Bindery Workers


Employment Prospects


The majority of the 45,690 bindery workers in the United States are employed in commercial printing plants. In addition, a large number of bindery workers work in bindery trade shops. These shops provide binding services for printers without binderies or printers with too much binding work to complete on their own. Bindery work is done in printing plants, which may be located in out-of-the-way places where materials and labor are cheaper.

Starting Out

Information on apprenticeships and training opportunities is available through the state employment service, binderies, or local chapters of printing industry associations.

People who want to start working first and learn their skills on the job should contact potential employers directly, especially if they want to work in a small nonunion bindery. Openings for trainee positions may be listed with the state employment service, through employment Web sites, and in newspaper classified sections. Trade school graduates may find jobs through their school's career services office, and industry association offices often run job listing services.

Advancement Prospects

Most bindery workers learn their craft through on-the-job training. Entry-level employees start by doing simple tasks, such as moving paper from cutting machines to folding machines. As workers gain experience, they advance to more difficult tasks and learn how to handle one or more finishing processes. It generally takes one to three months to learn how to operate a new piece of equipment.

Skilled workers can advance to supervisory positions, but opportunities for this type of advancement are mostly limited to larger binderies. Advancement is likely to be faster for workers who have completed an apprenticeship program than for those who have learned skills solely through on-the-job training.

Tips for Entry

Visit and for job listings. 

Read industry news sources such as PostPress ( and the Printing Industries of America blog ( to learn more about the field. 

Become certified in order to show employers that you have met the highest standards established by your industry.

Join the Graphic Communications Conference of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters to increase your chances of landing a job and receiving fair pay for your work.