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Salary Range
€18k - €44k
Job Zone

In Brief...

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

Knowledge

  • 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.
  • Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Production and Processing Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Mechanical Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.

Skills

  • Operation Monitoring Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
  • 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.
  • Quality Control Analysis Conducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
  • Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Service Orientation Actively looking for ways to help people.

In Summary - Photographic Technician / Processing Assistant

Career Sectors

Photographic Technician / Processing Assistants typically work in the following Career Sectors:

Visual Arts
Art, Craft & Design

Videos on the Web

Further Information

The Work - Photographic Technician / Processing Assistant

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

Most commonly reported Work Tasks

  • 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.

Most commonly reported Work Activities

  • Controlling Machines and Processes Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
  • 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.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
  • Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Interests - Photographic Technician / Processing Assistant

This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:

Administrative

Administrative people are interested in work that offers security and a sense of being part of a larger process. They may be at their most productive under supervisors who give clear guidelines and while performing routine tasks in a methodical and reliable way.

They tend to enjoy clerical and most forms of office work, where they perform essential administrative duties. They often form the backbone of large and small organisations alike. They may enjoy being in charge of office filing systems, and using computers and other office equipment to keep things running smoothly. They usually like routine work hours and prefer comfortable indoor workplaces.

Realist

Realists are usually interested in 'things' - such as buildings, mechanics, equipment, tools, electronics etc. Their primary focus is dealing with these - as in building, fixing, operating or designing them. Involvement in these areas leads to high manual skills, or a fine aptitude for practical design - as found in the various forms of engineering.

Realists like to find practical solutions to problems using tools, technology and skilled work. Realists usually prefer to be active in their work environment, often do most of their work alone, and enjoy taking decisive action with a minimum amount of discussion and paperwork.

Qualities

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.

Entry Requirements - Photographic Technician / Processing Assistant

Pay & Salary - Photographic Technician / Processing Assistant

Salary Range (thousands per year)* €18k - €44k

Data Source(s):
CareersPortal

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.

Labour Market Updates - Photographic Technician / Processing Assistant

Useful Contacts - Photographic Technician / Processing Assistant

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