Printing and Graphic Arts Careers
Printing and graphic arts is one of America's largest industries ranking first among the 20 major manufacturing
groups in establishments, second in total dollar payroll and third in the number of employees.
The State of Michigan ranks tenth among the 50 states in the number of employees working in this important
industry with over 40,000 employees working in over 1500 establishments totaling sales of over $5.6 Billion.
The majority of these establishments have fewer than 25 skilled employees widely dispersed throughout Michigan
and the rest of the country.
The printing and graphic arts industry in Michigan needs you!
- If you're looking for a career in big business
- If you're looking for a career in a small business in or near your hometown
- If you're interested in a career that serves the needs of society and gives you
the opportunity to blend your talents with new technology
The industry's products, the printed word and graphic arts, help keep us informed and enrich our lives.
Because the industry responds to both the needs and advances of society, it uses the latest technology and
the most sophisticated tools of communication available. The business of printing is a time-honored profession
that has always offered excitement and challenges as its methods advanced. This means continued change and
growth for the industry and those who choose to be part of it.
Why join the printing and graphics industry in Michigan?
The printing and graphic arts industry offers numerous choices depending on each person's interests and it
offers opportunities for advancement. The good news is you do not have to prepare yourself for one of these
positions on your own. Several Michigan universities and community colleges specialize in providing degree
programs, education and training in all areas of printing and graphic arts. They are ready to help you every
step of the way. Printing Industries of America (PIA) and it's affiliate Printing Industries of Michigan (PIM),
as well as the Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (GATF), all of which are professional associations serving
this industry. All of these organizations are ready to help you with information, services, education and
training when you begin and throughout your career.
Prognosis: Steady Growth
Printing and graphic arts is a growth industry. The demand for printed materials is tied to a number of
factors having to do with general economic activity, such as disposable income, the formation of new businesses;
money budgeted for advertising and funding for schools and libraries. With a robust economy and expanding
population, business in printing and graphic arts in Michigan and the rest of the country will continue to be
brisk. Does print have a future? Well you don't need a crystal ball to see that print does, indeed, have a
future-quite a promising one for that matter.
Experts say that the volume of printed information doubles every five years. That fact alone should convince
you that folks in the printing and graphic arts industry are going to have more than enough work to keep them
busy. And, don't forget-that translates into plenty of jobs and opportunities for newcomers to the field.
Careers that can carry you into a New Century of Opportunity
The printing and graphic arts industry today is part of our nation's global economy. In Michigan and throughout
the country, the industry is looking for future-minded professionals willing and able to adapt to technical
change. Opportunities exist in the following areas:
- Pre-press/Electronic Pre-press:
Pre-press is the beginning of the printing production cycle.
The person working in this area has creative technical and artistic skills.
- Production Operations:
Production is the next step in the printing cycle. Today's printing presses
are among the world's most technically advanced precision machines available.
Ranging in value from $25,000 to $8 million, these machines require individuals who are detail
oriented and mechanically and electronically inclined. Administrative technical and strong
interpersonal communications skills are also important here.
- Sales and Customer Service:
Where would all the custom-printed jobs come from if it weren't for sales and customer service personnel.
These positions include a wide range of responsibilities requiring marketing, interpersonal, time
management and technical skills.
- Systems/Network Administration:
As the printing industry has evolved into one of the largest users of digital communications devises,
it also has grown to need computer systems and network personnel. These positions require individuals
who understand the production flow of the printing process and are able to work with multiple computer
- Business and Administration:
Intertwined within all areas of any business, including the printing and graphic arts industry,
are administrative, management, and general business personnel. These people include accountants,
cost estimators, secretaries, personnel administrators, managers and general managers.
They require a wide variety of skills and specialties including good interpersonal communication
and managerial skills.
Information provides the solid ground that effective career preparation and successful job searches are built on.
The good news is that information is plentiful if you know where to look. Start with your phone book and make a
list of the printing companies in your area. Next, go to your local or school library and find newspaper and
magazine articles that may have been written about these companies and the people who run them. Then, begin to
make personal contact to gather more information. Further sources of information and resources include:
- DiscoverPRINT: A CD-ROM Resource
Call the Education Council of the Graphic Arts Industry at (703) 648-1768 or send e-mail to
- Internet Resources
- Printers on the Web
- Education and job information sites
- Association web sites:
Printing Industries of Michigan (PIM)
41740 Six Mile Rd. Suite 105
Northville, MI - 48167
Phone: (248) 946-5895
Fax: (248) 946-5898
Printing Industries of America / Graphic Arts Technical Foundation (PIA/GATF)
200 Deer Run Rd.
Sewickley, PA 15143-2600
Ferris State University
Graphic Arts Department
915 Campus Dr.
Big Rapids, MI 49307
Western Michigan University
Department of Paper and Printing Science
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
Berrien Springs, MI 49104
Alpena Community College
666 Johnson St.
Alpena, MI 49707
Gogebic Community College
Jackson and Greenbush St.
Ironwood, MI 49938
Muskegon Community College
221 South Quarterline Rd.
Muskegon, MI 49442
Washtenaw Community College
4800 E. Huron Drive
Ann Arbor, MI 48106
- Ferris State University (contact FSU for more information)
- Residential Life Scholarship-High School Seniors
- Ann Arbor Memorial Scholarship Trust Fund-High School Seniors and College Freshmen to Seniors
Download Scholarship Grant Application
- Thomas Scott Reuther Scholarship-College Juniors and Seniors
- GATF-NSTF Scholarships-College Freshmen to Seniors
- Grand Rapids Craftsman's Club-College Freshmen to Seniors
- Grand Rapids Litho Club-College Freshmen to Seniors
- Midwest Association of Pre-press-College Freshmen to Seniors
- Northwest Michigan Craftsman's Club-College Freshmen to Seniors
- Tom Bingman Memorial Scholarship-College Freshmen to Seniors
- International Newspaper Group Scholarship-College Juniors and Seniors
- Western Michigan University (Contact WMU for more information)
- Ann Arbor Graphic Arts Memorial Foundation-Entering Freshmen
- Batson Printing Inc. Scholarship-College Juniors and Seniors
- Brian Scott Lacombe Humanitarian Scholarship-Transferring college students
- The Lawrence J. Brink Scholarship-College Freshmen to Seniors
- E. J. Kelly Endowment Award-College Sophomores and Juniors
- Flexographic Technical Association-College Freshmen to Seniors
- Graphic Arts Technical Foundation-College Freshmen to Seniors
- Gravure Education Foundation Scholarship-Minorities and College Juniors
- Jane L. Ulmer Memorial Scholarship-College Freshmen to Seniors
- Kalamazoo Valley Printing House Craftsman's Club-Entering Freshmen
- Pendell Family Scholarship-College Juniors
- Herbert F. Ramage Jr. Memorial Scholarship-Criteria to be established
- Robert Caine Outstanding Student Award-College Seniors
- Charles W. Thomasma Printing Scholarship-Entering Freshmen
- Printing Industries of Michigan, Inc. (Contact PIM for more information)
Continuing Education-Training & Career Development
In addition to the university and community college education and training programs, the printing and graphics
industry employers provide valuable on-going education, training and career development opportunities for their
employees. In-house programs and vendor based programs are supplemented by outstanding programs offered by
the Printing Industries of Michigan, Inc. (PIM), Printing Industries of America (PIA), the Graphic Arts
Technical Foundation (GATF) and other industry related associations.
Here are some examples of Printing Industries of Michigan's training and career development programs:
- Seminars, workshops, and conferences-PIM sponsors ten to fifteen valuable programs per year including
cost estimating, sales and customer service, health and safety, digital pre-press and other technical
and non-technical programs.
- Computer based training-PIM has purchased an interactive computer training system called "SHOTS" which
stands for "Sheetfed Offset Training Simulator". SHOTS is a complete interactive computer training
system, from pre-press to press to delivery. SHOTS offers the closest thing to a real pressroom
using state-of-the-art computer technology. It will be placed in colleges to aide students enrolled
in printing and graphic arts programs as well as with industry employers for training of new hires
and existing personnel.
- Job listings and resume referral-PIM offers a job market service, which allows individuals looking for
career development opportunities in printing, and graphic arts to list their credentials in the
"positions wanted" section of a popular trade journal entitled "Graphic News". Also, member and
non-member firms may place "positions available" listings for a nominal charge. Contact the PIM
office at (800) 482-1355 or (248) 946-5895 (Detroit area) for further information.
- Educational Resource Center-PIM offices contain an equipped training conference room that includes
numerous books, periodicals, videotapes, audio tapes, CD-ROMs and computer diskettes about the
printing and graphic arts industry. PIM also has direct access to PIA, GATF and other professional
association libraries, training programs and other educational materials.
- Communications-PIM maintains a monthly newsletter entitled Graphic News. Periodic bulletins are
distributed on a variety of issues. An active web site (www.print.org) is maintained and
frequently updated. PIM offers its members and others interested in the printing and graphic
arts industry in Michigan a national network for information exchange.