CAREER GUIDE FOR PRINTING MACHINE OPERATOR
SOC Code: 51-5023.09
Pay Band(s): 2,3 and 4 (Salary Structure)
Standard Occupational Description: Operate or tend various types of printing machines, such as offset lithographic presses, letter or letterset presses, flexographic or gravure presses, to produce print on paper or other materials such as plastic, cloth, or rubber.
Printing Machine Operator positions in the Commonwealth are assigned to the following Roles in the Printing Operations Career Group:
While Printing Machine Operators within the Commonwealth are all located within the Printing Operations Career Group, individuals may want to pursue other opportunities within the Commonwealth depending upon individual training, education, knowledge, skills, abilities, and interests.
Other Career Group(s) that may be of interest are:
SKILLS, KNOWLEDGE, ABILITIES AND TASKS
(Technical and Functional Expertise)
The Knowledge of:
The Ability to:
Like people, occupations have traits or characteristics. These characteristics give important clues about the nature of the work and work environment, and give you an opportunity to match your own personal interests to a specific occupation. When you choose a job in an occupation that matches your own interests you have taken an important step in planning a successful and rewarding career.
The occupation of Printing Machine Operator has the characteristic described below:
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.
LICENSURE, REGISTRATION, OR CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS
Generally this is not required for Printing Machine Operator positions in state government.
EDUCATIONAL, TRAINING, AND LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES
The Department of Labor provides the following information:
Printing machine operators prepare, operate, and maintain the printing presses in a pressroom. Duties of printing machine operators vary according to the type of press they operate—offset lithography, gravure, flexography, screen printing, letterpress, and digital.
Although completion of a formal apprenticeship or a postsecondary program in printing equipment operation continues to be the best way to learn the trade, most printing machine operators are trained informally on the job while they work as assistants or helpers to experienced operators. Beginning press operators load, unload, and clean presses. With time, they move up to operating one-color sheet-fed presses and eventually advance to multicolor presses. Operators are likely to gain experience on many kinds of printing presses during the course of their career.
Apprenticeships for press operators in commercial shops take 4 years. In addition to on-the-job instruction, apprenticeships include related classroom or correspondence school courses.
Apprenticeship information for printing machine operators can be found on the Department of Labor & Industry's web site at: http://www.dli.state.va.us/
Some postsecondary school programs require 2 years of study and award an associate degree, but most programs can be completed in 1 year or less.
Competencies are a set of identified behaviors, knowledge, skills, and abilities that directly and positively impact the success of employees and the organization. Competencies can be observed and measured. When consistently demonstrated, competencies make employees particularly effective in their work. Competencies help lay out a road map to career success. You can use the Commonwealth Competencies to help improve your individual performance by adopting behaviors that make high performing employees successful in their jobs. In this way, you can use the Commonwealth Competencies for your further professional development.
The Commonwealth Competencies are:
The above competencies may be applied to employees throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. They can be rank-ordered by agencies and hiring managers to represent the needs of a specific job. The rank ordering will change depending upon the occupation, an organization's priorities, the actual job requirements, and the supervisor's preferences.
Career success is both about what you do (applying your technical knowledge, skills, and ability) and how you do it (the consistent behaviors you demonstrate and choose to use) while interacting and communicating with others. Hopefully, by studying the Commonwealth competencies, identifying your developmental opportunities, and working to refine your own competence, you can take charge of your career!
For additional information about the Commonwealth Competencies go to: http://jobs.virginia.gov/cc_planningctr.htm. For the competencies, we first list the competencies and then define each. Finally, we list competency indicators; to describe what successful performance looks like.
COMMONWEALTH CAREER PATH
Career opportunities in the Commonwealth are not limited to moving “up” to the next highest role and pay band, changing positions, or to becoming a supervisor. That's because most roles describe a broad group of occupationally related positions that perform a range of work that requires increased knowledge and skills. For that reason, Commonwealth roles describe the career paths within the same or higher-level role for the same or different Career Group. The broad salary range and the Commonwealth's pay practices provide flexibility in recognizing career development and advancement. (Salary Structure)
For example: Printing Machine Operator
Sample Career Path
Printing Technician II
The Printing Technician II role provides a career track for entry to journey level printers responsible for completing basic printing duties necessary to generate production runs of documents. This includes operating and performing routine maintenance on the machinery, as well as record keeping.
Printing Technician III
The Printing Technician III role provides a career track for printers performing advanced level or supervisory responsibilities. Duties range from operating various types of printing or copying equipment to being a first line supervisor of staff performing duties related to duplicating and producing printed documents. Duties may include digital as well as offset and photocopy printing.
Printing Technician IV
The Printing Technician IV role provides career tracks for expert printers using the highest technical knowledge of printing or digital reproductions. This expert technician uses advance printing software for the digital direct -to-plate process and computer skills that include the latest advance design softwares and knowledge of the correct formats and resolution in which to save a file for the different types of digital equipment for the highest quality available. This role has the highest level of technical knowledge of printing or digital reproductions in conferring with and assessing customer needs, making recommendations, and writing job specifications to have work produced within or outside the agency and managing the process or project.
The Printing Manager I role provides a career track for managers of others in the performance of a wide variety of printing tasks. These responsibilities may be accomplished through subordinate supervisors and employees or through contractors. May function as the charge printing position with financial and staffing responsibilities in an agency's complex printing operation or as an assistant-manager in the largest most complex printing operations.
Printing Manager II
The Printing Manager II role provides a career track for managers of others in the performance of a wide variety of printing tasks as the charge position in the largest and most complex settings. Employees are responsible for the management of subordinate supervisors as well as technical employees and include the normal range of managerial duties such as planning, budgeting, staffing, and evaluation.
ADDITIONAL OCCUPATIONAL INFORMATION CAN BE FOUND AT:
O*NET (Occupational Information Network)
Virginia Employment Commission
Career One Stop
Virginia Career Resource Network
Graphic Communications International Union
Printing Industries of America
Graphic Communications Council
Graphic Arts Technical Foundation