What does a Computer Operator do?

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.

Jobs Roles

  • 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.
  • Clear equipment at end of operating run and review schedule to determine next assignment.
  • Type command on keyboard to transfer encoded data from memory unit to magnetic tape and assist in labeling, classifying, cataloging and maintaining tapes.
  • Supervise and train peripheral equipment operators and computer operator trainees.
  • Help programmers and systems analysts test and debug new programs.
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