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How to Become a Pressroom Manager: Education and Career Roadmap

Research the requirements to become a pressroom manager. Learn about the job description, and see the step-by-step process to start a career in pressroom managing.

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Should I Become a Pressroom Manager?

Pressroom managers oversee printing plant operations and staff. They may be in charge of scheduling, evaluating and keeping pressroom employee records. They also provide training for printing press workers.

Pressroom managers must ensure that staff members follow all safety requirements and that printing deadlines are met, which can be stressful. Although job growth for these managers is declining, pressroom manager jobs typically include health and retirement benefits packages.

Career Requirements

Degree Level Bachelor's degree
Degree Fields Industrial technology, business administration or a related major
Experience 2-5 years of experience in press operations or a closely related field
Key Skills Excellent oral and written communication, problem-solving and leadership skills, attention to detail, ability to meet deadlines and possess basic math skills, ability to operate a variety of printing equipment, knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite and software for graphics and photo editing, desktop publishing and printing management systems
Salary (2016) $52,429 per year (Median salary for all pressroom supervisors)

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Payscale.com, O*Net Online.

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree

There are no strict education requirements for pressroom managers, but employers typically prefer candidates with degrees in relevant areas, such as industrial technology or business administration. Some schools offer specialized bachelor's degree programs in print management or graphic communications management, which prepare students for both the administrative and technical aspects of pressroom management. Courses typically include print process operations, digital imaging, quality control, accounting and human relations. Students in some majors may be required to complete an internship or work experience program.

Step 2: Gain Experience as a Press Operator

Pressroom managers often begin their careers as press operators and advance to a supervisory position. Along with preparing and maintaining equipment, press operators control and monitor printing presses as they run. This includes filling paper feeders, adjusting ink features, fixing jams and checking printed material for defects. Candidates who exhibit leadership skills, technical aptitude and thorough knowledge of the print process and the printing firm's procedures can advance to pressroom manager status.

Step 3: Become a Pressroom Manager

Candidates who exhibit leadership skills, technical aptitude and thorough knowledge of the print process and the printing firm's procedures can advance to pressroom manager status or qualify for other leadership and supervisory positions within the company.

Step 4: Earn Professional Certification

While not mandatory, certification can help pressroom managers demonstrate proficiency in print administration and may lead to career advancement. The Association for Operations Management offers the Certified in Production and Inventory Management credential, which requires the completion of five industrial management exams and continuing education and development.

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