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Printing Press Operator

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What Does it Take to Be a Printing Press Operator?

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

Daily Life Of a Printing Press Operator

  • Maintain time or production records.
  • Feed paper through press cylinders and adjust feed and tension controls.
  • Obtain or mix inks and fill ink fountains.
  • Verify that paper and ink meet the specifications for a given job.
  • Download or scan files to be printed, using printing production software.
  • Input production job settings into workstation terminals that control automated printing systems.

Printing Press Operator Required Skills

Printing Press Operators state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

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.

Other Printing Press Operator Job Titles

  • Assistant Pressman
  • Wad Printing Machine Operator
  • Journeyman Press Operator
  • Box Printer
  • Platen Press Feeder

Is There Job Demand for Printing Press Operators?

In the United States, there were 178,700 jobs for Printing Press Operator in 2016. 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.

Do Printing Press Operators Make A Lot Of Money?

The typical yearly salary for Printing Press Operators is somewhere 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 do Printing Press Operators Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Printing Press Operators:

  • 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?

Education needed to be a Printing Press Operator:


How Long Does it Take to Become a Printing Press Operator?


Where Printing Press Operators Are Employed


The table below shows the approximate number of Printing Press Operators employed by various industries.


Other Jobs You May 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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