Computer Terminal Operator

Computer terminal operators type information into the computer for processing. A computer terminal operator's job is to review data for accuracy and make corrections.

The computer terminal operator also types computer programs and inputs data and sets up instruction programs for the computer to follow.

Other responsibilities include:

  • programming margin changes, line adjustments and other routine typing decisions
  • safe-keeping of all the documentation
  • taking care of the computer equipment
In-service training: ?a candidate must pass a selection process before appointment. The data typist who has already attained proficiency on any other keyboard (such as a typewriter or other office machine), may be trained on the job by senior operators or supervisors.

The candidate with no experience is sent on an external course or given a systematic training course before starting productive work. The basic content of the training course is standard but its application is adapted to the needs of each individual on a personal basis.

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

Grade 10 Certificate
Employers prefer higher educational qualifications.
National Senior Certificate for a diploma course.

What to Study

Diploma: Relevant diplomas are offered by most universities of technology and colleges - e.g. TUT, VUT, CUT, CPUT

Certificate: Relevant certificates are offered by most  - TVET (Technical Vocational Education and Training) Colleges,  false Bay, Elangeni, Boland, Northlink, SW Gauteng, Cape Town

A N.Dip: Computer Systems takes four years to complete, of which two years are full-time at a university of technology. The rest of the time is devoted to in-service training with an approved employer.

Most computer companies provide product-orientated training for technicians. The duration of this training is normally dependent on the complexity of the equipment and whether it is basic or advanced training.


  • all businesses and industries
  • educational and health care institutions
  • government departments
  • computer manufacturers and companies
  • public institutions such as Eskom, Denel, Mittal Steel, Transnet
  • educational institutions such as universities of technology
  • local authorities and other institutions.
  • self employment - computer technicians, with enough experience and capital, may start their own businesses

Further Information

Computer Society of SA 
ICT House
546 16th Road
Constantia Park [Unit No.3]
Tel: (011) 315-1319

The Director
Computer Users’ Council of South Africa
P O Box 1688
Halfway House, 1685
Tel: (011) 805-3151/2

Getting Started

  • develop your communication and computer skills
  • arrange to take an aptitude test, to determine whether you have the ability for this type of work
  • speak to people in this field of work
  • try to obtain vacation work in this field

Programmes by Study Institutions

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