Printing and Graphic Arts


The Printing and Graphic Arts industry interacts with most other industries across the economy.  This industry covers a wide range of functions from the creation of images and layouts (design), to the preparation of these for printing (pre-press), reproduction by a number of processes (press or printing), and the assembly of final products (post press or finishing).

The major qualifications in this industry generally focus on printer and pre-print graphic artist occupations.  Print and design workers need to be able to operate in a multi-channel environment which blends different distribution and promotional methods.  This industry may see an emerging talent gap as the current workforce nears retirement.

What does this industry cover?

  • Printing
  • Print manufacture
  • Graphic pre-press
  • Multimedia and digital communication
  • Mail house
  • Bags and sacks manufacture

Industry Information

Of the nearly 7,000 enterprises in the Printing and Graphic Arts Industry approximately 6,000 of them are small businesses with fewer than 20 employees.

Rapid advances in digital technology have created huge change throughout the industry.

Demand for some traditional occupations is on the decline while job opportunities in areas like digital printing or production and 3D printing are expanding.

Traineeship and apprenticeship commencements in this industry are good.

Employment and wage data for this industry

Apprenticeships Employment Size

This is a small industry for Australian Apprenticeship commencements. In the year to September 2019, commencements were: 194

Source: VOCSTATS, extracted on 14/04/2020AATIS analysis.

Commencements Change

Commencements in the year to September 2019 in this industry have decreased, compared with the previous year.

Source: VOCSTATS, extracted on 14/04/2020AATIS analysis.

Apprentice Employment Outcomes

For Australian Apprentice graduates from this industry, employment outcomes are high.

Source: NCVER National Student Outcomes Survey, 2017, unpublished. AATIS analysis.

Industry Employment Size

This is a medium sized industry compared with other Australian industries.

Source: Department of Education, Skills and Employment, 2019. AATIS analysis.

Industry Employment Change

Over the past 5 years, change in employment in this industry has remained stable.

Source: Department of Education, Skills and Employment, 2019. AATIS analysis.

Industry Wage

The average wage of all employees in this industry is medium.

Source: Department of Education, Skills and Employment, 2019. AATIS analysis.

Key Occupations

Desktop Publishing Assistant

Digital Printer

Print Finisher

Pre-press Technician (Operator)

This industry is positioned in the following groups

Industry Group

Manufacturing & Production

Work Type

Creative & Artistic

Practical & Manual

Ready to see where the Printing & Graphic Arts industry can take you?

Career Pathways

The Printing and Graphic Arts Industry has career pathways from Certificate II through to Diploma. Look at the Job Pathways Chart to see what is of interest.

Job Pathway Chart

Practice Aptitude Quiz

This resource illustrates the maths and literacy needed to complete the entry level training in this sector.

Download The Quiz

Support Services

Further Research


Industry information is published by peak level associations, government and major employers.  Accessing industry association sites, including member lists, is a good way of building up an understanding of an industry.  Visiting employer websites and looking for careers or employment menus helps identify how employers recruit and the skills they are recruiting.

Use Google to search for the associations and organisations listed below.


  • Design Institute of Australia
  • Australian 3D Manufacturing Association