What Is a Printing Management Supervisor?

Printing management supervisors oversee the production operations for books, magazines and newspapers, among other publications. Read about job-based education and training, career prospects and earnings. Schools offering Visual Communication degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Printing Manager?

Printing managers, also called industrial production managers, oversee printing operations for printed publications, including newspapers, magazines, books, greeting cards and calendars. Production managers oversee printing schedules and make sure publications are printed and distributed on time. It is also the production manager's job to maintain low costs while ensuring the quality of the publication. To this end, the production manager often has the final say on the price of the publication.

Production managers have more responsibility in some industries than they do in others. For example, in newspaper publishing, production managers are responsible for the entire production process. They also supervise employees such as prepress technicians or printing machine operators.

What Kind of Education Is Necessary?

You typically need to work as a prepress technician or printing machine operator before working as a production manager. The position is usually attained by advancing to a supervisory role from one of these two positions. No formal education beyond a high school diploma is strictly required to work as a prepress technician or a printing machine operator, but those with undergraduate certificates or vocational degrees in prepress technology may have better employment chances. To advance to a management position, many employers prefer relevant education, such as a bachelor's degree in a related major or business administration.

What Are My Job Prospects?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has projected that the employment rate for production managers in printing industries will decline by 19% between 2008 and 2018 (www.bls.gov). This is compared to an average employment growth rate of 11% projected for all occupations in the United States during the same time period. This decline was attributed to increased electronic publication, more efficient printing processes and an increased volume of freelance publication.

What Can I Expect to Earn?

The BLS noted that newspaper and magazine printing industries have been shrinking for some time. Operations managers, including production managers, made a median hourly wage of $52.34 as of May, 2008, according to the BLS.

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