perceptual Speed - 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 compa
60%
Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
60%
Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
56%
Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
56%
Finger Dexterity - The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
56%
Flexibility of Closure - The ability to identify or detect a known pattern (a figure, object, word, or sound) that is hidden in other distracting material.
56%
Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
56%
Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
53%
Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
53%
Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
50%
Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
50%
Far Vision - The ability to see details at a distance.
50%
Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.

Work Activities

97%
Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
90%
Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
78%
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
77%
Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
76%
Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
76%
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
75%
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
75%
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
75%
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
69%
Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
64%
Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
63%
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
63%
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
62%
Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
62%
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
56%
Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
56%
Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
51%
Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.
Title Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
Overall Experience Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, interviewers, and insurance sales agents.
Education Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

Interests

Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outsi
Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Work Styles

Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

Work Values

Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Independence - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.