What Do Printing Press Operators Do

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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: $38470
Education: No degree required
Job Satisfaction: Low
Personality: The Builder

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 it like working as one

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 to become one

Should you become one

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.


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