Prepress Technicians and Workers

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About the Job

Format and proof text and images submitted by designers and clients into finished pages that can be printed. Includes digital and photo typesetting. May produce printing plates.

It is also Called

  • Zincographer
  • Typographer
  • Typo Machine Operator
  • Typesetting Machine Operator/Tender
  • Typesetters Printer
  • Typesetter Apprentice
  • Typesetter
  • Typecasting Machine Operator
  • Type-Proof Reproducer
  • Transferrer
View All

What They Do

  • Mount negatives and plates in cameras, set exposure controls, and expose plates to light through negatives to transfer images onto plates.
  • Perform minor deletions, additions, or corrections to completed plates, on or off printing presses, using tusche, printing ink, erasers, and needles.
  • Set scanners to specific color densities, sizes, screen rulings, and exposure adjustments, using scanner keyboards or computers.
  • Activate scanners to produce positive or negative films for the black-and-white, cyan, yellow, and magenta separations from each original copy.
  • Analyze originals to evaluate color density, gradation highlights, middle tones, and shadows, using densitometers and knowledge of light and color.
  • Mix solutions such as developing solutions and colored coating solutions.
  • Perform tests to determine lengths of exposures, by exposing plates, scanning line copy, and comparing exposures to tone range scales.
  • Perform close alignment or registration of double and single flats to sensitized plates prior to exposure to produce composite images.
  • Scale copy for reductions and enlargements, using proportion wheels.
  • Operate and maintain a variety of cameras and equipment, such as process, line, halftone, and color separation cameras, enlargers, electronic scanners, and contact equipment.

Interests

People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: RC.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Realistic interests, but also prefer Conventional environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Support, but also value Independence and Relationships in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.



Pennsylvania Department of Education