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
As a Screen Printer, you are involved in the process of transferring an image onto a wide variety of materials, such as:
- 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
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.
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
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
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
Previous experience gained in the printing industry or photography would be really useful for this career.
Progression is usually to supervisory positions. Some Screen Printers become self-employed and set up their own businesses.
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.
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.
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.
Some people enter this career via a Print and Printed Packaging Intermediate Level Apprenticeship.
Apprenticeships: Get In. Go Far
National Apprenticeship Service (NAS)
Tel: 0800 015 0400
Skills Development Scotland - Modern Apprenticeships
Tel: 0800 9178000
Belfast Metropolitan College
Tel: 028 9026 5265
Skills for process and manufacturing industries
Address: Centurion Court, 85b Park Drive, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxfordshire OX14 4RY
Tel: 01235 833844
Careers in manufacturing
Address: Unit 1, 12 O'clock Court, Attercliffe Road, Sheffield S4 7WW
Tel: 0114 2720033
British Printing Industries Federation (BPIF)
Address: 2 Villiers Court, Meriden Business Park, Copse Drive, Coventry CV5 9RN
Tel: 0845 2507050
Institute of Paper, Printing and Publishing (IP3)
Address: Claremont House, 70-72 Alma Road, Windsor, Berkshire SL4 3EZ
Tel: 0870 3308625
National Skills Academy for Print
Address: 85B Park Drive, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxfordshire OX14 4RY
Tel: 01235 432030