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Prepress workers handle the first stage in the printing process. This initial phase of production involves multiple steps, including creating pages from text and graphics and making printing plates, or managing electronic files submitted by customers and, for some print jobs. With the introduction of desktop publishing and other computer technology, the prepress process has changed dramatically over the past decade. Computerized processes have replaced many of the traditional processes, eliminating a number of prepress jobs but opening up new opportunities as well.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 38,000 people are employed in prepress jobs. Many of these jobs are with commercial printing companies. Other jobs are with prepress service bureaus (companies that deal exclusively with prepress work) and newspapers.
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