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Prepress Technician

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What You Need to Know About Prepress Technician

Prepress Technician Example Format and proof text and images submitted by designers and clients into finished pages that can be printed. Includes digital and photo typesetting. May produce printing plates.

Prepress Technician Responsibilities

  • Examine photographic images for obvious imperfections prior to plate making.
  • Operate presses to print proofs of plates, monitoring printing quality to ensure that it is adequate.
  • Enter, store, and retrieve information on computer-aided equipment.
  • Perform “preflight” check of required font, graphic, text and image files to ensure completeness prior to delivery to printer.
  • Operate and maintain laser plate-making equipment that converts electronic data to plates without the use of film.
  • Perform tests to determine lengths of exposures, by exposing plates, scanning line copy, and comparing exposures to tone range scales.

Skills Needed to be a Prepress Technician

Prepress Technicians state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

Time Management: Managing one’s own time and the time of others.

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.

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

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

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

  • Negative Stripper
  • Photoengraving Printer
  • Advertising Layout Worker
  • Lithographic Stripper
  • Halftone Operator

Are There Job Opportunities for Prepress Technicians?

There were about 34,600 jobs for Prepress Technician in 2016 (in the United States). There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Prepress Technician. The BLS estimates 3,000 yearly job openings in this field.

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The states with the most job growth for Prepress Technician are Idaho, Maryland, and Nevada. Watch out if you plan on working in Kentucky, Kansas, or North Dakota. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Salary for a Prepress Technician

Prepress Technicians make between $24,940 and $62,420 a year.

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Prepress Technicians who work in District of Columbia, New Jersey, or Delaware, make the highest salaries.

How much do Prepress Technicians make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $33,710
Arizona $39,910
Arkansas $35,880
California $42,670
Colorado $41,840
Connecticut $44,620
Delaware $51,020
District of Columbia $84,120
Florida $38,320
Georgia $40,320
Hawaii $37,310
Idaho $39,150
Illinois $48,110
Indiana $38,280
Iowa $35,930
Kansas $33,300
Kentucky $40,950
Louisiana $33,470
Maine $38,550
Maryland $44,840
Massachusetts $45,110
Michigan $41,320
Minnesota $48,000
Mississippi $35,990
Missouri $39,380
Montana $37,870
Nebraska $43,250
Nevada $45,000
New Hampshire $41,430
New Jersey $53,580
New Mexico $42,760
New York $45,860
North Carolina $40,830
North Dakota $36,840
Ohio $40,800
Oklahoma $36,590
Oregon $44,520
Pennsylvania $42,180
Rhode Island $40,810
South Carolina $38,940
South Dakota $33,930
Tennessee $37,480
Texas $38,980
Utah $38,050
Vermont $45,160
Virginia $42,770
Washington $41,750
West Virginia $35,880
Wisconsin $38,950

What Tools do Prepress Technicians Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Prepress Technicians:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office
  • Web browser software
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Flash
  • Corel CorelDraw Graphics Suite
  • Adobe Systems Adobe PageMaker
  • QuarkXPress
  • Adobe Systems Adobe FreeHand
  • Adobe Systems Adobe FrameMaker
  • Corel Painter
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Director
  • File transfer protocol FTP software
  • Adobe Systems Adobe LifeCycle Enterprise Suite

Becoming a Prepress Technician

Education needed to be a Prepress Technician:

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How many years of work experience do I need?

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Where Prepress Technicians Work

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The table below shows the approximate number of Prepress Technicians employed by various industries.

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You May Also Be Interested In…

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

References:

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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