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Occupation Details

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Photographic Technician / Processing Assistant

Job Zone

These occupations usually require a Leaving Certificate or equivalent.

Related Experience
Some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is usually needed. For example, jobs requiring you to deal with the public would benefit from previous experience working directly with the public.

Job Training
Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees.

Job Zone Examples
These occupations often involve using your knowledge and skills to help others. Examples include sheet metal workers, forest fire fighters, customer service representatives, physical therapist aides, retail salespersons and tellers.

€18k > 44
Photographic Technician
Salary Range
(thousands per year)*
€18 - 44
Related Information:
Data Source(s):

Last Updated: April, 2017

* The lower figures typically reflect starting salaries. Higher salaries are awarded to those with greater experience and responsibility. Positions in Dublin sometimes command higher salaries.
Occupational Category

Other Technicians N.E.C.

Also included in this category:

Building and civil engineering technicians; architectural and town planning technicians; science, engineering and production technicians not elsewhere classified; draughtspersons.

Number Employed:


Part time workers: 5%
Aged over 55: 16%
Male / Female: 88 / 12%
Non-Nationals: 7%
With Third Level: 60%
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At a Glance... header image

Works in photofinishing laboratories or specialist shops processing film and producing photographic prints from negatives or digital cameras.

Videos & Interviews header image

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The Work header image

Photographic processing assistants work in the photofinishing industry, either in photographic laboratories or specialist shops. They process film and produce photographic prints of the negatives. They may also work on developed prints and transparencies and copy artwork, such as designs or drawings, onto transparencies.  
Photographic processing assistants can be employed in two different job areas; developing and printing laboratories or professional laboratories.  
In large developing and printing laboratories, photographic assistants deal with amateur film, such as holiday and family snapshots. Negatives and prints are sent by individual customers to the laboratory. The assistants use high-tech machinery to process the film. Some high street shops offer a similar service using mini processing and printing equipment.  
In professional developing and printing laboratories, photographic assistants deal with the work of professional photographers and business organisations. This work requires a higher standard of finishing and printing.  
Some professional laboratories provide a range of services, such as:

  • complicated retouching to produce special effects or colours
  • copying work into different sizes or formats
  • making transparencies from a number of different sources

Others specialise in particular fields such as black and white photography. A photographic processing assistant employed in a professional laboratory has more scope for creative duties, whether the work is done by hand or with the use of computers.  
In both types of laboratory, photographic processing assistants sort the film and feed it into equipment that scans, develops and prints it. They adjust the printing machines to produce truer colours. Other techniques include:

  • retouching prints or transparencies to get rid of blemishes
  • producing multiple prints
  • providing various mounts and finishes, such as turning photographs into posters or jigsaws

Tasks & Activitiesheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported tasks and activities for this occupation


Create prints according to customer specifications and laboratory protocols.


Examine developed prints for defects, such as broken lines, spots, or blurs.


Fill tanks of processing machines with solutions such as developer, dyes, stop-baths, fixers, bleaches, or washes.


Immerse film, negatives, paper, or prints in developing solutions, fixing solutions, and water to complete photographic development processes.


Insert processed negatives and prints into envelopes for delivery to customers.


Load circuit boards, racks or rolls of film, negatives, or printing paper into processing or printing machines.


Load digital images onto computers directly from cameras or from storage devices, such as flash memory cards or universal serial bus (USB) devices.


Maintain records, such as quantities or types of processing completed, materials used, or customer charges.


Measure and mix chemicals to prepare solutions for processing, according to formulas.


Monitor equipment operation to detect malfunctions.

Work Activities header image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported work activities in this occupation.


Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships: Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.


Handling and Moving Objects: Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.


Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge: Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.


Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates: Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.


Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings: Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.


Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work: Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.


Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material: Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.


Controlling Machines and Processes: Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).


Making Decisions and Solving Problems: Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.


Performing for or Working Directly with the Public: Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.

Knowledge header image

The following is a list of the five most commonly reported knowledge areas for this occupation.


Customer and Personal Service: Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.


Production and Processing: Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.


Computers and Electronics: Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.


English Language: Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.


Chemistry: Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.

Skillsheader image

The following is a list of the most commonly reported skills used in this occupation.


Operation Monitoring: Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.


Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.


Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.


Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.


Quality Control Analysis: Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.


Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.


Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.


Time Management: Managing one's own time and the time of others.


Judgment and Decision Making: Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.


Operation and Control: Controlling operations of equipment or systems.

Personal Qualitiesheader image

You should have good eyesight and your colour vision may be tested.  
Artistic flair, mechanical ability and knowledge of science are helpful. You should be confident in using computers, as laboratories use sophisticated equipment for electronic imaging, video scanning and image manipulation.  
Other qualities you need are patience and concentration, especially when doing repetitive tasks. You will need to pay close attention to detail at all times.

Further Informationheader image

A detailed description of this occupation can be found on a number of online databases. Follow the link(s) below to access this information:

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Go..Photographic Technician - from: N.C.S. [UK]

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Career Guidance

This occupation is popular with people who have the following Career Interests...

...and for people who like working in the following Career Sectors:

Art, Craft & Design
Media & Publishing
Biological, Chemical & Pharmaceutical Science

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