Most prepress work is in firms that do commercial or business printing and in newspaper plants. Other jobs are at companies that specialize in certain aspects of the prepress process, for example, platemaking or outputting of film.
Information on apprenticeships and training opportunities is available through state employment services and local chapters of printing industry associations.
If you wish to start working first and learn your skills on the job, you should contact potential employers directly, especially if you want to work in a small nonunion print shop. Openings for trainee positions may be listed on employment Web sites, in newspaper want ads, or with the state employment service. Trade school graduates may find jobs through their school's career services office. Additionally, industry association offices often run job-listing services.
Workers often begin as assistants and move into on-the-job training programs. Entry-level workers are trained by more experienced workers and advance according to how quickly they learn and prove themselves.
In larger companies, prepress workers can move up the ranks to take on supervisory roles. Prepress and production work is also a good starting point for people who aim to become a customer service or sales representative for a printing company.
Tips for Entry
Find a summer job in high school working for a printing shop or desktop publishing firm.
Apply to a community college or technical school that offers a degree in printing techniques or a related field.
Work with your college career counselor to find a job in the printing industry.