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Career and Education Opportunities for Prepress Technicians in Columbia, Maryland

If you want to be a prepress technician, the Columbia, Maryland area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. Currently, 1,090 people work as prepress technicians in Maryland. This is expected to shrink 25% to about 810 people by 2016. This is not quite as good as the nation as a whole, where employment opportunities for prepress technicians are expected to shrink by about 17.7%. In general, prepress technicians set up and prepare material for printing presses.

Prepress technicians earn approximately $18 hourly or $39,260 per year on average in Maryland. Nationally they average about $16 hourly or $35,030 per year. Earnings for prepress technicians are better than earnings in the general category of Book Binding and Printing in Maryland and better than general Book Binding and Printing category earnings nationally.

There are twelve schools within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can study to be a prepress technician, among 109 schools of higher education total in the Columbia area. 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 Columbia include:

  • Baker. Mix and bake ingredients according to recipes to produce breads, rolls, or other baked goods.
  • Bindery Worker. Set up or operate binding machines that produce books and other printed materials.
  • Chemical Plant Operations Technician. Control or operate an entire chemical process or system of machines.
  • 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.
  • 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

Montgomery College - Rockville, MD

Montgomery College, 40 W. Gude Drive, Suite 220, Rockville, MD 20850. Montgomery College is a large college located in Rockville, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 24,452 students. Montgomery College has a one to two year and an associate's degree program in Graphic and Printing Equipment Operator, General Production which graduated four and two students respectively in 2008.

University of Maryland-University College - Adelphi, MD

University of Maryland-University College, 3501 University Blvd East, Adelphi, MD 20783-8010. University of Maryland-University College is a large university located in Adelphi, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 34,130 students. University of Maryland-University College has a two to four year program in Prepress/Desktop Publishing and Digital Imaging Design which graduated six students in 2008.

University of the District of Columbia - Washington, DC

University of the District of Columbia, 4200 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008. University of the District of Columbia is a medium sized university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 5,339 students. University of the District of Columbia has 2 areas of study related to Prepress Technician. They are:

  • Graphic Communications, associate's degree which graduated 3 students in 2008.
  • Graphic Communications, Other Specialties, bachelor's degree which graduated 10 students in 2008.

Corcoran College of Art and Design - Washington, DC

Corcoran College of Art and Design, 500 Seventeenth St NW, Washington, DC 20006-4804. Corcoran College of Art and Design is a small college located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 943 students and an admission rate of 59%. Corcoran College of Art and Design has 2 areas of study related to Prepress Technician. They are:

  • Prepress/Desktop Publishing and Digital Imaging Design, less than one year which graduated 2 students in 2008.
  • Graphic Design, less than one year, associate's degree, and bachelor's degree which graduated seven, two, and fourteen students respectively in 2008.

Marymount University - Arlington, VA

Marymount University, 2807 N Glebe Rd, Arlington, VA 22207-4299. Marymount University is a small university located in Arlington, Virginia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 3,541 students and an admission rate of 84%. Marymount University has a bachelor's degree program in Graphic Design which graduated fourteen students in 2008.

The Community College of Baltimore County - Baltimore, MD

The Community College of Baltimore County, 7201 Rossville Blvd., Baltimore, MD 21237. The Community College of Baltimore County is a large college located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 20,673 students. The Community College of Baltimore County has a one to two year program in Graphic and Printing Equipment Operator, General Production.

Westwood College-Annandale - Annandale, VA

Westwood College-Annandale, 7619 Little River Turnpike, 5th Floor, Annandale, VA 22003. Westwood College-Annandale is a small college located in Annandale, Virginia. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 362 students. Westwood College-Annandale has an associate's degree program in Graphic Design which graduated nine students in 2008.

The Art Institute of Washington - Arlington, VA

The Art Institute of Washington, 1820 N Fort Myer Dr, Arlington, VA 22209-1802. The Art Institute of Washington is a small school located in Arlington, Virginia. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,871 students and an admission rate of 56%. The Art Institute of Washington has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Graphic Design which graduated two and twenty-eight students respectively in 2008.

American University - Washington, DC

American University, 4400 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016-8001. American University is a large university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 11,684 students and an admission rate of 53%. American University has a bachelor's degree program in Graphic Design.

Gallaudet University - Washington, DC

Gallaudet University, 800 Florida Ave, NE, Washington, DC 20002-3695. Gallaudet University is a small university located in Washington, District of Columbia. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,389 students and an admission rate of 64%. Gallaudet University has a bachelor's degree program in Graphic Design which graduated nine students in 2008.

Westwood College-Arlington Ballston - Arlington, VA

Westwood College-Arlington Ballston, 4300 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 200, Arlington, VA 22203. Westwood College-Arlington Ballston is a small college located in Arlington, Virginia. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 293 students. Westwood College-Arlington Ballston has an associate's degree program in Graphic Design which graduated four students in 2008.

Maryland Institute College of Art - Baltimore, MD

Maryland Institute College of Art, 1300 Mount Royal Ave, Baltimore, MD 21217-4134. Maryland Institute College of Art is a small college located in Baltimore, Maryland. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,176 students and an admission rate of 52%. Maryland Institute College of Art has one to two year, bachelor's degree, and master's degree programs in Graphic Design which graduated eleven, fifty-six, and eight students respectively in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland
Columbia, Maryland photo by Jeff Kubina

Columbia is located in Howard County, Maryland. It has a population of over 96,421. The cost of living index in Columbia, 100, is near the national average.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and professional, scientific, and technical services. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, public administration, and educational services. The average travel time to work is about 30 minutes. More than 59.0% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 28.7%, is higher than the state average.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 49.3%, is less than the national average but more than the state average. Abiding Savior Lutheran Church, Atholton Seventh Day Adventist Church and Long Reach Interfaith Center are all churches located in Columbia. The most prominent religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the Southern Baptist Convention.

Columbia is home to the Symphony Woods Office Center and the Rivers Corporate Park as well as Middle Patuxent Environmental Area and Clarksville Environmental Area. Shopping centers in the area include Governor Century Plaza Shopping Center, Atholton Shopping Center and Owen Brown Village Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from PFMG, Courtyard by Marriott and Hilton Inn Columbia for temporary stays in the area.