What does a Printing Press Operator do?

Learn all about Printing Press Operator duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Printing Press Operator.

Photo of Brenna Goyette
Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 4 min read

A printing press operator is responsible for setting up and running a printing press. They must be able to load paper, adjust the settings on the press, and troubleshoot any problems that may arise.

Printing Press Operator job duties include:

  • Operate a printing press to print images or text on paper or other materials
  • Select and set up the type of paper or other material to be used, according to the specifications of the job
  • Adjust the tension and alignment of the rollers that feed the paper or other material into the press
  • Load the paper or other material into the press and position it under the printing plates
  • Start up the press and monitor its operation to ensure that it is running smoothly
  • Make any necessary adjustments to the press during printing to ensure consistent results
  • Inspect printed products for defects and make any necessary corrections
  • Keep records of production runs and maintenance activities
  • Perform routine maintenance on the press and its components

Printing Press Operator Job Requirements

Printing Press Operators typically need a high school diploma, although some jobs may require postsecondary education, and most employers provide on-the-job training. Some states have certification programs for printing press operators. Employers prefer to hire candidates with experience working with the type of press they will be operating.

Printing Press Operator Skills

  • Printing
  • Operator
  • Press
  • Communication
  • Skills
  • Organizational
  • Multi-tasking
  • Leadership
  • Teamwork
  • Problem solving
  • Flexibility

Related: Top Printing Press Operator Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Printing Press Operator

A printing press operator is responsible for running a printing press and ensuring that the printed materials meet the quality standards set by the customer. There are several steps that one must take in order to become a printing press operator.

First, it is important to have a high school diploma or equivalent. Many printing press operators start their careers as entry-level workers in the print shop. It is also helpful to have some experience working with machinery and tools.

Next, it is necessary to complete an apprenticeship or on-the-job training program. Many community colleges offer programs that can lead to a career as a printing press operator. During the apprenticeship, trainees learn about safety procedures, operation of the equipment, and quality control measures.

After completing an apprenticeship or on-the-job training program, many printing press operators choose to become certified through the International Printing Press Operators Association (IPPOA). The IPPOA offers certification exams that test an operator's knowledge of safety procedures, equipment operation, and quality control measures.

Those who wish to become a printing press operator must be able to work well under pressure and meet deadlines. They must also be able to lift heavy objects and stand for long periods of time. Good communication skills are also important, as operators must be able to take direction from customers and co-workers.

Related: Printing Press Operator Resume Example

Related: Printing Press Operator Interview Questions (With Example Answers)