What does a desktop publisher do?
Desktop publishers create a variety of materials such as forms, books, magazines, newspapers, newsletters, brochures, packaging and calendars. They perform a variety of tasks such as formatting and combining text, charts, data, photographs and other illustrations or graphic art to create pages and other documents that will be printed. They often send the materials to a commercial printer or they use a high-resolution printer and print the documents themselves. Desktop publishers often design and create graphics that go with text, manipulate text and images, and convert illustrations and photographs into digital images. They design layouts of pages and create advertising campaigns and presentations. Some create the text for headlines and brochures.
What kind of training does a desktop publisher need?
Desktop publishers usually need at least a high school diploma. Most learn their skills through on the job training, taking courses, or completing a certificate or degree program. Some attend learning centers in their communities that offer training on the latest software. An increasing amount of employers are preferring applicants with an associate or bachelor degree in graphic arts, graphic design, or graphic communications. Aspiring desktop publishers often learn how to format pages, import text and graphics into electronic page layouts, and assign characteristics of font and style. They also learn the fundamentals of print and graphic design, emerging media, imaging, print reproduction, and prepress operations.
What are the prospects for a career as a desktop publisher?
Employment of desktop publishers is expected to have little or no change in employment, increasing 1% from 2006 to 2016 (1). Increases computer processing and organizations moving to Internet resources will slow job growth.
Job prospects are expected to be good because there is an increased need to replace desktop publishers that retire, transfer, or leave the occupation for other reasons. Desktop publishers with extensive experience will have the best job opportunities.
How much do desktop publishers make?
As of November 2009, desktop publishers with 1 to 4 years experience earn average hourly rates between $13.43 and $18.28. Those with 5 to 9 years experience earn average hourly rates between $13.36 and $20.44 (2).
A career as a desktop publisher is an excellent choice for people with a strong interest in publishing. Desktop publishers must have a strong work ethic and basic computer skills. Manual dexterity, artistic ability, detail orientation, and good eyesight are essential characteristics. Desktop publishers must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills because they deal with a variety of people on a daily basis. They must be able to express their layout options and design concepts. They must also be able to work independently under pressure and meet strict deadlines.