Career outlook for machine printer
Average UK salary
Currently employed in Scotland
What's it like?
You would operate machines to print books, leaflets, posters, magazines and other items. You’d set up the printing presses with the right materials and fix any problems.
You’d follow the instructions from the pre-press operator about the requirements for the production run.
- Match colours to the pre-press proofs
- Restock ink levels
- Feed the print materials into the presses
- Put job data into computerised control units
- Carry out quality checks during the print run
- Identify problems and fix faults
- Clean presses after a print run has finished (either by hand or using automatic cleaning systems)
- Carry out basic machine maintenance
You would usually work on a particular type of press.
But you would train in a variety of printing techniques, including:
- Flexigraphic (relief process) – commonly used to print on to items like shopping bags and food packaging
- Screen printing (stencilling) – for printing on to clothing, posters or display signs
- Gravure (intaglio process) – used for high quality work on catalogues, fabrics and wallpapers
- Digital printing – using inkjet and laser printing methods
- Lithographic (planographic process) – the most common process, often used for large print runs such as catalogues, newspapers and magazines
On large presses, you might work in a team, but on smaller ones you could be responsible for all the tasks on the print run.
You’d need to be able to concentrate for long periods and work to deadlines.
UK employment status
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- Working with technology
- Problem solving
- Attention to detail
- Developing a plan
- Time management
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