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Reprographic assistant Print room operator

Reprographic assistants use photocopiers and printers to make documents, brochures, leaflets and pictures. 

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £13,500 to £25,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 35 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set requirements, but GCSEs in maths, English, art and design, and IT can help. You could also take a college course in printing or graphics to learn some of the skills you’ll need.

Experience using desktop publishing software like InDesign or QuarkXpress can also help. 

You’ll need colour normal vision. 

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • a methodical and well organised approach to work
  • the ability to follow job instructions
  • the ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines
  • IT and administration skills
  • customer care skills

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • copying and binding printed materials 
  • discussing the job requirements with the customer
  • helping prepare designs and layouts for print runs
  • working out timescales, costs and the number of copies required
  • programming instructions into the copying equipment
  • making sure machines have suitable levels of inks, chemicals and toners
  • supplying print materials to the machines
  • mounting printing plates or cylinders, if working on a press, and lining them up correctly
  • monitoring the progress of the copying run and quality checking samples
  • finishing copied items, by trimming, binding or laminating
  • performing basic equipment maintenance and cleaning
  • administrative tasks like recording job details and ordering supplies

4. Salary

Starter: £13,500 to £17,000

Experienced: £20,000

Highly Experienced: £25,000

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

You’ll usually work 35 to 40 hours a week, Monday to Friday. If you work in a print shop, you may also work Saturdays. 

You may need to do some lifting and stand for long periods.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could progress to departmental supervisor or production controller. 

In a print shop, you could become a shop manager.

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Last updated: 08 December 2016