If you have a thing for good old-fashioned printed media and you like to get your hands dirty, you should consider taking on a job as a printing press operator.

You will adjust printing machines and learn what press plate, proof, cylinder, and blanket mean. And everything about ink density, too.

Although demand for this profession is decreasing, as the popularity of online media keeps spreading, there will always be hopelessly romantic lovers of books and newspapers who can not imagine their morning coffee without the scent of ink. They are going to secure your salary that averages around $36,220 per year. Not that bad, huh?

What Does a Press Operator Do

There are certain skills that many press operators have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed computer skills, dexterity and mechanical skills.

Learn more about what a Press Operator does

How To Become a Press Operator

If you're interested in becoming a press operator, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 11.6% of press operators have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 0.9% of press operators have master's degrees. Even though some press operators have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Learn More About How To Become a Press Operator

Press Operator Job Description

A press operator is a type of machine operator responsible for the operation of machinery relevant to press and printing. Their duties include maintaining and repairing special machinery, ensuring that machinery and software is up to date, and conducting various printing-related tasks.

Press Operator Career Paths

Average Salary for a Press Operator

Press Operators in America make an average salary of $34,568 per year or $17 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $42,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $27,000 per year.
Average Press Operator Salary
$34,568 Yearly
$16.62 hourly

What Am I Worth?


Roles and Types of Press Operator

The role of a press operator includes a wide range of responsibilities. These responsibilities can vary based on an individual's specific job, company, or industry.Here are some general press operator responsibilities:

  • Set up, operate, and oversee automated processes to manufacture molded mat products. Technical operations: perform all activities related to the effective startup, continuous operation,
  • In this role you will set up
  • Evaluate and correct machine stoppages without close supervision. Reports issues to senior operators. Conduct inspections, record,

There are several types of press operator, including:

Machine Operator


Someone has to operate the machine - why not you? Machine operators are able to transfer a variety of objects through the use of machinery. So if driving a forklift around sounds like your idea of fun, then maybe this is the job for you.

Some machine operators need training in order to operate certain machinery such as cranes and excavators. The hours you work as a machine operator can vary, but often include overtime, night shifts, and weekend shifts.

As a machine operator, you have lots of industries you could go into, from warehousing and storage to food manufacturing and construction. The list goes on and on. Depending on the industry, your work can take you outside or you may get to work inside.

  • Average Salary: $32,874
  • Degree: High School Diploma



As an operator, it's your job to know how specific equipment or machines work. You should know how to install and repair certain machinery as well as knowing how to use tools to help with the manufacturing process.

Operators often spend their time checking in on equipment and making sure it's properly working. Every problem that is detected, you'll often call upon an operators to come and save the day. They're essentially the superhero in an office setting.

In most cases, operators work full-time, normal hours. But when a client needs help, you'll need to be available. which means that sometimes duty calls at night or on the weekends.

  • Average Salary: $37,928
  • Degree: High School Diploma

Production Operator


Have you ever wondered what is the official job role for those people in charge of work, like assembling parts in a factory? Well, I certainly have. I never used to think too much and assumed those people magically appeared as part of the factory. But they are actually called production operators and you can apply for this role, too, with little experience. This role is fun and exposes you to the way different things connect together, but it requires physical stamina and high concentration levels.

Daily, a production operator is involved in activities such as undertaking product assembly, performing product packaging, maintaining the production line machinery, and achieving production line targets. Besides that, they also need to clean the production floor and comply with health and safety guidelines.

Employers require production operators to have a minimum of a high school diploma and have the stamina to stand on their feet during work operations. This role earns, on average, $14 per hour and suits individuals passionate about understanding assembly lines.

  • Average Salary: $35,185
  • Degree: High School Diploma

States With The Most Press Operator Jobs

Mouse over a state to see the number of active press operator jobs in each state. The darker areas on the map show where press operators earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

Average Salary: Job Openings:

Number Of Press Operator Jobs By State

Press Operator Education

Press Operator Majors

19.2 %

Press Operator Degrees

High School Diploma

51.4 %


17.0 %


13.7 %

Top Skills For a Press Operator

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 12.4% of press operators listed quality standards on their resume, but soft skills such as computer skills and dexterity are important as well.

  • Quality Standards, 12.4%
  • Press Machine, 8.9%
  • Quality Checks, 8.5%
  • Preventative Maintenance, 7.8%
  • Safety Guidelines, 5.0%
  • Other Skills, 57.4%

Choose From 10+ Customizable Press Operator Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Press Operator templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Press Operator resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Press Operator diversity

Press Operator Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among press operators, 23.4% of them are women, while 76.6% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among press operators is White, which makes up 71.8% of all press operators.

  • The most common foreign language among press operators is Spanish at 72.4%.

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Best States For a Press Operator

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a press operator. The best states for people in this position are New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Massachusetts. Press operators make the most in New Hampshire with an average salary of $42,461. Whereas in Rhode Island and Vermont, they would average $42,129 and $41,853, respectively. While press operators would only make an average of $41,483 in Massachusetts, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Rhode Island

Total Press Operator Jobs: 140
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

2. New Hampshire

Total Press Operator Jobs: 125
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:

3. Massachusetts

Total Press Operator Jobs: 1,082
Highest 10% Earn:
Location Quotient:
Full List Of Best States For Press Operators

How Do Press Operators Rate Their Jobs?

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Top Press Operator Employers

Most Common Employers For Press Operator

RankCompanyAverage SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
2Federal Mogul Corporation$40,103$19.28153
3International Paper$39,319$18.9093
4Dana Incorporated$38,281$18.40122
6Challenge Mfg$38,087$18.31111
8Vertis Inc$37,531$18.0496
9TH Plastics$37,070$17.82102
10Robin Industries$36,864$17.7291

Press Operator Videos

Becoming a Press Operator FAQs

How Long Does It Take To Become A Press Operator?

It takes 3 years of professional experience to become a press operator. That is the time it takes to learn specific press operator skills, but does not account for time spent in formal education.

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