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What You Need to Know About Desktop Publisher

Desktop Publisher Example Format typescript and graphic elements using computer software to produce publication-ready material.

A Day in the Life of a Desktop Publisher

  • Load floppy disks or tapes containing information into system.
  • Check preliminary and final proofs for errors and make necessary corrections.
  • Edit graphics and photos, using pixel or bitmap editing, airbrushing, masking, or image retouching.
  • Prepare sample layouts for approval, using computer software.
  • Position text and art elements from a variety of databases in a visually appealing way to design print or web pages, using knowledge of type styles and size and layout patterns.
  • Study layout or other design instructions to determine work to be done and sequence of operations.

What Every Desktop Publisher Should Know

Desktop Publishers state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Other Desktop Publisher Job Titles

  • Desktop Publishing Specialist
  • Technical Editor
  • Publishing Specialist
  • Mac Operator
  • Technical Publications Manager

Is There Job Demand for Desktop Publishers?

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 14,600 jobs in the United States for Desktop Publisher. There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Desktop Publisher. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 1,200 job openings in this field each year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Desktop Publishers in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Desktop Publisher are Washington, Maryland, and Alaska. Watch out if you plan on working in Missouri, Kansas, or Kentucky. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

What is the Average Salary of a Desktop Publisher

Desktop Publishers make between $22,770 and $75,120 a year.

Salary Ranges for Desktop Publishers

Desktop Publishers who work in Massachusetts, Connecticut, or California, make the highest salaries.

How much do Desktop Publishers make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $37,670
Arizona $38,680
California $56,370
Colorado $53,330
Connecticut $55,500
Florida $41,920
Georgia $49,220
Illinois $38,610
Indiana $34,390
Iowa $38,640
Kansas $33,050
Kentucky $35,850
Louisiana $33,390
Maine $35,220
Maryland $56,770
Massachusetts $58,000
Michigan $44,230
Minnesota $45,830
Missouri $41,620
Nebraska $32,970
New Hampshire $38,980
New Jersey $47,800
New Mexico $50,250
New York $55,260
North Carolina $47,470
Ohio $41,720
Oklahoma $41,000
Oregon $45,810
Pennsylvania $41,440
South Carolina $37,080
Tennessee $44,850
Texas $43,950
Utah $43,040
Vermont $42,630
Virginia $50,600
Washington $46,080
Wisconsin $50,090

What Tools & Technology do Desktop Publishers Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Desktop Publishers:

How to Become a Desktop Publisher

What education or degrees do I need to become a Desktop Publisher?

Desktop Publisher Degree Level

What work experience do I need to become a Desktop Publisher?

Desktop Publisher Work Experience

Where do Desktop Publishers Work?

Desktop Publisher Sectors

The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.

Desktop Publisher Industries

Similar Careers

Those interested in being a Desktop Publisher may also be interested in:

Those who work as a Desktop Publisher sometimes switch careers to one of these choices:


Image Credit: Auburn University College of Architecture, Design and Construction via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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