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Binding and Finishing Machine Operator

Binding and finishing machine operators set up and operate machines and equipment that work with large sheets of paper. These machines can turn material from the printing press or digital printing equipment into finished materials such as books, brochures, and presentation folders.

Also Known As

Book Binder, Factory Worker, Finishing Machine Operator, Production Worker

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used. Here is how this occupation has been classified over time:

  • 2006 NOC: Binding and Finishing Machine Operators (9473.1);  Specialty Finishing Equipment Operators (9473.2) 
  • 2006 NOC-S: Binding and Finishing Machine Operators (J183) 
  • 2011 NOC: Binding and finishing machine operators (9473) 
  • 2016 NOC: Binding and finishing machine operators (9473) 
Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Binding and Finishing Machine Operators
2006 NOC : 9473.1

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group

OBJECTIVE

Interest in controlling computerized units to start, stop and regulate machines and equipment

METHODICAL

Interest in copying to perform work according to production specifications

innovative

Interest in making adjustments to machines and equipment

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Specialty Finishing Equipment Operators
2006 NOC : 9473.2

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group

OBJECTIVE

Interest in controlling computerized units to start, stop and regulate machines and equipment throughout various finishing operations

METHODICAL

Interest in copying to perform work according to production specifications

innovative

Interest in applying decorations and lettering to bound books, and in making adjustments to machines and equipment

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests

Abilities

Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Duties
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Duties vary depending on the machine. But, in general, binding and finishing machine operators:

  • Review work orders
  • Set up, adjust, and operate machines and equipment
  • Input instructions and monitor the operation of computerized machines and equipment
  • Troubleshoot problems and make adjustments as required
  • Perform routine maintenance

Binding and finishing machine operators may operate a wide variety of machines. These machines may:

  • Fold, cut, or collate pages
  • Drill holes in pages
  • Die-cut pages
  • Insert materials into cerlox (plastic comb binding), wire, or adhesive bindings
  • Apply glue on the ends of notepads
  • Emboss, imprint, or metal-foil materials
  • Wire-stitch collated materials
  • Laminate materials
  • Package printed materials
  • Perforate, score, and staple materials
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2020
  • Strength Required Lift up to 20 kg

Binding and finishing machine operators often work in large industrial plants. In smaller companies, they work in industrial bays. They may need to work shifts and overtime to meet print deadlines.

Binding and finishing machine operators often stand for long periods and do a lot of bending and reaching. They may need to lift heavy packages of paper. Workplace hazards in larger shops include moving machinery, handling chemicals, tolerating noise, enduring repetitive strain, and being exposed to solvent fumes. In smaller shops or those using digital equipment, there is no exposure to chemicals. However, hazards still include lifting heavy objects, risking repetitive strain injuries, and avoiding cutting blades. Binding and finishing machine operators must follow standard safety practices and be knowledgeable about occupational health and safety legislation.

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Binding and finishing machine operators need:

  • Hand-eye co-ordination and full body mobility
  • Normal hearing and vision
  • The ability to measure and calculate measurements accurately in imperial and metric
  • The ability to stay focused while performing repetitive tasks
  • Mechanical ability
  • The ability to work safely and efficiently under deadline pressure

They should enjoy working with computerized and mechanical equipment. They should be comfortable following routines, working with a team, and performing set tasks.

Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020
  • Minimum Education Varies

Printing and publishing is an evolving industry. Machine operators must be prepared to learn new skills continuously. More and more, the equipment they use is computer controlled.

There are no standard education requirements for binding and finishing machine operators. However, employers prefer to hire graduates of related post-secondary programs or high school graduates with experience operating machines or equipment. A security clearance may be required if the operator will be working with sensitive materials. Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) training is an asset.

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2020
  • Certification Not Regulated

There is currently no provincial legislation regulating this occupation in Alberta.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Binding and finishing machine operators work for:

  • Digital print shops
  • Trade binderies
  • Large organizations with in-house printing, binding, and finishing departments
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Publishing companies

Many binderies have a small core staff and hire extra staff on a temporary basis to meet contract deadlines.

Newly hired machine operators usually start training on simpler or lighter equipment. As they gain experience, they train on more complex equipment. Machine operators with experience running a variety of machines may become supervisors.

In Alberta, 94% of people employed as binding and finishing machine operators work in the Manufacturing [pdf] industry.

The employment outlook [pdf] in this occupation is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Trends and events affecting overall employment in the Manufacturing industry
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation

In Alberta, the 9473: Binding and finishing machine operators occupational group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 0% from 2019 to 2023. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 0 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

Note
NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2020

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Binding and finishing machine operators

2016 NOC : 9473
Average Wage
$24.33
Per Hour
Average Salary
$46,870.00
Per Year
Average Hours
36.9
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
12
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

Source
2019 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 9473 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $15.00 $33.62 $19.28 $20.00
Overall $16.71 $33.62 $24.33 $25.50
Top $20.00 $39.00 $29.76 $30.00

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information
ALL INDUSTRIES
Manufacturing

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

27%
27%)

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

13%
13%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

0%
0%

Vacancy Rate

N/A
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Trades, Industrial and Related Training
Other Sources of Information
Updated Mar 31, 2020

Canadian Printing Industries Sector Council (CPISC) website: cpia-aci.ca

Printing and Graphics Industries Association of Alberta (PGIA) website: www.pgia.ca

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2020. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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