Printing machine assistants set and operate letterpress, platen or cylinder, lithographic and photogravure printing machines, photocopiers, office printers, duplication machines and other reprographic equipment.

Main Tasks

  • Positions printing plates, loads inks into reservoirs and loads paper rolls or sheets into printing press;
  • Sets controls to control the speed, pressure and ink flow of printing machine;
  • Loads photocopiers, office printers, duplication machines and other reprographic equipment with stationery;
  • Starts reprographic or printing machine and monitors operation for paper misfeeds and error messages, removes blockages and replaces damaged paper, and monitors quality of output;
  • Carries out routine maintenance and cleaning of printing machine;
  • Sets and operates machines for cutting paper to specified dimensions or for folding or binding to produce finished paper items;
  • Sets and operates presses for stamping patterns and labels on textiles, clothing, pottery, footwear and other leather goods.


No academic qualifications are required. Off- and on-the-job training is provided. NVQs/SVQs in Screen Printing are available at Levels 1 and 2, and in Machine Printing at Levels 2 and 3.

UK Prospects

14200 Workforce Size

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