How Do I Become a Scanner Operator?

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  • Written By: T. L. Childree
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 27 May 2019
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Scanner operators utilize computerized imaging equipment to set up and review documents or images before they are printed. In order to become a scanner operator, you must be detail oriented and able to communicate well with clients and other printing technicians. A high school diploma is the minimum education required for this career, but some employers prefer candidates with an associate’s or bachelor’s degree. In addition to formal classroom training, some work experience in this field is also recommended to become a scanner operator. Once employed, you will be responsible for scanning images into digital imaging software to determine their printing suitability.

A number of important skills are needed to become a scanner operator. Excellent attention to detail is required to ensure that documents and images are printed according to customer instructions. Good communications skills are also needed to listen to customer requests and correctly relay the order to other members of the printing staff. You must have very good critical thinking skills in order to address potential problems and create an acceptable solution. The ability to manage your time well and perform your work under strict printing deadlines is essential for this profession.


A significant amount of on-the-job training is typically required to become a scanner operator and a high school diploma is often the only formal educational requirement. Most operators begin this career by working as an apprentice until they gain sufficient skills and experience. Some employers prefer candidates with an associate’s degree in communications arts along with specific training in desktop publishing. Other may require a bachelor’s degree in printing management or a related subject. Most college degree programs include instruction in subjects such as color management, digital typography, and digital file preparation.

Many employers prefer you to have some relevant work experience before you become a scanner operator. This experience can be acquired in a number of ways, including high school work-study programs and summer jobs. Many community and four-year colleges offer some type of internship during the final year of classroom training. A work-study program or internship allows you to become familiar with commercial printing processes in preparation for future employment. You should also gain experience with various types of desktop publishing equipment and related software during this hands-on training period.

After you become a scanner operator, you will generally be responsible for the entire preliminary stage of a commercial printing process. This stage typically includes duties such as meeting with clients to discuss printing layouts and scanning documents and images into digital imaging equipment. The next phase of the process usually involves examining the images for quality and color consistency before printing begins. After completing these preliminary tasks, you will probably meet with other staff members to ensure that the client’s orders are carried out properly.



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