Desktop Publishers

by Kate Williams

What Desktop Publishers Do

Desktop publishers use computer software to design page layouts for items that are printed or published online.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tuP-G9wJxmY

Work Environment

Many desktop publishers work full time, and they may need to work additional hours to meet publication deadlines.

How to Become a Desktop Publisher

Desktop publishers typically need an associate’s degree. They also receive short-term on-the-job training lasting about 1 month.

Pay

The median annual wage for desktop publishers was $45,390 in May 2019.

Job Outlook

Employment of desktop publishers is projected to decline 19 percent from 2019 to 2029. Companies are expected to hire fewer desktop publishers as other types of workers—such as graphic designers, web designers, and editors—increasingly perform desktop-publishing tasks.

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

Duties

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.

Desktop publishers held about 10,400 jobs in 2019. The largest employers of desktop publishers were as follows:

Newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishers 27%
Self-employed workers 14
Professional, scientific, and technical services 11
Printing and related support activities 10

Work Schedules

Many desktop publishers work full time, and they may need to work additional hours to meet publication deadlines.

This table shows a list of occupations with job duties that are similar to those of desktop publishers.

Occupation Job Duties Entry-Level Education Median Annual Pay, May 2019

Editors

Editors plan, review, and revise content for publication.

Bachelor’s degree $61,370

Film and Video Editors and Camera Operators

Film and video editors and camera operators manipulate moving images that entertain or inform an audience.

Bachelor’s degree $59,810

Graphic Designers

Graphic designers create visual concepts, using computer software or by hand, to communicate ideas that inspire, inform, and captivate consumers.

Bachelor’s degree $52,110

Multimedia Artists and Animators

Multimedia artists and animators create images that appear to move and visual effects for various forms of media and entertainment.

Bachelor’s degree $75,270

Technical Writers

Technical writers prepare instruction manuals, how-to guides, journal articles, and other supporting documents to communicate complex and technical information more easily.

Bachelor’s degree $72,850

For more information about the printing industry, visit

Printing Industries of America

O*NET

Desktop Publishers


Suggested citation:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Desktop Publishers,
at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/office-and-administrative-support/desktop-publishers.htm (visited ).


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