OFO No: 662203





Other names for Screenprinter:

  • Fabric Printer
  • Screen Printing Press Operator
  • Screen Printing Stencil Preparer
  • Screener
  • Silk Screen Printer
  • Silkscreener
  • T Shirt Printer


Youtube clip – A Day in the Life of a Screenprinter

For training options in South Africa – scroll down


What is a Screenprinter?

A Screenprinter specialises in a particular form of printing.

This printing is usually done on a relatively flat surface. 

A Screenprinter may also be known as a Silk Screen Printer.

Screenprinting is most commonly found in t-shirt, some clothing and fabric printing.  It can, however, also be used to print on metal, plastics and other materials.

A Screenprinter can either use a ‘hand’ machine or an electrical one.  In both cases, a fine mesh screen is stretched over a frame.  This frame is called the screen.  All areas that will NOT be printed are masked out on the mesh using various techniques.  The ink is then squeezed through the un-masked areas onto the substrate (article going to be printed) using a squeegee.  The ink is then left to dry naturally or using a heated dryer.

  • CLICK HERE for Youtube video: How to print your own t-shirt at home – You might even start you own business!

What does a Screenprinter do?

  • discusses order with client or designer
  • prepares the screens – each colour needs a separate screen
  • registers screens
  • mixes colour inks to match designer’s requirements
  • squeegees ink through screens
  • makes sure work area is seriously clean at all times
  • dries ink
  • checks quality control
  • folds and packs print runs for client
  • cleans up everything including screens etc before starting new job

Are you … ?

  • artistically inclined?
  • good with colour?
  • accurate?
  • extremely neat?
  • responsible?
  • reliable?
  • observant?
  • detail orientated?

How do I become a Screenprinter?

You may get an apprenticeship in a screen printing company.  If you can’t get one immediately – maybe you could try and apply for a different entry-level position in a screen printing company, for instance:  a sales person, front desk or admin person. 

Once you’re in – you can maybe then show you have skills and interest in getting involved in the actual screen printing side.


  • Apprenticeship
  • Trade Test


  • Learnership – CTFL Manufacturing Processes: Printing NQF Level 2, 3 and 4
  • Trade Test


  • Learnership – CTFL Manufacturing Processes: Dyeing & Printing Preparation NQF Level 2, 3 and 4
  • Trade Test


  • Certificate in Visual Arts (NQF Level 4)
  • Workplace experience
  • Trade Test


  • National Certificate: Art: N1, N2 and N3
  • Workplace experience
  • Trade Test


  • National Certificate: Printer/Finisher: N1, N2 and M3
  • Workplace experience
  • Trade Test


  • RPL (Recognised Prior Learning) for Artisans: CLICK HERE
  • If you have already been working a long time as a Screenprinter 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 scams, make sure your institution is registered with the Department of Higher Education. 
  • CLICK HERE to check accredited Private Higher Education Institutions. 


Apprentice or learnership programmes may be available – look out for them.


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 will be required (per Trade) for the Photo-lithography 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:


Here are some private places where you can get some training:


Offers various training courses.

Start your own small screen printing business from home:

  • CHEMOSOL: (Johannesburg)

Offers various courses and workshops throughout the year.

  • RUTH PROWSE: (Cape Town)

Sometimes offers short part-time screen printing courses.


OTHER CAREERS TO CONSIDER:  Guillotine Operator … or … Graphic Designer 

Is becoming a Screenprinter the right career choice for me?