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Career and Education Opportunities for Prepress Technicians in Charleston, West Virginia

Prepress technicians can find many career and educational opportunities in the Charleston, West Virginia area. The national trend for prepress technicians 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.

The income of a prepress technician is about $10 per hour or $21,990 annually on average in West Virginia. In the U.S. as a whole, their income is about $16 per hour or $35,030 per year on average. Prepress technicians earn less than people working in the category of Book Binding and Printing generally in West Virginia and more than people in the Book Binding and Printing category nationally.

The Charleston area is home to seventeen schools of higher education, including three within twenty-five miles of Charleston where you can get a degree as a prepress technician. Prepress technicians usually hold a post-secondary certificate, so 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 Charleston 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

Putnam Career and Technical Center - Eleanor, WV

Putnam Career and Technical Center, 101 Roosevelt Boulevard, Eleanor, WV 25070-0640. Putnam Career and Technical Center is a small school located in Eleanor, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 110 students. Putnam Career and Technical Center has a one to two year program in Graphic Design which graduated one student in 2008.

Ben Franklin Career Center - Dunbar, WV

Ben Franklin Career Center, 500 28th St, Dunbar, WV 25064. Ben Franklin Career Center is a small school located in Dunbar, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 390 students. Ben Franklin Career Center has a one to two year program in Graphic Communications.

West Virginia University Institute of Technology - Montgomery, WV

West Virginia University Institute of Technology, 405 Fayette Pke, Montgomery, WV 25136. West Virginia University Institute of Technology is a small university located in Montgomery, West Virginia. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 1,185 students and an admission rate of 46%. West Virginia University Institute of Technology has a bachelor's degree program in Graphic and Printing Equipment Operator, General Production which graduated seven students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Charleston, West Virginia

Charleston, West Virginia
Charleston, West Virginia photo by Malepheasant

Charleston is situated in Kanawha County, West Virginia. It has a population of over 50,302, which has shrunk by 5.8% over the last ten years. The cost of living index in Charleston, 84, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Charleston are priced at $268,400 on average, which is far greater than the state average. In 2008, thirty-four new homes were constructed in Charleston, up from twenty-seven the previous year.

The three most popular industries for women in Charleston are health care, educational services, and public administration. For men, it is professional, scientific, and technical services, health care, and public administration. The average travel time to work is about 16 minutes. More than 32.6% of Charleston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 15.0%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Charleston is 7.7%, which is the same as West Virginia's average of 7.7%. About 16.7% of Charleston's residents are below the poverty line, which is better than the state average.

The percentage of Charleston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 34.5%, is less than both the national and state average. Starcher Baptist Church, Southeast Church of the Nazarene and South Ruffner Presbyterian Church are among the churches located in Charleston. The largest religious groups are the American Baptist Churches in the USA, the United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church.

Charleston is home to the John F Kennedy Center and the Kanawha County Courthouse as well as Watt Powell Stadium and Ruffner Memorial Park. Shopping centers in the area include Patrick Street Plaza Shopping Center, Laidley Court Shopping Center and Plaza East Shopping Center. Visitors to Charleston can choose from Days Inn Charleston East WV, Motel 6 and Fairfield Inn Charleston for temporary stays in the area.