Pressmen are responsible for operating printing presses to create a variety of printed materials, from newspapers and magazines to advertising flyers. They are typically employed by newspapers which operate their own press operations, or may work for dedicated printing companies which contract their services to print media and advertisers. Modern pressmen must not only be familiar with the machine operations of large printing presses, but should also be experienced with the computer programs which set such presses in motion.
Pressmen must ensure that all aspects of a project are set up properly, and will then create at least one “proof” to be inspected before starting a print run. They must inspect the proof carefully and submit it for approval to a customer or press supervisor; when the approval is confirmed, the pressmen will initiate the print run, and inspect all gauges and equipment to ensure smooth output of the materials.
Most printing companies depend on their pressmen to perform routine equipment inspections, and those in this position may perform fairly routine repairs, as well. For pressmen working with offset printing (meaning the transfer of inks to paper from rollers rather than laser work), it is necessary to constantly monitor ink-consistency and levels and ensure consistent environmental factors within the press building itself.
To work as a pressman, vocational or tech school training may be required by many employers. Most printers will hire new employees as apprentices or junior-level members, and those who demonstrate competence and efficiency may eventually be promoted. Pressmen typically work in factory environments with large-scale printing machinery. Hours and shifts may vary greatly, and many print operations may require overnight work.
Inspect papers visually during run to correct ink distribution and color registrants.
Run, maintain and clean press, plate and reel room equipment.
Install and adjust blankets and rollers as needed.
Print daily newspaper maintaining high quality and meeting all deadlines.
Keep equipment and work areas clean.