Print Production: Career & Job Info

Those interested in a print production career might work as print managers, operators, artists and print specialists. Read on to learn more about the training, salary and employment outlook to see if this is the field for you.

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Career Options in Print Production

A career in print production includes the expertise of fabrication machines, color correction and other applications to generate all different types of documents. Print production requires the ability to generate different documents and statements; this includes creating invoices, welcome kits and contracts for companies.

Education High school diploma or college certificate; associate's and bachelor's degrees available
Job Skills Communication, detail oriented, observational, technical skill
Median Salary (2017)* $35,760 (for printing press operators), $32,040 (for print finishing and binding workers)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)* -10% (for printing press operators), -12% (for print finishing and binding workers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Required

Working in print production doesn't usually require anything beyond either a high school diploma or a short-term postsecondary certificate. Individuals could opt to pursue an associate's or bachelor's degree in print production or digital print production if desired. Courses you will find in these programs include photography, graphic design, and visual design.

Required Skills

There are many different computer programs that are required for a career in print production. The computer skills required for print production are knowledge of Adobe InDesign, Adobe LiveCycle Production Print ES, Wasatch, FlexiSign, and Onyx.

Economic and Career Outlook

The employment outlook for individuals working in printing is not favorable, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Employment of all types of printing workers is expected to decline between 2016 and 2026, ranging from pre-press technicians and workers (decline of 20% projected) to print binding and finishing workers (decline of 12%) to printing press operators (decline of 10%). The advancement of technology that has allowed businesses and individuals to do much of the design and formatting before printing production, combined with the decline in sales of newspaper and magazines, has led to a lesser need for print production workers. Print binding and finishing workers took home a median salary of $32,040, and printing press operators earned a median of $35,760 as of May 2017, according to the BLS.

Alternate Career Options

Individuals seeking careers in print production may be interested in similar occupations, including graphic design or multimedia art and animation.

Graphic Designer

Normally requiring a bachelor's degree in graphic design or a related field, including a portfolio of best works, graphic designers create visual representations by hand and computer for communicating ideas to consumers in advertising and promotions. An employment growth of 4% from 2016-2026 was projected by the BLS for this field, which is slower than average. A median annual salary of $48,700 was reported for graphic designers by the BLS in 2017.

Multimedia Artist and Animator

These artists and animators often have bachelor's degrees in art, computer graphics, or related fields, in addition to strong work portfolios. They find employment creating visual effects and animations for video games, movies and television. A job growth of 8% was forecast during the 2016-2026 decade by the BLS, which is about as fast as average. In May 2017, an annual median wage of $70,530 was reported by the BLS.

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