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Career and Education Opportunities for Printing Press Machine Operators in Antioch, California

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for printing press machine operators in the Antioch, California area. There are currently 20,900 working printing press machine operators in California; this should grow by 3% to about 21,600 working printing press machine operators in the state by 2016. This is better than the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for printing press machine operators are expected to shrink by about 5.5%. In general, printing press machine operators 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.

A person working as a printing press machine operator can expect to earn about $15 hourly or $32,360 yearly on average in California and about $15 hourly or $32,170 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for printing press machine operators are not quite as good as in the overall category of Book Binding and Printing in California, and better than the overall Book Binding and Printing category nationally.

There are sixty-four schools of higher education in the Antioch area, including one within twenty-five miles of Antioch where you can get a degree to start your career as a printing press machine operator. The most common level of education for printing press machine operators is a high school diploma or GED. You can expect to spend only a short time studying to be a printing press machine operator if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Printing Press Machine Operator

Printing Press Machine Operator video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, printing press machine operators 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.

Printing press machine operators push buttons, turn handles or move controls and levers to start and control printing machines. They also reposition printing plates, adjust pressure rolls, or otherwise adjust machines to further optimize print quality, using knobs, handwheels, or hand tools. Equally important, printing press machine operators have to set and adjust speed, temperature and positions and pressure tolerances of equipment. They are often called upon to clean and lubricate printing machines and components, using oil, solvents, brushes, rags, and hoses. They are expected to decide on and install printing plates and cylinders in machines according to given requirements, using hand tools. Finally, printing press machine operators pour or spread paint, ink and other materials into reservoirs or color holders of printing units, making measurements and adjustments to control color and viscosity.

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

It is important for printing press machine operators to blend and test paint, inks and solvents in line with types of material being printed and work order specifications. They are often called upon to remove printed materials from presses, using handtrucks, electric lifts, or hoists, and transport them to drying, storage or finishing areas. They also inspect and examine printed products for print clarity, color accuracy, conformance to given requirements, and external defects. They are sometimes expected to monitor stocks of materials such as paper and metal to maintain supplies during equipment operation. Somewhat less frequently, printing press machine operators are also expected to monitor feeding and racking processes of presses to maintain specified operating levels and to uncover malfunctions, making adjustments as needed.

Printing press machine operators sometimes are asked to pack and label cartons, boxes, or bins of finished products. They also have to be able to ready and treat lithographic plates with various chemicals to wash and preserve plates and fix images and attach cloth to take-up rollers, placing it in feeding position and threading it through equipment as needed. And finally, they sometimes have to reposition printing plates, adjust pressure rolls, or otherwise adjust machines to further optimize print quality, using knobs, handwheels, or hand tools.

Like many other jobs, printing press machine operators must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Antioch include:

  • Bindery Worker. Set up or operate binding machines that produce books and other printed materials.
  • Decorative Painter. Paint, coat, or decorate articles, such as furniture, glass, or leather.
  • Dental Laboratory Technician. Construct and repair full or partial dentures or dental appliances.
  • Engraver. Engrave or etch metal, wood, or other materials for identification or decorative purposes. Includes such workers as etcher-circuit processors, pantograph engravers, and silk screen etchers.
  • Prepress Technician. Set up and prepare material for printing presses.
  • Woodworking Machine Setter and Operator. Set up, operate, or tend woodworking machines, such as drill presses, lathes, and wood nailing machines.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Printing Press Machine Operator Training

Ex-Pression College for Digital Arts - Emeryville, CA

Ex-Pression College for Digital Arts, 6601 Shellmond St, Emeryville, CA 94608. Ex-Pression College for Digital Arts is a small college located in Emeryville, California. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 251 students and an admission rate of 80%. Ex-Pression College for Digital Arts has a bachelor's degree program in Graphic Communications, Other Specialties which graduated twenty-three students in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

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.

National Certification for Flexographic Press Operators: Endorsed and funded by the Foundation of Flexographic Technical Association (FFTA), the Flexographic Press Skill Standards and Flexographic Press Operator's Multi-Color Certification Examination were designed and developed by the National Council for Skill Standards in Graphic Communications (NC).

For more information, see the The National Council for Skill Standards in Graphic Communications website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Antioch, California

Antioch, California
Antioch, California photo by Hughly741

Antioch is located in Contra Costa County, California. It has a population of over 100,219, which has grown by 10.7% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Antioch, 150, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in Antioch cost $255,600 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, one hundred twenty-two new homes were constructed in Antioch, down from one hundred fifty-eight the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Antioch are health care, finance and insurance, and educational services. For men, it is construction, administrative and support and waste management services, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 42 minutes. More than 18.2% of Antioch residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 4.6%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Antioch is 12.9%, which is greater than California's average of 12.3%.

The percentage of Antioch residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 38.9%, is less than both the national and state average. Iglesia Biblica Bautista Antioquia, Lone Tree Community Church and Calvary Chapel are all churches located in Antioch. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Baptist General Conference and the LDS (Mormon) Church.

Antioch is home to the Antioch Historical Center and the Lupine Rock Picnic Area as well as Williamson Ranch Park and Fairview Park. Shopping malls in the area include Antioch Square Shopping Center, Raleys Shopping Center and Century Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Antioch can choose from Antioch Executive Inn, Best Western Heritage Inn Antioch and Antioch Comfort Suites for temporary stays in the area.