Tentative Classification Standards issued by the Division of Classification & Compensation are shared with the operating agencies of State government for their consideration and comment. Accordingly, this document that you are viewing is subject to change and will be issued in final form at the completion of the review period.


Occ. Code 0821200











New York State Department of Civil Service


Classification Standard




Computer Operators perform technical duties with varying degrees of independence and responsibility in the operation and monitoring of mainframe and server systems.  These positions function within agency data centers that are typically staffed on a 24/7 basis across multiple shifts. Computer Operators are assigned to work in console operations, production control, tape processing, and print processing.



Assignments for Computer Operators vary depending upon the size of the information technology (IT) data center, variety of IT systems supported, and shift assignment in a single agency or multi-agency IT data center.  Positions at all levels may be assigned to any of the major functional areas of a data center (console operations; production control; tape processing; and print processing).  Positions assigned exclusively to print operations who do not rotate to other functional areas in a data center are classified in the Print Equipment Operator title series.

In the largest multi-agency information technology data center operations, a Chief Computer Operator manages one or more functional areas on an assigned shift.  In small to medium sized data centers, Senior and Supervising Computer Operators perform similar duties and supervise one or more functional areas on an assigned shift.

COMPUTER OPERATOR: entry level; under the direction of higher level computer operators, monitors and controls or assists in monitoring and controlling mainframe and server computers.  These positions are typically assigned to tape processing, print processing, and console operations.

SENIOR COMPUTER OPERATOR: first supervisory; under the direction of higher level computer operators, performs similar duties as Computer Operator with greater independence in tape processing, print processing and console operations.  In small to medium sized IT data centers, supervises Computer Operators responsible for tape processing, print processing, and console operations and may perform production control duties.  Positions assigned to the largest multi-agency data centers do not typically directly supervise staff, but may serve as lead worker to computer operators at the same or lower level.

SUPERVISING COMPUTER OPERATOR: second supervisory level; Under general direction of higher level computer operations staff, supervises one or more major data center functional areas. At small to medium data centers, functions as second-level supervisor. At large multi-agency data centers, serves as first supervisory level.  Positions are assigned to any of the major data center functional areas.

CHIEF COMPUTER OPERATOR: third supervisory level; under the general direction of an Information Technology Specialist 4 (Operations) or higher level IT manager, serves as the administrative supervisor of one or more functional areas of a data center on an assigned shift. The positions supervise Supervising Computer Operator and lower level Computer Operators serving as third level supervisor for small to medium data centers, and second level supervisor at large multi-agency data centers.


          Information Technology Specialists 1, 2, 3, and 4 perform technical and agency program support IT activities related to network and system design, configuration, maintenance, security; customer support; project support; business/systems analysis and design which may include mainframe, client/server and n-tier (e.g., three-tiered) web or browser-based applications systems; and the design, development, and administration of enterprise storage, backup, and database systems.  Information Technology Specialist 2, 3, and 4, positions assigned programming, database, data communications, or systems programming are classified in parenthetic titles to indicate specialty assignments.

          Print Equipment Operators at the various levels operate and maintain, on a full-time basis, print machines and auxiliary equipment in agency print shops to produce finished printed materials.  Positions assigned exclusively to digital print duties in an agency’s print operation are classified as Print Equipment Operator 1, 2, and 3 (Digital Print).



Monitors all system consoles and hardware diagnostic displays (console operations).


·       Initiates and monitors schedule to determine which programs should and should not be running at various times during the assigned shift.

·       Monitors tape, print processing, production control, and file transfers to ensure that customer workflow is completed.

·       Performs system boots, according to documented procedures, and ensures that systems are operating correctly upon restarting.

·       Monitors all facility environmental controls (security, fire, humidity, and temperature).

·       If batch programs error, follows all documentation to take appropriate action.

·       Monitors consoles (mainframe, open systems, hardware, diagnostic or other critical displays) for performance alerts.

·       Monitors system to identify anything that is halting or slowing down a batch processing or on-line transactions.

·       Issues initial notification of problems to programming, help desk, or other technical staff.


Schedules and properly configures production batch workloads (production control).


·       Reviews new applications and batch jobs for the completeness of documentation, adherence to standards and impact on existing workloads and schedules, and maintains production libraries.

·       Processes requests for modifications to the production schedule to add, delete or run a special ad-hoc job.

·       Communicates with customers and other appropriate staff to determine program or agency priorities.

·       Understands relationships between each customer’s applications, as well as data feeds and exchanges between agencies and any external entities. 

·       Monitors job control language codes, and diagnoses and determines corrective action when a computer job run fails.

·        Reschedules production runs due to program or hardware failure or conflicts between programs and communicates changes to console operations.

Operates tape drives and robotic devices (tape processing).


·       Prepares and assigns tapes, by cleaning and mounting, for various data processing operations.

·       Files and prepares tapes for transport to offsite storage in accordance with agency procedures to address disaster recovery requirements.

·       Erases and arranges for the destruction of aged or damaged media, and provides customers with a list of scratched tapes in accordance with established security requirements.

·       Maintains tape library by inventorying tapes on-hand and appropriately identifying tapes received from external sources for processing.

·       Communicates with customers or program areas to insure adherence to tape library utilization policies and standards.

·       Prepares backup tape files, coordinates error recovery and exception processing.

·       Ensures appropriate control, security, disposition, and accountability of foreign tapes.

In addition to performing duties in one of the above functional areas, operates print devices that produce the output from various data processing program runs (print processing).


·       Ensures that agency schedules, specific form and production quality are maintained.

·       Adheres to security procedures and requirements in regard to the storage, transportation, utilization, disposition, and accountability of secure stock.

·       Aligns and configures printers and post print processing equipment based on run book instructions and other pre-defined standards.

·       Reviews print and post print processing run books for correct and complete documentation of print jobs.

·       Diagnoses and resolves error recovery, and reports printer and post print processing equipment maintenance issues for major repairs and service.

·       Maintains proper levels of supplies to ensure smooth data center operations.

·       Removes completed jobs from system and conducts quality control checks.

·       Records, labels, batches, and distributes output and ensures delivery.

·       Ensures that print servers are operating properly and initiates problem resolution process when needed.

·       Performs regular cleaning and basic maintenance of print and post print equipment.


For Senior Computer Operator, Supervising Computer Operator, and Chief Computer Operator, performs supervisory responsibilities over lower level computer operators.


·        Provides instruction and training to lower level computer operators, and ensures the quality of various data processing operations.

·       Assists or manages the operation of complex systems or functional area(s) and identifies, reports, and resolves problems depending upon the seriousness and complexity of the problem.

·       Resolves operational issues with higher level technical, programming, or IT managers.

·        Schedules or recommends appropriate staffing patterns to effectively manage data processing operations, and participates in the resolution of operational scheduling problems.

·       Confers with programmers on job runs with regard to procedure, length of time, rate of output, and difficulties encountered.

·       Communicates policies and procedures to computer operations staff.

·       Establishes and coordinates the development of and implements training programs.

·       Implements or recommends changes to various production and print schedules to enhance operational efficiencies.

·       Identifies and ensures priority jobs are processed correctly.




Computer Operators do not supervise, but may provide guidance to new staff. Positions at the Senior, Supervising and Chief levels in this class function as supervisors of lower level staff.  Senior Computer Operators supervise in small to medium data centers, but typically do not supervise at large multi-agency data centers. The number and level of subordinates of Supervising Computer Operators or Chief Computer Operators varies depending upon the size of the data center, number of agencies supported, number of shifts, and variety IT systems supported. Small to medium data centers are typically located at a single agency.  The largest data centers support multiple agencies.





Open Competitive:  High school or high school equivalency diploma AND at least one of the following:

1.     six or more college semester credit hours in a computer-related field such as Computer Science, Computer Information Technology, Management Information Systems, or Computer Information Systems;

2.     successful completion of high school vocational studies related to large scale Computer Information Systems;

3.     six months’ full-time experience in the operation of a mainframe or medium to large server or complex, multi-variable print production.



Promotion: one year of permanent competitive service as a Computer Operator.



Promotion: one year of permanent competitive service as a Senior Computer Operator.



Promotion: one year of permanent competitive service as a Supervising Computer Operator.

Date:  9/18

NOTE:  Classification Standards illustrate the nature, extent and scope of the duties and responsibilities of the classes they describe.  Standards cannot and do not include all the work that might be appropriately performed by a class.  The minimum qualifications are those which were required for appointment at the time the Classification standard was written.  Please contact the Division of Staffing Services for current information on minimum qualification requirements for appointment or examination.