Pressroom Manager: Salary and Career Facts

Explore the career requirements for pressroom managers. Get the facts about education requirements, job duties, salary, and potential job growth to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Visual Communication degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Does a Pressroom Manager Do?

Pressroom managers supervise the crews who operate printing presses. This career involves managing pressroom schedules, solving problems and ensuring efficient press production. Working with staff, they may enforce safety and hygiene regulations, as well as train staff members. The following chart gives you an overview about entering this field.

Degree RequiredNone required, though postsecondary degrees helpful
Education Field of Study Printing, printing technology
Job Duties Manage workers, maintain printing machines, monitor safety equipment, take inventory, collaborate with design teams
Job Growth (2014-2024) 2% (for first-line supervisors of helpers, laborers, and material movers)*
Median Salary (2016) $52,023 (for all pressroom supervisors)**

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com

What's a Pressroom Manager?

Pressroom managers are usually promoted from positions like print operator or print technician and act as supervisors for press crews. In this position, you might oversee workers who blend and test paints or maintain printing machines. Depending on where you work, you could supervise crews that operate traditional as well as modern printing presses. Traditional methods could include gravure, flexography, letterpress or lithography; these printing techniques are labor intensive and require the use of plates and rollers. Modern machines, like inkjet and digital printers, automate many of the processes used in traditional printing presses.

Some managers are responsible for monitoring safety equipment and documenting workplace injuries. Additional job duties could include:

  • Taking inventory of paper, ink and machine parts
  • Positioning knives for paper cutting
  • Collaborating with design teams
  • Loading, adjusting and feeding paper

What Training Is Required?

You can get a job as a pressroom manager without any education beyond a high school diploma, although experience with printing machines is usually required. You don't need any postsecondary education to secure entry-level positions in this field; most training takes place on the job. However, you might improve your chances of employment if you complete a postsecondary program in printing. These programs may lead to an associate's degree in printing, an associate's degree in graphic design with a specialization in printing or an undergraduate certificate in printing technology.

Courses of study often combine didactic learning with hands-on printing machine experience. You might explore topics like raster graphics, typography, management techniques in the print industry, publishing software, screen printing and prepress operation methods.

What Are My Job Prospects?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for first-line supervisors of helpers, laborers, and material movers is expected to grow two percent between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov). According to PayScale.com, most pressroom supervisors earned between $40,851 and $62,164 a year as of October 2016.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Some related careers include industrial production managers, storage and distribution managers, postmasters and mail superintendents. With an associate's or bachelor's degree, industrial production managers oversee production schedules, take charge of the production and train employees using production equipment. Similarly, storage and distribution managers supervise workers who package, sort and ship products. Professionals in this field may find work with a high school diploma, though most have a bachelor's degree. Postmasters and mail superintendents manage the operations of post offices or shipping operations. They often have a high school diploma or an equivalent.

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