Why Choose a Career in Print?

Why Choose a Career in Print? Because Print is All Around You.

Yes, in this digital world where you can read an ebook on your phone, printing is as necessary as ever. Print is more than just ink on a sheet of paper. Look around you – the programs at the game, the billboards by the road, the wrap on a delivery vehicle, the label on your favorite frozen pizza, the packaging that your iPad comes in – Print is fundamental to daily life.

Print is necessary for every other industry to conduct business and reach consumers. Print gives credibility and stature to a message in a way that other media cannot. By integrating with digital channels, Print brings depth and permanence.

Print is transforming itself through technology and discovering new ways to become an essential part of your everyday world:

  • Concert posters with embedded electronic chips that play the music of the featured band
  • An interactive print magazine ad that gives you the sensation of test driving a car when you place your smartphone over the rearview mirror
  • A wide format scene that can be printed directly onto your bedroom door
  • Dimensional printing that feels like the image in the photo when you touch it

Print remains a vital industry. It is the second largest manufacturing industry in the United States, employing the third largest number of people. And, it needs you.

Talented people with a wide spectrum of abilities are necessary in this exciting industry. As you begin to explore the careers you may enter after you graduate, we hope you’ll think about joining us in Print.

What Can I Do in Print? What careers are available for me?

When you think of working in Print, what comes to mind first: someone running a printing press or a graphic designer creating a layout? Those traditional workers are definitely needed. In fact, press operators are in high demand. There are many other jobs in Print for people with all types of interests, skills, education and training. You might be surprised at some of the careers available in the printing industry.

We asked, and printing companies are hiring. More than 97 percent plan to hire up to 20 employees in the next year. Our top 5 most in-demand candidates:

  • Sales
  • Operations/Production/Press Operators
  • Finishing and Binding
  • Customer Service Representative/Estimating
  • IT and Marketing (tied)

Source: Survey of GLGA Members conducted by WorldBridge Chicago Northwest.

Can I Make A Good Living?
Here are some average hourly wages and salaries that printing companies in our three-state region are paying:

Position Average Hourly Wage   Position Average Annual Salary
Stitcher/Binder Operator $19.66 Customer Service Representative $47,512
Mail Specialist $19.86 Production Planner/Scheduler $55,872
Press Feeder/Helper $20.29 Estimator $55,093
Digital Press Operator $21.67 HR Assistant $46,136
Prepress/Desktop Technician $22.87 Continuous Improvement Specialist $58,203
Technology Support Specialist $24.41 Bindery Manager $63,870
Graphic Design (Art Director/Designer) $24.70 Marketing/Business Development Manager $89,078


Almost all companies offer benefits in addition to your paycheck, such as paid vacation days and holidays; health insurance; and retirement savings plans.

Source:  2019 Great Lakes Graphics Association Wage and Benefit Survey