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Career and Education Opportunities for Prepress Technicians in Columbia, South Carolina

If you want to be a prepress technician, the Columbia, South Carolina area offers many opportunities both for education and employment. There are currently 520 working prepress technicians in South Carolina; this should shrink 16% to 430 working prepress technicians in the state by 2016. This is better than the national trend for prepress technicians, which sees this job pool shrinking by about 17.7% over the next eight years. Prepress technicians generally set up and prepare material for printing presses.

Income for prepress technicians is about $13 per hour or $28,320 yearly on average in South Carolina. Nationally, their income is about $16 hourly or $35,030 per year. Compared with people working in the overall category of Book Binding and Printing, people working as prepress technicians in South Carolina earn less. They earn more than people working in the overall category of Book Binding and Printing nationally.

There are twenty schools of higher education in the Columbia area, including two within twenty-five miles of Columbia where you can get a degree to start your career as a prepress technician. Prepress technicians usually hold a post-secondary certificate, so it will take a short time to learn to be 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:

  • Chemical Plant Operations Technician. Control or operate an entire chemical process or system of machines.
  • 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

South University - Columbia, SC

South University, 9 Science Court, Columbia, SC 29203. South University is a small university located in Columbia, South Carolina. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,099 students and an admission rate of 60%. South University has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Graphic Design.

Midlands Technical College - West Columbia, SC

Midlands Technical College, 1260 Lexington Drive, West Columbia, SC 29170-2176. Midlands Technical College is a large college located in West Columbia, South Carolina. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 11,157 students. Midlands Technical College has a less than one year program in Graphic and Printing Equipment Operator, General Production which graduated two students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Columbia, South Carolina

Columbia, South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina photo by Akhenaton06

Columbia is located in Richland County, South Carolina. It has a population of over 127,029, which has grown by 9.2% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Columbia, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Columbia cost $142,700 on average, which is well below the state average. In 2008, four hundred thirty-four new homes were built in Columbia, down from seven hundred the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Columbia are educational services, health care, and public administration. For men, it is educational services, public administration, and accommodation and food services. The average commute to work is about 18 minutes. More than 35.7% of Columbia residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 14.3%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Columbia is 16.1%, which is greater than South Carolina's average of 12.0%.

The percentage of Columbia residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 41.6%, is less than both the national and state average. Progressive Church, Bishop Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church and Lutheran Seminary are among the churches located in Columbia. The largest religious groups are the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Columbia is home to the Booker T Washington Center and the Longstreet Annex as well as Irwin Park and Columbia Historic District II. Shopping centers in the area include Five Points Shopping Center, Market Place Shopping Center and Columbiana Centre Shopping Center. Visitors to Columbia can choose from Marriott Columbia, Hampton Inn Columbia-SE-Fort Jackson and Embassy Suites Hotel for temporary stays in the area.