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Copy Editor Careers

A copy editor is an essential part of the media and industrial world. Like an organ designed for checks and balance, the copy editor is a grammatical gatekeeper. A copy editor examines the grammar in a text, punctuation errors, and organization. Since data and information can be wrong, the validation of actual data falls on the copy editor. As a copy editor, you must be able to read and comprehend texts and reports. You must also be able to layout texts and grammatical demonstrations that are comprehensive for editorial policies. You will check typos, errant commas, incorrect sentences, and style to ensure clarity, readability, and correctness.

A degree in English language is the most preferred qualification for a copy editor. However, it is often dependent on the hirer. As such, other languages may be required. Regardless, a copy editor must have excellent control of grammar, spellings, punctuations, and formatting to ensure accuracy and understanding. You must also be able to pay attention to details and possess strong written and communication skills. The average salary of a copy editor is $48,669 annually.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a copy editor. For example, did you know that they make an average of $23.06 an hour? That's $47,975 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow -3% and produce -3,400 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Copy Editor Do

There are certain skills that many copy editors have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed creativity, detail oriented and good judgment.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a copy editor, we found that a lot of resumes listed 7.9% of copy editors included news stories, while 7.5% of resumes included layout, and 6.8% of resumes included editorial staff. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the copy editor job title. But what industry to start with? Most copy editors actually find jobs in the media and education industries.

How To Become a Copy Editor

If you're interested in becoming a copy editor, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 70.8% of copy editors have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 17.5% of copy editors have master's degrees. Even though most copy editors have a college degree, it's impossible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a copy editor. When we researched the most common majors for a copy editor, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on copy editor resumes include associate degree degrees or doctoral degree degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a copy editor. In fact, many copy editor jobs require experience in a role such as editor. Meanwhile, many copy editors also have previous career experience in roles such as internship or reporter.

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Average Salary
$47,975
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
-3%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
6,498
Job Openings

Copy Editor Career Paths

Top Careers Before Copy Editor

Editor
13.4 %
Reporter
10.7 %

Top Careers After Copy Editor

Editor
19.0 %

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Copy Editor

Copy Editors in America make an average salary of $47,975 per year or $23 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $72,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $31,000 per year.
Average Salary
$47,975

Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Washington, DC
Salary Range47k - 88k$65k$64,784
San Francisco, CA
Salary Range46k - 82k$62k$61,511
Jersey City, NJ
Salary Range44k - 84k$61k$61,221
Boston, MA
Salary Range40k - 75k$55k$55,151
Anchorage, AK
Salary Range51k - 57k$54k$54,179
New York, NY
Salary Range37k - 72k$53k$52,549
$28k
$88k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Copy Editor
Copy Editor
Robert Half
Robert Half
01/28/2021
01/28/2021
$59,48001/28/2021
$59,480
Copy Editor
Copy Editor
Robert Half
Robert Half
12/22/2020
12/22/2020
$39,65312/22/2020
$39,653
Copy Editor (Pharma)
Copy Editor (Pharma)
Robert Half
Robert Half
12/16/2020
12/16/2020
$70,00012/16/2020
$70,000
Copy Editor
Copy Editor
Randstad
Randstad
12/02/2020
12/02/2020
$62,61012/02/2020
$62,610
Bilingual Copy Editor
Bilingual Copy Editor
Robert Half
Robert Half
10/15/2020
10/15/2020
$51,54910/15/2020
$51,549
See More Recent Salaries

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Copy Editor Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Copy Editor. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Copy Editor Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Copy 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.

View Detailed Information

Copy Editor Demographics

Gender

female

57.3 %

male

38.8 %

unknown

3.9 %

Ethnicity

White

78.4 %

Hispanic or Latino

7.8 %

Asian

7.0 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

43.1 %

French

20.6 %

German

7.4 %
See More Demographics

Copy Editor Education

Majors

English
23.5 %

Degrees

Bachelors

70.8 %

Masters

17.5 %

Certificate

4.1 %

Top Colleges for Copy Editors

1. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,832
Enrollment
4,550

3. New York University

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,828
Enrollment
26,339

4. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

5. Washington University in St Louis

Saint Louis, MO • Private

In-State Tuition
$53,399
Enrollment
7,356

6. University of Southern California

Los Angeles, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$56,225
Enrollment
19,548

7. University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX • Public

In-State Tuition
$10,610
Enrollment
40,329

8. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

9. Stanford University

Stanford, CA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,354
Enrollment
7,083

10. University of Washington

Seattle, WA • Public

In-State Tuition
$11,207
Enrollment
30,905
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Copy Editor

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 7.9% of copy editors listed news stories on their resume, but soft skills such as creativity and detail oriented are important as well.

Best States For a Copy Editor

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a copy editor. The best states for people in this position are New Jersey, California, Delaware, and Massachusetts. Copy editors make the most in New Jersey with an average salary of $61,548. Whereas in California and Delaware, they would average $59,346 and $55,714, respectively. While copy editors would only make an average of $55,398 in Massachusetts, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. District of Columbia

Total Copy Editor Jobs:
222
Highest 10% Earn:
$115,000
Location Quotient:
5.18
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. New Jersey

Total Copy Editor Jobs:
197
Highest 10% Earn:
$111,000
Location Quotient:
0.97
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. California

Total Copy Editor Jobs:
1,002
Highest 10% Earn:
$100,000
Location Quotient:
1.34
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Copy Editor Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ copy editors and discovered their number of copy editor opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that The Dallas Morning News was the best, especially with an average salary of $34,781. Dow Jones follows up with an average salary of $45,760, and then comes Gannett with an average of $58,578. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a copy editor. The employers include Cline Davis & Mann, Inc., Omnicom Health Group, and She Knows Media

1. The Dallas Morning News
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$34,781
Copy Editors Hired: 
36+
2. Dow Jones
4.8
Avg. Salary: 
$45,760
Copy Editors Hired: 
36+
3. Gannett
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$58,578
Copy Editors Hired: 
33+
4. Daily News
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$62,172
Copy Editors Hired: 
33+
5. Wiley
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$44,385
Copy Editors Hired: 
25+
6. The Boston Globe
4.1
Avg. Salary: 
$32,630
Copy Editors Hired: 
24+

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