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State of Washington Classified Job Specification


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Class Code: 206U
Category: Information Services


As lead press operator, sets up, operates, maintains, and repairs offset sheet fed (up to 28” X 40”) and/or offset web presses with five or more print units within a high volume, large format (over 22”) offset print shop. In addition to performing operator duties, regularly assigns, instructs, and monitors the work flowing through the press room.

Distinguishing Characteristics

Positions are found within a high volume, large format print shop characterized by specialized, high speed offset printing equipment requiring an operator and an assistant due to the size, complexity, and safe operation of the equipment.

Positions in this class perform press work on equipment with multiple unit configurations (five or more print units and possibly a coater unit) in the production of high quality printed materials.

Positions in this class provide professional direction in the delegation of work assignments and prioritization of jobs and production scheduling within the press room. Assists the plant manager in the purchase of materials and parts for the press room. Represents the press room in meetings and on projects in the absence of the plant manager.

Typical Work

Regularly assigns, instructs, and monitors the work flowing through the press room;

Purchases materials and parts for the press room on behalf of the plant manager;

Performs all aspects of high volume, high quality, and complex printing by operating press and ink systems;

Interprets job tickets, ensuring accurate production;

Performs job set up/make ready;

Mixes ink for proper color, conducts color match;

Provides quality control during entire run, ensuring quality printed product per job ticket;

Makes adjustments to press settings, during run, as needed;

Performs maintenance and basic repair on press equipment;

Troubleshoots press issues;

Inspects and installs plates, works with prepress specialist to address any plate issues;

Performs wash up when job run is complete;

Oversees the press assistant in support of press operations;

Performs other duties as required.

Knowledge and Abilities

Knowledge of: materials, methods, and equipment used in large format press operations.

Ability to: interpret and follow oral and written instructions; operate the specific tools and equipment used in the area of expertise, including related tools and equipment; meet deadlines and production requirements and perform press activities quickly and accurately without regular direction.

Legal Requirement(s)

There may be instances where individual positions must have additional licenses or certification. It is the employer’s responsibility to ensure the appropriate licenses/certifications are obtained for each position.

Desirable Qualifications

High school graduation or equivalent 


Successful completion of press operator apprenticeship or equivalent experience to qualify for journey level standing.

Class Specification History

New class; adopted June 30, 2015; effective July 1, 2015