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Working As An Associate Editor

  • Getting Information
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • Repetitive

  • $53,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Associate Editor Do

Editors plan, review, and revise content for publication.

Duties

Editors typically do the following:

  • Read content and correct spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors
  • Rewrite text to make it easier for readers to understand
  • Verify facts using standard reference sources
  • Evaluate submissions from writers to decide what to publish
  • Work with writers to help their ideas and stories succeed
  • Develop story and content ideas according to the publication’s style and editorial policy
  • Allocate space for the text, photos, and illustrations that make up a story
  • Approve final versions submitted by staff

Editors plan, coordinate, and revise material for publication in books, newspapers, magazines, or websites. Editors review story ideas and decide what material will appeal most to readers. During the review process, editors offer comments to improve the product, and suggest titles and headlines. In smaller organizations, a single editor may perform all of the editorial duties or share them with only a few other people.

The following are examples of types of editors:

Copy editors review text for errors in grammar, punctuation, and spelling and check for readability, style, and agreement with editorial policy. They suggest revisions, such as changing words and rearranging sentences and paragraphs to improve clarity or accuracy. They also may carry out research, confirm sources for writers, and verify facts, dates, and statistics. In addition, they may arrange page layouts of articles, photographs, and advertising.

Publication assistants who work for book-publishing houses may read and evaluate manuscripts submitted by freelance writers, proofread uncorrected drafts, and answer questions about published material. Assistants on small newspapers or in smaller media markets may compile articles available from wire services or the Internet, answer phones, and proofread articles.

Assistant editors are responsible for a particular subject, such as local news, international news, feature stories, or sports. Most assistant editors work for newspaper publishers, television broadcasters, magazines, book publishers, or advertising and public relations firms.

Executive editors oversee assistant editors and generally have the final say about what stories are published and how they are covered. Executive editors typically hire writers, reporters, and other employees. They also plan budgets and negotiate contracts with freelance writers, who are sometimes called “stringers” in the news industry. Although many executive editors work for newspaper publishers, some work for television broadcasters, magazines, or advertising and public relations firms.

Managing editors typically work for magazines, newspaper publishers, and television broadcasters, and are responsible for the daily operations of a news department.

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How To Become An Associate Editor

A bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, or English, combined with previous writing and proofreading experience, is typically required to be an editor.

Education

Employers generally prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, or English. They also prefer candidates with mass- or cross-media experience.

Those with other backgrounds who can show strong writing skills also may find jobs as editors. Editors who deal with specific subject matter may need previous related work experience. For example, fashion editors may need expertise in fashion that they gain through formal training or work experience.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Many editors start off as editorial assistants, writers, or reporters.

Those who are particularly skilled at identifying good stories, recognizing writing talent, and interacting with writers may be interested in editing jobs. 

Other Experience

Editors also can gain experience by working on high school and college newspapers, and for magazines, radio and television stations, advertising and publishing companies, or nonprofit organizations. Magazines and newspapers also have internships for students. For example, the American Society of Magazine Editors offers a Magazine Internship Program to qualified full-time students in their junior or senior year of college. Interns may write stories, conduct research and interviews, and gain general publishing experience.

The ability to use computers is necessary for editors to stay in touch with writers and other editors and to work on the increasingly important digital media or online side of a publication. Familiarity with electronic publishing, graphics, Web design, and multimedia production is also important, because more content is being offered online.

Advancement

Some editors hold management positions and must make decisions related to running a business. For them, advancement generally means moving up to publications with larger circulation or greater prestige. Copy editors may move into original writing or substantive editing positions, or become freelancers.

Important Qualities

Creativity. Editors must be creative, curious, and knowledgeable in a broad range of topics. Some editors must regularly come up with interesting story ideas and attention-grabbing headlines.

Detail oriented. One of an editor’s main tasks is to make sure that material is error free and matches the style of a publication.

Good judgment. Editors must decide if certain stories are ethical or if there is enough evidence to report them.

Interpersonal skills. In working with writers, editors must have tact and the ability to guide and encourage them in their work.

Writing skills. Editors must ensure that all written content has correct grammar, punctuation, and syntax. Editors must be able to write clearly and logically.

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Associate Editor Career Paths

Associate Editor
Editor Owner Marketing Director
Brand Director
10 Yearsyrs
Editor Project Manager Marketing Director
Director Of Marketing And Public Relations
6 Yearsyrs
Reporter Public Relations Specialist Public Relations Manager
Manager Of Corporate Communications
7 Yearsyrs
Editor Public Relations Manager Manager Of Corporate Communications
Director, Corporate Communications
10 Yearsyrs
Managing Editor Project Manager Marketing Director
Vice President Of Marketing & Communications
12 Yearsyrs
Writer And Editor Technical Writer Web Developer
Web Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Writer And Editor Marketing Consultant Advertising Manager
Advertising Director
6 Yearsyrs
Copy Editor Writer And Editor Staff Writer
Public Information Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Managing Editor Marketing Manager Marketing Manager/Project Manager
Digital Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Managing Editor Marketing Manager Marketing Communications Manager
Content Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Reporter Technical Writer Content Manager
Senior Content Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Reporter Senior Writer Creative Director
Digital Director
9 Yearsyrs
Communications Specialist Marketing Specialist Digital Marketing Specialist
Online Marketing Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Copy Editor Technical Writer Senior Technical Writer
Publications Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Writer Content Writer Content Manager
Content Director
7 Yearsyrs
Contributing Writer Content Writer Content Manager
Digital Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Staff Writer Social Media Manager
Manager Of Digital Media
5 Yearsyrs
Contributing Writer Social Media Manager
Marketing Strategist
6 Yearsyrs
Producer Studio Manager Traffic Manager
Freelance Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Staff Writer Communications Manager Social Media Manager
Digital Communications Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Publishing Editor 4.7 years
Senior Editor 4.0 years
Executive Editor 3.5 years
Managing Editor 3.3 years
Publication Editor 3.3 years
Writer And Editor 3.1 years
Associate Editor 3.0 years
Copy Editor 2.9 years
News Editor 2.6 years
Editor 2.6 years
Features Editor 2.6 years
Editor In Chief 2.6 years
Editor, Freelance 2.5 years
Digital Editor 2.2 years
Online Editor 2.1 years
Web Editor 2.0 years
Assistant Editor 2.0 years
Content Editor 1.9 years
Top Careers Before Associate Editor
Editor 12.8%
Internship 10.1%
Reporter 8.2%
Writer 2.2%
Teacher 2.1%
Assistant 1.6%
Top Careers After Associate Editor
Editor 21.6%
Reporter 3.7%
Internship 3.2%
Writer 2.8%
Consultant 2.2%

Do you work as an Associate Editor?

Average Yearly Salary
$53,000
Show Salaries
$34,000
Min 10%
$53,000
Median 50%
$53,000
Median 50%
$53,000
Median 50%
$53,000
Median 50%
$53,000
Median 50%
$53,000
Median 50%
$53,000
Median 50%
$82,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Thomson Reuters
Highest Paying City
Washington, DC
Highest Paying State
Delaware
Avg Experience Level
2.5 years
How much does an Associate Editor make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Associate Editor in the United States is $53,897 per year or $26 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $35,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $82,000.

The largest raises come from changing jobs.

See what's out there.

Real Associate Editor Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Head Spanish Associate Editor Inter-American Division Publishing Association Apr 20, 2016 $92,810
Associate Scientific Editor, Immunity Elsevier, Inc. Aug 05, 2015 $82,651 -
$86,636
Associate Agent, Editor The Zoe Pagnamenta Agency LLC Aug 15, 2016 $78,263
Associate Agent, Editor The Zoe Pagnamenta Agency LLC Aug 15, 2014 $78,263
Associate Editor American Physical Society Jan 10, 2014 $77,792 -
$100,000
Associate Scientific Editor Elsevier, Inc. Sep 15, 2016 $75,000 -
$92,000
Associate Editor HKM Productions, Inc. Jan 03, 2013 $75,000
Associate Scientific Editor Elsevier, Inc. Sep 30, 2014 $74,000 -
$115,110
Associate Scientific Editor, Immunity Elsevier, Inc. Feb 12, 2014 $73,800 -
$115,110
Associate Scientific Editor, Immunology Elsevier, Inc. Feb 12, 2014 $73,800 -
$115,110
Spanish Associate Editor Inter-American Division Publishing Association Jun 28, 2016 $73,258
Associate Editor General Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists Jun 03, 2015 $71,158
Associate Editor Flaunt Magazine Jun 20, 2015 $70,958
Associate Editor, The Verge VOX Media, Inc. Jul 03, 2016 $63,419 -
$84,052
Associate Editor Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. Sep 16, 2014 $63,274
Associate Editor John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Oct 15, 2011 $63,000
Associate Editor Public Library of Science Sep 24, 2012 $60,507 -
$70,000
Associate Editor The Week Publications, Inc. Oct 01, 2011 $60,000
Managing Editor/Associate Editor American Physical Society Feb 02, 2011 $59,259 -
$105,400
Associate Editor Mirrorball Group LLC Mar 10, 2014 $58,000
Associate Social Editor The Daily Dot, LLC Oct 01, 2015 $56,000
Associate Editor The New Press Inc. Jan 09, 2016 $45,967
Associate Editor AOL Inc. Aug 09, 2015 $45,800 -
$68,500
Associate Editor Penguin Random House LLC Aug 18, 2016 $45,780
Associate Editor Studio One Networks, Inc. Sep 22, 2011 $45,175
Associate Editor Penguin Random House LLC Jun 01, 2015 $45,000
Associate Editor Nowthis Media, Inc. Sep 01, 2014 $45,000
Associate Editor The Big Think Inc. Jun 13, 2016 $43,700 -
$47,500
Associate Editor China Daily Distribution Corp. Oct 01, 2015 $43,200

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Top Skills for An Associate Editor

  1. Web Content
  2. Online
  3. Edit Content
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Work with editor and staff in developing and organizing the content for ModelAviation magazine and web content media.
  • Monitored online discussion groups and teacher publications to identify and recruit excellent teachers to write materials for laboratory programs.
  • Craft and edit content, optimize it for the search engines, assign freelancers, and more.
  • Provided strategic direction for the Chinese-English bilingual magazine publication and website management to self-recruited editorial staff of eight.
  • Organized and posted medical news stories to numerous discipline-specific channels for a daily online international news wire service.

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Average Salary:

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Top 10 Best States for Associate Editors

  1. Connecticut
  2. District of Columbia
  3. Massachusetts
  4. California
  5. Delaware
  6. Maine
  7. Alaska
  8. New York
  9. Wisconsin
  10. Virginia
  • (38 jobs)
  • (82 jobs)
  • (68 jobs)
  • (230 jobs)
  • (1 jobs)
  • (7 jobs)
  • (6 jobs)
  • (360 jobs)
  • (15 jobs)
  • (109 jobs)

Associate Editor Resume Examples And Tips

The average resume reviewer spends between 5 to 7 seconds looking at a single resume, which leaves the average job applier with roughly six seconds to make a killer first impression. Thanks to this, a single typo or error on your resume can disqualify you right out of the gate. At Zippia, we went through over 6,656 Associate Editor resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

Learn How To Create A Top Notch Associate Editor Resume

View Resume Examples

Associate Editor Demographics

Gender

Female

54.3%

Male

41.6%

Unknown

4.1%
Ethnicity

White

62.3%

Hispanic or Latino

14.3%

Black or African American

11.2%

Asian

8.3%

Unknown

3.9%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

39.8%

French

18.9%

German

6.2%

Italian

5.8%

Chinese

4.5%

Mandarin

3.9%

Japanese

3.1%

Russian

2.9%

Arabic

2.7%

Portuguese

2.6%

Hindi

2.1%

Cantonese

1.4%

Hebrew

1.2%

Polish

1.0%

Korean

0.9%

Greek

0.9%

Turkish

0.7%

Nepali

0.7%

Urdu

0.5%

Marathi

0.3%
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Associate Editor Education

Schools

New York University

17.7%

Columbia University

8.1%

University of Texas at Austin

7.6%

Northwestern University

7.2%

Pennsylvania State University

5.0%

Syracuse University

4.8%

DePaul University

4.5%

Emerson College

4.0%

University of Missouri - Columbia

4.0%

Boston University

4.0%

University of Washington

3.8%

Arizona State University

3.6%

New School

3.6%

Columbia College Chicago

3.4%

University of Southern California

3.4%

University of Florida

3.1%

Temple University

3.1%

Ohio State University

3.1%

Fordham University

3.1%

University of Chicago

3.1%
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Majors

Journalism

21.5%

English

20.9%

Communication

10.8%

Writing

10.3%

Political Science

3.8%

Agricultural Public Services

3.5%

History

3.4%

Law

3.3%

Business

3.1%

Fine Arts

2.5%

Photography

2.4%

Marketing

2.3%

Psychology

1.8%

Liberal Arts

1.7%

General Education, Specific Areas

1.6%

Elementary Education

1.5%

Public Relations

1.5%

Education

1.5%

Publishing

1.5%

Philosophy

1.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

60.8%

Masters

25.6%

Doctorate

6.1%

Certificate

3.4%

Associate

2.4%

High School Diploma

1.4%

Diploma

0.3%

License

0.1%
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Updated May 18, 2020