Printing Manager Jobs: Career Facts

Research what it takes to become a printing manager. Learn about job duties, education requirements, and salary possibilities to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Visual Communication degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Printing Manager?

Printing managers supervise all or part of the production of one or more types of periodicals, books, or newspapers, from concept through design and funding to ultimate publication. As a management position, these professionals oversee the work of others in the company, potentially being in charge of human resources, customer service, and the like. It is their job to set deadlines and monitor quality and cost of the items produced, making analytical thinking and attention to detail key skills for this position. Depending on the size and scale of the printing operation at their company, printing managers may oversee the entirety of the printing or a single stage along the production line.

The table below can give you an overview of what you need to know about entering the field.

Degree RequiredMay require bachelor's degree, but associate's and master's degree programs are available
Training RequiredMay require up to seven years of experience in the field
Key ResponsibilitiesOversees production specs, schedules, budgets, bids, and quality of product presentation
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 1.3% (for all printing workers)*
Median Annual Salary (2015)$78,911**

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

What Will I Do as a Printing Manager?

While working as a printing manager, you'll supervise the production of any number of different forms of publications. These can include novels, magazines, or newspapers. You may also oversee the printing of textbooks, trade journals, or printed directories. You may be in charge of human resources, budget development, and customer service. You'll also be involved in the more technical aspects of moving printed works from the design phase through production and out to consumers. For example, you'll develop production deadlines, monitor materials costs, and ensure quality control.

You may act as the manager for the entire printing operation of your organization or you may focus on a particular step in the process. As a manager, you can supervise production at stages including layout, finishing, or archiving. You can also work in a role less directly involved in the physical printing operations and more concerned with business operations, such as planning and research.

What Salary Might I Earn?

In an February 2017 report from Salary.com, the median salary of print production managers was $78,911 annually. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), those involved in general and operations management in the printing industry had a median hourly wage of $44.81 in May 2015 (www.bls.gov).

What Types of Degree Programs are Available?

Though you can pursue a career in printing management through on-the-job training, many degree programs are available. These include programs in printing management and related fields at the associate's, bachelor's, and master's degree levels. All of the programs tend to be professionally focused, with an emphasis on technical knowledge and practical skills.

In an associate's degree program, you'll be introduced to the printing industry, learning fundamental concepts of printing technology and processes. You'll also receive foundational training in management and business, though this coursework may be limited in scope. Bachelor's degree programs can provide additional studies in management theory, business law, organizational strategy, or other advanced management topics.

At the graduate level, master's degree programs afford you the opportunity to become an expert in printing management. You'll conduct research into the latest trends in the industry. This may include studying technological developments that will aid production or business-focused forecasts for the overall printing industry. You may also learn about theories and methods for improving productivity, efficiency, and quality in your business.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Prepress technicians are another kind of print worker, proofreading text and reviewing images submitted to their organization by clients prior to printing in order to ensure accuracy, clarity, and proper formatting. Many of these professionals have only a high school diploma and on-the-job training after being hired, though many employers prefer to hire those with an associate's degree.

Art directors oversee the work done by artists, keeping their team focused and working toward a single goal. They make decisions on style, format, designs, and how best to convey different themes and messages through visual art before plans are finalized. These professionals typically have a bachelor's degree.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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