Career and Education Opportunities for Printing Press Machine Operators in San Francisco, California
If you want to be a printing press machine operator, the San Francisco, California area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Currently, 20,900 people work as printing press machine operators in California. This is expected to grow 3% to about 21,600 people by 2016. This is better than the national trend for printing press machine operators, which sees this job pool shrinking by about 5.5% over the next eight years. Printing press machine operators generally 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 earn approximately $15 per hour or $32,360 yearly on average in California. Nationally they average about $15 per hour or $32,170 per year. 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 is one school within twenty-five miles of San Francisco where you can study to be a printing press machine operator, among eighty-six schools of higher education total in the San Francisco area. The most common level of education for printing press machine operators is a high school diploma or GED. It will take only a short time to learn to be a printing press machine operator if you already have a high school diploma.
CAREER DESCRIPTION: Printing Press Machine Operator
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 San Francisco 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.
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: San Francisco, California
San Francisco is located in San Francisco County, California. It has a population of over 808,976, which has grown by 4.2% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in San Francisco, 180, is far greater than the national average. New single-family homes in San Francisco cost $218,300 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, fifty-seven new homes were built in San Francisco, up from fifty-five the previous year.
The three most popular industries for women in San Francisco are professional, scientific, and technical services, health care, and educational services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, accommodation and food services, and construction. The average travel time to work is about 31 minutes. More than 45.0% of San Francisco residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 16.4%, is higher than the state average.
The percentage of San Francisco residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 41.8%, is less than both the national and state average. Gold Mountain Monastery, Golden Gate Community Church of the Nazarene and Golden Gate Lutheran Church are among the churches located in San Francisco. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Muslim Estimate and the United Methodist Church.
San Francisco is home to the Pier 88 and the Prayer Book Cross as well as Helen Wills Playground and Music Concourse. Shopping malls in the area include Yerba Buena Square Shopping Center, Fox Plaza Shopping Center and Galleria At Crocker Center Shopping Center. Visitors to San Francisco can choose from Astoria Hotel, A-1 Inn Motel and Best Western Canterbury Hotel for temporary stays in the area.