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Prepress Technicians and Workers

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What is a Prepress Technician?

Job Description & Duties 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.

Life As a Prepress Technician

  • Examine photographic images for obvious imperfections prior to plate making.
  • Activate scanners to produce positive or negative films for the black-and-white, cyan, yellow, and magenta separations from each original copy.
  • Mount negatives and plates in cameras, set exposure controls, and expose plates to light through negatives to transfer images onto plates.
  • Perform “preflight” check of required font, graphic, text and image files to ensure completeness prior to delivery to printer.
  • Inspect developed film for specified results and quality, using magnifying glasses and scopes, forwarding acceptable negatives or positives to other workers or to customers.
  • Proofread and perform quality control of text and images.

Prepress Technician Needed Skills

When polled, Prepress Technicians say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

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.

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

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.

Types of Prepress Technicians

  • Make-Up Arranger
  • Monotypist
  • Photoengraving Etcher Apprentice
  • Lithographer Apprentice
  • Steel Die Printer

Job Outlook for Prepress Technicians

In the United States, there were 34,600 jobs for Prepress Technicians and Workers in 2016.

Prepress Technician jobs are decreasing by a rate of -19.9%. This means the total job opportunities are shrinking. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a loss of -6,900 jobs for Prepress Technicians by 2026. The BLS estimates 3,000 yearly job openings in this field per year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Prepress Technicians in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Prepress Technicians and Workers are Maryland, Idaho, and Nevada.

Watch out if you plan on working in California, New York, or Ohio. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Do Prepress Technicians Make A Lot Of Money?

The average yearly salary of a Prepress Technician ranges between $24,940 and $62,420. A Prepress Technician median salary is $40,410.

Salary Ranges for Prepress Technicians

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

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary

District of Columbia

$84,120

New Jersey

$53,580

Delaware

$51,020

Illinois

$48,110

Minnesota

$48,000

New York

$45,860

Vermont

$45,160

Massachusetts

$45,110

Nevada

$45,000

Maryland

$44,840

Connecticut

$44,620

Oregon

$44,520

Nebraska

$43,250

Virginia

$42,770

New Mexico

$42,760

California

$42,670

Pennsylvania

$42,180

Colorado

$41,840

Washington

$41,750

New Hampshire

$41,430

Michigan

$41,320

Kentucky

$40,950

North Carolina

$40,830

Rhode Island

$40,810

Ohio

$40,800

Georgia

$40,320

Arizona

$39,910

Missouri

$39,380

Idaho

$39,150

Texas

$38,980

Wisconsin

$38,950

South Carolina

$38,940

Maine

$38,550

Florida

$38,320

Indiana

$38,280

Utah

$38,050

Montana

$37,870

Tennessee

$37,480

Hawaii

$37,310

North Dakota

$36,840

Oklahoma

$36,590

Mississippi

$35,990

Iowa

$35,930

Arkansas

$35,880

West Virginia

$35,880

South Dakota

$33,930

Alabama

$33,710

Louisiana

$33,470

Kansas

$33,300

What Tools do Prepress Technicians Use?

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

  • Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator
  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft Excel

How to Become a Prepress Technician

What education is needed to be a Prepress Technician?

Prepress Technician Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

Prepress Technician Work Experience

Who Employs Prepress Technicians?

Prepress Technician Sectors

Those who work as Prepress Technicians sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:

  • Etchers and Engravers

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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