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Summary Report for:
51-5111.00 - Prepress Technicians and Workers

Format and proof text and images submitted by designers and clients into finished pages that can be printed. Includes digital and photo typesetting. May produce printing plates.

Sample of reported job titles: Prepress Technician, Electronic Prepress Operator (EPP Operator), Plate Maker, Prepress Operator, Pre-Press Technician, Desktop Operator, Electronic Prepress Technician (EPP Tech), Plate Mounter, Pre-Press Proofer, Prepress Stripper

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Tasks  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Work Context  |  Job Zone  |  Education  |  Credentials  |  Interests  |  Work Styles  |  Work Values  |  Related Occupations  |  Wages & Employment  |  Job Openings  |  Additional Information

Tasks

  • Enter, store, and retrieve information on computer-aided equipment.
  • Enter, position, and alter text size, using computers, to make up and arrange pages so that printed materials can be produced.
  • Maintain, adjust, and clean equipment, and perform minor repairs.
  • Operate and maintain laser plate-making equipment that converts electronic data to plates without the use of film.
  • Examine photographic images for obvious imperfections prior to plate making.
  • Operate presses to print proofs of plates, monitoring printing quality to ensure that it is adequate.
  • Monitor contact between cover glass and masks inside vacuum frames to prevent flaws resulting from overexposure or light reflection.
  • Transfer images from master plates to unexposed plates, and immerse plates in developing solutions to develop images.
  • Examine unexposed photographic plates to detect flaws or foreign particles prior to printing.
  • Lower vacuum frames onto plate-film assemblies, activate vacuums to establish contact between film and plates, and set timers to activate ultraviolet lights that expose plates.

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Knowledge

Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Communications and Media — Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

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Skills

Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
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.
Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
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.

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Abilities

Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.

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Work Activities

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

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Work Context

Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 99% responded “Every day.”
Face-to-Face Discussions — 85% responded “Every day.”
Time Pressure — 78% responded “Every day.”
Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 52% responded “Extremely important.”
Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 57% responded “Extremely important.”
Frequency of Decision Making — 68% responded “Every day.”
Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 53% responded “Very important results.”
Structured versus Unstructured Work — 39% responded “Some freedom.”
Electronic Mail — 68% responded “Every day.”
Contact With Others — 46% responded “Constant contact with others.”

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Job Zone

Title Job Zone Three: Medium Preparation Needed
Education Most occupations in this zone require training in vocational schools, related on-the-job experience, or an associate's degree.
Related Experience Previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is required for these occupations. For example, an electrician must have completed three or four years of apprenticeship or several years of vocational training, and often must have passed a licensing exam, in order to perform the job.
Job Training Employees in these occupations usually need one or two years of training involving both on-the-job experience and informal training with experienced workers. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
Job Zone Examples These occupations usually involve using communication and organizational skills to coordinate, supervise, manage, or train others to accomplish goals. Examples include food service managers, electricians, agricultural technicians, legal secretaries, occupational therapy assistants, and medical assistants.
SVP Range (6.0 to < 7.0)

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Education


Percentage of Respondents
Education Level Required
27   Post-secondary certificate Help
25   High school diploma or equivalent Help
24   Associate's degree

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Credentials

Find Training Find Certifications Find Apprenticeships

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Interests

Interest code: RC

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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Work Styles

Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

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Work Values

Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

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Related Occupations

15-1151.00 Computer User Support Specialists   Bright Outlook Bright Outlook  
17-3023.01 Electronics Engineering Technicians   Green Occupation Green
27-4011.00 Audio and Video Equipment Technicians
27-4012.00 Broadcast Technicians
27-4031.00 Camera Operators, Television, Video, and Motion Picture
27-4032.00 Film and Video Editors
43-9011.00 Computer Operators
51-5112.00 Printing Press Operators
51-9071.06 Gem and Diamond Workers
51-9151.00 Photographic Process Workers and Processing Machine Operators

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2013) $18.00 hourly, $37,440 annual
State wages Local Salary Info
 
Employment (2012) 43,000 employees
Projected growth (2012-2022) Decline (-3% or lower) Decline (-3% or lower)
Projected job openings (2012-2022) 10,900
State trends Employment Trends
 
Top industries (2012)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2013 wage data external site and 2012-2022 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2012-2022). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

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Job Openings on the Web

Find Jobs Job Banks

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Sources of Additional Information

Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.

  • Printing Workers external site. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2014-15 Edition.

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