If you enjoy getting creative, working with technology and producing a useful product, a career in the printing industry could suit you.

Careers information

Print Designer/Prepress Operator

20140725 Competenz PMP 006 croppedWhat do they do?

Designers/prepress operators design eye-catching printed material; often discussing ideas with customers and then ensuring all digital files are ready for print and contain all the elements needed for a quality result.

A typical day

Typically, an eight-hour day. Sometimes, longer days or weekend work is required.

Designers/prepress operators create designs ready to print. They use specialist software tools and have knowledge about design as well as print process requirements.

Print Machine Operator

What do they do?

Print machine operators work independently and in teams to produce many types of printed communications in different formats. They have knowledge of different machines, inks and solvents and use different types of presses to complete the jobs.

A typical day

Typically, an eight-hour day.

Print machine operators maintain and clean presses, set up and adjust printing machines, mix inks and solvents, and adjust flow to produce a variety of high quality printed products.

Print Finisher

What do they do?

Print finishers use a range of hand and machine skills to put the finishing touches on a printed product including gluing, stapling, folding, embossing and gold foiling. They can also assist with troubleshooting, production planning and estimating. 

A typical day

Typically, an eight-hour day.

Print finishers prepare job components and equipment to complete print finishing, machine bookbinding or hand bookbinding and maintain quality control throughout production.

print designer

     Sound like you? 

Study areas
Helpful experience
Preferred work environments
  • Sciences or Workshop Technology
  • Creative Arts (Visual/ Textiles/ Graphics/ Performance/ Music)
  • Computing/ICT/Information Management
  • Strong eye for detail
  • Good literacy and numeracy
  • Confidence with IT, computers, technology
  • Good initiative/‘can do’ attitude
  • Making or fixing things
  • Working with machinery
  • Working with computers
  • Creative work (writing, drawing, styling)
  • Inside (workshop or plant)
  • One place every day

Career pathway

Entry level jobs
Advancing jobs
Senior jobs

NCEA Level 2 in:

  • Engligh, Maths, Visual Arts, Technology, Computing, Graphics
  • Printing Production (Digital Processes, Screen, Sheet Fed, Reel Fed, Pad Printing, Binding and finishing)
  • Print Designer
  • Prepress Operator
  • Sheet Fed Offset Printer
  • Reel Fed Printer
  • Screen Printer
  • Dry Offset Printer
  • Digital Printer
  • Pad Printer
  • Direct Mail Printer
  • Print Finisher
  • Bindery Operator
  • Guillotine Operator
  • Folder Operator
  • Gluer Operator
  • Collator
  • Team Leader
  • Supervisor
  • Production Planner
  • Business Manager
  • Operations Manager
  • Business Owner
 Unit/Achievement standards in schoolsApprenticeshipHigher learningHigher learning