Printers set up and run a variety of printing presses for media print and publication. They may use letterpress, newspaper, digital and lithographic printing presses and should have knowledge of printer set up and maintenance and provide quality assurance printing.

Duties and tasks

  • Arrange plates and impression cylinders on offset lithographic printing presses and operate paper and binding equipment
  • Clean and provide repairs and maintenance on printing machines to ensure quality and efficiency
  • Create digital print images, digitally setting and transferring images
  • Mix ink and solvents to specifications and monitor ink quality and paper supply while running prints
  • Monitor print quality standards by manually checking and using computer systems to evaluate print quality and detect flaws
  • Set printing machine systems to create desired finished printed products with relief, in-line and lithographic systems
  • Set up, modify and operate printing machine functions such as ink methods, feeding and delivering contrivances

Skills required

  • Attention to Detail
  • Critical Thinking
  • Organisational and Coordinating Skills
  • Technical Abilities
  • Time Management

Working conditions

Printers typically work regular Monday to Friday hours, but may need to work evenings or weekends in order to complete large printing orders and meet deadlines. They typically work in printing press areas or workshops using a variety of printing equipment.

Professional associations / Industry information

Creative Industries Skills Council 

Innovation and Business Skills Australia 

Printing Industries Association of Australia

Related jobs and job titles

  • Binder and Finisher
  • Digital Printer
  • Graphic Prepress
  • Tradesperson
  • Printing Hand
  • Printing Machinist
  • Screen Printer
  • Stencil Preparer