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Desktop Publishing Career

Career Description

Desktop Publishing Career

Desktop publishers use publishing software to produce layouts for books, newspapers, brochures and other documents according to the specifications given by clients or employers. At times, they help create web pages using Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) or work with other professionals linked with media and design. They can work with graphic designers to create images to supplement web content or they can work with writers to help write or edit text to be used on a web page.
The general tasks in a desktop publishing career may include:

  • Talking to clients and understanding the product they are looking for;
  • Calculating costs of products which meet the client’s needs and giving quotations;
  • Chalking out basic ideas and discussing concepts with clients;
  • Making sure the layout, fonts, text and graphics complement each other;
  • Discussing issues or problems which arise during the design phase with clients and proposing solutions; and
  • Preparing layouts or final designs for printing and coordinating with the printers.

Educational Requirements

Though formal education is not a compulsion for a career in desktop publishing, preference is usually given to candidates with a college education or at least some sort of certification in the field.

Usually degrees in graphic arts, graphic communications or graphic design are taken up in order to kick start a desktop publishing career. Bachelor programs can help you learn how to use desktop publishing software to format pages, import texts or graphics and creating web pages or advertisements, newsletters and brochures. Skills in these areas may also qualify you for managerial positions in the field.

Associate degree programs can prepare you to work as a skilled employee by teaching you about typography, branding, identity, web-page design, motion graphics, imaging, print reproduction and print media.

Skills Needed

A good candidate for a desktop publishing job will usually display the following skills:

  • Good communication skills;
  • Computer and related software proficiency;
  • Good mathematical skills;
  • Manual dexterity;
  • Work ethics and commitmrnt;
  • Vision;
  • The ability to pay attention to detail; and
  • Work independently.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average hourly pay of desktop publishers in May 2010 was $17.60. The lowest 10% earned less than $10.46 while the top 10% earned more than $28.52.


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