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Binder and finisher

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Summary of occupation

Binders and finishers are responsible for assembling the different parts of books, magazines and other printed products. They assemble the pages as they are printed, trimming them down to the necessary size. Once the pages have been correctly assembled and trimmed, they attach a cover, either by machine or by hand using glue, or by sewing the pages and covers together.

ANZSCO description: Binders and finishers are responsible for assembling the different parts of books, magazines and other printed products.
Alternative names: Book Binder, Print Finisher
Job prospects: Limited
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

A binder and finisher needs:

  • good eyesight with normal colour vision
  • to pay attention to detail
  • mechanical aptitude
  • to be able to work as part of a team
  • good hand-eye coordination.
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Working conditions

Most binders and finishers work in specialist printing firms, which can be found throughout the metropolitan region and in larger regional centres.

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Salary details

On average, binders, finishers and screen printers can expect to earn between $800 and $999 per week ($41 600 and $51 999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience. As a binder and finisher develops their skills, their earning potential will generally increase.

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Tools and technologies

Binders and finishers generally use a range of specialised printing and binding machines, which can be potentially dangerous. However, some binders may work by hand, particularly those repairing the bindings of old or damaged books. Whether working by hand or machine, the type of work being carried out is very similar - pages are trimmed using guillotines, then glued or stitched to covers.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a binder and finisher, you usually need to complete an apprenticeship. A binding and finishing apprenticeship takes 36 months to complete. ​

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

Related apprenticeships

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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