Home page

Copy Machine Operators

At a Glance

  • Often work for copy shops or organizations with their own copy departments
  • Work off of work orders
  • Sometimes interact with customers
  • May work part time or full time
  • May work nights and weekends
  • Train on the job

Career summary

Copy machine operators run copy machines to fill orders for customers.

#breakout from 1439 Office machine operators.

#check 3/20/19 lh

Copy machine operators usually receive a work order detailing the items to be copied. In some cases they talk directly to the customer or coworker who places the order, and fill out the work order for them. They may estimate price. If operators work in a public copy shop, they may handle customers' payments for copies.

Operators first select the best paper for the job. They select paper for size, color, and weight, as requested in the work order. They load the paper into the copy machine, and load the items to be copied into the feeder. Some items are too large, small, or thick to go in the feeder. Operators position these items on the copy area one at a time.

Next, they set the controls for number of copies and paper size. They may also program the machine to enlarge or darken the copies.

When the job is done, copy machine operators check it to be sure it is correct. They also record the number of copies made. They may finish the order by cutting copies apart or stapling them. Sometimes they may use machines that collate, straighten, cut, fold, or perforate paper.

Copy machine operators remove jammed paper from the machine. They may also fix small mechanical problems as they occur. In some offices, operators are in charge of maintaining the equipment.

Related careers

This career is part of the Business Management and Administration cluster of careers.

Related careers include:

Job duties

Task list

The following list of tasks is specific to copy machine operators.

Common work activities

Copy machine operators perform the following tasks. These tasks are common to many careers.

Work requirements

Working conditions

In a typical work setting, copy machine operators:

Interpersonal relationships

Physical work conditions

Work performance


Physical demands

Copy machine operators frequently:

It is important for copy machine operators to be able to:

It is not as important, but still necessary, for copy machine operators to be able to:

Skills and abilities

Copy machine operators need to:


Reason and problem solve

Manage oneself, people, time, and things

Work with things

Education and training

Educational programs

The programs of study listed below will help you prepare for the occupation or career cluster you are exploring.

Programs of study directly related to this occupation

Other programs of study to consider


To work as a copy machine operator, you typically need to:

Education after high school

No formal education is required for this occupation beyond high school.

On-the-job training

Copy machine operators learn their skills on the job. An experienced operator trains you on the operation and maintenance of the copier. Training usually lasts up to one month. Operators continually learn new skills depending on the type of job a customer requests.

Manufacturers also provide training on new copiers.

Helpful high school courses

You should take a general high school curriculum that meets the state's graduation requirements. You will be required to take both math and science classes to graduate.

Helpful electives to take in high school that prepare you for this career include:

The courses listed above are meant to help you create your high school plan. If you have not already done so, talk to a school counselor or parent about the courses you are considering taking.

You should also check with a teacher or counselor to see if work-based learning opportunities are available in your school and community. These might include field trips, job shadowing, internships, and actual work experience. The goal of these activities is to help you connect your school experiences with real-life work.

Join some groups, try some hobbies, or volunteer with an organization that interests you. By participating in activities you can have fun, make new friends, and learn about yourself. Maybe one of them will help direct you to a future career. Here are examples of activities and groups that may be available in your high school or community.

Things to know

Employers prefer applicants who have a high school diploma or equivalent. They may also prefer applicants who have experience. Applicants with experience maintaining copy machines may have the best chances.

Job listings

Listed below are links to job categories from the National Labor Exchange that relate to this career. Once you get a list of jobs, you can view information about individual jobs and find out how to apply. If your job search finds too many openings, or if you wish to search for jobs outside of Washington, you will need to refine your search.

To get a listing of current jobs from the WorkSource system, go to the WorkSource website (external link).


The minimum wage for Washington State as of January 1, 2020 is $13.50 per hour. Some areas of the state may have a higher minimum wage.


Office machine operators, except computer (SOC 43-9071)

Pay Period
Washington Hourly $11.79 $12.56 $15.17 $19.65 $24.15
Monthly $2,043 $2,177 $2,629 $3,405 $4,185
Yearly $24,520 $26,120 $31,560 $40,870 $50,230
    Bellingham Hourly $13.12 $14.02 $15.45 $19.85 $22.69
Monthly $2,274 $2,430 $2,677 $3,440 $3,932
Yearly $27,290 $29,174 $32,122 $41,284 $47,193
    Bremerton-Silverdale Hourly $13.11 $14.78 $16.79 $18.78 $20.71
Monthly $2,272 $2,561 $2,910 $3,255 $3,589
Yearly $27,273 $30,737 $34,918 $39,057 $43,085
    Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Hourly $12.10 $12.84 $15.44 $20.06 $24.81
Monthly $2,097 $2,225 $2,676 $3,476 $4,300
Yearly $25,164 $26,717 $32,110 $41,707 $51,603
    Spokane-Spokane Valley Hourly $12.17 $12.77 $14.26 $15.74 $18.19
Monthly $2,109 $2,213 $2,471 $2,728 $3,152
Yearly $25,321 $26,567 $29,667 $32,741 $37,839
    Vancouver Hourly $12.78 $14.48 $18.12 $23.33 $26.35
Monthly $2,215 $2,509 $3,140 $4,043 $4,566
Yearly $26,587 $30,134 $37,684 $48,522 $54,814
United States Hourly $10.75 $12.75 $15.76 $19.31 $24.00
Monthly $1,863 $2,210 $2,731 $3,346 $4,159
Yearly $22,350 $26,520 $32,790 $40,170 $49,920

Wages vary by employer and area of the country. Wages may also vary depending on the worker's level of responsibility.

Full-time copy machine operators may receive benefits. Common benefits include sick leave, paid vacation, and health insurance.

Employment and outlook

Washington outlook


The table below provides information about the number of workers in this career in various regions. It also provides information about the expected growth rate and future job openings.

Office Machine Operators, Except Computer (SOC 43-9071)

Location Current employment Growth over 10 years Annual openings
Washington 708 1.7% 16.1% 80
    Asotin, Columbia, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Stevens, Walla Walla, and Whitman Counties 13 7.7% 8.6% 2
    Clallam, Jefferson, and Kitsap Counties 14 -7.1% 11.9% 1
    Clark, Cowlitz, and Wahkiakum Counties 68 19.1% 15.2% 10
    Grays Harbor, Lewis, Mason, Pacific, and Thurston Counties 17 17.6% 14.1% 2
    Island, San Juan, Skagit, and Whatcom Counties 17 0.0% 14.6% 2
    King County 227 -9.3% 19.6% 19
    Kittitas, Klickitat, Skamania, and Yakima Counties 12 16.7% 13.8% 2
    Pierce County 141 7.1% 15.2% 18
    Snohomish County 248 21.4% 12.4% 39
    Spokane County 46 -19.6% 13.9% 3
United States 50,100 -12.8% 5.2% 5,300

National employment

Copy machine operators often work for copy shops or large organizations that have their own copy departments.

Major employers:

National outlook

The decline in jobs for copy machine operators is due to technological advancements in copy office machines. As copy machines get faster, they produce more copies. Therefore, fewer machines and fewer operators are needed. In addition, newer copy machines tend to jam less than older machines, which also reduces the number of operators needed to tend them.

Other resources

Washington Business Week (external link)
PO Box 1170
Renton, WA 98057


Career cluster

Career path

O*Net (external link) occupation

O*Net job zone (external link)

DOT occupations

Holland occupational cluster