As a printing administrator you would play a key part in the production process of the printing, packaging and graphics industry,Â one of the largest areas of manufacturingÂ in the UK.
You could be involved in various areas of print production, such as planning, estimating, buying, sales and overall management. Your duties would include:
- supervising print orders through the pre-press, printing and finishing stages
- coordinating different print runs by planning the most efficient way to use machinery and staff
- solving problems in the production process
- using software packages to help put together quotations for jobs
- negotiating with suppliers, stocktaking and purchasing materials
- developing new business opportunities and looking after existing clients.
If you manage a print workshop or department, you would organise workloads, supervise staff and plan schedules. You would also meet with customers and take overall responsibility for making sure print runs are cost-effective, meet deadlines and achieve quality standards.
What qualifications and experience will employers look for?
You would usually need previous experience in the industry to work as a print administrator. Supervisory, management or sales experience gained from other industries would also give you an advantage when looking for work. Employers may ask for GCSE or A level passes in maths, English, art and IT, or equivalent qualifications.
Alternatively, you could complete a print-related qualification before looking for work, such as:
- City & Guilds Certificate in Printing and Graphic Communications levels 2 and 3
- BTEC Certificate, Diploma and AwardÂ in Graphics levels 1, 2 and 3
- ABC Diploma in Digital Origination at Level 3.
Higher level options include a foundation degree, BTEC HNC/HND or degree in print media, digital media, graphics or graphic design. See the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS)Â websiteÂ for colleges and universities offering these qualifications.
- Universities and Colleges Admissions Service
Alternatively, you may be able to get into this career through a printing Apprenticeship,Â working your way up to an administration role. The range of Apprenticeships available in your area will depend on the local jobs market and the types of skills employers need from their workers.Â To find out more aboutÂ Apprenticeships, visit the Apprenticeships website.
See the British Printing Industry Federation (BPIF) and the PrintIT! websites for more details on printing careers and training providers.
What further training and development can I do?
Once you are working as an administrator, you could take the NVQ in Print Administration at Level 3, which has options in:
- production schedules
- production control
- managing customer accounts.
Contact the BPIF and Proskills UK for more details about the NVQ.
The BPIF also has information about a range of short work-based training courses for professional development purposes, including production planning, estimating, management, and sales and marketing.
The Institute of Paper, Printing and Publishing (IP3) offers the IP3 Certificate, which gives a general overview of the three sectors.Â This could be useful if you already work in these areas or are thinking of moving into them. See the IP3 website for more details.
- Institute of Paper Printing and Publishing