Ever since Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press, mass-produced printed material has been an integral part of modern society. Today, digital printing presses are becoming more widely used throughout the industry. The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not differentiate between digital and non-digital printing press operator salaries, so the salaries reported here may be slightly different for digital press operators.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there were about 174,720 printing machine operators in 2009. These operators earned an average wage of £10.90 an hour or £22,769 per year. Printing press operators in the top 10th percentile of earners made £16.60 per hour or £34,651 per year. Operators in the lowest 10th percentile of earners made an average of £6.2 per hour or £12,896 per year.
Most Common Sectors
The "printing and related services activities" sector employed the highest number of printing machine operators in 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The estimated 95,830 workers in this sector in 2009 earned an average of £11.0 per hour or £23,010 per year. The estimated 16,990 operators in the second-most common sector, "newspaper, periodicals, book and directory publishers," earned an average of £12.0 an hour or £25,018 per year.
Highest Paying Sectors
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that an estimated 750 printing machine operators in the "federal executive branch" sector of the economy had the highest average wages out of all sectors in 2009. These printing press operators earned an average of £24.1 per hour or £50,264 per year. The next-highest paying sector, "boiler, tank and shipping container manufacturing," paid an average of £15.30 an hour or £31,908 per year.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that printing press operators in the District of Columbia, New Jersey, Maryland, Minnesota and Delaware had the highest average wages out of all states in 2009. Operators in the District of Columbia had the highest average incomes, earning £19.50 an hour or £40,748 per year. Those in Delaware, the fifth-highest paying state, earned an average of £12.40 per hour or £25,831 per year.