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Career profile Binder Operator

Also known as Binder Operator, Bindery Operator, Bindery Technician, Bindery Worker, Book Binder, Custom Bookbinder, Perfect Binder Operator

Binder Operator

Also known as Binder Operator, Bindery Operator, Bindery Technician

Interests Profile
  • Realistic
  • Conventional
  • Artistic
Pay Range
$23,980 - $52,150 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Operations Monitoring
  • Critical Thinking
  • Reading Comprehension
Knowledge Areas
  • Administration and Management
  • Production and Processing
  • Mechanical
Core tasks
  • Examine stitched, collated, bound, or unbound product samples for defects, such as imperfect bindings, ink spots, torn pages, loose pages, or loose or uncut threads.
  • Read work orders to determine instructions and specifications for machine set-up.
  • Install or adjust bindery machine devices, such as knives, guides, rollers, rounding forms, creasing rams, or clamps, to accommodate sheets, signatures, or books of specified sizes.
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What does a Binder Operator do?

Binder Operators bind books and other publications or finish printed products by hand or machine.

In addition, Binder Operators may set up binding and finishing machines.

What kind of tasks does a Binder Operator perform regularly?

Binder Operators are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Examine stitched, collated, bound, or unbound product samples for defects, such as imperfect bindings, ink spots, torn pages, loose pages, or loose or uncut threads.
  • Read work orders to determine instructions and specifications for machine set-up.
  • Install or adjust bindery machine devices, such as knives, guides, rollers, rounding forms, creasing rams, or clamps, to accommodate sheets, signatures, or books of specified sizes.
  • Trim edges of books to size, using cutting machines, book trimming machines, or hand cutters.
  • Stitch or glue endpapers, bindings, backings, or signatures, using sewing machines, glue machines, or glue and brushes.
  • Monitor machine operations to detect malfunctions or to determine whether adjustments are needed.
  • Maintain records, such as daily production records, using specified forms.
  • Lubricate, clean, or make minor repairs to machine parts to keep machines in working condition.
  • Set up or operate bindery machines, such as coil binders, thermal or tape binders, plastic comb binders, or specialty binders.
  • Set up or operate machines that perform binding operations, such as pressing, folding, or trimming.
  • Prepare finished books for shipping by wrapping or packing books and stacking boxes on pallets.
  • Set up or operate glue machines by filling glue reservoirs, turning switches to activate heating elements, or adjusting glue flow or conveyor speed.
  • Train workers to set up, operate, and use automatic bindery machines.

The above responsibilities are specific to Binder Operators. More generally, Binder Operators are involved in several broader types of activities:

Controlling Machines and Processes
Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Monitoring Processes, Materials, or Surroundings
Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Handling and Moving Objects
Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems
Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

What is a Binder Operator salary?

The median salary for a Binder Operator is $34,260, and the average salary is $36,430. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Binder Operator salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Binder Operators earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Binder Operators earn less than $23,980 per year, 25% earn less than $28,110, 75% earn less than $43,280, and 90% earn less than $52,150.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Binder Operators is expected to change by -17.3%, and there should be roughly 3,500 open positions for Binder Operators every year.

Median annual salary
Typical salary range
$23,980 - $52,150
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)

What personality traits are common among Binder Operators?


Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as a Binder Operator are usually higher in their Realistic and Conventional interests.

Binder Operators typically have very strong Realistic interests. Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Also, Binder Operators typically have moderate Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.


People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as a Binder Operator tend to value Support, Independence, and Achievement.

Most importantly, Binder Operators moderately value Support. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees.

Second, Binder Operators moderately value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Lastly, Binder Operators moderately value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Binder Operators must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, integrity, and dependability.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Binder Operators, ranked by importance:

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

What education and training do Binder Operators need?

Working as a Binder Operator usually requires a high school diploma.

Binder Operators need anywhere from a few months to one year of working with experienced employees. A recognized apprenticeship program may be associated with this occupation.

Educational degrees among Binder Operators

  • 15.7% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 43.0% completed high school or secondary school
  • 23.0% completed some college coursework
  • 10.5% earned a Associate's degree
  • 7.6% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 0.2% earned a Master's degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Binder Operators

Binder Operators may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as administration and management, production and processing, or mechanical knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Binder Operators might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Production and Processing
Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
Knowledge of machines and tools, including their designs, uses, repair, and maintenance.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

Important Abilities needed by Binder Operators

Binder Operators must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Binder Operators need abilities such as problem sensitivity, finger dexterity, and near vision in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Binder Operators, ranked by their relative importance.

Problem Sensitivity
The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
Finger Dexterity
The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
Near Vision
The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
Oral Comprehension
The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
Oral Expression
The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

Critical Skills needed by Binder Operators

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Binder Operators frequently use skills like operations monitoring, critical thinking, and reading comprehension to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Binder Operators, ranked by their relative importance.

Operations Monitoring
Watching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
Critical Thinking
Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions, or approaches to problems.
Reading Comprehension
Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work-related documents.
Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Judgment and Decision Making
Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.