Printing Press Operators Career Video
Description: Format and proof text and images submitted by designers and clients into finished pages that can be printed. Includes digital and photo typesetting. May produce printing plates.
The print in magazines, newspapers, on packaging, and even fabric, is the work of skilled prepress technicians and print press operators plying their age-old trade of offset printing with very current technology. Prepress technicians make the final check to ensure text and images are perfect on their way to the printed page. They manipulate text and pictures to prepare pages and use great precision with laser plate-making equipment for printing. With a strong eye for detail, they check text and images for accuracy and correct color to ensure plates are faultless before printing. According to the specifics of job orders, printing press operators set up and operate printing machines, including digital, lithographic, flexographic, and gravure equipment. They collect random samples during a print run to make adjustments and prevent misprints. They change press plates or cylinders when needed. Good eyesight and a strong sense of color are helpful in these fields. The work is very detail-oriented, and deadline pressures can make it stressful. Employers typically look for technical training or an associate’s degrees in desktop publishing, graphic arts, or printing production. Jobs as a printing press operator may require only a high school diploma or equivalent. Technology is still reshaping prepress and press operations, and a key to success is adaptability, along with updating skills on an ongoing basis.