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Desktop Publishers picture    Desktop Publishers image

Desktop Publishers

Desktop publishers create publications by utilizing specialized software to put together images, photos, text, charts, numerical data, graphics and other elements. They design page layouts, develop presentations and advertising campaigns. Those in desktop publishing produce newsletters, books, magazines, newspapers, calendars, business cards and other items. Some desktop publishers may write and edit as well as design and develop pages.

Some sample job titles are electronic publishers, publications specialist, desktop publishing editor, DTP operator, web publications designer, electronic publishing specialist and electronic pre-press technician.

A desktop publisher utilizes a keyboard to select and enter formatting specifics such as column width and size, and style of type and stores them in a computer. The computer will then arrange and display columns of type on a computer monitor or video display terminal. An entire publication can be produced on the screen exactly as it will appear in print.

Personal computers allow desktop publishers to perform publishing procedures that in the past required a lot of effort and complex equipment. Those in desktop publishing utilize electronic page layout systems, digital color page makeup systems and off-press color proofing systems. In addition, they create special effects and other visual images using video, film, computers and other types of electronic media.

Since a lot of materials are published on the Internet, a desktop publisher may need a strong foundation in electronic publishing technologies such as Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). They may be required to convert graphics and text to an Internet-ready format.

Responsibilities

  • Translate electronic information onto film and other forms
  • Create graphics that accompany text
  • Determine work to be performed and sequence of operations
  • Covert drawings and photographs into digital images
  • Typeset and perform color separation
  • Utilize scanners to capture art, photographs and images as digital data
  • Work with graphic artists, writers and editors to produce master copies according to design specifications
  • Write and edit text
  • Use digital files to produce printing plates
  • Check preliminary and final proofs for errors and make appropriate changes

Job Characteristics

Desktop publishers typically work 8 hours a day, five days a week. They often have short deadlines. They should be skilled with computers and be good at typing. A desktop publisher should be detailed oriented, have good communication skills and be creative. Useful assets include good depth perception, visual acuity, and the ability to focus quickly.

Employment Outlook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 1 percent job growth for desktop publishers from 2006 to 2016. Sophisticated desktop publishing software and increased computer processing capacity allows non-printing professionals to perform desktop publishing tasks which should slow the growth of desktop publishing jobs. However, companies that create large reports and need high quality publications may continue to use desktop publishers to layout publications for offset printing.

In 2006 the median annual earnings for desktop publishers was $34,130. The highest 10 percent earned more than $55,040.

Desktop publishers can advance in their careers by demonstrating a mastery of skills. Some desktop publishers move up to supervisor and management positions. Some desktop publishers start their own businesses or become independent consultants. Those with a high level of artistic talent and further education may find jobs in graphic design or commercial art.

Education, Certification, and Licensing

Most desktop publishers acquire their knowledge and skills by taking courses or taking a certificate program provided online or at learning centers. Some in desktop publishing learn their skills on-the-job.

Typically, there are no educational requirements for desktop publishers. However, an associate or bachelor's degree in graphic arts, graphic design or graphic communications is beneficial. Graphic arts programs provide a thorough review of desktop publishing software. Regarding job candidates with little or no experience, those that have a degree or certificates in desktop publishing, and have a computer background, should have the best employment opportunities.

Resources

Major Employers

The top employment sectors are newspapers, books, periodicals, directory publishers, printing and related support; and professional, scientific and technical services.

Schools for Desktop Publishers are listed in the Browse Schools Section.

Metro Areas Sorted by Total Employment for:
Desktop Publishers

Listed below are metro areas sorted by the total number of people employed in Desktop Publishers jobs , as of 2015

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Scottsdale 90 $44,050
Mesa 90 $44,050
Phoenix 90 $44,050
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anaheim 710 $46,410
Los Angeles 710 $46,410
Long Beach 710 $46,410
San Francisco 280 $44,740
Oakland 280 $44,740
Hayward 280 $44,740
Carlsbad 150 $42,030
San Diego 150 $42,030
Roseville 100 $51,380
Arden 100 $51,380
Arcade 100 $51,380
Sacramento 100 $51,380
Sunnyvale 80 $61,500
Santa Clara 80 $61,500
San Jose 80 $61,500
Thousand Oaks 30 $43,790
Oxnard 30 $43,790
Ventura 30 $43,790
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lakewood 70 $57,210
Aurora 70 $57,210
Denver 70 $57,210
Colorado Springs 50 $28,020
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
East Hartford 50 $42,310
West Hartford 50 $42,310
Hartford 50 $42,310
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Palm Beach 150 $34,370
Fort Lauderdale 150 $34,370
Miami 150 $34,370
St. Petersburg 90 $32,250
Clearwater 90 $32,250
Tampa 90 $32,250
Orlando 40 $28,670
Sanford 40 $28,670
Kissimmee 40 $28,670
Fort Myers 30 $37,030
Cape Coral 30 $37,030
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Roswell 240 $55,310
Sandy Springs 240 $55,310
Atlanta 240 $55,310
     
Metro Area (Hawaii) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Urban Honolulu 50 $33,480
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anderson N/A $30,550
Carmel N/A $30,550
Indianapolis N/A $30,550
     
Metro Area (Iowa) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Des Moines 60 $42,700
Des Moines 60 $42,700
Cedar Rapids N/A $41,320
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lafayette 60 $36,100
     
Metro Area (Maine) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Portland N/A $33,120
Portland N/A $33,120
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Towson 150 $45,360
Columbia 150 $45,360
Baltimore 150 $45,360
     
Metro Area (Massachusetts) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Barnstable Town N/A $37,870
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Midland 30 N/A
Dearborn N/A $39,030
Warren N/A $39,030
Detroit N/A $39,030
Ann Arbor N/A $40,450
Grand Rapids N/A $41,910
Wyoming N/A $41,910
     
Metro Area (Nebraska) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lincoln 40 $35,210
     
Metro Area (New Mexico) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Albuquerque 30 $23,930
     
Metro Area (New York) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Rochester 40 $42,160
     
Metro Area (North Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Raleigh 30 $58,840
     
Metro Area (North Dakota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bismarck N/A $22,950
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Akron N/A $35,340
Elyria N/A $37,610
Cleveland N/A $37,610
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Oklahoma City 60 $33,770
     
Metro Area (Oregon) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salem 60 $46,520
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lancaster 120 $33,820
Pittsburgh 110 $41,540
Carlisle 50 $35,890
Harrisburg 50 $35,890
     
Metro Area (South Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
North Charleston 80 $30,740
Charleston 80 $30,740
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Fort Worth 500 $36,710
Dallas 500 $36,710
Arlington 500 $36,710
Round Rock 200 $34,790
Austin 200 $34,790
The Woodlands 160 $40,200
Houston 160 $40,200
Sugar Land 160 $40,200
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bellevue 180 $57,310
Tacoma 180 $57,310
Seattle 180 $57,310
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Allis 130 $46,210
Waukesha 130 $46,210
Milwaukee 130 $46,210
Oshkosh 70 $36,430
Neenah 70 $36,430
Madison 40 $44,720

Most Popular Industries for :
Desktop Publishers

Industries representing at least 1% of total jobs for the occupation.

Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Industry Jobs Percent Annual Median Salary
Traditional Publishing 10,440 40% $33,260
Printing 5,650 22% $39,870
Professional And Technical Services 2,170 8% $38,400
Office Services And Staffing 1,460 5% $42,810
Business Management 950 3% $40,570
Education 670 2% $35,540
Other Information Services 590 2% N/A
Non-profit 510 1% $35,780
Insurance 400 1% $42,680
Telecommunications 370 1% $42,350
Miscellaneous Retail Stores 360 1% $25,730
Government 320 1% $38,200
Durable Goods Wholesale 320 1% $23,330
These schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles). Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.
 
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CityTownInfo Career and College Resources

We have some additional detailed pages at the state level for Desktop Publishers.

Numbers in parentheses are counts of relevant campus-based schools in the state; online schools may also be available.

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