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Salary Poll--just curious?

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  • Salary Poll--just curious?

    How much do you think a CTP operator is worth paying these days? Because I have 3 years exp. im Creo (Prinergy, Preps, Dynastrip, and my current employer pays me $7 an hour--honestly, I was making more in 1990 as a 25 year old camera/conventional pre-press worker with less than 2 years on the job. PlusI get zero benefits, and my bonus this year was a $2 box of chocolates. It frustrates me that roll operators get more, and that's STARTING PAY, and get 21 sick days that usually are spent getting drunk. I've almost 20 years experience in conventiomal amd digital prepress. I'm probably not the sharpest tool in the toolbox, but I give my all, communicate well with customers, and makevery few mistakes (that I don't catch before presstime). Andour chief salsmen haven't a clue as to what a halftone is...and they're all driving new, shiny sports cars...sending in jobs (usually late) with missing fonts and bad bleeds etc, too.

    If you're comfortable sharing, I'd like to hear what other CTP workers around the US are making. I'm wondering too if anyone else gets treated this way. Your replies matter to me very much--I love my work but am hanging on financially by skin and tendon, and I think I need to leave the business.

    Edited by: plategirl on Dec 21, 2007 2:24 AM

    Edited by: plategirl on Dec 21, 2007 2:25 AM

  • #2
    Re: Poll--just curious?

    You should be making more than $7! Where do you work? in a Chinese coal mine?
    Go work at McDonalds, at least you would be able to eat!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Poll--just curious?

      I agree you should be making more. Unfortunately I ran into the same issue and finally got out of it about two months ago. I spent 7 years at one place and made horrible money. Finally found a smaller print shop with the right mind set to be out in front of the curve. With that I have a lot of responsibility but I feel it's worth it.

      Salary.com is a good site to get an idea of what the field is paying in your area. Of course it's not totally accurate but that's why it gives you the scale it does. There are also other sites out there that can help you get a better idea.

      Definitely think it's time you put some feelers out to see if there is another opportunity for you.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Poll--just curious?

        Wow. You are VERY underpaid! We pay no experience people off the street to come in and catch off a press more than that per hour! I am exactly your age and have been in the biz for over 20 years. Depending on your location, you should, at the very LEAST, be making double of what you are currently earning. I agree with the last post...explore other avenues. Hope this helps. MK.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Poll--just curious?

          I have to assume you meant to type $17 there instead of $7. If not then leave there right now, seriously get up and walk out this very second because you are being taken advantage of. I'm in North GA and make a little more than twice what you posted and I'm on the low side of the pay scale for my area if that's any indication where you should be at. What's the market in your state like, have you checked around with other people doing your same job or similar to what you do? If you end up staying you can always look on the bright side, in July of 09 they're pushing the minimum wage up to $7.25 so you're sure to get a raise.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Poll--just curious?

            You are underpaid. But as with most business people your boss will pay as little as possible when he can. Where do you live? Are there other print shops around? If there are, you should seek other employment. It's not easy, but switching jobs can get you an increase in pay, and in your case a BIG increase in pay. If you like your job or your commute, then look for another job, make sure you have secured the new job, then talk to your boss. Tell him/her that you deserve an increase in pay and would like to stay, but if you don't get what the other place is offering then you have to go where the money is. You should give 2 weeks notice, but be prepared to leave at this point (burn a disk of any personal files that you have, clean out your email before having this talk with your boss).

            Good luck!

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            • #7
              Re: Poll--just curious?

              When you say CTP are you only talking Imposition and the process of actually making the plates? Is there no other prep work in your job?

              either way like others have said get out now!

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Poll--just curious?

                Why don't you contact PrintLInk (www.printlink.com)? It's a career agency specializing in the graphic arts. Arnie Kahn runs it -- nice guy. It's a place to start, and certainly, they could give you an idea of what an appropriate salary range should be.

                Heidi

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                • #9
                  Re: Poll--just curious?

                  What I do is mostly imposition, so I guess I can't hope to deserve what you guys and gals are getting paid, but I also set classifieds using Quark. I fix what I can on PDF's but without Pitstop there isn't much I can do except rotate pages etc. in Acrobat.. I'm don't do pre-flight as you all probably do. No Photoshop experience though I keep begging for it and will take a class this next semester.

                  My shop is a newspaper with only 3 pre-press people, one per shift, training is a joke. We do about 4-6 jobs a shift on average but some days less. Thanks for all the advice and smiles. Merry Christmas to all!!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Poll--just curious?

                    Plategirl, traditionally newspapers pay terrible wages (as you obviously know). Anyone on this forum that worked at a newspaper, even with a "job printing" dept. knows that when you go up to the powers that be and talk about your much deserved wage increase, you might be offered a quarter more per hour to stay. I was running a Goss newspaper press with 8 units in 1987 and was offered 50 cents more per hour to stay! That would have bumped me up to $5.50 per hour...when the average rate for a Goss pressman should have been $12 - 15 per hour. A wise man told me years ago that the only people in the newspaper biz that make any $ to speak of are the publisher and the ad director...I have yet to see his theory prove incorrect. Some companies have little to no "training" so do not be discouraged! YOU have to get determined and just do it! (This is not a verbal spanking - just advice I learned the hard way.) When you can, copy a few files and just dive in Photoshop and start "playing". At the very least, you will become familiar with what tools can do what job. This is how I learned many other apps as well. Learn as much as you can while searching for greener pastures. Good luck, God bless, and Merry Christmas to all! MK.
                    P.S. - You should still be earning MUCH more than your current wage.

                    Edited by: MK on Dec 24, 2007 9:24 AM

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Poll--just curious?

                      Remember this!

                      You don't get what you deserve. You get what you negotiate!!

                      That the facts jack.

                      If you can live by this you will find that everything is negotiable.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Poll--just curious?

                        I remember when I was in college, I "played" with Photoshop until the security guys would come and kick me out because the labs were closing for the night. Fun times indeed. Learned more about Photoshop then (was at version 2.5 then, with no layers and only one undo, so you REALLY had to watch what you were doing, and save multiple versions often) than I have in the years since. It's gotten easier (now just have to learn what's changed since last version, and now have layers and multiple undo's), but once you learn the program, you will just build upon that knowledge in coming years.

                        Don

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                        • #13
                          Re: Poll--just curious?

                          You are underpaid, even without the pre-flight skills. Around here we start about $10 hr. I think thats average.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Salary Poll--just curious?

                            I guess it depends where abouts in the world you are, as it all is relative I don't work in that role, but looking on monster and from expereince from reading job adds US$30K-60K would be average, based usually on 37.5-40hours/week. Like I said its all relatative and minimum wage around here is US$11ish/hour.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Poll--just curious?

                              GET OUT OF THE NEWSPAPER BUSINESS!!! I started there at that same wage, never got a raise until i turned in a notice. Your state plays a big role on what you should be paid but no company should pay anyone who is doing impo that little. Supervisors and sales reps are the only people making decent money and "Big Wheels" are the only people getting paid lots of money (editor, publisher, etc.). I have never been happier than i am now and make 4x what i did then (10 yrs exp). Granted i've learned like 10x as much, but thats because my newspaper was kinda down & dirty work and no one ever wants to fix problems or find out why there are problems, then just bandaid it and get ready for the next deadline. Once i left i learned so much from commercial and package printer environments i have come to realize that was the best thing i have ever done for my career.

                              Just as an example 6 mos ago i got offered a job with competitive benefits starting at $20 third shift imposition. Job was imposing files in quark, rip (nexus), check, & plate. I would think you are worth at LEAST $10-11 hr. by NC standards from your description of your exp.

                              Edited by: Ernie Lail on Jan 2, 2008 12:55 PM
                              Ernie

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