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Career and Education Opportunities for Photographic Processing Machine Operators in Elgin, Illinois

There is a wide variety of career and education opportunities for photographic processing machine operators in the Elgin, Illinois area. There are currently 1,950 jobs for photographic processing machine operators in Illinois and this is projected to shrink 52% to about 930 jobs by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for photographic processing machine operators are expected to shrink by about 24.3%. 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 earn approximately $10 per hour or $21,880 yearly on average in Illinois. Nationally they average about $9 per hour or $20,360 yearly. Incomes for photographic processing machine operators are not quite as good as in the overall category of Painting and Coating in Illinois, and not quite as good as the overall Painting and Coating category nationally.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Elgin where you can study to be a photographic processing machine operator, among sixty-one schools of higher education total in the Elgin area. Photographic processing machine operators usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so you can expect to spend only a short time training to become 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 Elgin include:

  • Auto Body Painter. Operate or tend painting machines to paint surfaces of transportation equipment, such as automobiles, buses, and airplanes.
  • Decorative Painter. Paint, coat, or decorate articles, such as furniture, glass, or leather.
  • 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

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 a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Photographic and Film/Video Technology/Technician & Assistant which graduated five and eight students respectively 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.

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.