Graphic Arts Printing

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The print industry “applies creativity and technical skills to transform text and graphics into finished products.”  Industries range from commercial print, label and tag printing, greeting card printing, specialty printing, packaging printing to other trade services such as binding and finishing.

This career cluster is expected to be driven by changing trends.  While newspapers and magazines have been impacted by declines in print volumes, the need for immediate media, integrated across communication platforms, is increasing the need for technological expertise in computers and graphic design.  This trend is fueling increased demand in this area.

  • Pathway
  • People who work in this pathway create visual concepts through design with color, lettering, images and logos.  They then take those designs and convert them into printed material in 3 stages:  Pre-press, press and binding and finishing.

    Students in this youth apprenticeship learn and practice skills that prepare them for diverse post-secondary opportunities.  These opportunities could include two or four-year college programs, apprenticeships or employment.  Students in this apprenticeship have the option to participate in the following pathways:

    • Printing Technology
      • Graphic Design and Pre-Press
      • Press and Post-Press Operations
  • Entrance Criteria
    • Entering junior year or senior status
    • Display a genuine interest in the Graphic Arts Pathway
    • Interview effectively and are hired in an Graphic Arts position
    • Maintain a high level of attendance in school and on the job
    • Secure transportation to the job
    • On-track for high school graduation
  • Courses
  • Students take courses at their high school that are part of the program of study for IT that provide the related classroom instruction needed to compliment the worksite training. Such courses can include:

    • Digital Design I & II
    • Yearbook
    • Desktop Publishing
    • Graphic Communications I & II
    • Photography

    Talk to your School to Career Coordinator or Technical Education Instructor for further information.

  • Employment
  • The student can be employed at local print shops, graphic design firms and printing companies.  Any business that is able to provide the competency training and work experiences needed has the opportunity to participate in this program. They also are able to provide the student with the competency-based training in the printing area that is specific to the student’s career interest and provide a mentor to guide the student.  The employer also evaluates the student on a quarterly basis. The positions for these students are usually 2-3 hours a day after 1 p.m. The student needs to be employed a minimum of 450 hours for the one year program and 900 hours minimum for the two year program.

    Credit between school districts varies, but typically the student will receive 1/2 – 1 credit per semester for the work experience and the same for their classroom training.  All students should receive a wage according to the type of work they are performing.