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Career and Education Opportunities for Prepress Technicians in Madison, Wisconsin

Prepress technician career and educational opportunities abound in Madison, Wisconsin. There are currently 2,790 working prepress technicians in Wisconsin; this should shrink by 10% to 2,530 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. In general, prepress technicians set up and prepare material for printing presses.

A person working as a prepress technician can expect to earn about $18 hourly or $39,110 annually on average in Wisconsin and about $16 hourly or $35,030 per year on average in the U.S. as a whole. Prepress technicians earn more than people working in the category of Book Binding and Printing generally in Wisconsin and more than people in the Book Binding and Printing category nationally.

There are thirteen schools of higher education in the Madison area, including three within twenty-five miles of Madison where you can get a degree to start your career as a prepress technician. Given that the most common education level for prepress technicians is a post-secondary certificate, you can expect to spend a short time studying 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 Madison include:

  • Baker. Mix and bake ingredients according to recipes to produce breads, rolls, or other baked goods.
  • Garment Patternmaker. Draw and construct sets of precision master fabric patterns or layouts. May also mark and cut fabrics and apparel.
  • Photographic Processing Machine Operator. Operate photographic processing machines, such as photographic printing machines, film developing machines, and mounting presses.
  • 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

Herzing College - Madison, WI

Herzing College, 5218 E. Terrace Dr., Madison, WI 53718. Herzing College is a small college located in Madison, Wisconsin. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 2,085 students. Herzing College has an associate's degree and a bachelor's degree program in Graphic Design which graduated twenty and zero students respectively in 2008.

Edgewood College - Madison, WI

Edgewood College, 1000 Edgewood College Drive, Madison, WI 53711-1997. Edgewood College is a small college located in Madison, Wisconsin. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 2,544 students and an admission rate of 76%. Edgewood College has a bachelor's degree program in Graphic Design which graduated one student in 2008.

Madison Area Technical College - Madison, WI

Madison Area Technical College, 3550 Anderson St, Madison, WI 53704. Madison Area Technical College is a large college located in Madison, Wisconsin. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 14,553 students. Madison Area Technical College has 2 areas of study related to Prepress Technician. They are:

  • Graphic Communications, associate's degree which graduated 5 students in 2008.
  • Graphic and Printing Equipment Operator, General Production, one to two year which graduated 3 students in 2008.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Madison, Wisconsin

Madison, Wisconsin
Madison, Wisconsin photo by Dori

Madison is situated in Dane County, Wisconsin. It has a population of over 231,916, which has grown by 11.5% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Madison, 86, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Madison are valued at $243,800 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, one hundred forty-eight new homes were constructed in Madison, down from three hundred seventy-four the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Madison are educational services, health care, and finance and insurance. For men, it is educational services, professional, scientific, and technical services, and accommodation and food services. The average travel time to work is about 18 minutes. More than 48.2% of Madison residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 20.9%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Madison is 5.2%, which is less than Wisconsin's average of 7.7%.

The percentage of Madison residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 52.5%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. Gates of Heaven Synagogue, Abundant Life Church and Grace Episcopal Church are some of the churches located in Madison. The most common religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Methodist Church.

Madison is home to the Allen Centennial Gardens and the Annie C Stewart Memorial Fountain as well as Bordner Park and Brigham Park. Shopping centers in the area include Brookwood Village Shopping Center, Whitney Square Shopping Center and Walnut Grove Shopping Center. Visitors to Madison can choose from Comfort Inn Madison, Howard Johnson-Plaza Hotel and Country Inn Sts Madison for temporary stays in the area.