Printers set up and operate letterpress, lithographic, flexographic, gravure, newspaper, instant, digital and offset printing presses.

    Either extensive experience or an apprenticeship in print manufacturing, printing or printing and graphic art is needed to work as a Printer.

    Tasks

    • setting, adjusting and monitoring substrate-feed mechanisms, delivery mechanisms, inking systems and other printing machine functions
    • mixing ink and solvents to standard, and regulating paper and ink supply during print runs
    • monitoring, evaluating and determining press operations manually and by computer to check print quality standards against proofs and detect malfunctions
    • producing a variety of printed products using relief, lithographic, flexographic and gravure printing presses, and in-line finishing systems
    • preparing plates, blankets and impression cylinders on small offset lithographic printing presses
    • loading paper into feeding mechanisms
    • monitoring machine operations and quality of printing
    • undertaking maintenance, adjustment, repair and cleaning of machines
    • producing and managing digital print images, and transferring and outputting images
    • may set up and operate paper and bookbinding guillotines

    More about Printers

    All Printers

    All Printers

    • $1,132 Weekly Pay
    • Decline Future Growth
    • Lower unemployment Unemployment
    • 11,900 workers Employment Size
    • Medium skill Skill level rating
    • 87% Full-Time Full-Time Share
    • 41 hours Average full-time
    • 46 years Average age
    • 13% female Gender Share

    The number of people working as Printers (in their main job) fell over the past 5 years and is expected to fall over the next 5 years:
    from 11,900 in 2018 to 11,000 by 2023.
    Job openings can come from new jobs being created, but most come from turnover (workers leaving).
    There are likely to be around 3,000 job openings over 5 years (that's about 600 a year).

    • Size: This is a medium sized occupation.
    • Unemployment: Unemployment was below average in 2018.
    • Location: Many Printers work in Victoria.
    • Industries: Most work in Manufacturing; Information Media and Telecommunications; and Wholesale Trade.
    • Earnings: Full-time workers on an adult wage earn around $1,132 per week (below the average of $1,460). Earnings tend to be lower when starting out and higher as experience grows.
    • Full-time: Most work full-time (87%, much higher than the average of 66%).
    • Hours: Full-time workers spend around 41 hours per week at work (compared to the average of 44 hours).
    • Age: The average age is 46 years (compared to the average of 40 years). Many workers are 45 years or older (53%).
    • Gender: 13% of workers are female (compared to the average of 48%).

    Employment Outlook

    Number of Workers

    Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, Department of Jobs and Small Business trend data to May 2018 and Department of Jobs and Small Business projections to 2023.
    YearNumber of Workers
    200817300
    200915700
    201019300
    201115500
    201212700
    201315500
    201416000
    201514800
    201612400
    201713000
    201811900
    202311000

    Weekly Earnings

    Weekly Earnings (Before Tax)

    Source: Based on ABS Survey of Employee Earnings and Hours (cat. no. 6306.0), May 2018, Customised Report. Median weekly total cash earnings for full-time non-managerial employees paid at the adult rate. Earnings are before tax and include amounts salary sacrificed. Earnings can vary greatly depending on the skills and experience of the worker and the demands of the role. These figures should be used as a guide only, not to determine a wage rate.
    EarningsPrintersAll Jobs Average
    Full-Time Earnings11321460

    Main Industries

    Main Employing Industries (% Share)

    Source: Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Industries are based on the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC 06).
    Main Employing IndustriesIndustry (% share)
    Manufacturing80.9
    Information Media and Telecommunications8.0
    Wholesale Trade2.6
    Professional, Scientific and Technical Services2.2
    Other Industries6.3

    States and Territories

    • NSW

    • VIC

    • QLD

    • SA

    • TAS

    • NT

    • ACT

    Employment by State and Territory (% Share)

    Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Share of workers across Australian States and Territories, in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    StatePrintersAll Jobs Average
    NSW32.731.6
    VIC34.025.6
    QLD15.520.0
    SA8.07.0
    WA7.310.8
    TAS1.42.0
    NT0.41.0
    ACT0.71.9

    Age Profile

    Age Profile (% Share)

    Source: Based on Based on ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Age profile of workers in this job compared to the all jobs average.
    Age BracketPrintersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    15-191.0-5.05.0
    20-244.7-9.39.3
    25-3415.7-22.922.9
    35-4425.2-22.022.0
    45-5429.8-21.621.6
    55-5911.6-9.09.0
    60-647.8-6.06.0
    65 and Over4.2-4.24.2

    Education Level

    Highest Level of Education (% Share)

    Source: ABS, ABS Census 2016, Customised Report. Highest qualification completed by workers in this job (in any field of study). Qualifications needed by new workers might be different from the qualifications of workers already in the job.
    Type of QualificationPrintersAll Jobs AverageAll Jobs Average
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate1.7-10.110.1
    Bachelor degree6.2-21.821.8
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma7.1-11.611.6
    Certificate III/IV55.7-21.121.1
    Year 1215.7-18.118.1
    Year 113.6-4.84.8
    Year 10 and below10.0-12.512.5

    Either extensive experience or an apprenticeship in print manufacturing, printing or printing and graphic art is needed to work as a Printer.

    Thinking about study or training?

    Before starting a course, check it will provide you with the skills and qualifications you need.

    • Compare Vocational Education and Training (VET) courses, providers and student outcomes on the My Skills website.
    • You might be interested in Printing & Graphic Arts VET training pathways on the AAPathways website.

    Or check out related courses on Job Outlook.

    The course listings on this page are provided by Good Education Group.

    Employers look for Printers who are hardworking, reliable and work well in a team.

    Filter Skills & Knowledge

    Knowledge

    These are important topics, subjects or knowledge areas.

    1. Mechanical

      49% Skill level

      Machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

    2. Production and Processing

      43% Skill level

      Raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and ways of making and distributing goods.

    3. English Language

      41% Skill level

      English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

    4. Customer and Personal Service

      34% Skill level

      Understanding customer needs, providing good quality service, and measuring customer satisfaction.

    5. Chemistry

      33% Skill level

      Chemical composition, structure, and properties. How chemicals are made, used, mixed, and can change.

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 51-5112.00 - Printing Press Operators.

    Learn about the daily activities, and physical and social demands faced by workers. Explore the values and work styles that workers rate as most important.

    Filter Work Environment

    Demands

    The physical and social demands workers face most often are shown below.

    1. Exposed to Contaminants

      97% Important

      How often are you exposed to pollutants, gases, dust or odours?

    2. Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment

      96% Important

      How often do you wear equipment like safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets?

    3. Being Exact or Accurate

      94% Important

      How important is being very exact or highly accurate?

    4. Indoors, Heat Controlled

      90% Important

      How often do you work indoors with access to heating or cooling?

    5. Spend Time Standing

      90% Important

      How much time do you spend standing?

    Occupational Information Network
    O*NET is a trademark of the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.
    The skills and importance ratings on this page are derived from the US Department of Labor O*NET Database Version 21.2, 51-5112.00 - Printing Press Operators.

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