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Prepress Technicians and Workers - 51-5111.00

O*NET-SOC Description

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.

Sample of Reported Job Titles

  • Desktop Operator
  • Electronic Prepress Operator (EPP Operator)
  • Electronic Prepress Technician (EPP Tech)
  • Plate Maker
  • Plate Mounter
  • Pre-Press Proofer
  • Prepress Operator
  • Prepress Specialist
  • Prepress Stripper
  • Prepress Technician

SOC Occupation Groups

51-0000 Production Occupations
51-5100 Printing Workers
51-5110 Printing Workers
51-5111.00 Prepress Technicians and Workers

Related Occupations


  • 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.
  • Arrange and mount typeset material and illustrations into paste-ups for printing reproduction, based on artists' or editors' layouts.
  • Enter, position, and alter text size, using computers, to make up and arrange pages so that printed materials can be produced.
  • Enter, store, and retrieve information on computer-aided equipment.
  • Examine finished plates to detect flaws, verify conformity with master plates, and measure dot sizes and centers, using light boxes and microscopes.
  • Examine photographic images for obvious imperfections prior to plate making.
  • Examine unexposed photographic plates to detect flaws or foreign particles prior to printing.
  • Generate prepress proofs in digital or other format to approximate the appearance of the final printed piece.
  • Inspect developed film for specified results and quality, using magnifying glasses and scopes, forwarding acceptable negatives or positives to other workers or to customers.
  • Maintain, adjust, and clean equipment, and perform minor repairs.
  • Mix solutions such as developing solutions and colored coating solutions.
  • Mount negatives and plates in cameras, set exposure controls, and expose plates to light through negatives to transfer images onto plates.
  • Operate and maintain a variety of cameras and equipment, such as process, line, halftone, and color separation cameras, enlargers, electronic scanners, and contact equipment.
  • Operate and maintain laser plate-making equipment that converts electronic data to plates without the use of film.
  • Operate presses to print proofs of plates, monitoring printing quality to ensure that it is adequate.
  • Perform "preflight" check of required font, graphic, text and image files to ensure completeness prior to delivery to printer.
  • Perform close alignment or registration of double and single flats to sensitized plates prior to exposure to produce composite images.
  • Perform minor deletions, additions, or corrections to completed plates, on or off printing presses, using tusche, printing ink, erasers, and needles.
  • Perform tests to determine lengths of exposures, by exposing plates, scanning line copy, and comparing exposures to tone range scales.
  • Proofread and perform quality control of text and images.
  • Punch holes in light-sensitive plates and insert pins in holes to prepare plates for contact with positive or negative film.
  • Scale copy for reductions and enlargements, using proportion wheels.
  • Select proper types of plates according to press run lengths.
  • Set scanners to specific color densities, sizes, screen rulings, and exposure adjustments, using scanner keyboards or computers.

Detailed Work Activities

  • Clean production equipment.
  • Drill holes in parts, equipment, or materials.
  • Edit documents.
  • Enter commands, instructions, or specifications into equipment.
  • Examine condition of property or products.
  • Inspected printed materials or other images to verify quality.
  • Maintain production or processing equipment.
  • Measure dimensions of completed products or workpieces to verify conformance to specifications.
  • Mix ingredients to create specific finishes.
  • Mix substances to create chemical solutions.
  • Monitor equipment operation to ensure that products are not flawed.
  • Mount materials or workpieces onto production equipment.
  • Operate digital imaging equipment.
  • Operate photographic developing or print production equipment.
  • Program equipment to perform production tasks.
  • Repair production equipment or tools.
  • Select production equipment according to product specifications.

Military Crosswalk Titles

  • Advanced Visual Information-Graphics Marine (Marine Corps - Enlisted)
  • Lithographer (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Lithographer Tracking NEC (Navy - Enlisted)
  • Public Affairs (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Public Affairs Apprentice (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Public Affairs Craftsman (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Public Affairs Helper (Air Force - Enlisted)
  • Public Affairs Journeyman (Air Force - Enlisted)

Apprenticeship Crosswalk Titles

  • Dot Etcher
  • Electrotyper
  • Etcher, Hand (Prt & Pub)
  • Etcher, Photoengraving
  • Keyboarder/Proofreader (Existing Title: Compositor)
  • Linotype Operator (Prt & Pub)
  • Lithographic Platemaker
  • Monotype-Keyboard Operator
  • Paste-Up Artist
  • Photoengraver
  • Photoengraving Finisher
  • Photoengraving Printer
  • Photoengraving Proofer
  • Photographer, Lithographic
  • Photographer, Photoengrav C923
  • Photographic-Plate Maker
  • Plate Finisher (Print & Pub)
  • Proofsheet Corrector (Prt)
  • Retoucher, Photoengraving
  • Scanner Operator
  • Stereotyper
  • Stripper (Print & Pub)
  • Stripper, Lithographic Ii

DOT Crosswalk Titles

  • Blueprinting-Machine Operator
  • Compositor
  • Compositor Apprentice
  • Dot Etcher
  • Dot Etcher Apprentice
  • Electronic Masking System Operator
  • Electrotyper
  • Electrotyper Apprentice
  • Equipment Monitor, Phototypesetting
  • Etcher Apprentice, Photoengraving
  • Etcher, Hand
  • Etcher, Photoengraving
  • Galley Stripper
  • Lay-Out Former
  • Linotype Operator
  • Lithographic Platemaker
  • Lithographic-Plate-Maker Apprentice
  • Make-Up Arranger
  • Monotype-Keyboard Operator
  • Pantographer
  • Paste-Up Artist
  • Paste-Up Artist Apprentice
  • Photo Mask Maker, Electron-Beam
  • Photo Mask Technician, Electron-Beam
  • Photocomposing-Machine Operator
  • Photoengraver
  • Photoengraver Apprentice
  • Photoengraving Finisher
  • Photoengraving Printer
  • Photoengraving Proofer
  • Photoengraving-Proofer Apprentice
  • Photographer Apprentice, Lithographic
  • Photographer, Lithographic
  • Photographer, Photoengraving
  • Photographic-Plate Maker
  • Photolettering-Machine Operator
  • Phototypesetter Operator
  • Plate Finisher
  • Plate Grainer
  • Plate-Grainer Apprentice
  • Platemaker, Semiconductor Packages
  • Proofsheet Corrector
  • Repeat Chief
  • Repeat-Photocomposing-Machine Operator
  • Retoucher, Photoengraving
  • Roller Varnisher
  • Roller-Print Tender
  • Router
  • Scanner Operator
  • Stereotyper
  • Stereotyper Apprentice
  • Stripper
  • Stripper Apprentice
  • Stripper, Lithographic I
  • Stripper, Lithographic II
  • Terminal-Makeup Operator
  • Transferrer
  • Type-Proof Reproducer
  • Typesetting-Machine Tender