Computer operators are responsible for maintaining computer systems and making sure that they operate properly and smoothly. Various jobs associated with this field depend on the kind of computer system used by a company or organization. Computer operator jobs include working with mainframe systems, working with personal computer networks, managing databases and providing technological support. In some cases, computer operators assist systems analysts or programmers.
Computer operators traditionally work on either large mainframe computer systems or personal computer networks. In a mainframe system, a central computer houses all of the software and memory. By contrast, memory, software and processing power reside within each individual personal computer.
Older mainframe systems utilize a control panel that notifies the computer operator of an error. If an error is received, the operator tracks down and solves the problem. Under this system, it is also the operator’s job to record all glitches in the system.
Many companies have moved away from using mainframe systems to use personal computers. Technology advancements are partly responsible for this movement. Software programs can now perform some of the tasks that used to be accomplished by computer operators.
Computer operator jobs relating to a personal computer network include assisting the network administrator. Specifically, a computer operator can assist network administrators in connecting all of the networks. The operator also can help ensure that the network and servers are running correctly.
Other types of computer operator jobs are database management, network support and user support. In a small organization with few computers, all three of these jobs might be represented by a single position. Larger organizations are likely to have multiple people performing computer operator jobs.
As a database manager, a computer operator might design or make changes to computer databases. The operator also might be responsible for planning or implementing security to protect a computer system. Preserving and backing up data is another important part of this job.
A computer operator performing a network support job might assist a network administrator. This includes making sure that all network connections are in place. It also is important to ensure that the network and all of its servers are running smoothly.
As a user support specialist, a computer operator often works directly with employees. This includes helping to connect a personal computer to scanners or printers. Helping new employees set up computers also is a common duty. This can include physically setting up the computer and helping new employees with passwords.