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What Desktop Publishers Do

Desktop publishers use computer software to design page layouts for newspapers, books, brochures, and other items that are printed or put online. They collect the text, graphics, and other materials they will need and format them into a finished product.

Work Environment

Desktop publishers held about 16,400 jobs in 2012. About one-third of them worked in publishing industries.

How to Become a Desktop Publisher

Desktop publishers have a variety of educational backgrounds, but most have earned some form of postsecondary degree or award, such as an associate’s degree.


The median annual wage for desktop publishers was $37,040 in May 2012.

Job Outlook

Employment of desktop publishers is projected to decline 5 percent from 2012 to 2022. Companies are expected to hire fewer desktop publishers, as other types of workers—such as graphic designers, web designers, and copy editors—increasingly take on desktop publishing tasks.

Similar Occupations

Compare the job duties, education, job growth, and pay of desktop publishers with similar occupations.