Career in Computer Operator

If you aim for a career in computer operator, you need to know that computer operators oversee the operation of computer hardware systems, ensuring that these machines are used as efficiently as possible. Computer operators may work with mainframes, minicomputers, or networks of personal computers.

Students who plan to make a career in computer operator should be aware of the fact that computer operators must anticipate problems and take preventive action, as well as solve problems that occur during operations. The duties of computer operators vary with the size of the installation, the type of equipment used, and the policies of the employer.

Generally, computer operators control the console of either a mainframe digital computer or a group of minicomputers. Working from operating instructions prepared by programmers, users, or operations managers, computer operators set controls on the computer and on peripheral devices required to run a particular job.

A career in computer operator involves loading equipment with tapes, disks, and paper, as needed. While the computer is running—which may be 24 hours a day for large computers—computer operators monitor the control console and respond to operating and computer messages. Messages indicate the individual specifications of each job being run.

If an error message occurs, operators must locate and solve the problem or terminate the program. Operators also maintain logbooks or operating records, listing each job that is run and events, such as machine malfunctions, that occur during their shift. In addition, computer operators may help programmers and systems analysts test and debug new programs. A computer programmer prepares a computer program for obtaining the required data output.              

A career in computer operator also involvesprocessing the operations of computer hardware systems, including minicomputers, networks of personal computers (PCs) and mainframes, ensuring efficient use. Others may be retrained to perform different job duties, such as supervising an operations center, maintaining automation packages, or analyzing computer operations to recommend ways to increase productivity. Checking system performances and recording of problems are also inclusive within their varied fundamental duties.

Tasks and duties involved in career in computer operator:

a) Scheduling

b) Loading and downloading programs

c) Mounting tapes

d) Rerouting messages

e) Running periodic reports

f) Monitoring batch processes

Areas of specialization for a career in computer operator:

In the future, operators who wish to work in the computer field will need to specialize in:


Automation software

Graphics interface

Client/server environments

Open system

All these are important features for a career in computer operator.