Career Profile: Printing Press Operator
Printed words are everywhere in our world. We see them on posters, street signs and all kinds of other places. Many of the materials that people read have gone through a printing press. If you look at a book, you can find out the name of the author, the editor and the publisher. One person who is never mentioned is the printing press operator. However, printing press operators have very important jobs. Without them, many of the books, magazines and newspapers that we read would not exist.
In the last few years, computers have changed the way people read. Printed books, magazines and newspapers have become less popular as many people have changed over to electronic devices instead of paper. This shift has also affected job prospects for printing press operators, reducing their chances for employment. However, their work is still valuable. Universities, libraries, governments and others still use printed documents every day. Whether the documents are textbooks or novels, they are still important for helping people find the information they need or for giving them a chance to relax and enjoy an interesting story. Printing press operators help people have access to these books.
The work that printing press operators do can vary a lot. Some people work only with machines that print paper documents, but others work with plastic, metal and other materials. They might work with illustrations and designs or mainly with written text. Printing is normally the last stage of the publication process. When the printing press operator receives a book or magazine to print, it normally has everything in order and all of the different sections in place. For a book, this means that the cover and title page come first and that the book is set up the way the author and publisher want it to look. The printing press operator then sets up the machine to print the pages according to the instructions.
The training required to become a printing press operator varies, depending on the employer. Many printing press operators work for small businesses, although some work for larger companies. They might need only a high school diploma to get a job, although official training in printing techniques is helpful. Vocational schools that offer programs in printing, photofinishing and related fields can help train printing press operators for the kinds of work they will do. Basic computer skills are also very useful, and knowledge of book publishing can also help printing press operators get good jobs.
Finding a good job often depends on a printing press operator’s flexibility. Some people work in paper manufacturing and other areas related to publishing and books. Any extra skills that printing press operators learn can help them to earn more and to get jobs more easily. Wages start at about $13 per hour and go up to almost $35 per hour. Experienced printing press operators earn over $40,000 per year in some parts of Canada.