Printing Press Operators

What they do:

Set up and operate digital, letterpress, lithographic, flexographic, gravure, or other printing machines. Includes short-run offset printing presses.

On the job, you would:

  • Adjust digital files to alter print elements, such as fonts, graphics, or color separations.
  • Adjust ink fountain flow rates.
  • Change press plates, blankets, or cylinders, as required.
  • Clean ink fountains, plates, or printing unit cylinders when press runs are completed.
  • Clean or oil presses or make minor repairs, using hand tools.
  • Collect and inspect random samples during print runs to identify any necessary adjustments.
  • Download or scan files to be printed, using printing production software.
  • Examine job orders to determine quantities to be printed, stock specifications, colors, or special printing instructions.
  • Feed paper through press cylinders and adjust feed and tension controls.
  • Input production job settings into workstation terminals that control automated printing systems.

Knowledge

  • Production and Processing
  • Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Mechanical
  • Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
  • English Language
  • Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Administration and Management
  • Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Education and Training
  • Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Mathematics
  • Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Chemistry
  • Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.

Skills

  • Operation Monitoring
  • Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Operation and Control
  • Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Monitoring
  • Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Critical Thinking
  • Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Listening
  • Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Time Management
  • Managing one's own time and the time of others.

Abilities

  • Near Vision
  • The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness
  • The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Control Precision
  • The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Problem Sensitivity
  • The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Trunk Strength
  • The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
  • Multilimb Coordination
  • The ability to coordinate two or more limbs (for example, two arms, two legs, or one leg and one arm) while sitting, standing, or lying down. It does not involve performing the activities while the whole body is in motion.
  • Manual Dexterity
  • The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Selective Attention
  • The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Oral Comprehension
  • The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Information Ordering
  • The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).

Work Activities

  • Controlling Machines and Processes
  • Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
  • Getting Information
  • Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
  • Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
  • Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment
  • Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Interests

  • 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.
  • Second Interest High-Point
  • Secondary-Cutoff/Rank Descriptiveness
  • Conventional
  • Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
  • Investigative
  • Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
  • Artistic
  • Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
  • Enterprising
  • Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.
  • Social
  • Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.
  • First Interest High-Point
  • Primary-Rank Descriptiveness
  • Third Interest High-Point
  • Tertiary-Cutoff/Rank Descriptiveness

Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail
  • Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Dependability
  • Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Independence
  • Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Stress Tolerance
  • Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Initiative
  • Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Persistence
  • Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Self Control
  • Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Cooperation
  • Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility
  • Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Achievement/Effort
  • Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.