Desktop Publishers: Salary, career path, job outlook, education and more

Education Required
Desktop publishers usually need an associate’s degree, often in graphic design or graphic communications. Community colleges and technical schools offer desktop-publishing courses, which teach students how to create electronic page layouts and format text and graphics with the use of desktop-publishing software.
Training Required
Desktop publishers typically receive short-term on-the-job training lasting about 1 month. They learn by working closely with more experienced workers or by taking classes that teach them how to use desktop-publishing software. Workers often need to continue training because publishing software changes over time.
Job Outlook
The projected percent change in employment from 2016 to 2026: -14% (Decline)
(The average growth rate for all occupations is 7 percent.)
Median pay: How much do Desktop Publishers make?
$41,090 Annual Salary
$19.76 per hour

Desktop publishers use computer software to design page layouts for newspapers, books, brochures, and other items that are printed or published online.

What do Desktop Publishers do?

Desktop publishers typically do the following:

  • Review text, graphics, or other materials created by writers and designers
  • Edit graphics, such as photographs or illustrations
  • Import text and graphics into publishing software
  • Integrate images and text to create cohesive pages
  • Adjust text properties, such as size, column width, and spacing
  • Revise layouts and make corrections as necessary
  • Submit or upload final files for printing or online publishing

Desktop publishers use publishing software to create page layouts for print or electronic publication. They may edit text by correcting its spelling, punctuation, and grammar.

Desktop publishers often work with other design, media, or marketing workers, including writers, editors, and graphic designers. For example, they work with graphic designers to come up with images that complement the text and fit the available space.

Careers for Desktop Publishers

  • DTP operators
  • Desktop publishing specialists
  • Electronic console display operators
  • Electronic imagers
  • Electronic pagination system operators
  • Electronic publishers
  • Electronic publishing specialists

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