Printing machine technicians work for magazine and newspaper publishers, paper and plastics product manufacturers and advertisers, among other industries. Explore the training, skills, salary and employment outlook for this occupation by reading further.
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A printing machine technician operates a variety of printing devices, including offset printing machines, letter or letterset presses, lithograph machines, gravure presses, screen printers and inkjet and laser printers. Duties include printing customer orders, packaging customer orders, customer service and some light equipment maintenance. Maintenance entails monitoring the working condition of equipment and making repairs if they are within the technician's competence, or arranging for repairs if they are not.
A printing machine technician needs a high school diploma and vocational training, which typically takes two years to complete. Alternatively, employers might hire technicians who have worked several months as an apprentice. A technician who has used or been trained to use computer control systems will also have an advantage.
Printing machine technicians need a basic capacity for written and verbal communication, familiarity with both common and specialized tools, mechanical proficiency and a knack for problem solving.
Career and Economic Outlook
Between 2012 and 2022, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov) projects a 5 percent decline in printing jobs in general and a 13 percent decline in employment opportunities for prepress technicians and workers. The primary reason for the decrease in jobs is increased automation and use of digital formats. However, production of print logistics and print marketing should sustain the printing industry to some extent. As of May 2012, the median annual wage for print binding and finishing workers was $29, 750 while prepress technicians and workers earned $37, 260 per year.
Slower than average job growth of 7% was expected for graphic designers during the 2012-2022 decade, said the BLS. Usually these professionals have a bachelor's degree in graphic design, and they create visual concepts with computers or by hand to communicate ideas to the public. In 2012, graphic designers earned an annual median salary of $44, 150, per the BLS.
Multimedia Artist and Animator
These professionals create visual effects and animations for movies, video games and television. To enter this field, artists and animators need to earn a bachelor's degree in art or computer graphics and compile a portfolio. According to the BLS, they earned a median wage of $61, 370 per year in 2012 and could expect a slower than average increase, of 6%, in available positions through 2022.
My HP Laserjet adventure
I own a 5-year-old HP laserjet 1020 monochrome printer
that uses 12A black toner cartridges
yesterday, I was printing on Avery shipping labels
what I do is peel one label off the sheet and stick it in precise
position on another used sheet in the same spot where another label used to be
these are 4x2 labels: I do this using homemade label templates
I made using MS Word with its custom margins and insert shapes features
I do this because I don't print a sheet of labels wholesale,