Alabama Department of Labor

Labor Market Information Division
SOC: 51-9151 Photographic Process Workers and Processing Machine Operators
Education: These occupations usually require a high school diploma.
OJT: Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with these occupations.
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. Operate machines to prepare circuit boards and to expose, develop, etch, fix, wash, dry, or print film or plates. Operate scanners or related computer equipment to digitize negatives, photographic prints, or other images. Operate special equipment to perform tasks such as transferring film to videotape or producing photographic enlargements. Place sensitized paper in frames of projection printers, photostats, or other reproduction machines. Produce color or black-and-white photographs, negatives, or slides, applying standard photographic reproduction techniques and procedures. Read work orders to determine required processes, techniques, materials, or equipment. Reprint originals for enlargement or in sections to be pieced together. Retouch photographic negatives or original prints to correct defects. Review computer-processed digital images for quality. Select digital images for printing, specify number of images to be printed, and direct to printer, using computer software. Set automatic timers, lens openings, and printer carriages to specified focus and exposure times and start exposure to duplicate originals, photographs, or negatives. Set or adjust machine controls, according to specifications, type of operation, or material requirements. Apply paint, using airbrushes, pens, artists' brushes, cotton swabs, or gloved fingers to retouch or enhance negatives or photographs. Clean or maintain photoprocessing or darkroom equipment, using ultrasonic equipment or cleaning and rinsing solutions. Color photographs to produce natural, lifelike appearances, using oil colors and airbrushes. Dry prints or negatives using sponges, squeegees, mechanical air dryers, or drying cabinets. Examine drawings, negatives, or photographic prints to determine coloring, shading, accenting, or other changes required for retouching or restoration. Examine quality of film fades or dissolves for potential color corrections, using color analyzers. Expose filmstrips to progressively timed lights to compare effects of various exposure times. Ink borders or lettering on illustrations using pens, brushes, or drafting instruments. Mount original photographs, negatives, or other printed material in holders or vacuum frames beneath lights. Produce timed prints with separate densities or color settings for each scene of a production. Shade negatives or photographs with pencils to smooth facial contours, soften highlights, or conceal blemishes, stray hairs, or wrinkles. Splice broken or separated film and mount film on reels. Thread filmstrips through densitometers or sensitometers and expose film to light to determine density of film, necessary color corrections, or light sensitivity. Upload digital images onto websites for customers.
License: License not required.
Outlook: Satisfactory
Alabama Employment Outlook
Alabama Wage Data
Hourly Wage   Annual Wage
Entry $10.49   Entry $21,814.00
Mean $14.39   Mean $29,931.00
Experience $16.35 Experience $33,995.00

The data is based on the May 2017 Occupation Employment Survey employment and wage estimate file. The wages have been aged using the most current ECI factors reflecting wages as of June 2018.

Alabama Projections
Estimated Employment 2016Projected Employment 2026Annual Average OpeningsAnnual Growth Rate
Related Occupations: Postsecondary Institutions With Programs:
Cutters and Trimmers, Hand
Electrical and Electronics Installers and Repairers, Transportation Equipment
Paper Goods Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders
Plating and Coating Machine Setters, Operators, and Tenders, Metal and Plastic
Prepress Technicians and Workers
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Printing Press Operators
Security and Fire Alarm Systems Installers
No postsecondary schools reported programs.
Occupational Videos
51-9151.00 Photographic Process Workers and Processing Machine Operators