Photostat Operator

Set up and operate photostat machines to duplicate printed materials.
picture of Photostat Operator

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$17,000 – $37,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Photostat Operators do?

Sets up and operates photostat machine to duplicate printed material, such as manuscripts: Places roll of sensitized paper in machine. Measures length and width of material to be copied, using rule. Computes percentage of enlargement or reproduction necessary, using chart or percentage scale. Mounts material on easel beneath lens, turns on light, and moves controls to focus lens on material. Estimates exposure time, according to size of lens aperture, grade of sensitized paper, and intensity of light. Places filter over lens to make color separation when copying color work. Sets automatic timer and starts exposure. Rolls exposed section of sensitized paper into developer tank inside machine and presses lever to cut section from roll. Turns crank to transfer print to pan of hypo attached to machine. Examines print for sharpness of line. Rinses developed print in water and places print in heated drying cabinet, between blotters, or on heated cylinders of roll-dryer. Trims excess margin from dried print, using cutting blade.


Should I be a Photostat Operator?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • Also known as: Mini-Lab Operator, Vacuum-Frame Operator

    How to become a Photostat Operator

    Photostat Operators generally graduate from high school and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Associate’s degree to increase your chances of finding a good job. Check out these schools offering Photostat Operator-related education!
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