Photocopy Machine Operator

Photocopy and duplicating machine operators run various kinds of machines that copy invoices, letters, reports, contracts and other documents.

The type of equipment involved includes copying, mimeograph and stencil machines. In addition they may use high speed business photocopiers, readers / scanners, addressing machines, microfilm reader / printers, folding and inserting, bursting and binder machines.  These operators are responsible for keeping these machines loaded with blank paper or film, and properly adjusted for the number of copies to be made. In addition, they may sort the pages of lengthy documents by hand or by machine.

First they read the job orders to determine the type of work to be done, the quantities to be produced and the materials needed.  They compute prices for the services and receive payment, or provide supervisors with billing information. The machines are set up and adjusted, with factors such as speed, ink flow, focus and number of copies being regulated.  Once running, they monitor the machine operation, and make adjustments as necessary to ensure proper operation. 

For single sheets, they place the original copy on the glass plate of the machine, make sure there is blank paper in the loading tray, set the control switch for the number of copies and press the button to start the machine which transfers the image of the original copy onto the blank paper by a photographic and static electricity process.  Other assignments range from producing colour copies, reading material and other documents to those requiring the merge of covers, text, indices and related items in single or multi-colour format.  They sort, assemble and proof the completed work.  Where necessary, they cut the copies apart and write identifying information such as page numbers or titles, on the copies.  Master copies or plates are cleaned and filed, and the completed work delivered, or filed and stored.

They need to be able to perform all phases of the equipment set-up, operation and routine maintenance of the machine and its supplies.  They need to clean the machines, perform minor repairs and report major repair needs.  Records of production, including work volume and outputs, materials used and any backlogs, are completed.  They maintain stock of supplies and requisition any needed items.


Personal Requirements

  • work well without supervision
  • accurate
  • enjoy routine work tasks
  • able to follow instructions carefully 
  • get along well with others
  • work well under pressure
  • good manual dexterity
  • good eye-hand coordination
  • good vision 
  • some mechanical ability

How to Enter

Schooling & School Subjects

Grade 10 Certificate

What to Study

The suppliers of duplicating machines provide training lasting about 2 weeks.


  • suppliers of duplicating machines
  • banks and other financial institutions
  • insurance companies
  • wholesale and retail stores
  • firms providing business services
  • educational and research institutions
  • government departments
  • self-employment, with enough capital, can start own duplicating business

Further Information

Any duplicating machine manufacturer or supplier

Getting Started

  • try to obtain vacation or part-time work in a company with duplicating machines
  • arrange to speak to a photocopy machine operator about this type of career

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