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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 2016

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

     
Metro Area (Arizona) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Scottsdale 90 $44,850
Mesa 90 $44,850
Phoenix 90 $44,850
     
Metro Area (California) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Long Beach 780 $47,880
Los Angeles 780 $47,880
Anaheim 780 $47,880
San Francisco 300 $49,390
Oakland 300 $49,390
Hayward 300 $49,390
San Diego 160 $44,780
Carlsbad 160 $44,780
Arcade 130 $50,610
Sacramento 130 $50,610
Roseville 130 $50,610
Arden 130 $50,610
San Jose 80 $62,380
Sunnyvale 80 $62,380
Santa Clara 80 $62,380
Thousand Oaks 40 $46,750
Oxnard 40 $46,750
Ventura 40 $46,750
Riverside 30 N/A
San Bernardino 30 N/A
Ontario 30 N/A
     
Metro Area (Colorado) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lakewood 100 $52,590
Aurora 100 $52,590
Denver 100 $52,590
     
Metro Area (Connecticut) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
East Hartford 60 $44,020
West Hartford 60 $44,020
Hartford 60 $44,020
     
Metro Area (Florida) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Palm Beach 110 $31,700
Fort Lauderdale 110 $31,700
Miami 110 $31,700
Sanford 90 $32,650
Kissimmee 90 $32,650
Orlando 90 $32,650
Clearwater 60 $31,580
St. Petersburg 60 $31,580
Tampa 60 $31,580
Winter Haven N/A $18,610
Lakeland N/A $18,610
     
Metro Area (Georgia) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Roswell 270 $55,110
Sandy Springs 270 $55,110
Atlanta 270 $55,110
     
Metro Area (Hawaii) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Urban Honolulu N/A $35,180
     
Metro Area (Indiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Anderson 270 $31,670
Carmel 270 $31,670
Indianapolis 270 $31,670
     
Metro Area (Iowa) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
West Des Moines 70 $43,380
Des Moines 70 $43,380
     
Metro Area (Louisiana) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lafayette 160 $28,980
     
Metro Area (Maine) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
South Portland 90 $33,140
Portland 90 $33,140
     
Metro Area (Maryland) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Towson 170 $48,450
Columbia 170 $48,450
Baltimore 170 $48,450
     
Metro Area (Massachusetts) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Barnstable Town N/A $38,890
     
Metro Area (Michigan) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Ann Arbor 30 $40,080
Dearborn N/A $40,080
Warren N/A $40,080
Detroit N/A $40,080
Wyoming N/A $48,450
Grand Rapids N/A $48,450
     
Metro Area (Minnesota) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
St. Cloud 40 $41,570
     
Metro Area (Ohio) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Columbus 40 $32,910
Akron N/A $36,110
Dayton N/A $42,230
     
Metro Area (Oklahoma) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Oklahoma City 50 $25,500
Tulsa 30 N/A
     
Metro Area (Oregon) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Salem 70 $46,920
     
Metro Area (Pennsylvania) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Lancaster 130 $34,320
Pittsburgh 100 $36,420
Carlisle 60 $34,440
Harrisburg 60 $34,440
     
Metro Area (South Carolina) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
North Charleston 70 $34,300
Charleston 70 $34,300
     
Metro Area (Tennessee) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Knoxville 40 N/A
     
Metro Area (Texas) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Arlington 410 $40,150
Fort Worth 410 $40,150
Dallas 410 $40,150
Sugar Land 270 $39,290
Houston 270 $39,290
The Woodlands 270 $39,290
San Antonio 100 $35,850
New Braunfels 100 $35,850
Round Rock 60 $37,680
Austin 60 $37,680
Mission 30 $25,640
McAllen 30 $25,640
Edinburg 30 $25,640
     
Metro Area (Washington) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Bellevue 190 $63,590
Tacoma 190 $63,590
Seattle 190 $63,590
     
Metro Area (Wisconsin) Total Employment Annual Median Salary
Milwaukee 90 $46,920
West Allis 90 $46,920
Waukesha 90 $46,920
Neenah 60 $39,880
Oshkosh 60 $39,880

Most Popular Industries for :
Desktop Publishers

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

2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov; 2014-24 State Occupational Projections, Projections Central, projectionscentral.com

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
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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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