Prepress workers ensure that images and text are ready to be printed on various surfaces. They may work for commercial print shops, design firms, advertising agencies, photography studios or similar businesses.
To be successful with prepress work, a person needs solid communication skills, a high level of accuracy and attention to detail, a willingness to perform repetitive tasks when required and the ability to perform well under time pressure. Because these traits are essential for this role, you should include them in your prepress worker job description and not wait to bring them up during the interview period.
When creating your job posting, you should also include educational or technical requirements, the level of experience you are looking for and any qualifications that are preferred but not necessarily required. For more information about how to lay out your prepress worker job description, see the example below.
Prepress Worker Job Summary
Are you a detail-obsessed visual communicator? Do you have a background in color theory, photography, graphic design, typography or other visual arts? If so, we have an exciting opportunity for you. Our marketing and design firm is searching for a few more prepress workers to join our fast-paced production center. If selected for this position, you would spend your workdays perfecting client images for crisp, perfectly aligned printing, creating both physical printing plates and digital files. As you learn more about our philosophy, systems and processes, you may eventually have the prospect of moving into a design role on the marketing team, working with clients to bring their advertising and production ideas to life.
- Communicate clearly and openly to discern client or design team needs and vision and to discuss realistic options for realizing that vision
- Analyze files provided by clients or in-house design teams and assess suitability for printing, checking and double-checking critical aspects of images and text
- Troubleshoot and fix file issues, including alignment, color, exposure, clarity, grain and other image and typography problems, as well as manipulating for bleed and binding
- Create proofs for client or design team review, making needed adjustments in response to feedback, then cheerfully and meticulously creating new proofs until final design is approved
- Double-check proofs for quality, including clarity and alignment, before beginning a print run
- Convert approved image files for use with digital printing equipment or physical plate preparation
- Maintain tidiness of work area, including keeping computers and printing equipment clean and in good repair
- Perform light maintenance of equipment, including software updates and replacement of consumable supplies as needed
Job Skills & Qualifications
- Ability to work in a fast-paced environment while maintaining a high level of accuracy
- Proficiency in Adobe Creative Suite
- Excellent customer service and communication skills
- Knowledge of design, color theory and typography
- Computer skills
- Three or more years’ experience in prepress
- Printing and binding experience
Prepress Worker Job Responsibilities
It is crucial that the job responsibilities section of your prepress worker job description helps jobseekers can understand the level of performance you require. This is the most in-depth segment of the description and gives the jobseeker a clear picture of the work you expect them to perform. One way to ensure that the responsibilities section accurately describes the prepress worker position (and not just any printing position) is to limit yourself to somewhere between six and eight tasks. Although most prepress workers will set up and prepare materials for printing presses, you can choose more specific duties that are unique to your position and allow jobseekers to determine for themselves whether to apply.
The best practice for creating the task section includes using action verbs directly related to the job at hand. Incorporating a variety of verbs increases the impact of the prepress worker job responsibilities section. You should also format this section with a bullet point list, which allows candidates to quickly gather information.
We’ve included some examples you could use in your prepress worker job description:
- Position screens, color transparencies, reflection copies and negatives for proper exposure on scanning drums, mount drums or scanners
- Prepare plants for positive/negative film contact; punch holes in light-sensitive plates
- Operate and maintain laser plate-making equipment, converting electronic data to plates
- Inspect photographic images for imperfections before completing plate-making process
Prepress Worker Job Specifications
Don’t underestimate the value of the job qualifications and skills section of your prepress worker job description. This important area is where you’ll list requirements your applicants must meet, as well as any qualifications that identify the ideal candidate. The duties of a prepress worker require unique skills and training; a well-written list of those specifications helps you avoid receiving applications from jobseekers who aren’t suited to the position.
One way to improve your chances of attracting the right jobseekers is to discuss the position with hiring personnel who are familiar with the skills workers need to excel at the job. Use their expertise to develop a set of required qualifications and obtain information about preferred qualities that may boost the candidate’s prospects of landing the job. A precise and illustrative list of qualities helps jobseekers determine their own qualifications. Be sure to identify prepress worker job specifications clearly so candidates can recognize required versus preferred skills.
Here are a sample of some specifications you could consider adding to your prepress worker job description:
- Willingness to perform repetitive tasks with a focus on accuracy
- Ability to work well under pressure with time constraints
- Superior communication and interpersonal skills
- Knowledge of color theory and design
- 2 or more years of experience in prepress, printing or binding
- Associate’s degree in related field, preferred