Sheet-Fed Printer


A sheet-fed printer sets up and operates a sheet-fed printing machine which prints text and images on paper, card or metal.

Tasks and Duties:

  • may discuss printing requirements with their clients
  • receive printing plates to work from
  • lock the printing plates into the printing press
  • mix the inks for the colours they need to use
  • load paper and inks into the press
  • adjust ink flow and paper size guides
  • run the press
  • constantly check the quality of the printing
  • fix printing problems by adjusting the press
  • prepare the job for the print finisher
  • clean and maintain the printing press
  • may run their own business


Sheet-fed printers need to be skilled in operating machinery, making calculations and mixing inks. They also need organisational skills and an eye for detail.


Sheet-fed printers need to know about printing methods, inks and colours, types of paper and paper sizes. They also need to know about the machinery used for printing, the different printing processes and the methods used for quality control in order to maintain a high standard of production.

Personal Qualities:

Sheet-fed printers need to be alert, efficient and accurate. They also need to be reliable, practical and able to work well under pressure.

Physical Requirements:

A sheet-fed printer needs to have good hand-eye co-ordination, good eyesight (with or without glasses) and normal colour vision.

Educational Requirements:

NCEA Level 1 in English, maths, and graphics preferred.

Entry Requirements:

Sheet-fed printers must have normal colour vision. They need to pass the required eyesight test before they can work.

Useful Experience

Sheet-fed printers should have experience working with machinery in a factory. Experience working in jobs that involve packing or lifting is also useful.

Training on the job

Skills are gained on the job. Apprentices attend block courses and take distance learning courses (correspondence courses) to learn the skills needed.

Work Places

Sheet-fed printers work in workshops and factories.


Salary varies, but usually ranges between $30,000 and $45,000 per year.

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