Pre-press workers are involved in the first stage of the printing process. They therefore design and prepare printed materials, such as brochures, product packaging, posters and signs.
The majority of employers of pre-press professionals expect candidates to have at least five GCSEs in subjects such as English, maths, science, art and technology. Apprenticeships may be available to school leavers wishing to enter into this line of work. Since pre-press work often involves design, prospective pre-press workers require an artistic flair, knowledge of graphic design packages, attention to detail and normal colour vision. New recruits usually receive introductory training from experienced staff members and may have the opportunity to work towards NVQs and City & Guilds certificates.
Pre-press workers are employed by printing companies large and small. These companies are mainly found in London, Leeds, Manchester, Nottingham, Birmingham and Bristol. Employment opportunities may publicised through specialist trade publications and recruitment agencies.
Pre-press workers with relevant qualifications may start on salaries of around £16,000 a year. With experience, salaries may rise to over £20,000 a year. Following gaining experience, pre-press professionals may move into supervisory or management positions. Those employed in smaller printing companies may be required to change employer to achieve promotion.