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£11,960 Average salary at age 20
£26,000 Average Salary
39 Average hours per week


Printers set up and operate various small offset printing presses and digital printing processes.

Main Tasks

  • Positions form or plate on machine, checks alignments and sets press;
  • Mixes and loads inks and solvents, loads paper and regulates during print run;
  • Prints and examines proof copies and adjusts press as necessary;
  • Starts or directs start of printing run and monitors machine to ensure that printing proceeds smoothly;
  • Pours colour into machine or directly on to screen and positions screen over item;
  • Operates squeegee by hand or machine to press colour through screen;
  • Dips wooden pattern block into colour tray and lays different colours on top of, and adjacent to, others to form the required pattern;
  • Produces, transfers and outputs digital print images;
  • Maintains, adjusts, repairs and cleans machine;
  • Keeps production records.


There are no formal academic requirements although some employers may require GCSEs/S grades. Training is typically received on-the-job. National Traineeships and apprenticeships in Machine Printing are available at NVQ/SVQ Levels 2 and 3.

UK Prospects

16500 Workforce Size
9.96% Predicted decline 2021 - 2027
7724 Predicted Replacement 2021 - 2027

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