Title - Job Description Overview

Computer Operators

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.

Computer Programmer

Create, modify, and test the code, forms, and script that allow computer applications to run. Work from specifications drawn up by software developers or other individuals. May assist software developers by analyzing user needs and designing software solutions. May develop and write computer programs to store, locate, and retrieve specific documents, data, and information.

The Computer Information Systems (CIS) program at Mt. SAC offers a comprehensive curriculum of degrees and certificates to prepare you to transfer to a four-year degree program or to transition into an exciting and financially rewarding career in the computer industry.

  • Title - Related Careers
    Computer Information Systems
    • Computer Analysts
    • Computer and Information Systems Managers
    • Computer User Support Specialists
    • Computer Programmer
    • Software Developer
    • Web Developer
    • Database Administrator 


  • Title - Typical Job Duties
    Computer Operators
    • Monitor the system for equipment failure or errors in performance.
    • Respond to program error messages by finding and correcting problems or terminating the program.
    • Notify supervisor or computer maintenance technicians of equipment malfunctions.
    • Answer telephone calls to assist computer users encountering problems.
    • Record information such as computer operating time, problems that occurred, and actions taken.
    • Operate spreadsheet programs and other types of software to load and manipulate data and to produce reports.
    • Help programmers and systems analysts test and debug new programs.
    • Retrieve, separate and sort program output as needed, and send data to specified users.
    • Oversee  computer hardware system operations.
    • Coordinating and scheduling the use of computer terminals and networks to ensure efficient use.
    • Enter commands, using computer terminal, and activate controls on computer and peripheral equipment to integrate and operate equipment.
      Computer Programmer
      • Correct errors by making appropriate changes and rechecking the program to ensure that the desired results are produced.
      • Conduct trial runs of programs and software applications to ensure they  produce the desired information.
      • Write, update, and maintain computer programs or software packages to handle specific job tasks.
      • Write, analyze, review, and rewrite programs, using workflow chart and diagram, and applying knowledge of computer capabilities, subject matter, and symbolic logic.
      • Perform or direct revision, repair, or expansion of existing programs to increase operating efficiency or adapt to new requirements.
      • Consult with managerial, engineering, and technical personnel to clarify program intent, identify problems, and suggest changes.
      • Perform regular systems analysis and programming tasks to maintain and control the use of computer systems software.
      • Compile and write documentation of program development and subsequent revisions, inserting comments in the coded instructions so others can understand the program.
      • Prepare detailed workflow charts and diagrams that describe input, output, and logical operation, and convert them into a series of instructions coded in a computer language.

Computer Operators

According to a Career One Stop, the median wage for Computer Operators in California is $44,100. The average hourly rate is $21.21. They project 700 new jobs annually through the years of 2012-2022.

Computer Programmer

According to a Career One Stop, the median wage for a Computer Programmer in California is $86,000. The average hourly rate is $41.35. They project 1,530 new jobs annually through the years of 2012-2022.