Course Info

Certificate II in Printing and Graphic Arts (General)

National Course Code: ICP20115


The nationally recognised Certificate II in Printing and Graphic Arts (General) will kick-start your printing career. Learn to work with offset, digital and finishing machinery, go on to further study or find work as a print machining assistant, screen printing assistant or digital print operator.


Through theory and practical course-work, you will learn to:

  • Operate print machinery
  • Mix colours
  • Work with paper, guillotine and finishing machinery
  • Communicate and collaborate
  • Maintain a safe work environment
  • Participate in sustainable work practices
  • Work with the principles of quality assurance


Develop the personal qualities and skills you need to get ahead in this field, including:

  • Have an enthusiastic attitude
  • Be able to take direction
  • Be a team player who enjoys collaborating


Successfully completing this course will give you:

  • A nationally recognised Certificate II qualification
  • An insight into the printing industry and the foundation to begin a career in the print and graphics industry


Continue to enhance and specialise your printing skills with the Certificate III in Printing, the Certificate III in Print Communications or the Certificate III in Print Manufacturing.


The printing industry in Australia is worth $8bn and there are over 4,500 printing businesses in operation. However, it is not only catalogues and pamphlets that are printed. Understanding how to professionally reproduce imagery for 2D and 3D construction will help to produce industry prototypes such as medical implants and sustainable fabrics.

This shift from traditional to digital printing means there is a need for new ways of thinking and a demand for innovative, adaptable printers to continue to grow and transform the industry.

This course is superseded. You can still enrol in this course, and you will be contacted if you need to transition into the next version when it is available.

Course details

People who are successful in this industry have:

  • An interest in working in a practical, hands-on environment
  • An enthusiastic attitude
  • The ability to take direction
  • Collaboration skills
  • An interest in maintaining the quality and traditions of print

Assessments give you the opportunity to demonstrate what you have learned and to identify the knowledge or skills that may need further development. In this course you will undertake hands-on assessments in both individual and group settings.

The Certificate II in Printing and Graphic Arts (General) is an entry-level qualification that provides introductory exposure to simulated or real world work practices. It covers the basics and sets you up for success Certificate III level.

The Certificate III in Printing is often chosen by apprentices or those considering an apprenticeship. Typically, in this qualification you are (or have previous experience as) a print machinist. You will learn to set up and operate letterpress, lithographic, flexographic, gravure printing presses, digital printers or screen printers. Certificate III students learn to work across a range of printed products, prepare materials, run equipment and machinery and problem solve.

There is no Certificate IV and Diploma pathway in printing. When you are ready to move on to a Certificate IV or Diploma, you may be interested in pursuing graphic design to complement your printing career.

You will gain hands-on experience in:

  • The day-to-day tasks of the printing and graphic arts industry
  • Basic desktop publishing terminology and practices
  • Working under direct supervision
  • The basic operational knowledge of printing

You will learn in simulated environments on a TAFE NSW campus or in real world situations like your workplace. Projects you will work on include working with paper, guillotines and finishing machinery.

TAFE NSW has great, industry standard facilities. You will have access to computer rooms, studios, study areas, presentation areas and general student facilities which are available at most TAFE NSW campuses.

From offset printing to new technologies, printing is an industry that has innovated in order to grow. Image and document reproduction equipment and processes are continually improving and with the move from traditional to digital printing there is a need for adaptable, qualified workers.

Printing and Graphic Arts is one of the largest manufacturing sectors in Australia and this course will help you learn the fundamental skills you need to be a part of this dynamic industry.

Printing will always be required. We read, consume, promote, and interact with printed material and products on a daily basis. Understanding how to professionally reproduce imagery for 2D and 3D construction will help understand the process for further development in 3D printing which is used in all industries for prototypes, to medical implants and fabric construction.

  • Nationally Recognised Training
  • Traineeship Allowed

This course is superseded

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