Profession printmaker

Printmakers engrave or etch metal, wood, rubber or other materials to create images which are transported onto surfaces, generally using a printing press. Printmakers often use tools such as etcher-circuit processors, pantograph engravers, and silk screen etchers.

Would you like to know what kind of career and professions suit you best? Take our free Holland code career test and find out.

Personality Type


  • Compute engraving dimensions

    Measure and compute dimensions of lettering, designs and patterns to be engraved.

  • Prepare etching chemicals

    Prepare etching chemicals according to formulas, mixing solutions of specified concentration.

  • Maintain engraving equipment

    Regular maintenance of cutting wheels and other mechanic engraving tools.

  • Fill etchings

    Fill etchings with opaque paste to improve readability.

  • Engrave patterns

    Engrave and print designs and patterns onto a variety of surfaces.

  • Prepare workpieces for engraving

    Prepare mechanical tools and workpieces for engraving by polishing their surface and bevelling the workpiece to remove sharp edges. Polishing is done using different sandpapers and sand films which are applied from rougher ones to very fine ones.

  • Verify engraving accuracy

    Examine design results to verify engraving accuracy, rework engraving where needed.

  • Position engraving equipment

    Position and clamp work pieces, plates, or rollers in holding fixtures.

  • Handle etching chemicals

    Brush or smear acid over mechanic engraving tools, in order to improve the visibility of the inscriptions.

  • Sketch designs on workpieces

    Sketch or scribe layouts and designs on workpieces, plates, dies or rollers. Use compasses, scribers, gravers, pencils, etc.

  • Sterilise workpieces

    Remove dirt from workpieces or specialised machines.

  • Operate engraving equipment

    Operate mechanical engraving tools and machines, set controls of cutting tools. Make adjustments if necessary.

  • Inspect etched work

    Inspect finished etchings in detail, using microscopes and magnifying lenses.

  • Select engraving templates

    Select, prepare and install engraving templates; operate cutting tools and routers.

  • Determine quality of engraving

    Quality control of engravings and etchings; check for cuts, burns, rough spots and irregular or incomplete engraving.

  • Prepare workpieces for etching

    Prepare mechanical tools and work pieces for etching by polishing their surface and bevelling the work piece to remove sharp edges. Polishing is done using different sandpapers and sand films which are applied and vary from rough to very fine ones.

  • Scale etchings

    Operate reduction scales and set pantograph controls.

  • Transpose designs to engravings

    Examine diagrams, sketches, blueprints and samples, and calculate how they are to be engraved onto work pieces.

  • Adjust properties of cut

    Adjust cut sizes and depths of cutting tools. Adjust heights of worktables and machine-arms.

  • Clean engraved areas

    Polish and clean engraved etching areas.

  • Ensure accurate engravings

    Closely observe the actions of the mechanical cutting tools, resulting in a flawless engraving process.

  • Transfer designs on workpiece

    Operate stylus and cutting tools, duplicate design or letters on a workpiece.

Optional knowledge and skills

collaborate with a technical staff in artistic productions assess conservation needs

Source: Sisyphus ODB