Electronic Originator



OFO No: 662104





Other names for Electronic Originator:

  • Compositor (Electronic)
  • Electronic Pre-press Technician
  • Photo Lithographer

What is an Electronic Originator?

An Electronic Originator works in a printing company.

Before digital printing most of the work in the printing industry was done by different skilled persons. 

Now Desk Top Publishing (DTP) has revolutionised the printing industry.  Many of the people-orientated jobs are now done by computers.  For this reason, new jobs have arisen to accommodate this new trend.  An Electronic Originator is one of them.

The main job of an Electronic Originator is to make sure all aspects of the work from customer instruction to print preparation is done correctly.  They are almost like a project manager.

What does an Electronic Originator do?

  • handles the initial instructions
  • makes sure typesetting has been done
  • makes sure images are correct and they have been colour separated correctly
  • makes sure the ‘layup’ is correct for page printing
  • checks for special effects and makes sure they are done correctly
  • makes proofs and gets customer approval before running the job
  • keeps printing records because some jobs are repeat work

Are you … ?

  • interested in the printing industry?
  • organised?
  • detail orientated?
  • good with colour?
  • observant?
  • mechanically minded?
  • a clean and tidy worker?
  • a person who keeps up to date with technology?

How do I become an Electronic Originator?


  • Apprenticeship
  • Trade Test


  • Learnership – Design Foundation NQF Level 2, 3 and 4
  • Trade Test


  • Learnership – Electrical Engineering (Electrical Construction) Level 2, 3 and 4
  • Trade Test


  • Learnership – CNC Production Machining NQF Level 2, 3 and 4
  • Trade Test


  • Certificate in Graphic Web Design and Multimedia (NQF Level 4)
  • This can be done at many TVET (FET) colleges. Check your local one to see what they offer.
  • Trade Test


  • National Certificate: Printer/Finisher: N1, N2 and N3
  • This can be done at many TVET (FET) colleges. Check your local one to see what they offer.
  • Trade Test


  • National Certificate: Engineering Studies: N1, N2 and N3
  • This can be done at many TVET (FET) colleges. Check your local one to see what they offer.
  • Trade Test


  • RPL (Recognised Prior Learning) for Artisans: CLICK HERE
  • If you have already been working a long time as an Electronic Originator without qualifications, you may be able to get your qualification through RPL
  • Trade Test


  • CLICK HERE to check for a training institution near you to see what they offer.
  • Make sure you understand their entry requirements for each course.
  • To avoid scamsmake sure your institution is registered with the Department of Higher Education. 
  • CLICK HERE to check accredited Private Higher Education Institutions. 


One of the ways you can become an Electronic Originator is to contact:


Each PIFSA course is broken into 3 sections:  TT1, TT2 and TT3. The duration of each TT modules is 4 weeks (20 days) and 3 days of examinations.

A minimum of 3 trainees would be required (per Trade) for a Electronic Originator course to commence. Should there be less than 3 individuals, they will be advised to enrol for Distance Learning (Correspondence).

Please contact your local branch for further information. 
See link for contact details:  http://www.pifsa.org/

Another way is to:

Get an unskilled job in a printing company then, if you show that you’re hard working and ambitious, the printing company may send you for training . . . AND pay for it.  It’s up to you to show some passion and dedication.


OTHER CAREERS TO CONSIDER:  Book Binder … or … Desktop Publisher

Is becoming an Electronic Originator the right career choice for me?