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NOC 2016 Version 1.3


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9472 – Camera, platemaking and other prepress occupations

Camera and platemaking workers operate graphic arts cameras and scanners, assemble film and negatives and prepare, engrave and etch printing plates or cylinders for various types of printing presses. They are employed in firms that specialize in colour graphics or platemaking and cylinder preparation, commercial publishing and printing companies, newspapers, magazines, and in various establishments in the public and private sectors that have in-house printing departments.


Example titles

  • Camera operator - graphic arts
  • Cylinder preparer - printing
  • Dot etcher - printing
  • File preparation operator
  • Film stripper-assembler
  • Platemaker - printing
  • Pre-flight operator - printing
  • Prepress technician
  • Printing plate engraver
  • Proofmaker
  • Screenmaker
  • Studio-image-processing system operator

Main duties

This group performs some or all of the following duties:
    Graphic arts camera operators
    • Set up and adjust black and white or colour separation process cameras to convert graphic art and photographs into film for assembly and exposure onto printing plates or cylinders.
    Cylinder preparers
    • Grind and polish press cylinders; expose and lay down carbon tissue; and etch or engrave cylinders using hand tools, etching machines, photogravure or laser processes to produce cylinders for gravure presses.
    Film strippers and assemblers
    • Assemble and position, either using automated equipment or by hand, pieces of film containing all parts of a printing job to produce flats or composite negatives for preparing printing plates or cylinders.
    • Operate vacuum frames, plate processors and step and repeat machines to produce printing plates for various types of presses.
    Prepress technicians
    • Operate various computer-controlled studio systems to perform colour separation, retouching and editing that allow changes to be made to a colour negative for printing purposes, plan page layouts and electronically alter shape, size and positions of illustrations and text.
    Scanner operators
    • Operate computerized scanning machines or digital cameras to make colour separations and corrections from colour copy or transparencies for use in preparing film, digital files, printing plates or cylinders.
    • Operate computerized equipment to prepare film, laser or dylux proofs for quality control purposes or for customers' review.

Employment requirements

  • Completion of secondary school is required.
  • Completion of a college program in graphic arts technology or a combination of on-the-job training and specialized college, industry or other courses is required.
  • Trade certification for some occupations in this group is available, but voluntary, in Ontario, Alberta, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut.

Additional information


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