£13,000 Average salary at age 20
£23,400 Average Salary
41 Average hours per week


Print finishing and binding workers bind books and other publications and finish printed items by hand or machine.

Main Tasks

  • Folds, collates and sews printed sheets by hand or machine;
  • Compresses sewn book in nipping machine to expel air and reduce swelling caused by sewing;
  • Trims head, tail and fore-edge of book and gilds and marbles page edges as necessary;
  • Cuts board and cloth for book cover and spine;
  • Embosses lettering or decoration on cover by hand or machine;
  • Repairs worn book bindings;
  • Sets up and supervises automatic binding and finishing machine.


There are no formal academic requirements although some employers may require GCSEs/S grades. Training is typically received on-the-job. National Traineeships and apprenticeships in Machine Printing are available at NVQ/SVQ Levels 2 and 3.

UK Prospects

14600 Workforce Size
4.77% Predicted decline 2024 - 2027
1869 Predicted Replacement 2024 - 2027

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