How to become a Binder and Finisher

Binder and Finisher

Binders and finishers fold, collate, stitch, trim, cover and embellish a range of printed and non-printed products by hand or machine.

Personal requirements for a Binder and Finisher

  • Enjoy practical and manual activities
  • Good eyesight (may be corrected)
  • Good hand-eye coordination
  • Able to cope with the physical demands of the job
  • Mechanical aptitude
  • Good communication skills
  • Able to work as part of a team
  • Able to pay attention to detail.

Education & Training for a Binder and Finisher

To become a binder and finisher you usually have to complete an apprenticeship. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10.

Duties & Tasks of a Binder and Finisher

Binders and finishers:

  • Process sheets of printed material by assembling the sheets, trimming them to size using automated guillotines and then folding the sheets using mechanised folders
  • Set up and prepare bookbinding and finishing machines, which assemble pages or attach covers to books
  • Prepare and apply the pastes and glues needed to hold books together (if binding books by hand), glue or sew the pages into place and ‘build’ the cover around each individual book, often using cloths, leathers and fine papers
  • Repair damaged bindings.


  • Operates systems to insert printed material into newspapers, magazines and envelopes.
  • Sets up and supervises the operation of automatic binding and finishing equipment.
  • Operates paper guillotines for pre-press and post-press paper cutting and trimming, and programmes electronically-operated units.
  • Folds, collates and sews signatures by machine and hand.
  • Binds full, half and limp-bound books, and repairs bindings.
  • Embellishes printed products automatically and manually.

Employment Opportunities for a Binder and Finisher

Most binders and finishers are employed by printing firms or specialist binding and finishing companies. There may be some opportunities for self-employment.

  • Average age
    Average age
    48 years
  • Future Growth
    Future Growth
  • Gender Share
    Gender Share
    31% female
  • Average full-time
    Average full-time
    40 hours
  • Weekly Pay
    Weekly Pay
  • Skill level rating
    Skill level rating
    Medium skill
  • Unemployment
    Lower unemployment
  • Full-Time Share
    Full-Time Share
    80% Full-Time
  • Employment Size
    Employment Size
    1,900 workers
  • Employment Size
    Employment by state
    ACT: 0.9%
    NSW: 28.2%
    NT: 0.3%
    QLD: 18.2%
    SA: 8.5%
    TAS: 1.5%
    VIC: 32.8%
    WA: 9.5%
  • Employment Size
    Age brackets
    15-19: 1.4%
    20-24: 5.2%
    25-34: 12.3%
    35-44: 21.3%
    45-54: 31.9%
    55-59: 14.1%
    60-64: 8.8%
    65 and Over: 4.9%
  • Employment Size
    Education level
    Advanced Diploma/Diploma: 6.4%
    Bachelor degree: 5.1%
    Certificate III/IV: 48.3%
    Post Graduate/Graduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 0.8%
    Year 10 and below: 17.8%
    Year 11: 5.8%
    Year 12: 15.9%
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