GRAPHIC COMMUNICATIONS & PRINTING TECH.
Required Skills/Jobs & Salary Outlook

Inks used for screen printing

Program Objectives

Curriculm

Faculty

Student Work

Required Skills/Jobs & Salary Outlook

FOR GRAPHIC DESIGNERS

FOR PRINT PRESS OPERATORS


Graphic Designer

Design or create graphics to meet specific commercial or promotional needs, such as packaging, displays, or logos. May use a variety of mediums to achieve artistic or decorative effects.


Sample of reported job titles

Graphic Designer, Graphic Artist, Designer, Creative Director, Artist, Design Director, Composing Room Supervisor, Creative Manager, Desktop Publisher, Graphic Designer/Production


Tasks

  • Create designs, concepts, and sample layouts based on knowledge of layout principles and esthetic design concepts.
  • Determine size and arrangement of illustrative material and copy, and select style and size of type.
  • Confer with clients to discuss and determine layout design.
  • Develop graphics and layouts for product illustrations, company logos, and Internet websites.
  • Review final layouts and suggest improvements as needed.
  • Prepare illustrations or rough sketches of material, discussing them with clients or supervisors and making necessary changes.
  • Use computer software to generate new images.
  • Key information into computer equipment to create layouts for client or supervisor.
  • Maintain archive of images, photos, or previous work products.
  • Prepare notes and instructions for workers who assemble and prepare final layouts for printing.


Tools used in this occupation

  • Laser printers — Computer laser printers; Wide format printers
  • Notebook computers — Laptop computers
  • Photocopiers — Photocopying equipment
  • Scanners — Computer scanners
  • Still cameras — 35 millimeter cameras


Technology used in this occupation

  • Data base user interface and query software — FileMaker Pro software; Microsoft Access; Structured query language SQL
  • Desktop publishing software — Adobe Systems Adobe FrameMaker; Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign; Adobe Systems Adobe PageMaker; QuarkXPress
  • Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe After Effects; Adobe Systems Adobe FreeHand; Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator; Corel CorelDraw Graphics Suite
  • Web page creation and editing software — Adobe Systems Adobe Dreamweaver; Adobe Systems Adobe Flash Player; Adobe Systems Adobe Macromedia HomeSite
  • Web platform development software — Adobe Systems Adobe ColdFusion; Cascading Style Sheets CSS; Hypertext markup language HTML; JavaScript


Knowledge

  • Design — Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Communications and Media — Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
  • Computers and Electronics — Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • English Language — Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Fine Arts — Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.
  • Sales and Marketing — Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
  • Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.


Skills

  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Operations Analysis — Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
  • Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Writing — Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Learning — Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.


Abilities

  • Originality — The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Fluency of Ideas — The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Written Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • Category Flexibility — The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Inductive Reasoning — The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).


Work Activities

  • Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Interacting With Computers — Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization — Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others — Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.


Work Context

  • Electronic Mail — How often do you use electronic mail in this job?
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?
  • Telephone — How often do you have telephone conversations in this job?
  • Spend Time Sitting — How much does this job require sitting?
  • Time Pressure — How often does this job require the worker to meet strict deadlines?
  • Face-to-Face Discussions — How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
  • Level of Competition — To what extent does this job require the worker to compete or to be aware of competitive pressures?
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?
  • Duration of Typical Work Week — Number of hours typically worked in one week.
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — How much does this job require making repetitive motions?


Interests

Interest code: ARE

  • Artistic — Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
  • Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.


Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.


Work Values

  • Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
  • Recognition — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.


State and National Wages & Employment Trends

Location

Pay
Period

2011

10%

25%

Median

75%

90%

United States

Hourly

$12.60

$16.06

$21.16

$28.56

$37.20

Yearly

$26,200

$33,400

$44,000

$59,400

$77,400

Pennsylvania

Hourly

$12.48

$15.60

$19.40

$24.90

$33.06

Yearly

$26,000

$32,400

$40,400

$51,800

$68,800

 

United States

Employment

Percent
Change

Job Openings 1

2010

2020

Graphic Designers

279,200

316,500

+13%

12,380

Pennsylvania

Employment

Percent
Change

Job Openings 1

2008

2018

Graphic Designers

10,550

10,400

-2%

280

1Job Openings refers to the average annual job openings due to growth and net replacement.


Note: The data for the State Employment Trends and the National Employment Trends are not directly comparable. The projections period for state data is 2008-2018, while the projections period for national data is 2010-2020.
Information provided by CareerOneStop, sponsored by the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration

Printing Press Operator

Set up and operate digital, letterpress, lithographic, flexographic, gravure, or other printing machines. Includes short-run offset printing presses.


Sample of reported job titles

1st Pressman, 2nd Pressman, Flexographic Press Operator, Offset Pressman, Press Leader, Press Operator, Pressman, Printer, Printing Press Operator, Printing Pressman


Tasks

  • Collect and inspect random samples during print runs to identify any necessary adjustments.
  • Examine job orders to determine quantities to be printed, stock specifications, colors, or special printing instructions.
  • Verify that paper and ink meet the specifications for a given job.
  • Start presses and pull proofs to check for ink coverage and density, alignment, and registration.
  • Change press plates, blankets, or cylinders, as required.
  • Obtain or mix inks and fill ink fountains.
  • Feed paper through press cylinders and adjust feed and tension controls.
  • Load presses with paper and make necessary adjustments, according to paper size.
  • Secure printing plates to printing units and adjust tolerances.
  • Clean ink fountains, plates, or printing unit cylinders when press runs are completed.


Tools used in this occupation

  • Flexographic printer — Flexo presses; Flexographic presses
  • Offset printing presses — Offset presses; Offset printing equipment; Sheet-fed presses; Web presses
  • Photocopiers — Digital copiers; Photocopying equipment
  • Platemakers — External drum imagesetters; Flat-bed imagesetters; Printing platemakers; Thermal platemaking equipment
  • Printing presses — Digital printing presses; Multicolor presses; Sheetfed presses


Technology used in this occupation

  • Desktop publishing software — Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign; Adobe Systems Adobe PageMaker; Enfocus PitStop Pro; QuarkXPress
  • Document management software — Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat software; Adobe Systems Adobe LifeCycle Production Print ES3; Xerox FreeFlow Print Server
  • Electronic mail software — Email software; Microsoft Outlook
  • Graphics or photo imaging software — Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop software; Corel CorelDraw Graphics Suite; Graphics software; Image editing software
  • Project management software — Job tracking software; Printers Software Inc. Presidio; Printing management system software  

Knowledge

  • Mechanical — Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

Skills

  • Quality Control Analysis — Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Operation Monitoring — Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Monitoring — Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Reading Comprehension — Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking — Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Operation and Control — Controlling operations of equipment or systems.
  • Complex Problem Solving — Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Equipment Maintenance — Performing routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.

Abilities

  • Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Problem Sensitivity — The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.  
  • Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Oral Comprehension — The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Visual Color Discrimination — The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.
  • Visualization — The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • Written Comprehension — The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Control Precision — The ability to quickly and repeatedly adjust the controls of a machine or a vehicle to exact positions.
  • Deductive Reasoning — The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

Work Activities

  • Controlling Machines and Processes — Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment — Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Documenting/Recording Information — Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
  • Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
  • Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Work Context

  • Exposed to Contaminants — How often does this job require working exposed to contaminants (such as pollutants, gases, dust or odors)?
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — How much does this job require wearing common protective or safety equipment such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hard hats or life jackets?
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?
  • Frequency of Decision Making — How frequently is the worker required to make decisions that affect other people, the financial resources, and/or the image and reputation of the organization?
  • Spend Time Standing — How much does this job require standing?
  • Time Pressure — How often does this job require the worker to meet strict deadlines?
  • Pace Determined by Speed of Equipment — How important is it to this job that the pace is determined by the speed of equipment or machinery? (This does not refer to keeping busy at all times on this job.)
  • Sounds, Noise Levels Are Distracting or Uncomfortable — How often does this job require working exposed to sounds and noise levels that are distracting or uncomfortable?
  • Freedom to Make Decisions — How much decision making freedom, without supervision, does the job offer?


Interests

Interest code: RC

  • Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.


Work Styles

  • Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.


Work Values

  • Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Achievement — Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
  • Independence — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.


State and National Wages & Employment Trends

Location

Pay
Period

2011

10%

25%

Median

75%

90%

United States

Hourly

$9.83

$12.58

$16.49

$21.07

$26.07

Yearly

$20,400

$26,200

$34,300

$43,800

$54,200

Pennsylvania

Hourly

$10.71

$13.53

$17.16

$21.13

$24.97

Yearly

$22,300

$28,100

$35,700

$44,000

$51,900

 

United States

Employment

Percent
Change

Job Openings 1

2010

2020

Printing Press Operators

200,100

197,200

-2%

3,920

Pennsylvania

Employment

Percent
Change

Job Openings 1

2008

2018

Printing machine operators

9,400

8,900

-5%

210

 1Job Openings refers to the average annual job openings due to growth and net replacement.


Note: The data for the State Employment Trends and the National Employment Trends are not directly comparable. The projections period for state data is 2008-2018, while the projections period for national data is 2010-2020.
Information provided by CareerOneStop, sponsored by the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration