A computer operator can be found anywhere where computers are utilized and require constant human intervention and monitoring. The specific jobs that a computer operator will be required to perform vary greatly from occupation to occupation – in some cases, the operator must simply monitor the systems constantly and report changes in certain factors to their superiors; while in some other cases, computer operators may be needed to constantly adjust and control a given system in accordance to a set of conditions. Often, computer operators are employed at organizations that use minicomputers and large-scale mainframes, as they usually require a higher level of maintenance.
The requirements for becoming a computer operator vary from job to job – in some cases, a high school diploma will be enough and the entire set of skills is taught on the job, while in some other cases the employer may require a formal degree in computer science or a related subject. Previous working experience with computers, especially less conventional ones such as minicomputers, is always beneficial, and is actually becoming more and more of a requirement lately.
Even though the job of a computer operator usually involves more obscure computers and thus some special qualifications, their compensation tends to be lower than that of most other positions involving working with computers. A computer operator can earn between $25,000 and $41,000 a year. Jobs that require special maintenance to be performed on the computers will usually compensate their employees additionally for it, and the more complicated computer operator jobs can pay up to $50,000 annually.