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Print Binding and Finishing Workers
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Description: what do they do?
Bind books and other publications or finish printed products by hand or machine. May set up binding and finishing machines.
Also known as:
Bindery Production Manager, Production Associate, Machine Operator, Book Binder, Bindery Technician, Bindery Operator, Perfect Binder Operator, Custom Bookbinder, Bindery Worker, Binder Operator

    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
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    Transcript: Try to picture a stack of all the books you’ve handled throughout your life, and you will begin to appreciate the value of print binding and finishing workers, who have assembled each of those books. Publications such as newspapers, magazines, and books, are produced in volume by printing presses; these binding and finishing workers ensure effective machine operation and quality control. Print binding and finishing workers use various machines and hand tools to bind the pages together with stitching and gluing, then trim and cover, conducting visual inspections to ensure accuracy. These workers pay close attention to the work orders listing the specific requirements for a given product so the equipment will be set up correctly. This work also requires manual dexterity, and the ability to diagnose and resolve problems, such as print blemishes or binding errors. Work in press room environments can be noisy, but it’s necessary to oversee and conduct the ground-level aspects of book manufacturing. Most jobs require a high school diploma; training is on-the-job. While the job market has narrowed in the field because of increased use of digital material, the public’s demand for the printed word continues.
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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
United States
46,500
2018 Employment
39,400
2028 Employment
-15%
Percent change
5,300
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 Print Binding and Finishing Workers 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.
LocationUnited States
10%$21,890
25%$25,910
Median$32,890
75%$41,990
90%$50,910


    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:
  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • No work experience
  • 1 to 12 months on-the-job training

    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
  • Inspected printed materials or other images to verify quality.
  • Study blueprints or other instructions to determine equipment setup requirements.
  • Mount attachments or tools onto production equipment.
  • Trim excess material from workpieces.
  • Sew clothing or other articles.
  • Operate sewing equipment.
  • Mount materials or workpieces onto production equipment.
  • Watch operating equipment to detect malfunctions.
  • Repair production equipment or tools.
  • Clean production equipment.
  • Record operational or production data.
  • Lubricate production equipment.
  • Operate equipment to print images or bind printed images together.
  • Cut industrial materials in preparation for fabrication or processing.
  • Engrave designs, text, or other markings onto materials, workpieces, or products.
  • Confer with customers or designers to determine order specifications.
  • Package products for storage or shipment.
  • Stack finished items for further processing or shipment.
  • Adjust equipment controls to regulate flow of production materials or products.
  • Load materials into production equipment.
  • Instruct workers to use equipment or perform technical procedures.
  • Drill holes in parts, equipment, or materials.
  • Apply protective or decorative finishes to workpieces or products.

    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:
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • 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:
  • Operation Monitoring - Watching gauges, dials, or display screens to make sure a machine is working.

    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:
  • Finger Dexterity - Putting together small parts with your fingers.
  • Problem Sensitivity - Noticing when problems happen.
  • Near Vision - Seeing details up close.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness - Keeping your arm or hand steady.
  • Manual Dexterity - Holding or moving items with your hands.
  • Oral Comprehension - Listening and understanding what people say.
  • 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.
  • Realistic - Occupations with Realistic interests frequently involve practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

    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
  • Examine stitched, collated, bound, or unbound product samples for defects, such as imperfect bindings, ink spots, torn pages, loose pages, or loose or uncut threads.
  • Read work orders to determine instructions and specifications for machine set-up.
  • Install or adjust bindery machine devices, such as knives, guides, rollers, rounding forms, creasing rams, or clamps, to accommodate sheets, signatures, or books of specified sizes.
  • Trim edges of books to size, using cutting machines, book trimming machines, or hand cutters.
  • Stitch or glue endpapers, bindings, backings, or signatures, using sewing machines, glue machines, or glue and brushes.
  • Insert book bodies in devices that form back edges of books into convex shapes and produce grooves that facilitate cover attachment.
  • Monitor machine operations to detect malfunctions or to determine whether adjustments are needed.
  • Lubricate, clean, or make minor repairs to machine parts to keep machines in working condition.
  • Maintain records, such as daily production records, using specified forms.
  • Set up or operate bindery machines, such as coil binders, thermal or tape binders, plastic comb binders, or specialty binders.
  • Set up or operate machines that perform binding operations, such as pressing, folding, or trimming.
  • Cut cover material to specified dimensions, fitting and gluing material to binder boards by hand or machine.
  • Cut binder boards to specified dimensions, using board shears, hand cutters, or cutting machines.
  • Bind new books, using hand tools such as bone folders, knives, hammers, or brass binding tools.
  • Perform highly skilled hand finishing binding operations, such as grooving or lettering.
  • Imprint or emboss lettering, designs, or numbers on book covers, using gold, silver, or colored foil, and stamping machines.
  • Compress sewed or glued signatures, using hand presses or smashing machines.
  • Form book bodies by folding and sewing printed sheets to form signatures and assembling signatures in numerical order.
  • Meet with clients, printers, or designers to discuss job requirements or binding plans.
  • Prepare finished books for shipping by wrapping or packing books and stacking boxes on pallets.
  • Set up or operate glue machines by filling glue reservoirs, turning switches to activate heating elements, or adjusting glue flow or conveyor speed.
  • Train workers to set up, operate, and use automatic bindery machines.
  • Design original or special bindings for limited editions or other custom binding projects.
  • Punch holes in and fasten paper sheets, signatures, or other material, using hand or machine punches and staplers.
  • Repair, restore, or rebind old, rare, or damaged books, using hand tools.
  • Apply color to edges of signatures using brushes, pads, or atomizers.

    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.

Other resources

    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.