What Does A Printing Press Operator Do (including Their Typical Day at Work)

Stan T.Career, Overview

Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

Printing Press Operators

Printing Press Operators set up and operate digital, letterpress, lithographic, flexographic, gravure, or other printing machines. Includes short-run offset printing presses.

Salary
$40200
Becoming One
Easy
Education
No degree required
Job Satisfaction
Low
Job Growth

Personality





Find a job you love and you will never work a day in your life.Confucius

What they do

Printing Press Operators set up and operate digital, letterpress, lithographic, flexographic, gravure, or other printing machines. Includes short-run offset printing presses.

  • Collect and inspect random samples during print runs to identify any necessary adjustments.
  • Examine job orders to determine quantities to be printed, stock specifications, colors, or special printing instructions.
  • Verify that paper and ink meet the specifications for a given job.
  • Start presses and pull proofs to check for ink coverage and density, alignment, and registration.

Typical day

On a daily basis, Printing Press Operators collect and inspect random samples during print runs to identify any necessary adjustments. They adjust ink fountain flow rates.

A typical day for a Printing Press Operator will also include:

  • Monitor inventory levels on a regular basis, ordering or requesting additional supplies, as necessary.
  • Monitor environmental factors, such as humidity and temperature, that may impact equipment performance and make necessary adjustments.
  • Secure printing plates to printing units and adjust tolerances.
  • Clean or oil presses or makes minor repairs, using hand tools.
  • Verify that paper and ink meet the specifications for a given job.

Other responsibilities

Besides their typical day, Printing Press Operators also monitor inventory levels on a regular basis, ordering or requesting additional supplies, as necessary. They may also monitor environmental factors, such as humidity and temperature, that may impact equipment performance and make necessary adjustments.

On a weekly to monthly basis, Printing Press Operators clean or oil presses or make minor repairs, using hand tools. They might also adjust digital files to alter print elements, such as fonts, graphics, or color separations.

In addition, they set up or operate auxiliary equipment, such as cutting, folding, plate-making, drilling, or laminating machines.

Although specific duties may vary, many of them adjust ink fountain flow rates.

To some Printing Press Operators, it is also their responsibility to clean ink fountains, plates, or printing unit cylinders when press runs are completed.

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What is the job like

Job satisfaction

Low

Is this job meaningful

Low

55% said they were satisfied with their job and 27% said they found their job meaningful.


Pros

Suitable for people who like practical and hands-on work.

Suitable for people who want to work in a supportive work environment.

This career is perfect for people who love to work indoors.

It is not too difficult to get into this career. Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for this career.

Cons

Not suitable for people who like to help and teach others.

One of the lowest paying jobs.

Demand for this career is declining.

How much do they make

Average salary

$40200 per year

Average hourly wage

$19 per hour

Entry-level Printing Press Operators with little to no experience can expect to make anywhere between $25,120 to $29,940 per year or $12 to $14 per hour.

Salary by experience Annual Hourly
Highest (Top 10%) $60,040 $29
Senior (Top 25%) $48,480 $23
Median $37,880 $18
Junior (Bottom 25%) $29,940 $14
No experience (Bottom 10%) $25,120 $12

This table shows the top 10 highest paying industries for Printing Press Operators based on their average annual salary.

Salary by industry Annual Hourly
Federal Executive Branch $104410 $50.20
Business, Professional, Labor, Political, and Similar Organizations $54140 $26.03
Local Government $53600 $25.77
Computer and Peripheral Equipment Manufacturing $51630 $24.82
Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing $50610 $24.33
Office Administrative Services $49670 $23.88
Educational Support Services $48420 $23.28
Navigational, Measuring, Electromedical, and Control Instruments Manufacturing $47840 $23.00
Computer Systems Design and Related Services $46800 $22.50
Other Furniture Related Product Manufacturing $46580 $22.39

View more salary by industries here.

Where can they work

Where can Printing Press Operators work? Here is a table showing the top 10 largest employers of Printing Press Operators including the average salary in that industry.

Employers Total Employed Annual Salary Hourly Wages
Printing and Related Support Activities 95340 $40030 $19.24
Converted Paper Product Manufacturing 10610 $43610 $20.96
Newspaper, Periodical, Book, and Directory Publishers 8520 $41570 $19.99
Advertising, Public Relations, and Related Services 6830 $39710 $19.09
Plastics Product Manufacturing 5900 $40310 $19.38
Employment Services 4210 $34380 $16.53
Merchant Wholesalers, Nondurable Goods 3110 $39260 $18.88
Business Support Services 2160 $37570 $18.06
Other Miscellaneous Manufacturing 2060 $37350 $17.96
Specialized Design Services 1880 $39140 $18.82

What is the work day like

Working hours

Less than 40 hours
0%

40 hours
59%

More than 40 hours
41%

Working schedule

62%

38%

0%

Email

How often do you use email in this job?

Once a week
7%

Every day
24%

Telephone

How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?

Once a week
6%

Every day
26%

Group discussions

How often do you have group discussions in this job?

Once a week
6%

Every day
81%

Public speaking

How often does this job require you to do public speaking?

Never
76%

Once a year
4%

Once a month
11%

Once a week
10%

Every day
0%

Level of competition

How much competitive pressure is in this job?

Not competitive at all
30%

Slightly competitive
12%

Moderately competitive
24%

Highly competitive
29%

Extremely competitive
5%

What is the work environment like

Office-style environment

Indoors in an environmentally controlled condition

Never
0%

Once a year or more
0%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
0%

Every day
100%

Warehouse-style environment

Indoors in a non-controlled environmental condition such as a warehouse

Never
83%

Once a year or more
17%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
0%

Every day
0%

Outdoors

Outdoors exposed to all weather conditions

Never
87%

Once a year or more
13%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
0%

Every day
0%

Outdoors – Under Cover

Outdoors but under cover (e.g. structure with roof but no walls)

Never
100%

Once a year or more
0%

Once a month or more
0%

Once a week or more
0%

Every day
0%

How to become one

Difficulty to become one

Easy
You may need some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience. Most careers in this difficulty category usually don’t require a degree. However, you will need a few months of on-the-job training with experienced employees. Similar careers include Customer Service Representatives, Security Guards, and Bank Tellers.

Required level of education

What level of education do you need to perform the job?

Less than a High School Diploma
1%

High School Diploma or equivalent
73%

Post-Secondary Certificate
19%

Some College Courses
6%

Associate’s Degree or similar
0%

Bachelor’s Degree
0%

Post-Baccalaureate Certificate
0%

Master’s Degree
0%

Post-Master’s Certificate
0%

First Professional Degree
0%

Doctoral Degree
0%

Post-Doctoral Training
0%

Relevant majors

Printing Management

A program that prepares individuals to apply technical and managerial knowledge and skills to the processes and procedures of managing printing operations from initial design through finished product distribution. Includes instruction in the principles of graphic communications design and production; quality control; printing operations management; computerization; printing plant management; business finance and marketing; logistics and distribution; personnel supervision and leadership; and professional standards in the graphic communications industry.

Graphic and Printing Equipment Operator Production

A program that generally prepares individuals to apply technical knowledge and skills to plan, prepare, and execute a variety of commercial and industrial graphic communications jobs. Includes instruction in the operation and maintenance of mechanical, electronic, and digital graphic, printing, and finishing equipment; and related processes.

Printing Press Operator

A program that prepares individuals to apply technical knowledge and skills to set up, operate, and maintain printing presses.



Relevant work experience

How much related work experience do you need to get hired for the job?

None
35%

1 month
0%

1 to 3 months
1%

3 to 6 months
1%

6 months to 1 year
3%

1 to 2 years
0%

2 to 4 years
46%

4 to 6 years
6%

6 to 8 years
5%

8 to 10 years
1%

Over 10 years
1%

On The Job Training

How much on the job training do you need to perform the job?

None or short demonstration
3%

1 month
6%

1 to 3 months
46%

3 to 6 months
10%

6 months to 1 year
16%

1 to 2 years
5%

2 to 4 years
13%

4 to 10 years
1%

Over 10 years
0%

Should you become one

Best personality type for this career

The Builder

People with this personality type likes practical and hands-on work. They prefer working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.

The Builder
90%

People with The Builder personality type likes practical and hands-on work. They prefer working with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery.


The Thinker
24%

People with The Thinker personality likes to work with ideas that require an extensive amount of thinking. They prefer work that requires them to solve problems mentally.


The Artist
24%

People with The Artist personality likes to work with designs and patterns. They prefer activities that require self-expression and prefer work that can be done without following a clear set of rules.


The Helper
19%

People with The Helper personality type likes to work with people and in teams. They prefer work that allows them to build relationships with others.


The Leader
29%

People with The Leader personality likes to start and work on projects. They also like leading people and making many decisions.


The Organizer
71%

People with The Organizer personality type likes to follow set procedures and routines. They prefer working with data and details more than with ideas.


You can read more about these career personality types here.

People who are suitable for this job tend to 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.

They also like following set procedures and routines. They like working with data and details more than with ideas.

Take this quiz to see if this is the right career for you.

Work Values

Which values are the most important to a person’s satisfaction for this job?

Achievement
48%

You are someone who is results oriented. You prefer work that allows you to utilize your skills and abilities while at the same time giving you a sense of accomplishment.

Working Conditions
43%

You are someone who values job security, steady employment, and good working conditions. You also prefer work that keeps you busy all the time with something different to do every day.

Recognition
43%

You are someone who values job advancement and leadership roles. You prefer work that receives recognition for the work you do and jobs that are looked up to by others in the company and your community.

Relationships
33%

You are someone who likes to provide a service to others. You prefer a work environment where you can work with your co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment.

Support
57%

You are someone who values a company that stands behind their employees. You prefer a work environment where everyone is treated fairly and is being supported by the company.

Independence
43%

You are someone who likes to work on your own and make your own decisions. You prefer work that requires little supervision and are allowed to try out your own ideas.

FAQ


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