Prepress technicians and workers are the final stop to ensure text and images are perfect on their way to the printed page. Depending on the size of the employer, you might handle just a few tasks, or for smaller employers, you might perform all of the pre-press duties yourself. In all cases, prepress technicians and workers use software for several key functions, especially desktop publishing, document management, working with graphics and photo imaging. Prepress staff manipulate text and pictures to prepare pages, and work with great precision with laser plate-making equipment for printing. With a strong eye for detail, they check text and images for accuracy and correct color to ensure plates are faultless before printing. For this work, you need good eyesight and a strong sense of color. Artistic ability is a definite plus. The work is very detail-oriented, and deadline pressures can make it stressful. Employers look for vocational school training or associate’s degrees in desktop publishing, graphic arts or printing production. And changing technology means these workers must constantly update their skills. More and more of the work of transforming text and images into finished pages is done with the click of a mouse. Technology is still reshaping prepress operations, and a key to success in this field is adaptability.
What they do:
Format and proof text and images submitted by designers and clients into finished pages that can be printed. Includes digital and photo typesetting. May produce printing plates.
On the job, you would:
Generate prepress proofs in digital or other format to approximate the appearance of the final printed piece.
Proofread and perform quality control of text and images.
Enter, position, and alter text size, using computers, to make up and arrange pages so that printed materials can be produced.
Engineering and Technology
computers and electronics
Arts and Humanities
Math and Science
arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
Manufactured or Agricultural Goods
manufacture and distribution of products
keeping track of how well people and/or groups are doing in order to make improvements
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
communicate by speaking
listen and understand what people say
Ideas and Logic
make general rules or come up with answers from lots of detailed information
notice when problems happen
People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Graphics or photo imaging software
Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator
Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
Desktop publishing software
Adobe Systems Adobe FrameMaker
Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign
Document management software
Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
Adobe Systems Adobe LifeCycle Enterprise Suite
high school diploma/GED or associate's degree usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.