What they do
Binders and finishers are responsible for assembling the different parts of books, magazines and other printed products. They assemble the pages as they are printed, trimming them down to the necessary size. Once the pages have been correctly assembled and trimmed, they attach a cover, either by machine or by hand using glue, or by sewing the pages and covers together.
Specialisations include: Mailhouse operator, Paper guillotine operator (bookbinding)
Most binders and finishers work in specialist printing firms, which can be found throughout the metropolitan region and in larger regional centres.
Tools and technologies
Binders and finishers generally use a range of specialised printing and binding machines, which can be potentially dangerous. However, some binders may work by hand, particularly those repairing the bindings of old or damaged books. Whether working by hand or machine, the type of work being carried out is very similar - pages are trimmed using guillotines, then glued or stitched to covers.
How do I become one?
Education and training
To become a binder and finisher, you usually need to undertake an apprenticeship in binding and finishing. The apprenticeship usually takes 36 months to complete.
Apprenticeships and traineeships
As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.
You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.
Required registration and licensing