Summary Report for:
51-9151.00 - Photographic Process Workers and Processing Machine Operators
Perform work involved in developing and processing photographic images from film or digital media. May perform precision tasks such as editing photographic negatives and prints.
Sample of reported job titles: Digital Imaging Technician, Digital Printer Operator, Film Technician, Lab Technician, Photo Lab Manager, Photo Lab Specialist, Photo Lab Technician (Photographic Laboratory Technician), Photo Printer, Photo Specialist, Photo Technician
Tasks | Tools & Technology | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings
- Create prints according to customer specifications and laboratory protocols.
- Examine developed prints for defects, such as broken lines, spots, or blurs.
- Fill tanks of processing machines with solutions such as developer, dyes, stop-baths, fixers, bleaches, or washes.
- Immerse film, negatives, paper, or prints in developing solutions, fixing solutions, and water to complete photographic development processes.
- Insert processed negatives and prints into envelopes for delivery to customers.
- Load circuit boards, racks or rolls of film, negatives, or printing paper into processing or printing machines.
- Load digital images onto computers directly from cameras or from storage devices, such as flash memory cards or universal serial bus (USB) devices.
- Maintain records, such as quantities or types of processing completed, materials used, or customer charges.
- Measure and mix chemicals to prepare solutions for processing, according to formulas.
- Monitor equipment operation to detect malfunctions.
- Operate machines to prepare circuit boards and to expose, develop, etch, fix, wash, dry, or print film or plates.
- Operate scanners or related computer equipment to digitize negatives, photographic prints, or other images.
- Operate special equipment to perform tasks such as transferring film to videotape or producing photographic enlargements.
- Place sensitized paper in frames of projection printers, photostats, or other reproduction machines.
- Produce color or black-and-white photographs, negatives, or slides, applying standard photographic reproduction techniques and procedures.
- Read work orders to determine required processes, techniques, materials, or equipment.
- Reprint originals for enlargement or in sections to be pieced together.
- Retouch photographic negatives or original prints to correct defects.
- Review computer-processed digital images for quality.
- Select digital images for printing, specify number of images to be printed, and direct to printer, using computer software.
- Set automatic timers, lens openings, and printer carriages to specified focus and exposure times and start exposure to duplicate originals, photographs, or negatives.
- Set or adjust machine controls, according to specifications, type of operation, or material requirements.
- Apply paint, using airbrushes, pens, artists' brushes, cotton swabs, or gloved fingers to retouch or enhance negatives or photographs.
- Clean or maintain photoprocessing or darkroom equipment, using ultrasonic equipment or cleaning and rinsing solutions.
- Color photographs to produce natural, lifelike appearances, using oil colors and airbrushes.
- Dry prints or negatives using sponges, squeegees, mechanical air dryers, or drying cabinets.
- Examine drawings, negatives, or photographic prints to determine coloring, shading, accenting, or other changes required for retouching or restoration.
- Examine quality of film fades or dissolves for potential color corrections, using color analyzers.
- Expose filmstrips to progressively timed lights to compare effects of various exposure times.
- Ink borders or lettering on illustrations using pens, brushes, or drafting instruments.
- Mount original photographs, negatives, or other printed material in holders or vacuum frames beneath lights.
- Produce timed prints with separate densities or color settings for each scene of a production.
- Shade negatives or photographs with pencils to smooth facial contours, soften highlights, or conceal blemishes, stray hairs, or wrinkles.
- Splice broken or separated film and mount film on reels.
- Thread filmstrips through densitometers or sensitometers and expose film to light to determine density of film, necessary color corrections, or light sensitivity.
- Upload digital images onto Web sites for customers.
Tools & Technology
Tools used in this occupation:
- Air brushes — Photo retouching air brushes
- Bar code reader equipment — Barcode scanners
- Camera lens — Contrast filters
- Cathodes or emitters — Silver recovery systems
- Clock timers — Darkroom timers
- Colorimeters — Color testing equipment
- Densitometers — Darkroom densitometers
- Developing tanks — Photographic developing tanks
- Developing tongs — Film processing tongs
- Developing trays — Developing spirals; Film developing trays
- Digital cameras
- Dye sublimination printers — Thermal dye sublimation printers
- Film driers — Drying cabinets
- Film splicers — Cement splicers; Daylight splicers; Tape splicers; Ultrasonic film splicers
- Flash memory storage card — Secure digital (SD) cards
- Flowmeters — Water flow meters
- General purpose refrigerators or refrigerator freezers — Film refrigerators
- Handheld thermometer — Darkroom thermometers
- High capacity removable media drives — MultiMediaCard storage devices; Universal serial bus USB flash drives
- Hot air blowers — Mechanical air dryers
- Hydrometers — Darkroom hydrometers
- Inkjet printer for commercial printing applications — Photo printers
- Laboratory beakers — Darkroom beakers
- Laboratory graduated cylinders — Measuring cylinders
- Laboratory mixers — Hand mixers; Power mixers
- Laboratory stirring rods — Chemical stirrers
- Laminators — Mounting presses
- Laser printers — Laser photo printers
- Light enhancing cameras or vision devices — Infrared goggles
- Offset darkroom equipment — Film pickers; Film winders; Leader cards
- Offset film processors — Automatic photo printers; Digital minilabs; Roller transport film processors; Rotary drum processors (see all 6 examples)
- Paint brushes — Artists' brushes
- Personal computers
- Photo cutters or trimmers — Photo scissors
- Photographic enlargers — Photographic print enlargers
- Printing guillotines — Paper cutters
- Printing plates — Film plates
- Reflectometers — Sensitometers
- Scanners — Drum scanners; Flatbed scanners
- Squeegees or washers — Photo drying squeegees
- Thermal transfer printer for commercial printing applications — Solid ink printers
- Thermographs — Infrared scanners
- Ultrasonic cleaning equipment — Ultrasonic cleaners
- Water pumps — Water recirculation pumps
Technology used in this occupation:
- Data base user interface and query software — Microsoft Access ; MySQL software
- Desktop publishing software — Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign ; Microsoft Publisher
- Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop software ; Apple Aperture software; HeliconSoft Helicon Focus; Phase One Capture One (see all 6 examples)
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office software
- Presentation software — Microsoft PowerPoint
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
- Word processing software — Microsoft Word
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- 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.
- Production and Processing — Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
- 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.
- Operation Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
- Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- 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.
- Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
- Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
- Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
- Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
- Selective Attention — The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
- Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
- Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
- Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
- Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
- Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings — Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- 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.
- Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment — Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Detailed Work Activities
- Read work orders or other instructions to determine product specifications or materials requirements.
- Inspected printed materials or other images to verify quality.
- Mount materials or workpieces onto production equipment.
- Record operational or production data.
- Mix substances to create chemical solutions.
- Watch operating equipment to detect malfunctions.
- Cut industrial materials in preparation for fabrication or processing.
- Measure ingredients or substances to be used in production processes.
- Review blueprints or other instructions to determine operational methods or sequences.
- Operate photographic developing or print production equipment.
- Load materials into production equipment.
- Clean production equipment.
- Position raw materials on processing or production equipment.
- Immerse objects or workpieces in cleaning or coating solutions.
- Maintain production or processing equipment.
- Operate digital imaging equipment.
- Apply decorative coloring to photographs or printed materials.
- Load digital images onto computers or websites.
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — How much does this job require using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls?
- Time Pressure — How often does this job require the worker to meet strict deadlines?
- Face-to-Face Discussions — How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?
- Freedom to Make Decisions — How much decision making freedom, without supervision, does the job offer?
- Frequency of Decision Making — How frequently is the worker required to make decisions that affect other people, the financial resources, and/or the image and reputation of the organization?
- Contact With Others — How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — What results do your decisions usually have on other people or the image or reputation or financial resources of your employer?
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — How important is repeating the same physical activities (e.g., key entry) or mental activities (e.g., checking entries in a ledger) over and over, without stopping, to performing this job?
- Telephone — How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — How much does this job require making repetitive motions?
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — To what extent is this job structured for the worker, rather than allowing the worker to determine tasks, priorities, and goals?
- Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment — How important is it to this job that the pace is determined by the speed of equipment or machinery? (This does not refer to keeping busy at all times on this job.)
- Work With Work Group or Team — How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?
- Deal With External Customers — How important is it to work with external customers or the public in this job?
- Exposed to Contaminants — How often does this job require working exposed to contaminants (such as pollutants, gases, dust or odors)?
- Physical Proximity — To what extent does this job require the worker to perform job tasks in close physical proximity to other people?
- Exposed to Hazardous Conditions — How often does this job require exposure to hazardous conditions?
- Spend Time Standing — How much does this job require standing?
|Title||Job Zone Two: Some Preparation Needed|
|Education||These occupations usually require a high school diploma.|
|Related Experience||Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, a teller would benefit from experience working directly with the public.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include sheet metal workers, forest fire fighters, customer service representatives, physical therapist aides, salespersons (retail), and tellers.|
|SVP Range||(4.0 to < 6.0)|
Interest code: CR
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- 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.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- 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.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2015)||$12.78 hourly, $26,590 annual|
|Employment (2014)||29,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2014-2024)||Decline (-2% or lower)|
|Projected job openings (2014-2024)||5,600|
|Top industries (2014)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data and 2014-2024 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.