Printing press operators set up and operate sheet and web-fed presses to print text, illustrations and designs on a wide variety of materials such as paper, plastic, glass, leather and metal. They are employed by commercial printing companies; newspapers, magazines, and other publishing companies; and establishments in the public and private sectors that have in-house printing departments.

Example titles

  • Apprentice pressman/woman
  • Assistant pressman/woman
  • First pressman/woman
  • Flexographic press operator
  • Offset press operator
  • Printing press operator
  • Rotogravure pressman/woman – printing

Main duties

This group performs some or all of the following duties:

  • Review job orders to determine job specifications such as production time, colour sequence and quantities required, and advise press crew of these specifications
  • Mount plates or cylinders and make necessary adjustments
  • Fill ink fountains and take measurements, make adjustments and determine settings to control colour and viscosity
  • Set up press and check samples for ink coverage, alignment and registration
  • Monitor regular press runs for quality and consistency using computer control console and make adjustments as required
  • Remove and clean plates and cylinders at end of press run
  • Direct activities of press crew and ensure that safety procedures are adhered to.

Employment requirements

  • Completion of secondary school is usually required.
  • Completion of a college program in printing technology or a combination of on-the-job training and specialized high school, college or industry courses is usually required.
  • Trade certification is available, but voluntary, in Québec.

Additional information

  • Progression to supervisory positions, such as pressroom supervisor, is possible with experience.

Exclusions

  • Operators of laser printers, colour and large copiers and printing machines (in 9471 Plateless printing equipment operators)
  • Screen printing artisans (in 5244 Artisans and craftspersons)
  • Supervisors, printing and related occupations (7303)
  • Textile printers (in 9441 Textile fibre and yarn, hide and pelt processing machine operators and workers) Follow me…

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