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Printing Press Operator

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All About Printing Press Operators

Job Description & Duties Set up and operate digital, letterpress, lithographic, flexographic, gravure, or other printing machines. Includes short-run offset printing presses.

Life As a Printing Press Operator

  • Feed paper through press cylinders and adjust feed and tension controls.
  • Download completed jobs to archive media so that questions can be answered or jobs replicated.
  • Monitor inventory levels on a regular basis, ordering or requesting additional supplies, as necessary.
  • Set up or operate auxiliary equipment, such as cutting, folding, plate-making, drilling, or laminating machines.
  • Maintain time or production records.
  • Secure printing plates to printing units and adjust tolerances.

What Every Printing Press Operator Should Know

These are the skills Printing Press Operators say are the most useful in their careers:

Quality Control Analysis: Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.

Operation Monitoring: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.

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.

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

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

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

  • Rounder
  • Die Mounter
  • Backer
  • Offset-Press Operator
  • Tape Rules Printing Machine Operator

Is There Job Demand for Printing Press Operators?

There were about 178,700 jobs for Printing Press Operator in 2016 (in the United States). There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Printing Press Operator. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 15,800 job openings in this field each year.


The states with the most job growth for Printing Press Operator are Idaho, Nevada, and Utah. Watch out if you plan on working in Kansas, Kentucky, or Hawaii. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

How Much Does a Printing Press Operator Make?

The average yearly salary of a Printing Press Operator ranges between $22,690 and $58,710.


Printing Press Operators who work in District of Columbia, Alaska, or Minnesota, make the highest salaries.

How much do Printing Press Operators make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $30,740
Alaska $48,140
Arizona $34,240
Arkansas $35,480
California $39,380
Colorado $39,370
Connecticut $38,600
Delaware $42,280
District of Columbia $80,680
Florida $33,640
Georgia $34,000
Hawaii $43,120
Idaho $32,650
Illinois $44,050
Indiana $34,610
Iowa $35,090
Kansas $34,350
Kentucky $33,540
Louisiana $31,280
Maine $35,380
Maryland $39,850
Massachusetts $42,890
Michigan $36,070
Minnesota $44,670
Mississippi $32,690
Missouri $42,920
Montana $33,320
Nebraska $35,110
Nevada $36,040
New Hampshire $43,250
New Jersey $45,580
New Mexico $32,220
New York $41,770
North Carolina $37,090
North Dakota $35,410
Ohio $36,730
Oklahoma $30,430
Oregon $37,920
Pennsylvania $39,150
Rhode Island $41,250
South Carolina $35,770
South Dakota $35,720
Tennessee $38,170
Texas $38,710
Utah $35,550
Vermont $40,570
Virginia $38,690
Washington $42,060
West Virginia $30,630
Wisconsin $38,430
Wyoming $34,540

What Tools & Technology do Printing Press Operators Use?

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Printing Press Operators may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Email software
  • Word processing software
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign
  • Graphics software
  • Inventory tracking software
  • Corel CorelDraw Graphics Suite
  • Adobe Systems Adobe PageMaker
  • QuarkXPress
  • Image editing software
  • Adobe Systems Adobe LifeCycle Production Print ES3

How do I Become a Printing Press Operator?

What education is needed to be a Printing Press Operator?


How many years of work experience do I need?


Where Printing Press Operators Are Employed


Printing Press Operators work in the following industries:


You May Also Be Interested In…

Those thinking about becoming a Printing Press Operator might also be interested in the following careers:

Those who work as a Printing Press Operator sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:


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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