Press Operator Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

A Press Operator, or Machine Press Operator, runs computer-controlled machines that cut, shape and design various materials. Their main duties include troubleshooting machines for any malfunctions or irregularities, fixing machine parts as needed to ensure they operate properly and conducting quality checks on the machines.

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Press Operator Duties and Responsibilities

The following are the duties and responsibilities expected of a Press Operator:

  • Reviewing job orders to make the right adjustments to the printing machine
  • Installing parts and supplies such as ink rollers, screens, printing plates and stencils according to the job specifications and blueprints
  • Testing inks and paints on the printing surface to determine suitability
  • Handling production of the printed materials, including the printing and racking process, to ensure it meets the specifications and is ready on schedule
  • Performing maintenance tasks on the printing machine
  • Troubleshooting equipment issues such as creaking noises, etc.
  • Cleaning the printing press and peripherals

Press Operator Job Description Examples:


Press Operator

Position Summary: Sets up and operates flexographic press to print designs or lettering on rolls of flexible paper, and nonabsorbent stock by performing the following duties. Essential Functions & Key Responsibilities: Reads job order and mounts specified rubber plate and printing dies on cylinder, installs cylinder on shaft, and secures assembly in bed of press. Observes all policies GMP, OSHA, and company and customer regulations Moves levers to engage dye rolls, adjusting position of cylinder to print two or more colors without overlapping or smearing previously printed area Inserts shaft through core of paper or plastic roll and secures roll on press in feed position Splices end of roll to trailer sheet remaining in press and regulates roll tension and feed as directed Starts press adjusting speed tension, and alignment of printing plate as necessary. Cuts sample of printed material from end of printed roll and inspects for imperfections, such as blurred of offcenter impressions. Cleans rubber plate, cylinder, and dye fonts and lubricates press as needed. Mixes inks or dyes to produce desired colors. Assist other team members as needed. Perform other duties as assigned or needed. Candidate Requirements: A High School Diploma or GED is required. One-three years related experience Press experience in a printing environment (offset, graver, flexo, screen, etc.) Eligible to work in the United States Successful completion of pre-employment background and drug screen. Satisfactorily completes training courses as determined by management. Ability perform the essential functions of the job with or without accommodation. Minimum of six months experience in a manufacturing environment; preferably with a high-speed process. Commitment to an accident-free and drug-free workplace. Quality-conscious, oriented to excellence. Strong work ethic evidenced by enthusiasm, positive attitude, and high energy level. Well-developed problem-solving skills; creative, out-of-the-box thinker. Record of dependability & reliability. Willingness to work overtime as needed. Comply with established plant rules and procedures that promote compliance with customer service-related activities, including, but not limited to: Following run-order specifications for each product Following all Good Manufacturing Practices in compliance with all Food Safety Requirements Actively engage in value-added activities that enhance our products and processes Physical Requirements: The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to talk and hear. The employee is frequently required to walk, climb, squat & stoop; reach with hands and arms; and use hands and fingers to feel, handle, push/pull levers & buttons, and operate various tools. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision and the ability to adjust focus. Requirements include, but are not limited to (all times are approximate): Standing (Constantly – 7 hours) Walking (3 hours) Lifting (Constantly 1-50 pounds) Carrying (4-6 hours, 1-50 pounds) Pushing (2-4 hours) Pulling, Twisting, Climbing (2-4 hours) Reaching, Repetitive Motions (2-4 hours) Following GMP in compliance with all food safety requirements. Novolex does not publicly post salary information on job boards. Novolex™ is committed to providing equal employment opportunity in all employment practices, including but not limited to, selection, hiring, promotion, transfer, and compensation to all qualified applicants and employees without regard to age, race, color, national origin, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, handicap or disability, genetics, citizenship status, service member or veteran status, or any other category protected by federal, state, or local law. Any individual, who because of his or her disability, needs an accommodation in connection with an aspect of the Company’s application process should contact Jamie Wells at #MON

Press Operator

Set up, adjust, operate, and maintain a gravure press or , multi-color offset press to print single-color, two-color, and/or multi-color work which includes large solids, screen tints, line and halftones with critical color values and registration requirements ranging from hairline to critical. Review job specifications to determine the press setup according to the imposition of the run (sheet wise or work and turn). Perform all make-ready tasks associated with the type of press operated such as hanging plates or installing cylinders, examine for imperfections and checks for correct positioning of images, prepping blankets, adjusting tension and register etc. Makes necessary color corrections and/or press adjustments prior to production run to meet and maintain the quality specifications of the work. Clean, lubricate, and maintain the press, making minor repairs and replacing worn or broken parts as required. Performs periodic maintenance recommended by the manufacturer. Requires comprehensive knowledge of a wide variety of techniques, procedures, materials, specifications, equipment, and safety requirements to set-ip, adjust, operate, and maintain equipment to produce single-, two-, and/or multi-color work to critical tolerances. Skill in a wide-variety of complex manipulations and mechanical procedures to perform a variety of tasks to set-up, make major adjustments, and perform routine maintenance and minor repairs of equipment to produce single-, two-, and/or multi-color work. Skill to read and understand job specifications and knowledge of press capabilities to determine the most appropriate press usage, press settings and materials needed to run the job successfully. Skill in use of micrometer to mount and align the printing plate correctly. RRD is an EEO/AA including Vets and Disabled Employer Required Skills Required Experience

Press Operator

Stacks box blanks in feed mechanism Observes automatic feeding, folding, and gluing of box blanks to detect machine malfunctions Inspects completed work to detect defects and verify conformance to work order specifications, and adjust machinery as necessary to correct variations Packs finished product (kick) into corrugate boxes Palletizes finished product by stacking finished cases onto pallets Prints labels and visually inspects them for accuracy Keeps daily time and materials usage reports and records information in SAP and PEAK, in a computer program. Performs Preventative Maintenance Disassembles machines to maintain, repair, or replace broken or worn parts, using hand tools Perform housekeeping duties Ability to work at least eight hour shifts, up to twelve hour shifts in twenty-four hour day. Gluer Operator; Installs and adjust guide assemblies, forming bars, and folding mechanisms according to box blank dimensions and work order specifications, using hand tools Gluer Operator; Moves controls to regulate tension on pressure rolls, to synchronize speed of machine components, and to adjust pressure of the glue Gluer Operator; Adjusts machine controls to correct variations Gluer Operator; Monitors pressure of the glue Shares an obligation to protect and strengthen Graphic Packaging International’s good reputation in our relationships with customers, employees, suppliers, competitors, investors, and governmental agencies, and to act consistently with our core values: Integrity, Respect, Accountability, Relationships, and Teamwork Required Skills High School Diploma, GED Basic computer skills, data entry Visual Color Discrimination, the ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of colors Required Experience At Graphic Packaging International (NYSE: GPK), we produce the box you may have poured your child's cereal from this morning, the microwaveable tray that heated your lunch, the paper cup that held your coffee throughout the day, and the carrier of those bottles of craft beer you may enjoy tonight! We're one of the largest manufacturers of paperboard and paper-based packaging for some of the world's most recognized brands of food, beverage, foodservice, household, personal care and pet care products. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, we are a team of collaborative, innovative, passionate individuals who are committed to providing consumer packaging that makes a world of difference. With almost 18,000 employees working in more than 70 locations in North and South America, Europe and the Pacific Rim, we strive to be an environmentally responsible leader in our industry and in the communities where we operate. We are committed to workplace diversity and offer compensation and benefits programs that are among the industry's best to reward the talented people who make our company successful. If this sounds like something you would like to be a part of, we'd love to hear from you. Learn more about us at [website] Inspired Packaging. A World of Difference. Graphic Packaging is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All candidates will be evaluated on the basis of their qualifications for the job in question. We do not base our employment decision on an employee's or applicant's race, color, religion, age, gender or sex (including pregnancy), national origin, ancestry, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic identity, genetic information, disability, status or any other basis prohibited by local, state, or federal law. Click here to view the EEO is the Law Poster.

What Does A Press Operator Do?

A Press Operator repairs, runs and operates a printing press and is in charge of the entire production of printed materials from start to finish. They load the press with paper and ink and will add any updates or repairs as needed. Press Operators work to finish their projects by their respective deadlines and must follow safety guidelines. These help to ensure they keep themselves and others safe throughout the machine operation or repair process. 

Press Operators are essential team members because they ensure the smooth running of the printing press, which can lead to a satisfying final product for customers to enjoy.

Press Operator Skills and Qualifications

To excel at their duties, a Press Operator should have the following skills and qualifications:

  • In-depth understanding of basic printing technologies
  • Excellent physical strength and stamina
  • Excellent time-management skills
  • Interpersonal skills 
  • Strong attention to detail

Press Operator Salary Expectations

Press Operators earn $14.57 per hour on average. This estimate is based on submissions from Indeed users who have worked as Press Operators in the past, who are currently Press Operators or who employ Press Operators. Salary expectations can vary based on the hiring organization, the location of the organization, your level of experience in the industry or your negotiating power. 

Press Operator Education and Training Requirements

The minimum education requirement for a Press Operator is a high school diploma or General Education Development (GED). However, a bachelor’s or associate’s degree in print technology will be useful. Generally, on-the-job training is provided for this position, but there are professional organizations that certify Press Operators. One of them is the Flexographic Technical Association, which offers online programs that cover pressroom safety, troubleshooting, inks and fingerprinting.

Press Operator Experience Requirements

An experienced Press Operator will have a minimum of one year’s experience working in a printing facility. They should have a proven record of producing high-quality printed materials on schedule and to client specifications. An experienced Press Operator should be comfortable working long shifts and carrying out physically exerting tasks. They should be familiar with installing different parts of the press such as rollers, plates and feed guides and adjusting them to get desired results. 

A Press Operator should also be experienced in record keeping, as they will need to maintain records of work produced, printing supplies and routine maintenance.

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Frequently asked questions about Press Operators


Who does a Press Operator report to?

Press Operators typically work on a team within the facility, so many of them may report directly to a Supervisor or Senior Press Operator for their daily job duties or weekly schedules. They may also approach their Supervisor with any complex questions regarding the maintenance of a machine. These supervisors will answer their questions and provide guidance on how to solve these problems. 

Press Operators are responsible for following set policies, guidelines and safety regulations when handling machine press equipment. If they’re unable to follow these rules, they may receive warnings or disciplinary actions from their Supervisor or the Senior Press Operator.


What settings do Press Operators typically work in?

Press Operators usually work in factories or manufacturing plants. Their work setting is usually fast-paced and requires Press Operators to complete their job responsibilities quickly and efficiently. They spend a majority of their shift on their feet, having to stand or walk for long periods at a time as they repair various machines. They may also have to travel throughout the facility, carrying large items that could weigh up to 40 pounds. 

Since the factory or plant will typically contain heavy machinery and large pieces of equipment, Press Operators may also have to spend their time here wearing protective gear, like steal-toe boots, earplugs, heavy gloves and goggles. 


What's the difference between a Press Operator and a Machine Operator?

Though there are some key similarities between a Press Operator and a Machine Operator, they are still two different job titles. A Machine Operator is a more general position, as they’re typically qualified to operate various types of machinery, like rolling, construction, drilling, milling and moving machines. They may work in a factory or plant operating several pieces of machinery or they can specialize in one type of machinery. 

Press Operators are a type of Machine Operator that specialize in operating, repairing and maintaining machine press equipment. They’re typically only qualified to work on this one type of machinery, while Machine Operators are trained to use all kinds of machines. 


What makes a good Press Operator?

A strong Press Operator should have impressive dexterity, since they use tools to repair and maintain Machine Press equipment. They should also be detail-oriented to identify any areas of the machines that need fixed or adjusted. Great Press Operator candidates should also posses sound teamwork abilities since they’ll regularly be collaborating on a team of other Press Operators as well.

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