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Desktop Publisher

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What You Need to Know About Desktop Publisher

Job Description & Duties Format typescript and graphic elements using computer software to produce publication-ready material.

Desktop Publisher Responsibilities

  • Convert various types of files for printing or for the Internet, using computer software.
  • Prepare sample layouts for approval, using computer software.
  • Store copies of publications on paper, magnetic tape, film or diskette.
  • Enter text into computer keyboard and select the size and style of type, column width, and appropriate spacing for printed materials.
  • Enter data, such as coordinates of images and color specifications, into system to retouch and make color corrections.
  • Import text and art elements, such as electronic clip art or electronic files from photographs that have been scanned or produced with a digital camera, using computer software.

What Skills Do You Need to Work as a Desktop Publisher?

When polled, Desktop Publishers say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Other Desktop Publisher Job Titles

  • Digital Publishing Specialist
  • Electronic Console Display Operator
  • Studio Designer
  • Electronic Publishing Specialist
  • Graphics Specialist

Is There Job Demand for Desktop Publishers?

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 14,600 jobs in the United States for Desktop Publisher. There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Desktop Publisher. There will be an estimated 1,200 positions for Desktop Publisher per year.


The states with the most job growth for Desktop Publisher are Washington, Maryland, and Alaska. Watch out if you plan on working in Missouri, Kansas, or Kentucky. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Do Desktop Publishers Make A Lot Of Money?

Desktop Publishers make between $22,770 and $75,120 a year.


Desktop Publishers who work in Massachusetts, Connecticut, or California, make the highest salaries.

How much do Desktop Publishers make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $37,670
Arizona $38,680
California $56,370
Colorado $53,330
Connecticut $55,500
Florida $41,920
Georgia $49,220
Illinois $38,610
Indiana $34,390
Iowa $38,640
Kansas $33,050
Kentucky $35,850
Louisiana $33,390
Maine $35,220
Maryland $56,770
Massachusetts $58,000
Michigan $44,230
Minnesota $45,830
Missouri $41,620
Nebraska $32,970
New Hampshire $38,980
New Jersey $47,800
New Mexico $50,250
New York $55,260
North Carolina $47,470
Ohio $41,720
Oklahoma $41,000
Oregon $45,810
Pennsylvania $41,440
South Carolina $37,080
Tennessee $44,850
Texas $43,950
Utah $43,040
Vermont $42,630
Virginia $50,600
Washington $46,080
Wisconsin $50,090

What Tools do Desktop Publishers Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Desktop Publishers may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Hypertext markup language HTML
  • JavaScript
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Python
  • jQuery
  • Microsoft Access
  • MySQL
  • Word processing software
  • Microsoft Windows
  • Microsoft Project
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
  • Microsoft SharePoint
  • Microsoft Visio
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
  • Microsoft Publisher
  • Microsoft Visual Basic

Becoming a Desktop Publisher

Are there Desktop Publishers education requirements?


How Long Does it Take to Become a Desktop Publisher?


Who Employs Desktop Publishers?


The table below shows the approximate number of Desktop Publishers employed by various industries.


Similar Careers

Those interested in being a Desktop Publisher may also be interested in:

Career changers with experience as a Desktop Publisher sometimes find work in one of the following fields:


Image Credit: Auburn University College of Architecture, Design and Construction via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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