Printing Press Operators and Assistants

Printing Press Operator at Work

Printing press operators and printing press operator assistants prepare, operate, and maintain printing presses. Their principal duties include installing and adjusting printing plates, loading and feeding paper, mixing inks and controlling ink flow, and ensuring the quality of the final printed piece. There are approximately 168,330 printing press operators in the United States. They are mostly employed by newspaper plants and commercial and business printers.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) None
Duties Prepare, operate, and maintain printing presses; install and adjust printing plates; load and feed paper; mix inks and control ink flow; and ensure the quality of the final printed piece
Salary Range Below $25,000 to $75,000
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Any geographic location
Minimum Education Level
  • High School Diploma
  • Apprenticeship
School Subjects
  • Computer Science
  • Mathematics
  • Technical/Shop
Experience On-the-job training; apprenticeship
Personality Traits
  • Hands On
  • Problem-Solving
  • Technical
  • Interpersonal
  • Math
  • Mechanical/Manual Dexterity
Certification or Licensing Recommended
Special Requirements None
Employment Prospects Fair
Advancement Prospects Fair
Outlook Decline
Career Ladder
  • Print Shop Owner
  • Supervisor
  • Operator in Charge
  • Press Operator
  • Printing Press Assistant

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