What Do Desktop Publishers Do?
In both small businesses and large corporations, published materials are an integral part of daily operations. Desktop publishers work with computers to format typescript and graphic elements to produce publication-ready material. This can include anything from sales reports, brochures, presentations, product and services reports, other articles, and books.With the continuing change in the publishing industry, the job availability for this field in the future is overall projected to stay flat, or slightly decrease. Opportunities are out there for skilled and motivated individuals, but it will be important to keep up with changing technologies to advance in your career.
Desktop Publishers Skills and Abilities
Computer and design knowledge is at the heart of this field. It is important to be proficient in software and design systems to be able to meet the expectations of the position. In addition, your ability to communicate in the English language in an articulate and grammatically correct way, and your awareness of the latest trends in communication and digital media are incredibly useful. Your creativity and the number of ideas you will be able to pitch to your clients or boss will help to elevate you above the competition.
Desktop Publishers Duties
In a standard work day, desktop publishers will perform numerous tasks related to formatting and creating blocks of text and graphics. As a general rule, your duties may include any of the following:
- Selecting the resources needed to complete your task
- Entering information into databases and software programs
- Formatting digital images, data or documents
- Preparing sample layouts from text and art images
- Selecting colors for images and making edits as necessary
- Collaborating with graphic artists, writers and editors
- Creating special effects including animation and audio elements
- Converting files, and storing and transmitting your data and projects
- Working with printing companies after final edits and approval
Desktop Publishers Tools and Technology
The main tools and technology for desktop publishers encompass a wide array of hardware and software. Apart from your main computer, you will also use printers, scanners, tablets and even notebook computers for efficiency. The software used in the industry is complex and graphics-oriented. You will be using much of the Adobe suite, including:
Along with the Adobe suite, other programs will be necessary to perform certain tasks. You will need to be familiar with data conversion software, other development environment programs, and optical character readers or scanners from manufacturers like Corel or Pantone.
Education and Training for Desktop Publishers
The typical level of education necessary to enter this field is an associate’s degree. It is not necessary to have experience prior to obtaining a job, and many firms will allow for short-term on-the-job training opportunities. 24.3% of desktop publishers have obtained a bachelor’s degree, which could also lead to increased pay. Training for this career is specifically focused on digital imaging design and prepress/desktop publishing.
Desktop Publishers Salary
For this career, an average annual salary is $38,200. There is a wide swing in available incomes depending on the employer, from a low of $20,800 to a generous $65,600 annually in the top 10% of the field. The state of California trends about $5,000-$8,000 more per year across the spectrum of salaries for desktop publishers.
Desktop Publishers Jobs by Geography
Across the United States, the highest concentration of desktop publishing positions is found in California, New York, and Texas. There is a mixed projection of forecasted jobs for the future; some states will decrease in the opportunities, and others will have marginal gains. The west and northwest areas of the United States are trending the highest in percentage of gains in jobs as desktop publishers.