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Desktop Publishers
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Description: what do they do?
Format typescript and graphic elements using computer software to produce publication-ready material.
Also known as:
Computer Typesetter, Electronic Console Display Operator, Production Manager, Art Director, Desktop Publishing Specialist, Mac Operator, Advertising Associate, Creative Director, Graphic Artist, Electronic Imager

    What does this information tell me?

    This description is a quick overview of what workers in this career might do.

    "Also known as" shows other common names for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from an O*NET database. Learn more on the Help page.

Career video
00:00
00:00

    Transcript: When a company hears its website is hard to read… or needs a brochure for a new product… they call on the skills of a desktop publisher to make their content appear easy to read, attractive, and engaging. Desktop publishers use design software to create page layouts for print or electronic publications, including newspapers, books, and reports or studies. They combine text and images to create a coherent design that conveys the intended message and grabs the reader’s attention. Desktop publishers may also edit text… correcting spelling, punctuation, and grammar. They tend to work on teams with other creative workers —such as writers, editors, and graphic designers— collaborating to prepare a cohesive design, often under strict deadlines. Desktop publishers work in a variety of industries, including many related to publishing and printing. Many work full time and may need to work additional hours when publication deadlines require it. For most positions, desktop publishers need an associate’s degree in graphic design or graphic communications, including courses on desktop publishing software that feature electronic page layouts and text and graphics formatting. A brief period of on-the-job training to learn the employer’s desktop publishing software is typical.
View transcript
Outlook: will there be jobs?
Image. Employment outlook for this occupation
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.


    What does this information tell me?

    Outlook information can tell you whether a career is expected to be in demand in the future—that is, whether there are likely to be job openings if you choose this career. Careers can have one of three outlooks:

    • A Bright outlook means new job opportunities are very likely in the future
    • An Average outlook means that a small number of new job opportunities are likely in the future (less than an 8 percent increase)
    • A Below Average outlook means new job opportunities are less likely in the future

    You can also view local job listings in this field by clicking "Find job openings" above. This can help you see if local businesses are hiring—another way of looking at demand.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET’s Bright Outlook occupations. Note this information is only available at a national level, so even if you selected a state, you’ll only see this information for the whole country.

Projected employment
Idaho
30
2016 Employment
30
2026 Employment
0%
Percent change
0
Annual projected job openings
United States
12,600
2018 Employment
10,600
2028 Employment
-16%
Percent change
1,200
Annual projected job openings

    What does this information tell me?

    Projected employment shows how much employment is expected to grow in this occupation over a 10-year period. This can help you decide if this career is a good choice for future job opportunities. You can look at projected employment in your state, or in other states where you might consider living.

    You can see the total number of people employed in this occupation in 2016 (for states) or 2018 (for the United States), the number expected to be employed in 2026 (for states) or 2028 (for the United States), and rate of growth over those years.

    The projections are based on assumptions of unemployment rates and labor productivity growth rates.  While the projected numbers may not be exact, they are helpful to compare one career to another, or one location to another.

    What is the source of this information?

    State-level data come from Projections Central and each state's Labor Market Information office, 2016-26.

    National-level data come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, 2018-28.

Typical wages

Annual wages for Desktop Publishers in United States
This graph displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
This chart displays wage data.  Find details by selecting the table view.
LocationidahoUnited States
10%N/A$22,770
25%N/A$31,290
MedianN/A$42,910
75%N/A$58,500
90%N/A$75,120


    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you a range of how much most workers in this occupation earn per hour, in the location that you selected.

    You can select from three views of this data:

    • The Graph shows you wages at the 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th and 90th percentiles. Note that the lowest (10th %ile) wage shown is not necessarily a "starting wage." Instead it means that 10 percent of all workers in this career earn less that this amount, and 90 percent earn more. However, you can assume that you might earn close to the 10th or 25th %ile wages when you start out in most careers.
    • Select "Chart" to see a visual comparison between national wages and wages in the location you selected.
    • Select "Table" to see more wage data the national and local level.

    Please note that wage data are not available at the city or ZIP code level. If you selected a city or ZIP code, you will see wage data for the regional area.

    Also note that in this update, 21 detailed occupations found within the 2010 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) were replaced with 10 new aggregations of those occupations; read more about these OES changes.

    You can learn more about wages for this and other occupations by clicking “See more wages” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    The wage information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Program, 2018 data. For more detailed state wage data, please find the link to your state's wage data program in the Other Resources box.

Education and experience: to get started
People starting in this career usually have:
  • Associate's degree
  • No work experience
  • Less than 1 month on-the-job training

Programs that can prepare you:

    What does this information tell me?

    This shows you the typical level of education, work experience, and on-the-job training that most people have when they start in this career. Note that these are not requirements for entering this field, but the information can help you understand how qualified you might be.

    Interested in starting in this career? You can search for education programs in your local area by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, Education and training assignments by detailed occupation, 2018.

Typical education
How much education do most people in this career have?
Chart. Percent of workers in this field by education level attained

    What does this information tell me?

    This chart shows you the range of education levels that people who currently work in this field have. You can use this to see if you fit in this range. Note that this includes ALL people who work in this field and not just those getting started.

    Interested in getting qualified for this career? You can search for programs that lead to the education needed, in your local area, by clicking “Find local training” above.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Employment Projections, Educational attainment for workers 25 years and older by detailed occupation, 2016–17.

Certifications: show your skills
Let employers know you have the skills to do well at this job.
Earning a certification can help you:
  • Get a job
  • Get a promotion

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find certifications" you'll see a list of national certifications that are related to this career. From there, you can learn how to achieve one of these certifications to help you enter or get ahead in this field.

    What is the source of this information?

    This collection of occupational certifications is collected and regularly updated by CareerOneStop. Learn more at Certification Finder Help.

Licenses: do you need one?
Some states require an occupational license to work in this career.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find license details in your state" you'll see the license name and contact information for the agency in your state that oversees licensing for this field. If you have not selected a location, you'll see a list of all state licenses for this occupation.

    What is the source of this information?

    Information on licensed occupations is gathered in each state by Labor Market Information units under a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. Learn more at License Finder Help.

Apprenticeships: learn on the job
Apprenticeships combine paid on-the-job-training with classroom lessons.

    What does this information tell me?

    When you click "Find apprenticeship sponsors" you'll find information that can help you locate apprenticeship opportunities in your state:

    • If there are businesses that have sponsored apprenticeships in this field in the past, you'll find their name and contact information.
    • If there are related occupations that might have apprenticeship opportunities, you'll find links to that information.
    • You'll also see contact information for state and federal agencies that oversee apprenticeship programs.

    What is the source of this information?

    Apprenticeship information comes from the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Apprenticeships, and from CareerOneStop. Learn more at Apprenticeship Finder Help.

Activities: what you might do in a day
  • Proofread documents, records, or other files to ensure accuracy.
  • Format digital documents, data, or images.
  • Send information, materials or documentation.
  • Deliver items.
  • Read work orders to determine material or setup requirements.
  • Enter information into databases or software programs.
  • Operate computers or computerized equipment.
  • Confer with coworkers to coordinate work activities.
  • Select resources needed to accomplish tasks.
  • Store records or related materials.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical work activities that people in this career might do on the job. You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More activities” to see more detailed examples of activities for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these activities to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET’s Detailed Work Activities.

Knowledge
People in this career often know a lot about:
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of general knowledge areas that are most commonly required for jobs in the career. Knowledge is typically gained through education and related experience.

    This list can help you learn if you are prepared for a job in this career. It can also help you decide on education or training programs that could help you prepare for the career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Knowledge descriptors.

Skills
People in this career often have these skills:
  • Critical Thinking - Thinking about the pros and cons of different ways to solve a problem.
  • Reading Comprehension - Reading work-related information.
  • Speaking - Talking to others.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one.
  • Active Listening - Listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions.
  • Monitoring - Keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements.
  • Writing - Writing things for co-workers or customers.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list the work-related skills most commonly required for jobs in the career.

    This list can help you understand how well your current skills fit this career. It can also help you plan your education or professional development.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Skills descriptors.

Abilities
People in this career often have talent in:
  • Near Vision - Seeing details up close.
  • Visualization - Imagining how something will look after it is moved around or changed.
  • Information Ordering - Ordering or arranging things.
  • Fluency of Ideas - Coming up with lots of ideas.
  • Written Comprehension - Reading and understanding what is written.
  • Originality - Creating new and original ideas.
  • Visual Color Discrimination - Noticing the difference between colors, including shades and brightness.
  • Category Flexibility - Grouping things in different ways.
  • Perceptual Speed - Quickly comparing groups of letters, numbers, pictures, or other things.
  • Oral Comprehension - Listening and understanding what people say.
  • Problem Sensitivity - Noticing when problems happen.
  • Written Expression - Communicating by writing.
  • Deductive Reasoning - Using rules to solve problems.
  • Flexibility of Closure - Seeing hidden patterns.
  • Selective Attention - Paying attention to something without being distracted.
  • Speech Clarity - Speaking clearly.
  • Oral Expression - Communicating by speaking.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of a list of personal qualities that might influence work and are most commonly required for success in this career.

    This list can help you understand if your natural strengths and abilities are a good fit for this career.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Abilities descriptors.

Interests
  • Conventional - Occupations related to Conventional interests frequently involve following set procedures and routines. They include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Artistic - Occupations with Artistic interests frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and allow for developing unique approaches to conducting the work.
  • Investigative - Occupations with Investigative interests frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. They often involve research and figuring out problems mentally.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of work environment-preferences that are most commonly associated with the career. It can help you understand if your natural interests are a good fit for this career.

    Click "Take an interest assessment" for a quick 30-question assessment that can help you understand your interests and see careers that might be good matches for them.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from the O*NET Resource Center. Learn more about O*NET's Interest descriptors.

Typical tasks
  • Check preliminary and final proofs for errors and make necessary corrections.
  • Operate desktop publishing software and equipment to design, lay out, and produce camera-ready copy.
  • Position text and art elements from a variety of databases in a visually appealing way to design print or web pages, using knowledge of type styles and size and layout patterns.
  • Convert various types of files for printing or for the Internet, using computer software.
  • Transmit, deliver or mail publication master to printer for production into film and plates.
  • Study layout or other design instructions to determine work to be done and sequence of operations.
  • Enter digitized data into electronic prepress system computer memory, using scanner, camera, keyboard, or mouse.
  • Import text and art elements, such as electronic clip art or electronic files from photographs that have been scanned or produced with a digital camera, using computer software.
  • Collaborate with graphic artists, editors and writers to produce master copies according to design specifications.
  • Select number of colors and determine color separations.
  • Prepare sample layouts for approval, using computer software.
  • Edit graphics and photos, using pixel or bitmap editing, airbrushing, masking, or image retouching.
  • Enter text into computer keyboard and select the size and style of type, column width, and appropriate spacing for printed materials.
  • Enter data, such as coordinates of images and color specifications, into system to retouch and make color corrections.
  • Load floppy disks or tapes containing information into system.
  • Store copies of publications on paper, magnetic tape, film or diskette.
  • Create special effects such as vignettes, mosaics, and image combining, and add elements such as sound and animation to electronic publications.

    What does this information tell me?

    This is a list of typical tasks that people in this career might do on the job.  You can use this list to get an idea of whether this career might be a good fit for you.

    Click on “More tasks” to see more detailed examples for this career.

    You can also use this list to help you prepare for a job interview. Or, if you’ve already held a job like this, you can copy these tasks to use on your resume.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information comes from O*NET OnLine's Occupation Information. They are O*NET‘s Tasks.

    What does this information tell me?

    These are additional online resources related to this career. You may find different or more detailed information at these sources.

    What is the source of this information?

    This information is collected and maintained by CareerOneStop.