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Career and Education Opportunities for Photographic Processing Machine Operators in Huntsville, Alabama

Photographic processing machine operator career and educational opportunities abound in Huntsville, Alabama. The national trend for photographic processing machine operators sees this job pool shrinking by about 24.3% over the next eight years. Photographic processing machine operators generally operate photographic processing machines, such as photographic printing machines, film developing machines, and mounting presses.

The income of a photographic processing machine operator is about $9 per hour or $19,820 annually on average in Alabama. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $9 hourly or $20,360 yearly on average. Photographic processing machine operators earn less than people working in the category of Painting and Coating generally in Alabama and less than people in the Painting and Coating category nationally.

The Huntsville area is home to eleven schools of higher education, including one within twenty-five miles of Huntsville where you can get a degree as a photographic processing machine operator. Photographic processing machine operators usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a photographic processing machine operator if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Photographic Processing Machine Operator

Photographic Processing Machine Operator video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, photographic processing machine operators operate photographic processing machines, such as photographic printing machines, film developing machines, and mounting presses.

Photographic processing machine operators remove completed work from equipment. They also insert processed negatives and prints into envelopes so that they can be returned to customers. Equally important, photographic processing machine operators have to sort film to be developed in line with criteria such as film type or completion date. They are often called upon to load circuit boards, racks or rolls of film and/or printing paper into processing or printing machines. They are expected to monitor equipment operation to uncover malfunctions. Finally, photographic processing machine operators fill tanks of processing machines with solutions such as developer, dyes, stop-baths and washes.

Every day, photographic processing machine operators are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. It is also important that they see details at a very fine level of focus.

It is important for photographic processing machine operators to clean and maintain photoprocessing equipment, using cleaning and rinsing solutions and ultrasonic equipment. They are often called upon to read work orders and examine negatives and film in order to establish machine settings and processing requirements. They also set and adjust machine controls, according to given requirements, type of operation, and material requirements. They are sometimes expected to maintain records such as quantities and types of processing completed, rate of materials usage, and customer charges. Somewhat less frequently, photographic processing machine operators are also expected to load circuit boards, racks or rolls of film and/or printing paper into processing or printing machines.

and inspect film or circuit patterns on photographic plates to identify any defects; discard faulty products or repair them, using cleaning solutions and hand tools. And finally, they sometimes have to start and operate machines to ready circuit boards and to expose, design and print film or plates.

Like many other jobs, photographic processing machine operators must be reliable and believe in cooperation and coordination.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Huntsville include:

  • Auto Body Painter. Operate or tend painting machines to paint surfaces of transportation equipment, such as automobiles, buses, and airplanes.
  • Chemical Plant Operations Technician. Control or operate an entire chemical process or system of machines.
  • Prepress Technician. Set up and prepare material for printing presses.
  • Printing Press Machine Operator. Set up or operate various types of printing machines, such as offset, letterset, or gravure presses or screen printers to produce print on paper or other materials.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Photographic Processing Machine Operator Training

John C Calhoun State Community College - Tanner, AL

John C Calhoun State Community College, 6250 U S Highway 31 N, Tanner, AL 35671. John C Calhoun State Community College is a medium sized college located in Tanner, Alabama. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,754 students. John C Calhoun State Community College has an associate's degree program in Photographic and Film/Video Technology/Technician & Assistant which graduated six students in 2008.


Basic Flexographer (Level 1): The "Basic Flexographer" classification (Level I) has been developed to provide recognition of those who have rudimentary knowledge of the industry or are entry level personnel.

For more information, see the Flexographic Technical Association website.


Huntsville, Alabama
Huntsville, Alabama photo by Anivron

Huntsville is located in Madison County, Alabama. It has a population of over 176,645, which has grown by 11.6% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Huntsville, 82, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Huntsville are valued at $44,900 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, 1,004 new homes were constructed in Huntsville, down from 1,558 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Huntsville are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and construction. The average commute to work is about 18 minutes. More than 36.1% of Huntsville residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Huntsville is 7.6%, which is less than Alabama's average of 10.7%.

The percentage of Huntsville residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 55.2%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Whitesburg Church of God, Whitesburg Church and Maple Grove Church are among the churches located in Huntsville. The most common religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Huntsville is home to the Valley Hill Golf and Country Club and the Lowe Industrial Park as well as John H Steigerwood Field and Milton Frank Stadium. Shopping malls in the area include Madison Plaza Shopping Center, Madison Square Mall Shopping Center and Memorial Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Huntsville can choose from King's Inn, Candlewood Suites and Economy Inn for temporary stays in the area.