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Job Photographs

  • A man is standing in a workshop, by a large table.  He is printing a pattern onto a large sheet, using a large machine.

    Screen printers need to be good at operating machines and other equipment.

  • A man is standing in a workshop.  He is operating a printing machine.

    The work can be physically demanding.

  • A screen printing machine.

    Colours need to be built up one after another.

  • A pack of printed stickers.

    The finished stickers ready to be sent out.

  • A man is standing in a workshop, by a large table.  He is printing a pattern onto a large sheet, using a large machine.

    Screen printers work on many different types of printed material.

  • A man is laying out a sheet of card on a printing machine.

    You need a steady hand in this type of work.

  • A person at a printing machine.

    An extra colour is added.

  • A pile of freshly printed materials.

    The finished brochures ready to be sent out.

  • Screen Printer

Screen Printer

Introduction

Screen Printers use a fabric screen method of printing. You print designs, pictures and other images onto a variety of materials.

Also known as

  • Printer, Screen
  • Silk-Screen Printer

Work Activities

As a Screen Printer, you are involved in the process of transferring an image onto a wide variety of materials, such as:

  • clothing
  • paper
  • glass
  • stainless steel

You set up and operate the machines used for printing images on to the materials listed above. You select and mix the inks to be used before starting a job. Then, you will make a stencil. This stencil will match the shape that you want to print on to the chosen material.

The stencil is fixed to a very fine mesh screen. The screen is then placed over the material, which is to be printed on. Thick coloured inks are then passed through the stencil onto the material below. The screens are used again once they have been cleaned.

Being able to read, write and speak Welsh may be an advantage when you’re looking for work in Wales.

Personal Qualities and Skills

To become a Screen Printer, you should:

  • be an accurate worker
  • have an eye for colour
  • be physically fit and well co-ordinated, particularly for operating machinery
  • have some artistic and technical skills

People skills are also important in this job especially if you are self-employed.

The job might not be suitable for people who have skin conditions, such as eczema, or breathing complaints, such as asthma.

Pay and Opportunities

Pay

The pay rates given below are approximate.

  • Starting: £20,000 - £22,000
  • With experience: £24,000 - £26,500
  • Senior Screen Printers earn £29,000

Hours of work

Screen Printers usually work 37.5 hours a week; shift work and weekend working may be required and overtime may be available.

Where could I work?

Employers are specialist screen-printing firms - large and small, and some local government print departments.

Opportunities for Screen Printers occur in printing firms in towns and cities throughout the UK.

Self-employment

There are opportunities for Screen Printers to become self-employed.

Where are vacancies advertised?

Vacancies are advertised on all the major job boards, on Find a Job, and at Jobcentre Plus.

Entry Routes and Training

Entry routes

There are no set entry routes into this career. Some employers prefer applicants to have some GCSEs in subjects such as English, maths or ICT graded 9 - 4 (A* - C). However, you might not need any qualifications to get into this type of work.

An Intermediate or Advanced Level Apprenticeship is also a great place to start. Take a look at our information article 'Apprenticeships – How do I apply', for more details about applying for apprenticeship positions.

Training

As a new entrant, you will train on-the-job and might also attend college. Relevant courses are available throughout the UK.

Craft Courses offer an introduction to printmaking. This has been designed for people who need have an interest in printmaking with little to no experience. By the end of the course, you will have learnt:

  • how to use etching techniques
  • how to make monoprints using stencils and textures
  • simple screen printing techniques to get you started

Work Experience

Previous experience gained in the printing industry or photography would be really useful for this career.

Progression

Progression is usually to supervisory positions. Some Screen Printers become self-employed and set up their own businesses.

Qualifications

Entry requirements for this career vary according to the employer. You might not need any qualifications to get into this type of work.

Some employers prefer applicants to have some GCSEs in subjects such as English, maths or ICT graded 9 - 4 (A* - C).

To get onto an Intermediate or Advanced Level Apprenticeship, you’ll usually need five GCSEs at grade C/4 or above, possibly including English and maths.

Adult Opportunities

Age limits

It is illegal for any organisation to set age limits for entry to employment, education or training, unless they can show there is a real need to have these limits.

Skills/experience

Applicants with practical skills gained in the printing industry have an advantage.

A background in practical work using your hands is helpful. Artistic ability can also be important.

Courses

Some people enter this career via a Print and Printed Packaging Intermediate Level Apprenticeship.

Further Information

Apprenticeships: Get In. Go Far

National Apprenticeship Service (NAS)

Tel: 0800 015 0400

Email: nationalhelpdesk@findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk

Website: www.apprenticeships.org.uk

Skills Development Scotland - Modern Apprenticeships

Tel: 0800 9178000

Email: info@skillsdevelopmentscotland.co.uk

Website: www.myworldofwork.co.uk/modernapprenticeships

Belfast Metropolitan College

Irish enquiries

Tel: 028 9026 5265

Email: admissions@belfastmet.ac.uk

Website: www.belfastmet.ac.uk

Proskills UK

Skills for process and manufacturing industries

Address: Centurion Court, 85b Park Drive, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxfordshire OX14 4RY

Tel: 01235 833844

Email: info@proskills.co.uk

Website: www.proskills.co.uk

Prospect4u

Careers in manufacturing

Website: www.prospect4u.co.uk

GQA Qualifications

Address: Unit 1, 12 O'clock Court, Attercliffe Road, Sheffield S4 7WW

Tel: 0114 2720033

Email: info@gqaqualifications.com

Website: www.gqaqualifications.com

ABC Awards

Email: centresupport@abcawards.co.uk

Website: www.abcawards.co.uk

British Printing Industries Federation (BPIF)

Address: 2 Villiers Court, Meriden Business Park, Copse Drive, Coventry CV5 9RN

Tel: 0845 2507050

Email: hello@bpif.org.uk

Website: www.britishprint.com

Institute of Paper, Printing and Publishing (IP3)

Address: Claremont House, 70-72 Alma Road, Windsor, Berkshire SL4 3EZ

Tel: 0870 3308625

Email: info@ip3.org.uk

Website: www.ip3.org.uk

National Skills Academy for Print

Address: 85B Park Drive, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxfordshire OX14 4RY

Tel: 01235 432030

Email: info@mps-academy.co.uk

Website: www.printskillsacademy.co.uk

Careers Wales - Welsh Apprenticeships

Tel: 0800 028 4844

Website: ams.careerswales.com/

Craft Courses

Tel: 01239 805080

Email: info@craftcourses.com

Website: www.craftcourses.com

Croeso i Gyrfa Cymru

Dewiswch iaith

Cymraeg

Welcome to Careers Wales

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