Printing Press Operator


Work Tasks

PRINTING PRESS OPERATORS prepare, operate, and maintain printing presses in a pressroom. Duties of operators vary according to type of press they operate, such as offset lithography, gravure, flexography, screen printing, or letterpress. In addition to the major printing processes, plateless or non-impact processes are coming into general use. Plateless processes--including electronic, electrostatic, and ink-jet printing--are used for copying, duplicating, and document and specialty printing. Most plants have printing presses that have computers to control press operations.

Salary, Size & Growth

Entry Requirements

Most PRINTING PRESS OPERATORS are trained on the job working as assistants or helpers to experienced operators. Apprenticeships take 4 years to complete. Post-secondary programs in printing equipment operation offered by technical and trade schools and community colleges are becoming increasingly important. Some post-secondary school programs require 2 years of study and award an associate degree, but most programs can be completed in a year or less. Because of technical developments in the printing industry, courses in chemistry, electronics, color theory, and physics will be helpful.