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Become A Desktop Operator

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Working As A Desktop Operator

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Getting Information
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $34,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Desktop Operator Do

Desktop publishers use computer software to design page layouts for newspapers, books, brochures, and other items that are printed or published online.

Duties

Desktop publishers typically do the following:

  • Review text, graphics, or other materials created by writers and designers
  • Edit graphics, such as photographs or illustrations
  • Import text and graphics into publishing software
  • Integrate images and text to create cohesive pages
  • Adjust text properties, such as size, column width, and spacing
  • Revise layouts and make corrections as necessary
  • Submit or upload final files for printing or online publishing

Desktop publishers use publishing software to create page layouts for print or electronic publication. They may edit text by correcting its spelling, punctuation, and grammar.

Desktop publishers often work with other design, media, or marketing workers, including writers, editors, and graphic designers. For example, they work with graphic designers to come up with images that complement the text and fit the available space.

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How To Become A Desktop Operator

Desktop publishers usually need an associate’s degree, and they also receive short-term on-the-job training, lasting about 1 month.

Education

Desktop publishers usually need an associate’s degree, often in graphic design, graphic arts, or graphic communications. Community colleges and technical schools offer desktop-publishing courses, which teach students how to create electronic page layouts and format text and graphics with the use of desktop-publishing software.

Training

Desktop publishers typically receive short-term on-the-job training lasting about 1 month. They learn by working closely with more experienced workers or by taking classes that teach them how to use desktop-publishing software. Workers often need to continue training because publishing software changes over time.

Important Qualities

Artistic ability. Desktop publishers must have a good eye for how graphics and text will look, so that they can create pages that are visually appealing and legible.

Communication skills. Desktop publishers must be able to collaborate with others, such as writers, editors, and graphic designers, and communicate ideas effectively.

Detail oriented. Desktop publishers must pay attention to details such as margins, font sizes, and the overall appearance and accuracy of their work. 

Organizational skills. Desktop publishers often work under strict deadlines and must be good at scheduling and prioritizing tasks in order to have documents ready in time for publication.

Other Experience

Many employers prefer to hire workers who have experience preparing layouts and using desktop-publishing software. Students may gain experience by working on a publication for a school or other organization.

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Desktop Operator Demographics

Gender

Male

53.7%

Female

36.4%

Unknown

9.9%
Ethnicity

White

66.7%

Hispanic or Latino

12.5%

Black or African American

11.1%

Asian

6.5%

Unknown

3.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

57.1%

Japanese

28.6%

Amharic

14.3%

Desktop Operator Education

Schools

Des Moines Area Community College

10.7%

Art Institute of Pittsburgh

8.9%

Guilford College

7.1%

Rochester Institute of Technology

7.1%

Austin Peay State University

5.4%

New York University

5.4%

Luzerne County Community College

5.4%

Harrisburg Area Community College - Harrisburg

5.4%

Hennepin Technical College

5.4%

Syracuse University

3.6%

Illinois State University

3.6%

University of Central Florida

3.6%

University of Wisconsin - Stout

3.6%

Salt Lake Community College

3.6%

Elizabethtown Community and Technical College

3.6%

Daymar College-Bowling Green

3.6%

Champlain College

3.6%

Fairleigh Dickinson University

3.6%

Anne Arundel Community College

3.6%

Art Institute of York

3.6%
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Majors

Graphic Design

23.9%

Business

14.1%

Graphic Communications

9.9%

Computer Information Systems

7.0%

Computer Applications

7.0%

Computer Science

6.3%

English

3.5%

Communication

3.5%

Fine Arts

3.5%

Information Technology

2.8%

Liberal Arts

2.8%

Design And Visual Communication

2.1%

Electrical Engineering

2.1%

Computer Programming

2.1%

Education

2.1%

General Education, Specific Areas

1.4%

Biology

1.4%

Mechanical Engineering

1.4%

Photography

1.4%

Computer Technical Support

1.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

31.8%

Other

28.7%

Associate

17.4%

Certificate

10.8%

Masters

7.7%

Diploma

3.6%
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Top Skills for A Desktop Operator

  1. Adobe Photoshop
  2. Mac
  3. Quark
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Scan and Clean Images in Adobe Photoshop for placement into documents.
  • Promoted to Macintosh Operator after seven years of traditional 4-color stripping.
  • Used QuarkXPress and Adobe products to process magazine pages to film.
  • Problem-solved issues and adjusted design elements accordingly using InDesign CS (all versions) on both MAC and PC platforms.
  • Worked on color corrections, clones, outlines and composite images per the page file and transparency supplied by the client.

How Would You Rate Working As a Desktop Operator?

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Top Desktop Operator Employers

Jobs From Top Desktop Operator Employers

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