Oregon Public Universities


Classification Specifications


Classification Number: 2447


  Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Step 5 Step 6 Step 7 Step 8 Step 9 Step 10
Salary Range 12 $2379 $2464 $2557 $2657 $2741 $2859 $2971 $3103 $3235


The OFFSET PRESS OPERATOR 1 sets up, operates, and maintains small single or double cylinder (manual or automated) presses and automated printing platemaking equipment to produce printed material from camera-ready copy at a printing plant or copy center.


This is the first level of a three-level series of classes. The Offset Press Operator 1 is distinguished from the higher levels by use of small presses, standard sized paper stock with routine setups, normally one color printing only. This class is further distinguished from the third level by the absence of administrative duties.


  1. Make Ready. Typical tasks: reviews work orders to determine number of copies required, color and size of paper, color of ink, and due date; arranges work in order of similarity to limit number of press make-ready operations; reviews copy to assure that it is camera ready (refers back to supervisor if there are problems); inserts copy into automated platemaker, loads platemaker with correct type of plate material, and starts machine to produce imprint of copy on photosensitive plate material (some equipment is fully automated), develops, and drys plate; selects correct paper stock according to size, color, and quality specified; selects (mixes if necessary) and loads ink to press font; loads paper, mounts plate on cylinder, adjusts press to paper size and thickness, and sets proper ink and water flow; runs test copy(s) to assure quality of register and ink lay, makes further adjustments if necessary.
  2. Press Runs. Typical tasks: starts press and monitors operation of press to assure consistent quality of printed product and smooth operation of equipment; makes minor adjustments to press or fonts as needed; for two sided printing offloads completed run, changes cylinder plate, and reloads stock in correct position to print second side; may offload completed runs to automatic collator/stapler equipment (some can be directly ganged to press); operates collator/ stapler equipment to produce finished product or routes materials done to bindery or for direct delivery to client; may need to break down and clean press between runs to prepare for different colors of ink; removes, cleans, and waxes used plates and files according to client and job number if plate will be used in future; reviews next job order and does necessary make-ready for new press run.
  3. Miscellaneous. Typical tasks: maintains required time and production records for all time worked; records work performed on order ticket as each job completed; performs preventive and corrective maintenance on all equipment used, including minor repairs; orders paper, ink, or other supplies as needed; may need to order special cuts of paper from bindery for some jobs; notifies supervisor of any equipment or other production problems; maintains clean and safe working environment; clarifies any unclear job orders with supervisor or, if necessary, directly with client; may provide assistance in bindery, other press, or shipping operations when necessary.

Some positions may operate and maintain highly automated equipment which can be fed camera-ready copy and will produce a finished plate fed directly to and mounted on press within a matter of seconds. Such equipment is normally limited to single side, single color, standard sized paper operations only.


Employees in this classification normally will only have incidental contact with persons outside of the work unit. In some instances, there will be in-person or telephone contact with clients to obtain information to clarify job orders.


Employees in this class, once proficient in the operation of equipment and production procedures, will receive general supervision from a unit supervisor or leadworker who routes and assigns specific print jobs to be done. Work is reviewed as complete for timeliness, accuracy, and conformance to job specifications and unit quality and production standards. Guidance is provided by specific production information on job order tickets, unit or plant operating manuals including given standards of quality and timeliness, as well as equipment and maintenance manuals. Clarification of production problems is normally through the unit supervisor or leadworker.


Positions are primarily found in a printing plant. They require the willingness to work in the environment associated with the position's location.


  • Six months of experience operating an offset press (small press) and/or duplicating equipment; OR  
  • Completion of a two year college graphics arts program encompassing offset press operations.