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Machine printer Print minders

Machine printers set up, operate and maintain printing presses, and make sure the right materials are used.

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £16,000 to £35,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 37 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

Most employers will ask for GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) in subjects like English, maths, science and IT.

You'll need colour-normal vision.

A qualification in printing, reprographics, general art and design or digital design will be useful, but not essential.

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

British Print has more information about becoming a machine printer and other careers in the print industry.

2. Skills required

You'll need:

  • an eye for detail
  • problem-solving skills
  • the ability to concentrate for long periods
  • mechanical and practical skills

3. What you'll do

Your work will depend on the type of presses you're in charge of, but your day-to-day duties could include:

  • calibrating the presses for accurate colour
  • feeding the print materials into the presses
  • putting job data into computerised control units
  • carrying out quality checks during the print run
  • identifying problems and fixing faults
  • cleaning presses after a print run has finished
  • carrying out basic machine maintenance

4. Salary

Starter: £16,000 to £19,000

Experienced: £20,000 to £27,000

Highly Experienced: Up to £35,000

You can earn more for overtime and late shifts.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You'll normally work 37 to 40 hours a week, possibly on a shift system which could include nights.

Your workplace could be noisy, and may also get quite hot.

You'll wear protective clothing and use a range of safety equipment.

6. Career path and progression

With training and experience, you could move to a supervisory role, production control or print manager.

You could also work in related areas like print finishing, account sales, estimating, buying or machine maintenance.

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Last updated: 18 August 2017