Pay for screen printers varies depending on experience.
Apprentices may start on the training or adult minimum wage, with pay increasing as apprentices gain skills and complete unit standards.
After completion of a 30-month apprenticeship, screen printers usually earn $37,000 to $42,000 a year.
Senior screen printers with more than five years' experience can earn $62,000 to $72,000 a year.
Source : PrintNZ, 'Print Industry Report', 2013.
This information is a guide only. )
What you will do
Screen printers may do some or all of the following :
discuss design requirements with clients
contribute to the design of a product
arrange colour-matching and sampling with the original design
determine the type of screen to be used for the screen printing
place the stencils on the mesh screen
place the screen on the materials to be printed and add the ink
leave the ink to dry and add the other colours
clean the screens and equipment
check the quality of the screen-printed products.
Skills and knowledge
Screen printers need to have :
knowledge of different screen-printing methods
the ability to make up inks and colours
knowledge of art and design
an understanding of different materials, particularly the properties of different fabrics
knowledge of how the final screen-printed product will be used, so they can design it appropriately
knowledge of the printing industry and screen-printing machinery
skill in the technical and practical aspects of screen printing.
Screen printers :
may work regular or flexible hours. Sometimes they work after regular business hours to meet a deadline
work in large studios, workshops and factories.
There are no entry requirements to work as a screen printer. However, many employers prefer to employ screen printers who have or are working towards a qualification.
To become a qualified screen printer, you need to do an apprenticeship and gain a National Certificate in Screen Printing (Level 4) through Competenz.
People wanting to become factory screen printers must be at least 16 years old, have normal colour vision and pass an eyesight test.
Three years of secondary school education is preferred. Useful subjects include art, technical drawing, mathematics, fabric technology and digital technology.
Some students may be eligible to take part in the Gateway programme, where students can achieve unit standards while still at school.
Screen printers need to be :
good at listening, communication, and problem-solving
good at making decisions
interested in fabrics and textures and have a good sense of colour
methodical and patient
able to work well under pressure
accurate, with an eye for detail
safety-conscious as they work with inks and chemicals.
Useful experience for screen printers includes :
drawing or design
any work involving paints or inks
working with machinery.
Screen printers need to have :
good eyesight (with or without corrective lenses)
normal colour vision
a reasonable level of fitness and strength as some jobs can be quite strenuous, and they may spend a lot of time on their feet, or have to lift heavy buckets of ink and dyes.