Printing Management Supervisor: Job Description and Requirements

Sep 28, 2019

A printing management supervisor is in charge of the daily operations within a printing facility. In addition to leadership skills and the ability to operate printing equipment, professional printing management supervisors need either a certificate or associate's degree in a related field, such as printing management or graphic design. Some of the materials they are responsible for printing can include catalogs, newspapers and promotional adverts.

Essential Information

Printing management supervisors oversee the day-to-day operations of printing businesses. Educational requirements are varied, but associate's and bachelor degrees are favorable among employers. Hands-on experience working with printing equipment is also required. On-the-job training can be obtained through an internship or apprenticeship at a printing facility.

Required Education Certificate or associate's degree in printing management or related field; hands-on experience
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028)* 0% (for first-line supervisors of production and operating workers)
Median Salary (2018)* $60,420 (for first-line supervisors of production and operating workers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description

It's a printing management supervisor's job to make sure printed materials are designed, created and shipped according to client specifications. They can work with a variety of printed materials, including business advertisements, magazines, promotional materials, apparel catalogs, books, consumer products and newspapers. They constantly revise and streamline printing processes in order to increase profits and meet customer deadlines.


Printing management supervisors need good leadership skills. Often, they must lead teams in printing projects with looming deadlines. Communication and multitasking skills also are important since supervisors sometimes have to solve problems involving clients, employees or organizations.

Requirements for a Printing Management Supervisor

Printing management supervisors often need an educational background in graphic design or printing technology and hands-on experience working with printing equipment. They also might be required to have strong computer skills and business management experience.


Education requirements for printing management supervisors vary by employer, but might include a degree in a relevant area, such as printing management, graphic arts and printing technology or graphic design. Associate's and bachelor's degree programs are available in these fields, and certificate programs can be found in printing-related specializations.

Certificate programs often take under a year to complete and focus on one specific type of printing specialization or printing technology in general. Specializations can include flexography, digital printing, silk screen, electronic imaging or offset presswork.

Degree programs typically take 2-4 years to complete and provide an in-depth focus on graphic design and printing procedures. Coursework can include management principles, digital production, offset printing fundamentals, bindery techniques and multimedia design.


Most employers require several years of hands-on experience working with production equipment, as well as knowledge of various types of printing processes, visual design elements and desktop publishing software. Some employers also might require experience working in a management or administrative position.

Many supervisors begin their careers working in a printing facility as an intern, a printer's helper or a press operator. They gain knowledge in all aspects of the production process, which will aid them later in dealing with equipment malfunctions, creating printing schedules and working with production deadlines.

Salary and Job Outlook

Employment for first-line supervisors of production and operating workers, including printing management supervisors, is projected to have minimal or no change during the 2018-2028 decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In May 2018, the BLS reported that the mean annual salary for these workers was $60,420.

The ability to multitask and communicate effectively are essential skills for a printing management supervisor, and business management experience may be mandatory. While the education required for this career varies by employer, it generally takes anywhere from under a year to four years to complete, depending on the program. Print management supervisors need to have previous printing experience, solid desktop publishing skills and a thorough knowledge of design.

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