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Career and Education Opportunities for Printing Press Machine Operators in Lewiston, Maine

Printing press machine operators can find both educational opportunities and jobs in the Lewiston, Maine area. Currently, 820 people work as printing press machine operators in Maine. This is expected to shrink 3% to 800 people 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%. 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 $15 per hour or $31,270 yearly on average in Maine and about $15 per hour or $32,170 annually on average in the U.S. as a whole. Incomes for printing press machine operators are better than in the overall category of Book Binding and Printing in Maine, and better than the overall Book Binding and Printing category nationally.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Lewiston where you can study to be a printing press machine operator, among ten schools of higher education total in the Lewiston area. 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.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Lewiston include:

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Printing Press Machine Operator Training

Central Maine Community College - Auburn, ME

Central Maine Community College, 1250 Turner Street, Auburn, ME 04210-6498. Central Maine Community College is a small college located in Auburn, Maine. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 2,426 students. Central Maine Community College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Graphic and Printing Equipment Operator, General Production which graduated zero and seven 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: Lewiston, Maine

Lewiston, Maine
Lewiston, Maine photo by Jonrouellette

Lewiston is located in Androscoggin County, Maine. It has a population of over 35,131, which has shrunk by 1.6% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Lewiston, 93, is below the national average. New single-family homes in Lewiston are valued at $166,000 on average, which is below the state average. In 2008, thirty-two new homes were constructed in Lewiston, up from twenty-five the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Lewiston are health care, educational services, and finance and insurance. For men, it is construction, educational services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 19 minutes. More than 12.6% of Lewiston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 4.0%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Lewiston is 8.5%, which is greater than Maine's average of 7.6%. About 15.5% of Lewiston's residents are below the poverty line, which is worse than the state average.

The percentage of Lewiston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.8%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Holy Cross Catholic Church, Spirit of Fire Evangelistic Church and Amazing Grace Mission are some of the churches located in Lewiston. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the American Baptist Churches in the USA and the United Methodist Church.

Lewiston is home to the Lewiston City Hall and the Stanton Museum as well as Thorncrag Bird Sanctuary and Elliot Little League Ball Fields. Shopping centers in the area include Shaws Plaza Center Shopping Center, North Wood Park Shopping Center and The Market Place Shopping Center. Visitors to Lewiston can choose from Motel 6, Maine Motel And Cabins and Dudley's for temporary stays in the area.