Popular Careers

Career Development

Career development resources for aspiring professionals.

Career Change Center

Career change guides, tutorials and resources for professionals in transition.

Job Search Resources

Job search resources, websites, guides and directories for job seekers.

Career and Education Opportunities for Printing Press Machine Operators in Cleveland, Ohio

Cleveland, Ohio provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for printing press machine operators. There are currently 7,850 working printing press machine operators in Ohio; this should shrink 8% to about 7,210 working printing press machine operators in the state by 2016. This is not quite as good as the national trend for printing press machine operators, which 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 $15 hourly or $31,980 per year on average in Ohio and about $15 per hour or $32,170 per year 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 Ohio and more than people in the Book Binding and Printing category nationally.

There is one school within twenty-five miles of Cleveland where you can study to be a printing press machine operator, among 103 schools of higher education total in the Cleveland area. Printing press machine operators usually hold a high school diploma or GED, so 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 Cleveland include:

  • Bindery Worker. Set up or operate binding machines that produce books and other printed materials.
  • Decorative Painter. Paint, coat, or decorate articles, such as furniture, glass, or leather.
  • 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.
  • Prepress Technician. Set up and prepare material for printing presses.
  • Tool and Die Maker. Analyze specifications, lay out metal stock, set up and operate machine tools, and fit and assemble parts to make and repair dies, cutting tools, and machinists' hand tools.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Printing Press Machine Operator Training

Cuyahoga Community College District - Cleveland, OH

Cuyahoga Community College District, 700 Carnegie Ave, Cleveland, OH 44115-2878. Cuyahoga Community College District is a large college located in Cleveland, Ohio. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 23,234 students. Cuyahoga Community College District has an associate's degree program in Graphic Communications, Other Specialties which graduated one student in 2008.


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.


Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland, Ohio photo by FlickreviewR

Cleveland is situated in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. It has a population of over 433,748, which has shrunk by 9.3% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Cleveland, 81, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Cleveland are valued at $94,100 on average, which is far less than the state average. In 2008, one hundred nine new homes were built in Cleveland, down from one hundred eighty-four the previous year.

The three big industries for women in Cleveland are health care, accommodation and food services, and educational services. For men, it is metal and metal products, construction, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 26 minutes. More than 11.4% of Cleveland residents have a bachelor's degree, which is lower than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 3.8%, is lower than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Cleveland is 10.5%, which is greater than Ohio's average of 10.0%.

The percentage of Cleveland residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 57.8%, is more than both the national and state average. Hellenic Orthodox Church of the Annunciation, Abyssinia Baptist Church and Highland Christian Church are among the churches located in Cleveland. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the United Methodist Church and the American Baptist Churches in the USA.

Cleveland is home to the Mastick Woods Golf Course and the Dock Number 32 as well as Shaker Square Historic District and Newton Avenue Historic District. Shopping malls in the area include Shaker-Moreland Shopping Center, Shaker Square Shopping Center and Clark West 30th Shopping Center. Visitors to Cleveland can choose from Hilton Garden Inn Cleveland Gateway, Airport Sheraton and Extended Stayamerica for temporary stays in the area.