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OSP Occupational Profile

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NOC Code: NOC Code: 9472 Occupation: Camera, platemaking and other prepress occupations
Occupation Description: Occupation Description:
This unit group includes prepress technicians who operate various computer controlled systems to perform prepress activities and workers who operate graphic arts cameras and scanners, assemble film and negatives and prepare, engrave and etch printing plates or cylinders for various types of printing presses. They are employed in firms that specialize in colour graphics or platemaking and cylinder preparation, commercial publishing and printing companies, newspapers, magazines, and in various establishments in the public and private sectors that have in-house printing departments. This unit group includes prepress technicians who operate various computer controlled systems to perform prepress activities and workers who operate graphic arts cameras and scanners, assemble film and negatives and prepare, engrave and etch printing plates or cylinders for various types of printing presses. They are employed in firms that specialize in colour graphics or platemaking and cylinder preparation, commercial publishing and printing companies, newspapers, magazines, and in various establishments in the public and private sectors that have in-house printing departments.

  • Click on any of the Essential Skills to view sample workplace tasks for this occupation.
  • Scroll down the page to get information on career planning, education and training, and employment and volunteer opportunities.

Table will display the Skill Level for the Noc specified
Essential Skills Essential Skills Levels
Reading Reading 1 2 3 4
Writing Writing 1 2 3 4
Document Use Document Use 1 2 3
Digital Technology Digital Technology 1 2 3 4
Oral Communication Oral Communication 1 2
Money Math Money Math 1 2
Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting 1 2
Measurement and Calculation Measurement and Calculation 1 2 3
Data Analysis Data Analysis 1 2
Numerical Estimation Numerical Estimation 1 2 3
Job Task Planning and Organizing Job Task Planning and Organizing 1 2 3
Decision Making Decision Making 1 2
Problem Solving Problem Solving 1 2 3
Finding Information Finding Information 1 2


  • The skill levels represented in the above chart illustrate the full range of sample tasks performed by experienced workers and not individuals preparing for or entering this occupation for the first time.
  • Note that some occupational profiles do not include all Numeracy and Thinking Essential Skills.

If you would like to print a copy of the chart and sample tasks, click on the "Print Occupational Profile" button at the top of the page.


Reading
  • Read company memos containing instructions about orders. (1)
  • Read job dockets which provide brief descriptions of particular jobs. (1)
  • Read manufacturers' specifications for printing plates and for film. (2)
  • Scan texts for errors before typesetting or printing. Texts include business cards, pamphlets, journal articles, books and flyers. (2)
  • Read trade journals to stay abreast of recent changes in the industry. (3)
  • Refer to and synthesize information from a variety of manuals such as equipment manuals, film manufacturer manuals and operating system manuals for computer hardware and software explaining how to set up and use a computer. These manuals are lengthy, technical and may be heavily annotated. (4)
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Writing
  • Write instructions to co-workers on the next shift regarding problems encountered. (1)
  • Write special instructions and codes on flats and on the envelopes in which they are enclosed to inform co-workers of how film is to be stripped into place on the flats. (1)
  • Write reminder notes regarding tasks to perform. (1)
  • Fill in reports when new plates, equipment or procedures are being tested. (2)
  • Fill in forms to report deviations or problems with production runs and make suggestions to remedy the problems. (2)
  • Write instructions to binderies on how a product should be folded. (2)
  • Prepare an assessment of a client's file when clients are unsatisfied with their product's quality. (3)
  • Write promotional material to generate sales for companies. (4)
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Document Use
  • Read price lists. (1)
  • Complete timesheet outlining the number of hours worked on specific projects. (1)
  • Read charts outlining the characteristics of particular film types. (2)
  • Fill out order forms for plates and chemicals. (2)
  • Read labels on software packages, film developing chemicals, plates and proofing products. (2)
  • Fill in production sheets which include customer names, descriptions of jobs, stock to be used, sheet sizes, quantity, colours, packaging requirements and delivery dates. (2)
  • Read production schedules. (2)
  • Fill out forms, such as software registration forms and output forms. The latter outline types of errors and what has been done to correct them. (2)
  • Read blueline cover sheets which describe changes to be made to proofs. (2)
  • Interpret scale drawings of printing job requirements and refer to sketches of layout plans provided by the customer to determine how they want final products to look. (3)
  • Read troubleshooting charts and tables in service repair manuals. (3)
  • Read assembly drawings in equipment manuals, outlining how to assemble machinery or troubleshoot problems. (3)
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Digital Technology
  • Use a digital camera. (1)
  • Use a database. For example, look up order specifications in computerized client files. (1)
  • Use communication software. For example, search the Internet for information on software related to the industry and may transfer prepress jobs electronically. (2)
  • Use scanners. (2)
  • Use word processing. For example, type text. (2)
  • Use graphics software. For example, use graphics software such as Adobe Illustrator or Corel Draw; photo correction software such as Adobe Photoshop or Corel Photo-Paint; or page layout software such as QuarkXPpress, Ventura Publisher or Adobe PageMaker. (4)
  • Use computer applications. For example, decide on configurations to use when setting up networks, reprogram computerized platemaking machines or use computers to determine colour densities. (4)
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Oral Communication
  • Contact suppliers to request information on new products or to place orders. (1)
  • Receive oral instructions from customer service staff or customers regarding the details of particular print jobs. (2)
  • Communicate with suppliers to discuss product characteristics. (2)
  • Take orders from customers over the phone. (2)
  • Give information or instructions to co-workers to co-ordinate the work as a unit. (2)
  • Receive instructions from supervisors regarding target times for various jobs and interact with them to solve problems regarding print jobs or to make cost estimates for clients. (2)
  • Participate in group discussions to co-ordinate activities and to explore better ways to accomplish tasks. (2)
  • Explain jobs to customers, discuss problems encountered and suggest colour and paper options. (2)
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Money Math
  • Prepare bills for clients, including calculating taxes. (2)
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Scheduling or Budgeting and Accounting
  • Monitor schedules or budgets reporting overruns and surpluses and make entries in financial records. (1)
  • Budget materials and time in dollar values when planning projects and giving price estimates. (2)
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Measurement and Calculation
  • Measure the density of ink dots in printed areas on cartons. (2)
  • Calculate the thickness that a book will be, taking into account a number of variables such as number of regular pages, colour plates and glue allowance, in order to prepare an appropriate sized cover. (2)
  • Take measurements of original pictures and spaces to be filled and shrink or expand images to fit the spaces. (2)
  • Use a densitometer to read the density of film in order to determine the percent of screening needed to reproduce the shaded and highlighted portions of photographs. (3)
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Data Analysis
  • Adjust equipment in response to data obtained from test results on new plates. (1)
  • Calculate the rate of consumption or rate of wastage of film or chemicals per month. (2)
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Numerical Estimation
  • Estimate the size of film needed to accommodate the elements of a print job. (1)
  • Estimate the time each job will take, considering the number of pieces of film to be stripped into place, how long it will take to create templates for placing film on flats, the time for clients to check proofs and the time needed to burn the plates. (2)
  • Estimate quotes for prepress contracts. Take into account plates, film and other materials along with the time for developing and colour proofing. The quote should be accurate as the result of the estimate is a legally binding contract. (3)
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Job Task Planning and Organizing
  • While workers in camera, platemaking and other prepress occupations follow schedules set out by print supervisors, they make their own decisions about the sequencing of tasks required to meet the deadlines which have been established. Interruptions are frequent, with rush jobs causing reprioritization of job tasks. In reorganizing their workday, they must co-ordinate their jobs with others. Workers in camera, platemaking and other prepress occupations may have varied schedules from day to day and must plan to ensure that materials are available for upcoming jobs. (3)
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Decision Making
  • Decide whether to correct errors in text provided by customers. You may decide to phone customers and ask if they are willing to pay for extra time to correct errors. (1)
  • Decide what colour selection will produce the best resolution for printed products. (2)
  • Decide which suppliers to use for photo developing or stripping materials. (2)
  • Decide whether to send plates down to the press or back to composing departments for further work. (2)
  • Make decisions on certain details which customers forgot to specify, such as colour or font size. Try to reach customers first but may go ahead using your own judgment if the customer is not available. (2)
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Problem Solving
  • Some job specifications are missing. Contact sales staff to fill in missing information such as the size of type or colour of paper. (1)
  • Copies do not fit onto pages properly. Adjust fonts and font sizes, margins and spacing to solve such problems. (1)
  • Originals are of low quality. Figure out how to adjust machines so resulting plates are within quality standards. (2)
  • Clients are not satisfied with a product. It may be necessary to get permission from the supervisor to redo the job. (2)
  • Equipment breakdowns have occurred. Conduct electrical or mechanical checks, or call the machinist or electrician. (2)
  • Scheduling difficulties have occurred because several clients want work done at the same time. Determine how to get the job done as quickly as possible without compromising quality. (3)
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Finding Information
  • Contact external binderies to learn the specifications of their equipment when parts of the order are being contracted out. (1)
  • Refer to production sheets or call clients for job specifications. (1)
  • Consult with film strippers to exchange ideas on how to solve problems. (2)
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