What Do Photo Lab Technicians Do (including Their Typical Day At Work)

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Job Description, Daily Responsibilities, and Work Life

Photographic Process Workers and Processing Machine Operators

Photographic Process Workers and Processing Machine Operators perform work involved in developing and processing photographic images from film or digital media. May perform precision tasks such as editing photographic negatives and prints.

Salary
$39390
Becoming One
Easy
Education
No degree required
Job Satisfaction
Low
Job Growth
Low

Personality



Job Description

Job Description

Photo Lab Technicians perform work involved in developing and processing photographic images from film or digital media. May perform precision tasks such as editing photographic negatives and prints. They also select digital images for printing, specify number of images to be printed, and direct to printer, using computer software.

Other tasks include:

  • Create prints according to customer specifications and laboratory protocols.
  • Produce color or black-and-white photographs, negatives, or slides, applying standard photographic reproduction techniques and procedures.
  • Set or adjust machine controls, according to specifications, type of operation, or material requirements.
  • Review computer-processed digital images for quality.
  • Operate scanners or related computer equipment to digitize negatives, photographic prints, or other images.
  • Fill tanks of processing machines with solutions such as developer, dyes, stop-baths, fixers, bleaches, or washes.

We asked Photo Lab Technicians how satisfied they are with their job. Here is what they said.

Job satisfaction

46%

How meaningful is this job

42%


46% of them said they were satisfied with their job and 42% said they find that their job makes the world a better place or helps to make someone else’s life better.



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Typical Day At Work

On a daily basis, Photo Lab Technicians monitor equipment operation to detect malfunctions. They select digital images for printing, specify number of images to be printed, and direct to printer, using computer software.

  • Create prints according to customer specifications and laboratory protocols.
  • Maintain records, such as quantities or types of processing completed, materials used, or customer charges.
  • Produce color or black-and-white photographs, negatives, or slides, applying standard photographic reproduction techniques and procedures.
  • Thread filmstrips through densitometers or sensitometers and expose film to light to determine density of film, necessary color corrections, or light sensitivity.
  • Examine drawings, negatives, or photographic prints to determine coloring, shading, accenting, or other changes required for retouching or restoration.

We asked some Photo Lab Technicians a few questions to find out what else does their work day look like. Here is what we found.

Do you have telephone conversations everyday in this job? 3% said yes
How important is it to work in a team in this job? 0% said very important
Do you have group discussions everyday in this job? 0% said yes
Do you talk or work with customers everyday in this job? 0% said yes
Do you have to deal with angry customers everyday in this job? 0% said yes
Do you have to make decisions everyday in this job? 0% said yes

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Photo Lab Technicians also shade negatives or photographs with pencils to smooth facial contours, soften highlights, or conceal blemishes, stray hairs, or wrinkles. They may also apply paint, using airbrushes, pens, artists’ brushes, cotton swabs, or gloved fingers to retouch or enhance negatives or photographs.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Photo Lab Technicians Splice broken or separated film and mount film on reels. They might also Upload digital images onto Web sites for customers.

In addition, they Dry prints or negatives using sponges, squeegees, mechanical air dryers, or drying cabinets.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them Set automatic timers, lens openings, and printer carriages to specified focus and exposure times and start exposure to duplicate originals, photographs, or negatives.

To some Photo Lab Technicians, it is also their responsibility to Retouch photographic negatives or original prints to correct defects.


Working life

Working hours

Less than 40 hours per week

Working schedule

Regular schedule like a 9 to 5

In a typical work week as a Photographic Process Worker and Processing Machine Operator, you can expect to work less than 40 hours per week.

Do Photo Lab Technicians work in an office-style work environment?

Every day
72%


Never
21%


Do Photo Lab Technicians work outdoors?

Never
42%


Once a year
29%



Is this right for me

Best personality for this career

The Organizers and The Builders

People who are suitable for this job tends to like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas..

They also like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They like working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

You can read more about these career personality types here.



Learn more about Photographic Process Workers and Processing Machine Operators

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Related to Photographic Process Workers and Processing Machine Operators Job Description

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Additional resources

http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes519151.htm


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