What they do
Offset printers run, manage and maintain offset printing machines, which are used to print newspapers, magazines, catalogues, brochures, stationery and books. They fasten printing plates onto printing presses, place the paper, plastic or other printing stock in the printing press, prepare inks by mixing colours, and control other functions of the press such as ink flow, cutting and folding mechanisms. They start and operate printing presses, as well as oiling and cleaning them, and make minor repairs to presses. Offset printers work in cities and towns around Western Australia, printing items that are distributed state wide.
Offset printers work in the factory and workshop spaces of printing companies. Conditions may be noisy due to printing machinery and dirty due to the large volumes of ink used in the printing process. They usually work in shifts, which may include early mornings, late nights, or weekends and public holidays.
Tools and technologies
Offset printers work with offset printing presses, as well as the blankets and impression cylinders that make up the presses, and the offset printing plates, which may be made of paper, aluminium or plastic. Offset printers also handle the the paper, ink and water that are used in offset printing methods, as well as using gauges and measuring devices. They also need to wear protective gear such as earmuffs, safety goggles and gloves.
How do I become one?
Education and training
To become an offset printer you usually need to undertake an apprenticeship in print machinist. The apprenticeship takes 42 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