How to become a Printing Machinist

Printing machinists set up and operate letterpress, lithographic, flexographic and gravure printing presses. They work on a range of printed products including packaging, stationery, greeting cards, books and newspapers, depending on the printing method used.

Personal requirements of a Printing Machinist

  • enjoy practical and manual activities
  • good eyesight (may be corrected) and normal colour vision
  • good hand-eye coordination
  • able to carry out detailed work
  • mechanical aptitude.

Duties & Tasks of a Printing Machinist

Printing machinists may perform the following tasks:

  • make printing plates
  • fit printing plates or cylinders on presses, mix the inks that are applied to them and adjust the colour flow to the image
  • adjust the paper-feeding devices that separate and feed sheets through the machine
  • monitor machines and print quality
  • carry out minor repairs and routine maintenance
  • set up and operate 'in-line' finishing functions.

Working conditions for a Printing Machinist

Printing machinists work in both small businesses and large manufacturing companies, and with single and multi-colour printing presses.

Avg. weekly wage:

$950

Future growth:

decline

Employment by state:

ACT 1.3%

NSW 38.2%

NT 0.4%

QLD 15%

SA 6.9%

TAS 0.9%

VIC 33.2%

WA 4.1%

Hours worked:

38.6

Unemployment:

below average

Gender split:

Proportion of male workers 89.8%

Proportion of female workers 10.1%

Education level:

Proportion of workers who have not completed Year 10: 0%

Proportion of workers who have not completed Year 12: 2.1%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is secondary school: 15.9%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is a Certificate 3 or 4: 60%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is a Diploma or Advanced Diploma: 11.7%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is a Bachelor degree: 10.3%

Proportion of workers whose highest qualification is a Postgraduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 0%

Age bracket:

Proprortion of workers aged below 35 years: 31.1%

Proportion of workers aged above 35 years: 71%

*The data above is sourced from the Department of Employment’s Job Outlook website.

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