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OSP Occupational Profile

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NOC Code: NOC Code: 1421 Occupation: Computer Operators
Occupation Description: Occupation Description:
Computer operators operate computer equipment, produce computer-generated reports, monitor the operation of computer systems and networks, and co-ordinate their use. They are employed in computer centres throughout the private and public sectors. Computer operators operate computer equipment, produce computer-generated reports, monitor the operation of computer systems and networks, and co-ordinate their use. They are employed in computer centres throughout the private and public sectors.

  • Click on any of the Essential Skills to view sample workplace tasks for this occupation.
  • Scroll down the page to get information on career planning, education and training, and employment and volunteer opportunities.

Table will display the Skill Level for the Noc specified
Essential Skills Essential Skills Levels
Reading Reading 1 2 3 4
Writing Writing 1 2 3
Document Use Document Use 1 2
Digital Technology Digital Technology 1 2 3 4
Oral Communication Oral Communication 1 2 3
Money Math Money Math 1 2
Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting 1 2 3
Numerical Estimation Numerical Estimation 1 2
Job Task Planning and Organizing Job Task Planning and Organizing 1 2
Decision Making Decision Making 1
Problem Solving Problem Solving 1 2
Finding Information Finding Information 1 2 3

  • The skill levels represented in the above chart illustrate the full range of sample tasks performed by experienced workers and not individuals preparing for or entering this occupation for the first time.
  • Note that some occupational profiles do not include all Numeracy and Thinking Essential Skills.

If you would like to print a copy of the chart and sample tasks, click on the "Print Occupational Profile" button at the top of the page.

  • Read magazines or other computer publications to see what is new on the market. (2)
  • Consult written system documentation which outlines contract history to gain a fuller understanding of contract requirements. (3)
  • Refer to manuals to learn about specific features of computer network systems, hardware, software and related equipment. (4)
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  • Write email messages to convey information. (1)
  • Write notes to yourself or other operators about backup, system or production problems. (1)
  • Write in logs to record problems with machines, the arrival time of orders and project start and completion times. (1)
  • Write documentation or procedures manuals explaining the use of computer systems and new equipment for users who have limited computer knowledge. (3)
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Document Use
  • Read lists of duties to complete. (1)
  • Read labels on magnetic tapes, computer disks and software packages. (1)
  • Read point-form descriptions of work in progress. (1)
  • Read computer logs of system run times and status reports. (2)
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Digital Technology
  • Use a database. For example, record client or patient information. (2)
  • Use communications software. For example, use the Internet. (2)
  • Use bookkeeping, billing and accounting software. For example, prepare invoices. (3)
  • Use a spreadsheet. For example, use spreadsheets when preparing cost estimates for a project. (3)
  • Use word processing. For example, document troubleshooting steps. (3)
  • Do programming or systems and software design. (4)
  • Order and install systems; maintain software and hardware for users, train users and troubleshoot for them; help or be responsible for network control functions; operate consoles of host computers, which may support national or regional online users; and use mainframes. (4)
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Oral Communication
  • Direct console operators and respond to questions from network operators. (1)
  • Interact with users in person or on the telephone to explain how to use software or hardware, to troubleshoot problems, to respond to requests for set up or to handle their questions and complaints. (2)
  • Participate in staff meetings to discuss new equipment, procedures or developments, to evaluate the process or to make suggestions for users. (2)
  • Present information to employees and customers at training sessions to ensure they can use the systems. This may include hands-on exercises and demonstrations. (3)
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Money Math
  • Calculate prices and taxes for a project invoice. (2)
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Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting
  • Schedule production runs. (2)
  • Monitor the network schedule and make adjustments to production runs as necessary to ensure that the network system response time is maintained. This requires consideration of many variables including network system capabilities, user priorities and system scheduling. (3)
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Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate run times based on preset formulae and a prediction of the potential downtime for machine adjustment. (2)
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Job Task Planning and Organizing
  • Computer operators work according to a plan set by their supervisors. They co-ordinate their duties with co-workers, taking into account factors such as the length of the job, deadlines and other work. Interruptions caused by machine malfunctions, phone calls, specific assignments from the supervisor and user requests are frequent, requiring adjustment to the work plan and the resetting of priorities. Their flexibility is limited to some extent by urgent duties which cannot be delayed, such as printing bills. (2)
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Decision Making
  • Decide when to refer a help line call to an analyst or a technician. (1)
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Problem Solving
  • A customer is unable to convert a document from one version of WordPerfect to another. Show the customer how to save the file correctly. (1)
  • Customers' orders have been delayed. Determine if the delay is with the application or with the printing and hasten to get the job back on schedule. (2)
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Finding Information
  • Find information about a computer program from the staff software specialist. (2)
  • Conduct research on new hardware or software, using a variety of sources, such as manuals, the Internet and other professionals. (3)
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