How do I Become a Desktop Publisher?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 16 November 2019
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A person who wants to become a desktop publisher may begin working toward this job by earning an associate’s or bachelor’s degree or by learning desktop publishing on his own, through books and Web sites. An individual interested in this job may also take classes that do not lead to a degree, such as through a vocational school, community college, or adult-education center. The qualifications an individual will need often depend on where he wants to work. If he wants to start his own business, an aspiring desktop publisher won’t need a college degree. Some employers, however, do require their new hires to have degrees, while others are willing to offer on-the-job training, particularly if the job candidate has other qualities that make him a good choice for the job.

An individual who goes to college to become a desktop publisher may choose such majors as applied science, graphic arts, or graphic design. A bachelor’s degree usually takes about four years to complete, while associate’s degree programs require about a two-year time investment. Alternatively, an individual may enroll in a certificate program at a vocational school or community college and earn a certificate instead of a degree. Program lengths vary, but they are usually completed in about a year’s time. Sometimes people also take on internships in order to develop skills important in desktop publishing.


An individual who wants to become a desktop publisher usually needs good communication skills, both written and verbal, computer skills, and artistic talent. He should also have some math ability, as he may need to provide clients with job cost estimates. Since desktop publishers often work without someone looking over their shoulders, they should be able to work independently while paying close attention to detail. Good vision, even if it is corrected with glasses, and the ability to work well with one’s hands are generally required as well.

Often, those with degrees or certificates in desktop publishing have the most job opportunities available to them. In fact, they may be promoted faster as well. A self-taught desktop publisher may also work his way up to advancement, but he may spend a longer period in an entry-level job. Among the places an aspiring desktop publisher may apply for work are desktop publishing firms, design companies, newspapers, book publishers, greeting card companies, printing businesses, and many others. An individual who wants to become a desktop publisher may also start his own business and advertise for clients.



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