What Do Printing Press Operators Do?
A printing press operator has the job of operating various types of printing machines. These may include digital, gravure, letterpress, flexographic and lithographic machines. They also must ensure the machines are running properly and that the completed product is of high quality.Those in this field can expect to see a negative 4% change in jobs between 2012 and 2022. In effect, there will be approximately 3,140 job openings annually.
Printing Press Operators Skills and Abilities
Skills, abilities and the proper knowledge will get you far in any job. It is essential that you have exceptional mechanical knowledge if you want to work in this position, since the majority of the work you do will be with machines. It is a good idea that you know how to repair and maintenance them as well. Mathematics skills and knowledge of materials and production processes are a plus. Operation and individual monitoring skills are important as well, as they will allow you to assess your performance and watch machines to ensure they are working right. Active listening and quality control analysis skills will additionally help you as a printing press operator. Some crucial abilities include:
- Near vision
- The ability to detect problems
- Written comprehension
Printing Press Operators Duties
There will be daily duties that will be expected of you in this position. Aside from operating the machines, some tasks that will be done can include collecting print samples and inspecting them for flaws, adjusting the machines if needed, determining quantities for certain jobs, using software for scheduling, setting up equipment, monitoring inventory levels, ensuring ink and paper meet specifications, changing parts such as press plates and cylinders, loading paper into presses, cleaning the machines, answering questions and directing crews. Some other job duties and tasks might include:
- Downloading data
- Installing mechanical components
- Utilizing cutting equipment
- Recording data
- Operating photographic development equipment
Printing Press Operators Tools and Technology
There are some essential tools and technology you will use on a daily basis as a printing press operator. As for the tools, adjustable wrenches and air dryers are important. These professionals additionally use offset printing presses. These can include platen presses, sheet-fed presses and roll-fed offset presses. Plate makers are used as well. Under this category falls internal drum image setters, flat-bed image setters and external drum image setters. Different types of printing presses are used as well, including digital printing presses and multicolor presses. Types of technology used by printing press operators include:
- Data base software
- Desktop publishing software
- Graphics software
Education and Training for Printing Press Operators
It is most common that printing press operators have high school diplomas or equivalents. This is all you need for an entry-level position. Additionally, no prior experience is necessary, but if you have some in the field you will look good to employers. You will likely receive on-the-job training once you hold this positon. Some programs in graphic communications, printing management and printing press operation may be available.
Printing Press Operators Salary
Those holding this position can expect to make, on average, $35,100 per year. Your location will affect how much you earn. Some people may earn around $55,700 or more as printing press operators. The lowest 10% of people in this position make about $20,500 annually.
Printing Press Operators Jobs by Geography
The states that have the highest level of employment for printing press operators are California, Illinois and Texas. When it comes to highest annual wage, the top three locations are the District of Columbia, Alaska and New Jersey. People in this position in Washington D.C. make $80,690 annually, on average. The printing and publishing industries employ the most printing press operators.