Desktop Publisher

Use computer programs to create and format words and art for printed ads.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$22,000 – $59,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Desktop Publishers do?

Desktop Publishers use computer programs to design, create, and format writing and artwork for printed publications. As pretty much anything that gets printed must be formatted and laid out on a computer beforehand, Desktop Publishers will be dealing with everything from books to newsletters, calendars, tickets, advertisements, posters and packages.

A typical day may find Desktop Publishers negotiating with a print shop, updating an old design, or using different text layouts to show a new client various design options. Smaller companies might even allow you to write and edit your own copy, though larger companies assign this to Copywriters.

To prepare a design draft for printing you gather all of the illustrations, text, charts and photographs for the design, and then scan them into a computer to ensure they are the correct size and format. From here you play with the text and images to find the best (read: most attractive and readable) format for the information. Once you are done formatting you either print the material yourself or send it out to a printing shop.

This position is found in a number of different businesses, from hospitals to schools, big corporations to small firms. With experience, you’ll be able to pick the type of office environment you’d like to work in. But wherever you find yourself working, it will be necessary to have a range of computer design skills and tactful communication abilities.


Should I be a Desktop Publisher?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Helpful: You always keep an eye out for what other people need.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.

  • Also known as: Computer Publisher, Design Editor, Desk Top Publisher, Online Publisher, Technical Publications Manager

    How to become a Desktop Publisher

    Most Desktop Publishers have a Bachelor's degree or an Associate's degree. Chart?chd=s:d9xvao&chl=no+college+%282%25%29|certificate+%2835%25%29|associate%27s+%2828%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2827%25%29||doctorate+%288%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,2,35
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