A 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.
Printing 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.