Career Opportunities in Printing

By | October 4, 2011

Business of commercial printing is such a big business. There are multi-million multi-national presses and printing presses with several branches.

The business of commercial printing is such a big business all over the world. There are multi-million multi-national presses and there are printing presses with several branches in one country. And there are single-branch printing presses that are operating within one city. The latter kind has its owners residing in the city and so they can better manage the daily operations of their business. That is why the commercial printer is one of the biggest sources of jobs all over the world.

Now you wonder, as the commercial printers bring ideas to life in paper and other media, what happens in between that requires so many workers? To better understand the process, we can divide commercial printing into three stages, namely, the pre-press, the actual printing, and then the finishing. All of these stages need workers that specialize in specific fields.

1. Prepress. The prepress may as well be considered as the preparation stage before everything is printed. This can include the layout artist or graphics designer who will do all the designs. Then there is the proofreader who will make sure that everything is in place. Depending on the operations of the press, they may even have an editor who is responsible for editing the data. There is also the prepress technician that makes sure all the things submitted for printing are of good quality. If not, he will handle the corrections or assign somebody to do it. He can also work with the client to find solutions to those materials that have bad quality or would not pass printable quality. So many developments have happened in the printing industry that now, the prepress technician most deals with digital data. The prepress people prepare all data for printing.

2. Printing. When everything is ready for printing, the print operators receives the materials and then prepares the machine as well as the plates for printing. They handle the ink, paper, plates, and all the other aspects pertaining to printing. They have to make sure that the machine is functioning properly and that they delivered the finished material according to the specs of the client. They may even handle minor repairs of the machine or have to call the attention of a service technician in case of technical trouble. The printer is also responsible for requesting for ink and paper as the need arises.

3. Finishing. After all the materials have been printed, these are then passed on to the finishing department where final touches are done prior to delivery. This is where the processes of binding, folding, sorting, and packing happen. Sometimes, the client will also ask for his materials to be laminated and the finishing workers will also handle it

Depending on how big the printing operations are, a commercial printing company could have hundreds of employees. Their workforce is a mix of white collar and blue collar jobs. And they all have to work together in order to produce good quality printed materials that will be appreciated by their client and their readers. While most people only see the finished product, they do not know how complicated the process that printing can be. A commercial printer is like an iceberg—it has a small and final product but the operations behind it are tremendous. Now, where would you fit if you are looking for a job?