Career Attributes

  • $32,924
  • 178,700
  • 2.9
  • -10.4%
  • High school diploma
  • Graphic Design
More Attributes


Most prepress technicians receive some formal postsecondary classroom instruction before entering the occupation. They typically get either a postsecondary non-degree award or an associate’s degree from a technical school, junior college, or community college. Workers with experience in other printing techniques can take a few college-level graphic communications or prepress-related courses to upgrade their skills and qualify for prepress jobs.

For printing press operators and print binding and finishing workers, a high school diploma is sufficient to enter the occupation. Postsecondary coursework is offered through community colleges and vocational schools, although most workers learn the required skills through on-the-job training. There are also four-year bachelor's degree programs in graphic design aimed primarily at students who plan to move into management positions in printing or design.

Beginning press operators load, unload, and clean presses. With time and training, they become fully qualified to operate a particular type of press. Operators can gain experience on more than one kind of printing press during the course of their career. Experienced operators periodically get retraining to update their skills. For example, printing plants that change from sheet-fed offset presses to digital presses have to retrain the entire press crew because skill requirements for the two types of presses are different.

Most bookbinders and bindery workers learn through on-the-job training. Inexperienced workers may start out as helpers and do simple tasks, such as moving paper from cutting machines to folding machines, or catching stock as it comes off machines. They learn basic binding skills, including the characteristics of paper and how to cut large sheets of paper into different sizes with the least amount of waste.

Usually, it takes one to three months to learn to operate simpler machines, but it can take up to one year to become completely familiar with more complex equipment, such as computerized binding machines. As workers gain experience, they learn to operate more types of equipment. To keep pace with changing technology, re-training is increasingly important.

What are Printing Workers like?


Based on our pool of users, Printing Workers tend to be predominately artistic people. Take our career test to see what career interest category best describes you.

Printing Workers by Strongest Interest Archetype

Based on sample of 452 CareerExplorer users

Are Printing Workers happy?


Printing Workers rank among the least happy careers. Overall they rank in the 16th percentile of careers for satisfaction scores.

Printing Worker Career Satisfaction by Dimension

Percentile among all careers

Education History of Printing Workers

The most common degree held by Printing Workers is Fine Arts. 18% of Printing Workers had a degree in Fine Arts before becoming Printing Workers. That is over 8 times the average across all careers. Graphic Design graduates are the second most common among Printing Workers, representing 18% of Printing Workers in the CareerExplorer user base, which is 13.1 times the average.

Printing Worker Education History

This table shows which degrees people earn before becoming a Printing Worker, compared to how often those degrees are obtained by people who earn at least one post secondary degree.

Degree % of Printing Workers % of population Multiple
Fine Arts 17.7% 2.2% 8.1×
Graphic Design 17.7% 1.4% 13.1×
Business Management And Administration 6.9% 6.5% 1.1×
Commercial Art And Graphic Design 6.2% 0.3% 21.4×
Studio Arts 4.6% 0.5% 8.7×
Liberal Arts 4.6% 1.9% 2.4×
Communications 3.8% 3.4% 1.1×
Computer Science 3.8% 3.0% 1.3×
English Literature 3.8% 4.9% 0.8×
History 3.8% 2.3% 1.7×
Business 3.1% 2.6% 1.2×
Mathematics 3.1% 1.9% 1.7×
Psychology 3.1% 7.0% 0.4×
Photography 3.1% 0.4% 8.4×
Accounting 2.3% 1.9% 1.2×
Philosophy And Religious Studies 2.3% 1.6% 1.5×
Criminal Justice 2.3% 1.4% 1.6×
Sociology 2.3% 2.1% 1.1×
Web Design 2.3% 0.4% 6.1×

Printing Worker Education Levels

71% of Printing Workers have a high school diploma. 22% of Printing Workers have an associate's degree.

No education 7%
High school diploma 71%
Associate's degree 22%
Bachelor's degree 0%
Master's degree 0%
Doctorate degree 0%

How to Become a Printing Worker

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Career Attributes

  • $32,924
  • 178,700
  • 2.9
  • -10.4%
  • High school diploma
  • Graphic Design
More Attributes