Printing Press Operator  What They Do

Just the Facts


Insider Info

dotA broad range of companies need the creative and technical skills of printers. Newspapers, magazines, ad agencies, commercial printers, silkscreen shops and quick print shops are looking for printers.

There are many different types of printing processes, and each requires different skills. An operator can work with offset lithography, gravure, flexography, screen printing and letterpress. These are plate processes.

Plateless processes -- such as the ink-jet printing used for copying and specialty printing -- are the growth areas.

Small commercial shops tend to have smaller and less complicated manual presses, while newspaper, magazine and book printers use giant presses requiring a crew of operators and assistants. These larger presses use webs to feed the paper in big rolls to the presses.

dotPrinting press operators don't lead sedentary lives! They frequently work under pressure to meet deadlines. But the hazardous image of this profession is being altered as operators make more and more adjustments with a computer control panel instead of a lever.

Just the Facts

Want a quick overview of what this career is about?Check out Just the Facts for simple lists of characteristics.


At a Glance

Work with offset lithography, gravure, flexography, screen printing and letterpress

  • Newspapers, magazines, ad agencies, commercial printers and silkscreen shops all need printers
  • You'll need mechanical aptitude and good math skills
  • Operators come from lots of different educational backgrounds