Job type

Machine printer

£16k - £35k

Typical salary

37 – 40

Hours per week

Machine printers set up, operate and maintain printing presses, and make sure the right materials are used.

More info

  • Operate printing presses, printing books, magazines and other materials
  • You'll combine practical work with technical and IT skills when working with modern printing machines
  • Progress into supervision, print buying, sales or maintenance and repair


  • Calibrating the presses for accurate colour
  • Feeding the print materials into the presses
  • Putting job data into computerised control units
  • Carrying out quality checks during the print run
  • Identifying problems and fixing faults
  • Cleaning presses after a print run has finished
  • Carrying out basic machine maintenance


You'll normally work 37 to 40 hours a week, possibly on a shift system which could include nights. Your workplace could be noisy, and may also get quite hot. You'll wear protective clothing and use a range of safety equipment.

You'll need

For this role you'll need an eye for detail, problem-solving skills, the ability to concentrate for long periods, and mechanical and practical skills.

There are no set entry requirements, but most employers will ask for GCSEs in subjects including English, maths, science and IT.

You'll need colour-normal vision. A qualification in printing, reprographics, general art and design or digital design will be useful, but not essential.

You could get into this job through an apprenticeship.


With training and experience, you could move to a supervisory role, production control or print manager. You could also work in related areas like print finishing, account sales, estimating, buying or machine maintenance.