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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.

The occupation code you requested, 51-5022.00 (Prepress Technicians and Workers), is no longer in use. In the future, please use 51-5111.00 (Prepress Technicians and Workers) instead.

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

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Tasks  |  Tools & Technology  |  Knowledge  |  Skills  |  Abilities  |  Work Activities  |  Detailed 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. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Enter, position, and alter text size, using computers, to make up and arrange pages so that printed materials can be produced. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Maintain, adjust, and clean equipment, and perform minor repairs. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Operate and maintain laser plate-making equipment that converts electronic data to plates without the use of film. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Examine photographic images for obvious imperfections prior to plate making. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Operate presses to print proofs of plates, monitoring printing quality to ensure that it is adequate. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Monitor contact between cover glass and masks inside vacuum frames to prevent flaws resulting from overexposure or light reflection. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Transfer images from master plates to unexposed plates, and immerse plates in developing solutions to develop images. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Examine unexposed photographic plates to detect flaws or foreign particles prior to printing. See more occupations related to this task.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Examine finished plates to detect flaws, verify conformity with master plates, and measure dot sizes and centers, using light boxes and microscopes. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Perform close alignment or registration of double and single flats to sensitized plates prior to exposure to produce composite images. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Remove plate-film assemblies from vacuum frames and place exposed plates in automatic processors to develop images and dry plates. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Position and angle screens for proper exposure. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Inspect developed film for specified results and quality, using magnifying glasses and scopes, forwarding acceptable negatives or positives to other workers or to customers. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Punch holes in light-sensitive plates and insert pins in holes to prepare plates for contact with positive or negative film. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Unload exposed film from scanners, and place film in automatic processors to develop images. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Place masking paper on areas of plates not covered by positives or negatives to prevent exposure. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Mount negatives and plates in cameras, set exposure controls, and expose plates to light through negatives to transfer images onto plates. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Operate and maintain a variety of cameras and equipment, such as process, line, halftone, and color separation cameras, enlargers, electronic scanners, and contact equipment. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Perform tests to determine lengths of exposures, by exposing plates, scanning line copy, and comparing exposures to tone range scales. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Mix solutions such as developing solutions and colored coating solutions. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Activate scanners to produce positive or negative films for the black-and-white, cyan, yellow, and magenta separations from each original copy. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Select proper types of plates according to press run lengths. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Reposition lamps and adjust aperture controls to provide high quality images. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Analyze originals to evaluate color density, gradation highlights, middle tones, and shadows, using densitometers and knowledge of light and color. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Set scanners to specific color densities, sizes, screen rulings, and exposure adjustments, using scanner keyboards or computers. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Perform minor deletions, additions, or corrections to completed plates, on or off printing presses, using tusche, printing ink, erasers, and needles. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Correct minor film mask defects with litho tape or opaquing fluid. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Position color transparencies, negatives, or reflection copies on scanning drums, and mount drums and heads on scanners. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Arrange and mount typeset material and illustrations into paste-ups for printing reproduction, based on artists' or editors' layouts. See more occupations related to this task.
  • Scale copy for reductions and enlargements, using proportion wheels. See more occupations related to this task.

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Tools & Technology

Tools used in this occupation:

  • Automated film processor — Automated film processors See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Densitometers — Printing densitometers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Desktop computers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Digital cameras — Digital still cameras See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Digital image printers — Commercial digital printers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Electronic media or data duplicating equipment — Compact disk CD duplicators; Digital video disk DVD duplicators See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Flexographic printer — Flexographic plate processors See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Lithographic equipment — Lithographic plate processors See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Photogravure printing machines — Gravure cylinder engravers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Plotter printers — Commercial digital plotters See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Printing presses — Digital printing presses See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Scanners — Drum scanners; Flat bed scanners See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Stackers — Plate stackers See more occupations related to this tool.
  • Thermal transfer printer for commercial printing applications — Newspaper platesetters; Thermal platesetters See more occupations related to this tool.

Technology used in this occupation:

  • Desktop publishing software — Adobe Systems Adobe FrameMaker; Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign; Adobe Systems Adobe PageMaker; Esko ArtPro (see all 5 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Document management software — Adobe Systems Adobe LifeCycle Enterprise Suite; Global Graphics Software Harlequin See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator; Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop software; Corel Painter; LaserSoft Imaging SilverFast Ai Studio (see all 7 examples) See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Internet browser software — Web browser software See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Internet protocol IP multimedia subsystem software — File transfer protocol FTP software; ProjectSend * See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Optical character reader OCR or scanning software — Hamrick Software VueScan See more occupations related to this technology.
  • Video creation and editing software — Adobe Systems Adobe Director See more occupations related to this technology.

* Software developed by a government agency and/or distributed as freeware or shareware.

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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. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this knowledge.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this knowledge.

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Skills

  • Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action. See more occupations related to this skill.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents. See more occupations related to this skill.

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Abilities

  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • 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). See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged. See more occupations related to this ability.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing. See more occupations related to this ability.

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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. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles). See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment — Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Detailed Work Activities

  • Remove products or workpieces from production equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Mount attachments or tools onto production equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Select production equipment according to product specifications. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Mix ingredients to create specific finishes. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Inspected printed materials or other images to verify quality. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Mount materials or workpieces onto production equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Monitor equipment operation to ensure that products are not flawed. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Measure dimensions of completed products or workpieces to verify conformance to specifications. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Mix substances to create chemical solutions. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Operate photographic developing or print production equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Enter commands, instructions, or specifications into equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Clean production equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Immerse objects or workpieces in cleaning or coating solutions. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Drill holes in parts, equipment, or materials. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Program equipment to perform production tasks. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Maintain production or processing equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Repair production equipment or tools. See more occupations related to this activity.
  • Operate digital imaging equipment. See more occupations related to this activity.

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Work Context

  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 99% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — 85% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Time Pressure — 78% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 52% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 57% responded “Extremely important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Frequency of Decision Making — 68% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 53% responded “Very important results.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work — 39% responded “Some freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Electronic Mail — 68% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Contact With Others — 46% responded “Constant contact with others.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 38% responded “More than half the time.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — 54% responded “Some freedom.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Sitting — 43% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 48% responded “Continually or almost continually.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Exposed to Contaminants — 50% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Telephone — 39% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Work With Work Group or Team — 34% responded “Very important.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — 39% responded “More than 40 hours.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — 46% responded “Every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations — 40% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.” See more occupations related to this work context.
  • Physical Proximity — 57% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).” See more occupations related to this work context.

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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

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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. See more occupations related to this interest.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this interest.

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Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.
  • Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job. See more occupations related to this work style.

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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. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy. See more occupations related to this work value.
  • 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. See more occupations related to this work value.

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Related Occupations

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Wages & Employment Trends

Median wages (2014) $17.89 hourly, $37,200 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 2014 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

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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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