Occupation Profile

Printing Press Operators
(SOC Code : 51-5112)
in California

Set type according to copy; operate press to print job order; and read proof for errors and clarity of impression, and correct imperfections. Job printers are often found in small establishments where work combines several job skills.

Employers usually expect an employee in this occupation to be able to do the job after Long-term on-the-job training (> 12 months) .

Occupational Wages[Top]
AreaYearPeriodHourly MeanHourly by Percentile
California 20201st Qtr$19.63$14.73$18.42$23.62

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Occupational Projections of Employment (also called "Outlook" or "Demand")[Top]
 AreaEstimated Year-Projected YearEmploymentEmployment ChangeAnnual Avg Openings
California 2016 - 202616,00014,500-1,500-9.41,430

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Job Openings from JobCentral National Labor Exchange[Top]
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Industries Employing This Occupation (click on Industry Title to View Employers List)[Top]
Industry Title
Number of Employers in State of California
Percent of Total
Employment for Occupation in State of California
Printing and Related Support Activities 5,31059.8%
Converted Paper Product Manufacturing 4766.7%
Advertising and Related Services 11,8525.4%
Business Support Services 4,8421.4%
Specialized Design Services 8,2611.2%

About Staffing Patterns

Training Programs (click on title for more information)[Top]
Program Title
Graphic and Printing Equipment Operator, General Production
Graphic Communications, Other
Printing Management
Printing Press Operator

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About This Occupation (from O*NET - The Occupation Information Network)[Top]
Top Tasks (Specific duties and responsibilities of this job.)
Collect and inspect random samples during print runs to identify any necessary adjustments.
Examine job orders to determine quantities to be printed, stock specifications, colors, or special printing instructions.
Verify that paper and ink meet the specifications for a given job.
Start presses and pull proofs to check for ink coverage and density, alignment, and registration.
Change press plates, blankets, or cylinders, as required.
Obtain or mix inks and fill ink fountains.
Load presses with paper and make necessary adjustments, according to paper size.
Feed paper through press cylinders and adjust feed and tension controls.
Secure printing plates to printing units and adjust tolerances.
Clean ink fountains, plates, or printing unit cylinders when press runs are completed.

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Top Skills used in this Job
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.
Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Operation and Control - Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Equipment Maintenance - Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others` actions.

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Top Abilities (Attributes of the person that influence performance in this job.)
Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

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Top Work Values (Aspects of this job that create satisfaction.)
Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.
Achievement - Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

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Top Interests (The types of activities someone in this job would like.)
Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
Conventional - Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

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