Are you considering a desktop publishing career? Well to begin with, make sure you know what desktop publishers do. Desktop publishers use computer software, format and combine text, numerical data, photographs, charts, and other visual graphic elements to produce publication ready material. This material can range from books to business cards, calendars, magazines, newsletters and newspapers, packaging, slides, and tickets.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statics, there were about 32,000 people employed as desktop publishers in 2006 in the United States. Most of these worked in the printing and publishing industries. You can pursue a desktop publishing career nationwide from home, however many jobs are located in major cities.
You do not need a college degree to start a desktop publishing career, but the BLS strongly recommends it. Those with either certificates or an associates or bachelors degree will have more, and better, job opportunities available to them. Many people working in this field learn on the job, but many others learn by taking classes and specialized desktop publishing programs.
It is strongly recommended that anyone considering a desktop publishing career have all or most of the following: good communication skills, basic computer skills, a strong work ethic, the ability to compute ratios to estimate job costs, good manual dexterity, the ability to pay attention to detail and work independently, good eyesight (including visual acuity, depth perception, field of view, color vision, and the ability to focus quickly), and artistic ability.
Though the BLS does not predict any serious growth in the desktop publishing industry through 2016, jobs will be available due to natural attrition in the workforce, which will need to be replaced. The BLS also states that the median earnings for someone in a desktop publishing career were $34,130 in 2006.
Those entering a desktop publishing career with limited training and experience may start as helpers receiving instruction from experienced desktop publishers. As one masters more skills and learns how to use new software, he or she can advance to positions with greater responsibility. This may include supervisory or management positions. Some desktop publishers may start their own companies or work as independent contractors, many of these publishers work at home. Those who are more artistic talent and can further their education may find opportunities in graphic design or commercial art. These are often higher paying careers, that can also be done from home or in a major city.