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Career and Education Opportunities for Prepress Technicians in Elgin, Illinois

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for prepress technicians in the Elgin, Illinois area. About 4,450 people are currently employed as prepress technicians in Illinois. By 2016, this is expected to shrink 23% to 3,450 people employed. This is not quite as good as the national trend for prepress technicians, which sees this job pool shrinking by about 17.7% over the next eight years. In general, prepress technicians set up and prepare material for printing presses.

Prepress technicians earn approximately $18 hourly or $38,560 annually on average in Illinois. Nationally they average about $16 hourly or $35,030 yearly. Prepress technicians earn more than people working in the category of Book Binding and Printing generally in Illinois and more than people in the Book Binding and Printing category nationally.

There are sixty-one schools of higher education in the Elgin area, including eight within twenty-five miles of Elgin where you can get a degree to start your career as a prepress technician. The most common level of education for prepress technicians is a post-secondary certificate. You can expect to spend a short time training to become a prepress technician if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Prepress Technician

Prepress Technician video from the State of New Jersey Dept. of Labor and Workforce Development

In general, prepress technicians set up and prepare material for printing presses.

Every day, prepress technicians are expected to be able to see details at a very fine level of focus. It is also important that they evaluate problems as they arise.

It is important for prepress technicians to enter and alter text size, using computers, to make up and arrange pages so that printed materials can be produced. They are often called upon to maintain and clean equipment, and perform minor repairs. They also enter and retrieve data on computer-aided equipment. They are sometimes expected to examine photographic images for obvious imperfections before plate making. Somewhat less frequently, prepress technicians are also expected to enter and alter text size, using computers, to make up and arrange pages so that printed materials can be produced.

Prepress technicians sometimes are asked to inspect developed film for specified results and quality, using magnifying glasses and scopes; forward acceptable negatives or positives to other staff or to customers. They also have to be able to mix solutions such as developing solutions and colored coating solutions and reposition lamps and adjust aperture controls in order to furnish high quality images. And finally, they sometimes have to examine unexposed photographic plates to uncover flaws or foreign particles before printing.

Like many other jobs, prepress technicians must be thorough and dependable and be reliable.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Elgin include:

  • Baker. Mix and bake ingredients according to recipes to produce breads, rolls, or other baked goods.
  • Photographic Processing Machine Operator. Operate photographic processing machines, such as photographic printing machines, film developing machines, and mounting 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.
  • Solderer. Braze or solder together components to assemble fabricated metal parts, using soldering iron, torch, or welding machine and flux.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Prepress Technician Training

College of DuPage - Glen Ellyn, IL

College of DuPage, 425 Fawell Blvd., Glen Ellyn, IL 60137-6599. College of DuPage is a large college located in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 25,668 students. College of DuPage has 2 areas of study related to Prepress Technician. They are:

  • Prepress/Desktop Publishing and Digital Imaging Design, one to two year and associate's degree which graduated eight and thirteen students respectively in 2008.
  • Platemaker/Imager, one to two year which graduated 1 student in 2008.

Judson University - Elgin, IL

Judson University, 1151 N State St, Elgin, IL 60123-1498. Judson University is a small university located in Elgin, Illinois. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 1,226 students. Judson University has a bachelor's degree program in Graphic Design.

Elgin Community College - Elgin, IL

Elgin Community College, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin, IL 60123-7193. Elgin Community College is a medium sized college located in Elgin, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,821 students. Elgin Community College has 2 areas of study related to Prepress Technician. They are:

  • Prepress/Desktop Publishing and Digital Imaging Design, less than one year which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Graphic Design, associate's degree which graduated 20 students in 2008.

Harper College - Palatine, IL

Harper College, 1200 W Algonquin Rd, Palatine, IL 60067-7398. Harper College is a large college located in Palatine, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,250 students. Harper College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Graphic and Printing Equipment Operator, General Production which graduated one and eight students respectively in 2008.

Oakton Community College - Des Plaines, IL

Oakton Community College, 1600 E Golf Rd., Des Plaines, IL 60016-1268. Oakton Community College is a large college located in Des Plaines, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 10,552 students. Oakton Community College has an associate's degree program in Graphic Design which graduated eight students in 2008.

Triton College - River Grove, IL

Triton College, 2000 5th Ave, River Grove, IL 60171-1995. Triton College is a large college located in River Grove, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 15,547 students. Triton College has a less than one year program in Platemaker/Imager which graduated one student in 2008.

The Illinois Institute of Art-Schaumburg - Schaumburg, IL

The Illinois Institute of Art-Schaumburg, 1000 Plaza Drive Ste. 100, Schaumburg, IL 60173-4913. The Illinois Institute of Art-Schaumburg is a small school located in Schaumburg, Illinois. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,257 students and an admission rate of 47%. The Illinois Institute of Art-Schaumburg has 2 areas of study related to Prepress Technician. They are:

  • Graphic and Printing Equipment Operator, General Production, associate's degree.
  • Graphic Design, less than one year and bachelor's degree which graduated four and zero students respectively in 2008.

Waubonsee Community College - Sugar Grove, IL

Waubonsee Community College, Rte 47 at Waubonsee Drive, Sugar Grove, IL 60554-0901. Waubonsee Community College is a medium sized college located in Sugar Grove, Illinois. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 9,218 students. Waubonsee Community College has a less than one year and an associate's degree program in Graphic Design which graduated two and five students respectively in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Elgin, Illinois

Elgin, Illinois
Elgin, Illinois photo by James Jordan

Elgin is located in Kane County, Illinois. It has a population of over 106,330, which has grown by 12.5% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Elgin, 104, is above the national average. New single-family homes in Elgin cost $156,500 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, three hundred thirty-two new homes were constructed in Elgin, down from seven hundred fifty-six the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Elgin are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, metal and metal products, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average travel time to work is about 26 minutes. More than 20.5% of Elgin residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 6.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Elgin is 12.4%, which is greater than Illinois's average of 10.5%.

The percentage of Elgin residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 56.0%, is more than both the national and state average. Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Seventh Day Adventist Church and Saint Thomas More Roman Catholic Church are some of the churches located in Elgin. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Lutheran Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Elgin is home to the Fox Bluff Corporate Center and the Elgin Fire Station Number 2 as well as Wing Park and College Park. Shopping malls in the area include Wing Park Manor Shopping Center, Tyler Creek Plaza Shopping Center and Town and Country Plaza Shopping Center. Visitors to Elgin can choose from Elgin-Days Inn, Colonial Lodge Motel and Crowne Plaza for temporary stays in the area.