Prepress Technicians and Workers
SOC: 51-5111.00

Description:

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.


National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.


Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
36,500 employed

Projected (2024):
27,500 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)


Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.


Alternate Titles:

  • Ad Compositor
  • Ad Setter
  • Advertisement Compositor
  • Advertising Layout Worker
  • Bankman
  • Blueprint Blocker
  • Blueprint Cutter
  • Blueprint Developer
  • Blueprint Duplicator
  • Blueprint Machine Operator
  • Blueprint Maker
  • Blueprint Processor
  • Blueprint Reproducer
  • Blueprinter
  • Blueprinting Machine Operator
  • Camera Operator
  • Clamper
  • Cold Type Artist
  • Color Etcher
  • Color Separation Photographer
  • Color Stripper
  • Composer
  • Composing Machine Operator/Tender
  • Composing Room Manager
  • Compositor
  • Compositor Apprentice
  • Computer to Plate Operator (CTP Operator)
  • Computer Typesetter
  • Copper Etcher
  • Copper Plate Lithographer
  • Desktop Operator
  • Digital Prepress Operator
  • Digital Proofing and Platemaker
  • Diploma Maker
  • Dot Etcher
  • Dot Etcher Apprentice
  • Dumpman
  • Electron-Beam Photo Mask Maker
  • Electron-Beam Photo Mask Technician
  • Electronic Masking System Operator
  • Electronic Pre-Press Technician
  • Electronic Prepress Operator (EPP Operator)
  • Electronic Prepress Technician (EPP Tech)
  • Electrotyper
  • Electrotyper Apprentice
  • Etcher
  • Form Setter
  • Form Worker
  • Galley Stripper
  • Graphic Artist
  • Graphic Arts Technician
  • Graphic Designer
  • Graphic Technician
  • Gravure Press Operator
  • Halftone Operator
  • Hand Compositor
  • Hand Etcher
  • Head Setter
  • Imposer
  • Intertype Operator
  • Job Compositor
  • Job Forwarder
  • Job Lithographer
  • Keyboard Operator
  • Laser Beam Color Scanner Operator
  • Layout Former
  • Layup Worker
  • Letterpress Setter
  • Line Camera Operator
  • Linotype Operator
  • Linotype Worker
  • Linotyper
  • Linotypist
  • Lithograph Designer
  • Lithograph Operator
  • Lithographer
  • Lithographer Apprentice
  • Lithographers Printer
  • Lithographic Artist
  • Lithographic Camera Operator
  • Lithographic Etcher
  • Lithographic Photographer
  • Lithographic Photographer Apprentice
  • Lithographic Plate Maker
  • Lithographic Plate-Maker Apprentice
  • Lithographic Platemaker
  • Lithographic Press Operator
  • Lithographic Stripper
  • Lithographing Machine Operator
  • Lithopress Operator
  • Lithostripper
  • Lock Up Worker
  • Ludlow Machine Operator
  • Machine Compositor
  • Make Up Arranger
  • Make Up Worker
  • Make-Up Arranger
  • Manufacturing Assistant
  • Manufacturing Associate
  • Manufacturing Operator
  • Map Mounter
  • Monotype Caster
  • Monotype Keyboard Operator
  • Monotype Operator
  • Monotype Setter
  • Monotyper
  • Monotypist
  • Music Engraver
  • Negative Assembler
  • Negative Stripper
  • Offset Camera Operator
  • Offset Plate Maker
  • Offset Platemaker
  • Opaquer
  • Pantograph Machine Operator
  • Pantograph Operator
  • Pantograph Setter
  • Pantograph Transferrer
  • Pantographer
  • Paste Up Artist
  • Paste Up Copy Camera Operator
  • Paste-Up Artist
  • Paste-Up Artist Apprentice
  • Paste-Up Worker
  • Photocomposing Machine Operator
  • Photoengraver
  • Photoengraver Apprentice
  • Photoengraving Apprentice
  • Photoengraving Etcher
  • Photoengraving Etcher Apprentice
  • Photoengraving Finisher
  • Photoengraving Machine Operator/Tender
  • Photoengraving Photographer
  • Photoengraving Printer
  • Photoengraving Proofer
  • Photoengraving Proofer Apprentice
  • Photoengraving Retoucher
  • Photographic Lithographer
  • Photographic Plate Maker
  • Photographic Platemaker
  • Photogravure Press Operator
  • Photolettering Machine Operator
  • Photolith Operator
  • Photolithographer
  • Photolithographic Stripper
  • Phototypesetter
  • Phototypesetter Operator
  • Phototypesetting Equipment Monitor
  • Plate Developer
  • Plate Finisher
  • Plate Grainer
  • Plate Grainer Apprentice
  • Plate Keeper
  • Plate Maker
  • Plate Mounter
  • Plate Straightener
  • Platemaker
  • Pre-Press Proofer
  • Pre-Press Technician
  • Preflight Technician
  • Prepress Digital Technician
  • Prepress Manager
  • Prepress Operator
  • Prepress Specialist
  • Prepress Stripper
  • Prepress Supervisor
  • Prepress Technician
  • Print Room Worker
  • Printing Film Stripper
  • Printing Plate Maker
  • Printing Technician
  • Process Artist
  • Process Stripper
  • Process Worker
  • Production Coordinator
  • Proofsheet Corrector
  • Repeat Chief
  • Repeat Photocomposing Machine Operator
  • Roller Print Tender
  • Roller Varnisher
  • Router
  • Runner
  • Runner Out
  • Scanner
  • Scanner Operator
  • Scanning Clerk
  • Semiconductor Packages Platemaker
  • Set Up Worker
  • Sheet Layer
  • Steel Die Printer
  • Step and Repeat Camera Operator
  • Step and Repeat Reduction Camera Operator
  • Stereotyper
  • Stereotyper Apprentice
  • Stonehand
  • Stoneman
  • Striping Machine Operator
  • Stripper
  • Stripper Apprentice
  • Teletypesetter
  • Teletypesetter Operator
  • Terminal Makeup Operator
  • Transfer Worker
  • Transferrer
  • Type Setter
  • Type-Proof Reproducer
  • Typecasting Machine Operator
  • Typesetter
  • Typesetter Apprentice
  • Typesetters Printer
  • Typesetting Machine Operator/Tender
  • Typo Machine Operator
  • Typographer
  • Zinc Etcher
  • Zincographer


  • Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed

    Experience:

    Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.

    Education:

    Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.

    Job Training:

    Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.


    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Technology Design
  • Equipment Selection
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Operation and Control
  • Equipment Maintenance
  • Troubleshooting
  • Repairing
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
  • Mechanical
  • Mathematics
  • Chemistry
  • Psychology
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Geography
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Fine Arts
  • History and Archeology
  • Philosophy and Theology
  • Public Safety and Security
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media
  • Transportation


  • Tasks:

  • Enter, store, and retrieve information on computer-aided equipment.
  • Enter, position, and alter text size, using computers, to make up and arrange pages so that printed materials can be produced.
  • Maintain, adjust, and clean equipment, and perform minor repairs.
  • Operate and maintain laser plate-making equipment that converts electronic data to plates without the use of film.
  • Examine photographic images for obvious imperfections prior to plate making.
  • Operate presses to print proofs of plates, monitoring printing quality to ensure that it is adequate.
  • Monitor contact between cover glass and masks inside vacuum frames to prevent flaws resulting from overexposure or light reflection.
  • Transfer images from master plates to unexposed plates, and immerse plates in developing solutions to develop images.
  • Examine unexposed photographic plates to detect flaws or foreign particles prior to printing.
  • Lower vacuum frames onto plate-film assemblies, activate vacuums to establish contact between film and plates, and set timers to activate ultraviolet lights that expose plates.
  • Examine finished plates to detect flaws, verify conformity with master plates, and measure dot sizes and centers, using light boxes and microscopes.
  • Perform close alignment or registration of double and single flats to sensitized plates prior to exposure to produce composite images.
  • Remove plate-film assemblies from vacuum frames and place exposed plates in automatic processors to develop images and dry plates.
  • Position and angle screens for proper exposure.
  • Inspect developed film for specified results and quality, using magnifying glasses and scopes, forwarding acceptable negatives or positives to other workers or to customers.
  • Punch holes in light-sensitive plates and insert pins in holes to prepare plates for contact with positive or negative film.
  • Unload exposed film from scanners, and place film in automatic processors to develop images.
  • Place masking paper on areas of plates not covered by positives or negatives to prevent exposure.
  • Mount negatives and plates in cameras, set exposure controls, and expose plates to light through negatives to transfer images onto plates.
  • Operate and maintain a variety of cameras and equipment, such as process, line, halftone, and color separation cameras, enlargers, electronic scanners, and contact equipment.
  • Perform tests to determine lengths of exposures, by exposing plates, scanning line copy, and comparing exposures to tone range scales.
  • Mix solutions such as developing solutions and colored coating solutions.
  • Activate scanners to produce positive or negative films for the black-and-white, cyan, yellow, and magenta separations from each original copy.
  • Select proper types of plates according to press run lengths.
  • Reposition lamps and adjust aperture controls to provide high quality images.
  • Analyze originals to evaluate color density, gradation highlights, middle tones, and shadows, using densitometers and knowledge of light and color.
  • Set scanners to specific color densities, sizes, screen rulings, and exposure adjustments, using scanner keyboards or computers.
  • Perform minor deletions, additions, or corrections to completed plates, on or off printing presses, using tusche, printing ink, erasers, and needles.
  • Correct minor film mask defects with litho tape or opaquing fluid.
  • Position color transparencies, negatives, or reflection copies on scanning drums, and mount drums and heads on scanners.
  • Arrange and mount typeset material and illustrations into paste-ups for printing reproduction, based on artists' or editors' layouts.
  • Scale copy for reductions and enlargements, using proportion wheels.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Automated film processors
  • Commercial digital plotters
  • Commercial digital printers
  • Compact disk CD duplicators
  • Desktop computers
  • Digital printing presses
  • Digital still cameras
  • Digital video disk DVD duplicators
  • Drum scanners
  • Flat bed scanners
  • Flexographic plate processors
  • Gravure cylinder engravers
  • Lithographic plate processors
  • Newspaper platesetters
  • Plate stackers
  • Printing densitometers
  • Thermal platesetters
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat software
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Director
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Flash
  • Adobe Systems Adobe FrameMaker
  • Adobe Systems Adobe FreeHand
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign
  • Adobe Systems Adobe LifeCycle Enterprise Suite
  • Adobe Systems Adobe PageMaker
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop software
  • Corel CorelDraw Graphics Suite
  • Corel Painter
  • Esko ArtPro
  • File transfer protocol FTP software
  • Global Graphics Software Harlequin
  • Hamrick Software VueScan
  • LaserSoft Imaging SilverFast Ai Studio
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office software
  • ProjectSend
  • QuarkXPress
  • Web browser software


  • production


    industry stats

    SOC: 51-0000

    Total Employed: 9,073,290

    Average Annual Salary: $36,220