DTP candidates are required to produce marketing documents or brochures and presentations using different DTP software packages such as Desk Top Publisher, Quark, Indesign and Powerpoint. It’s essential you are creative, have a great eye for detail and can work under pressure, often to tight deadlines.
The role of the Desk Top Publishing Assistant (also known as DTP Operator) is to produce high quality documents which can be used for presentations, company brochures and reports. This involves the use of specialist software packages such as Photo Shop, Quark and Illustrator.
It's an important role within any organisation as essentially you are creating the image of the company you're employed by and as such experienced DTP Operators are always in demand.
Your job could involve:
- The maintenance of the company website, ensuring page layout is correct and content is displayed in a user-friendly fashion
- The production of company brochures, formatting their layout and overall design
- The preparation of often complex presentations for senior employees
- The design of client and annual reports, ensuring they can be read and understood easily
As well as the design element of the job, your daily duties could also include:
- Regular contact with external suppliers such as printers
- Proof reading and quality control of other team members' material
- Liaising with other departments to discuss new projects
- Staff training
- Assisting other employees with technology issues
- Monitoring competitors' marketing material
Hours are usually quite standard though the nature of the job often requires longer hours as the production of some material will have strict deadlines which have to be met. The opportunity to work from home is sometimes offered as a lot of the work you'll be doing is PC based though this will usually be limited to pure design roles.
Qualifications aren't formally required but they won't do your chances of landing the job any harm. There are a variety of courses available from the likes of Edexcel, OCR and City and Guilds (for example the City and Guilds Desk Top Publishing Course) and you can of course undergo training in the key software packages needed such as Quark and Illustrator. As is often the case, potential employers are looking for experience gained in a similar role so if you have some relevant experience, make sure it stands out on your CV.
Some of the skills you need to be able to display to a future employer include:
- A comprehensive working knowledge of the usual MS office software
- Proficiency in specialist software packages like Quark and Photoshop
- The ability to work unsupervised to tight deadlines
- Experience of following brand strategy and guidelines
- Flexibility - often you need to be able to work longer hours to meet deadlines
- Creativity - you need to demonstrate a flair for design
- Fantastic interpersonal skills - you'll be dealing with a wide variety of internal and external contacts
- The ability to work accurately under pressure
You can expect to earn between £18-25k in the early years of your career though this depends on where you're working - as a rule the financial and commercial sectors in London will be top payers. Add a few decent years' experience and you can command up to £50k with the right company. As an experienced temp you could earn anything between £14 and £25 per hour.