Press Operator Job Descriptions, Average Salary, Interview Questions

Press operators safely and efficiently perform printing-related tasks. They must have the knowledge and skills of associated machinery to identify and prevent issues and an artistic eye for proper color and other aesthetics. Press operators perform equipment setup and minor maintenance. 

Sample job description #1

In this role you will…

Be responsible to safely operate, set up, and care for the printing press machines and direct the press assistants to ensure continuous improvements in customer satisfaction.


  • Read and follow daily press schedule to meet daily production needs
  • Legibly and accurately record activities on required documentation and in the daily activities log books
  • Set up and record run condition reports for each job completed
  • Properly and safely use all tools necessary to set up each job as efficiently and with as little waste as possible
  • Read and understand customer order and artwork
  • Track all setup, downtime, and run time on the production report and by using Axapta or shop floor
  • Accurately scan and process all materials going on and coming off of the machine
  • Run the order as quickly and efficiently as quality allow
  • Mark or flag all press stops, splices, and misprints during the run and keep an accurate Flag report for each roll
  • Remove and properly dispose of all flying splices and defects on rewind position or master roll
  • Monitor print quality during the run using the auto defect detection system. (AVT SYSTEM)
  • Responsible for the cleanliness of the press and the area around the press
  • Report any and all mechanical issue he encounters during the shift
  • Regular attendance is required
  • Prepare and direct press assistant in the staging of the next job
  • Help train and teach in any or all of his responsibilities
  • Monitor and hold assistant accountable for their responsibilities

Minimal job requirements:

  • High school diploma or equivalent (GED) required
  • At least 5+ years of wide web flexographic printing experience required


  • Ability to grasp and understand product layout sheets and how to read artwork
  • Operator must understand the difference between good and bad print based off of all provided materials: Artwork, PLS, Wo, Separations, and Color master folder
  • Must have a clear understanding of how to use the quality checklist and of its importance
  • Must understand the Spectro densitometer
  • Must have a clear understanding of the company’s digital work flow
  • Understand with ability to perform, teach, and direct the essential functions of all press positions

Physical requirements:

  • Ability to propel self across multiple surfaces, including concrete, carpeting, and linoleum
  • Standing 10 to 12 hours on solid surface, walking on uneven surfaces 10 to 12 hours; bending, kneeling, squatting 8 to 10 hours
  • Reaching with arms up and down, side to side; use hands to finger, feel, or handle objects 12 hours
  • Close vision, peripheral vision and depth perception with ability to discern color and texture; 10 to 12 hour
  • Ability to hear warning bells and forklift engine; 12 hour

Cognitive requirements:

  • General: Must have good safety awareness and judgment. Effective time management skills with ability to multitask, self-organize, and prioritize tasks; high attention to detail with ability to meet deadlines; ability to work independently to reach goals and successfully partner with others to meet customer requirements; ability to obtain and maintain proficient knowledge of and capability with all tools, machines and software required to perform essential functions.
  • Computer Skills: Average ability to accurately type using a computer monitor and/or keyboard.
  • Language Ability: Spanish bilingual helpful, but not required. Ability to be understood when speaking English, listen to and understand spoken English; read and interpret customer specifications written in English. Ability to write daily logs in English. Ability to speak effectively to communicate quality concerns or production issues.
  • Math Ability: Ability to add, subtract, multiply, and divide units of measure using whole numbers, common fractions and decimals to ensure proper measurements before/after production.
  • Reasoning Ability: Able to apply common sense understanding to carry out multiple instructions furnished in written, oral, or diagram form. Able to deal with problems involving several variables.
  • Work Environment: The noise level in the work environment is moderately noisy. Must have the ability to wear required Personal Protective Equipment when required to be in production areas, including hair/beard net, cutting gloves, and safety glasses, as appropriate. Must be able to stand or walk 75% or more of workday. Must have ability to work in a hot or cold environment around ink or chemicals with protection.

Sample job description #2

Position summary

This role is responsible to safely and efficiently retrieve, clean, trim, and pack parts.

Key duties and responsibilities

  • Understand quality specifications of all parts/products through product guidelines
  • Perform required secondary work on all parts/products (e.g., hot stamp, snaps)
  • Collect data
  • Complete first piece inspection on secondary orders
  • Read and understand quality control instructions
  • Read and understand work packet/order
  • Ability to recognize and react accordingly to shorts, flash, splay, contaminants, etc. and complete process variance
  • Safe and efficient operation of hand tools, scales, and other relative equipment

Education required

  • None

Education desired

  • High School Diploma or Equivalent

Knowledge, skills, or abilities desired

  • Must be able to read, write, and speak English fluently
  • Product knowledge, including material and identification knowledge
  • Must be able to successfully complete all respective work instructions
  • Math: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division

Sample job description #3

Position overview

  • Produce a consistently high quality product within acceptable standard waste and time rates
  • Understand schedules and how to complete necessary paperwork
  • Install cylinder and dies, and ensure proper anilox, tensions, die cut, and stripping on each job
  • Follow standard operating procedures and work instructions for each jo
  • Maintain quality, productivity, and waste according to set standards.
  • Perform routine press maintenance

Position requirements

  • Requires education equivalent to two (2) years of high school
  • Knowledge of and the ability to effectively utilize the English language
  • Math skills including the ability to add, subtract, multiply and divide whole numbers, decimals, and fractions
  • Regular attendance is required. May be required to work some overtime

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for a press operator is $39,750 in the United States. Position salary will vary based on experience, education, company size, industry, and market.

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$39,500$53,450
Los Angeles, California$44,600$60,350
Denver, Colorado$37,150$50,250
Washington, DC$45,250$61,250
Miami, Florida$36,950$50,050
Orlando, Florida$34,150$46,150
Tampa, Florida$34,450$46,600
Atlanta, Georgia$36,150$48,900
Chicago, Illinois$41,550$56,200
Boston, Massachusetts$44,950$60,750
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota$35,800$48,450
New York City, New York$47,300$63,950
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$38,500$52,100
Dallas, Texas$37,500$50,750
Houston, Texas$37,350$50,500
Seattle, Washington$43,250$58,500
National Average$33,700$45,700

Sample interview questions

  • Please share what equipment you have recently learned to use.
  • Describe a time where you have successfully serviced a printing press.
  • How much experience do you have as a press operator?
  • How confident are you that you would be able to fix [Example Problem] under stress?
  • What are some skills you have that will allow you to succeed in your position as a press operator?
  • What are elements of the printing press that you are the most knowledgeable about?
  • How would you describe the ideal work style for a printing press operator?
  • If the printing press breaks, how would you go about troubleshooting and fixing it?
  • Why do you want this position?

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