Dot Etcher

Increase or reduce size of photographic dots to make color corrections.
picture of Dot Etcher

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$22,000 – $57,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Dot Etchers do?

Increases or reduces size of photographic dots by chemical or photomechanical methods to make color corrections on halftone negatives or positives to be used in preparation of lithographic printing plates: Examines film on light table to determine specified color and color balance, using magnifying glass or densitometer. Compares proof print of color separation negative or positive with customer’s original sample or copy and standard color chart to determine accuracy of reproduction. Identifies and marks color discrepancies on print and film. Prepares dyes or other chemical solutions according to standard formulas and applies solution to inaccurately colored areas of film to correct color by chemical method. Blocks out or modifies color shades of film, using template, brushes, and opaque. Prepares photographic masks to protect areas of film not needing correction, using contact frame and automatic film processor or by manually cutting masking material, to correct color by photomechanical method. Determines extent of correction and exposure length needed based on experience or predetermined exposure and color charts. Places masks over separation negatives or positives and exposes film for specified time, using contact frame and automatic film processor to reduce size of photographic dots to increase or reduce color. Applies opaque to defective areas of film to block out blemishes and pinholes.


Should I be a Dot Etcher?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.
  • Flexible: You're open to change and think variety is the spice of life.
  • Persistent: You keep pushing through, even when faced with tough obstacles.

  • Also known as: Color Etcher, Copper Etcher, Dot Etcher Apprentice, Zinc Etcher

    How to become a Dot Etcher

    Most Dot Etchers have an Associate's degree or a Certificate. Chart?chd=s:g9daaa&chl=no+college+%2826%25%29|certificate+%2850%25%29|associate%27s+%2824%25%29|||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,26,50
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