Print Machine Operator

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

Careers information

20140725 Competenz PMP 132

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.


20140725 Competenz PMP 174

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.

20170711 Philstic 4615
How to become a print machine operator?

You learn to be a print machine operator on-the-job and gain qualifications to support your skills and experience.

   Sound like you?

Study areas
Helpful experience
Preferred work environments
  • Science or workshop technology
  • Creative Arts- (Visual/Textiles/Graphics)
  • Computing/ICT/Information Management
  • Strong eye for detail
  • Good literacy and numeracy
  • Confidence with IT, Computers, technology
  • Good initiatice/'can do' attitude
  • Making or fixing things
  • Working with machinery
  • Working with computers
  • Creative work (writing, drawing, styling)
  • Inside (workshop or plant)
  • Different places from time 

Career pathway

Entry level jobs
Advancing jobs
Senior jobs

Ideally, NCEA Level 2 passes in:

  • english, maths, visual arts, technologies, computing or graphics
  • Printing Production (Digital Processes, Screen, Sheet Fed, Reel Fed, Pad Printing, Binding and Finishing)


  • Sheet Fed offset Printer
  • Reel Fed Printer
  • Screen Printer
  • Dry Offset Printer
  • Digital Printer
  • Pad Printer
  • Direct Mail Printer
  • Team leader
  • Production Planner
  • Business Manager
  • Operations Manager
  • Business Owner
 Unit/Achievement standards in schoolsApprenticeshipHigher learningHigher learning