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Career and Education Opportunities for Printing Press Machine Operators in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Printing press machine operator career and educational opportunities abound in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The national trend for printing press machine operators 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.

A person working as a printing press machine operator can expect to earn about $12 hourly or $26,300 yearly on average in Louisiana and about $15 per hour or $32,170 yearly on average in the U.S. as a whole. Printing press machine operators earn more than people working in the category of Book Binding and Printing generally in Louisiana and more than people in the Book Binding and Printing category nationally.

There are thirty-six schools of higher education in the Baton Rouge area, including two within twenty-five miles of Baton Rouge where you can get a degree to start your career as a printing press machine operator. Given that the most common education level 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.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Printing Press Machine Operator Training

Louisiana Technical College-Baton Rouge Campus - Baton Rouge, LA

Louisiana Technical College-Baton Rouge Campus, 3250 North Acadian Thruway East, Baton Rouge, LA 70805. Louisiana Technical College-Baton Rouge Campus is a small college located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,161 students. Louisiana Technical College-Baton Rouge Campus has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Printing Press Operator which graduated two and five students respectively in 2008.

Louisiana Technical College-Folkes Campus - Jackson, LA

Louisiana Technical College-Folkes Campus, 3337 Hwy. 10, Jackson, LA 70748. Louisiana Technical College-Folkes Campus is a small college located in Jackson, Louisiana. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 787 students. Louisiana Technical College-Folkes Campus has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Printing Press Operator which graduated four and twenty-two 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.

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: Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Baton Rouge, Louisiana photo by Anrie

Baton Rouge is situated in East Baton Rouge Parish County, Louisiana. It has a population of over 223,689, which has shrunk by 1.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Baton Rouge, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Baton Rouge are priced at $189,100 on average, which is well above the state average. In 2008, one hundred thirty-five new homes were built in Baton Rouge, down from two hundred fifty-seven the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Baton Rouge are educational services, health care, and public administration. For men, it is educational services, construction, and professional, scientific, and technical services. The average travel time to work is about 21 minutes. More than 31.7% of Baton Rouge residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 12.8%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Baton Rouge is 7.1%, which is the same as Louisiana's average of 7.1%.

The percentage of Baton Rouge residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 52.7%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Allen Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church, Hughes United Methodist Church and Straight Life Baptist Church are all churches located in Baton Rouge. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Baton Rouge is home to the Baton Rouge Industrial Park and the Baton Rouge Country Club as well as Howell Park and Independence Park. Shopping centers in the area include Carriage Alley Shopping Center, Sherwood Plaza Shopping Center and Foret and McCall Shopping Center. Visitors to Baton Rouge can choose from Pines Motel, Motel 6 and Shoneys Inn & Suites Baton Rouge for temporary stays in the area.