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Average Salary
$51,516
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
-3%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
11,243
Job Openings

Editor Careers

Not a lot of people enjoy writing. So what's the opposite of writing? Editing. If you don't enjoy writing, maybe you will enjoy editing other people's mistakes. Maybe that red pen will become your best friend.

Essentially editors plan, review and revise content before it is released for publication. While most editors work in an office, there are a lot of remote opportunities for editors so maybe you could make your couch your home office.

What Does an 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.

How To Become an 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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Average Salary
$51,516
Average Salary
Job Growth Rate
-3%
Job Growth Rate
Job Openings
11,243
Job Openings

Editor Career Paths

Top Careers Before Editor

Top Careers After Editor

Editor Jobs You Might Like

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Average Salary for an Editor

Editors in America make an average salary of $51,516 per year or $25 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $77,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $34,000 per year.
Average Salary
$51,516
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Best Paying Cities

City
ascdesc
Average Salarydesc
Worcester, MA
Salary Range50k - 94k$69k$69,010
Washington, DC
Salary Range50k - 93k$69k$68,987
New York, NY
Salary Range46k - 86k$64k$63,704
Edison, NJ
Salary Range44k - 81k$60k$60,257
Seattle, WA
Salary Range41k - 74k$55k$55,295
Bethesda, MD
Salary Range40k - 74k$55k$55,126
$29k
$94k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyascdescCompanyascdescStart DateascdescSalaryascdesc
Hachette Book Group
Editor, Running Press
Editor, Running Press
Hachette Book Group
Hachette Book Group
06/30/2021
06/30/2021
$60,00006/30/2021
$60,000
Editor (Limited Term)
Editor (Limited Term)
Pearson
Pearson
06/26/2021
06/26/2021
$45,91406/26/2021
$45,914
Editor (Limited Term)
Editor (Limited Term)
Pearson
Pearson
06/26/2021
06/26/2021
$45,91406/26/2021
$45,914
Pearson
Editor (Limited Term)
Editor (Limited Term)
Pearson
Pearson
06/26/2021
06/26/2021
$45,91406/26/2021
$45,914
Editor (Limited Term)
Editor (Limited Term)
Pearson
Pearson
06/26/2021
06/26/2021
$45,91406/26/2021
$45,914
See More Recent Salaries

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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 an 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 an Editor Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless 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

Editor Demographics

Gender

female

50.6 %

male

44.5 %

unknown

4.9 %

Ethnicity

White

78.2 %

Hispanic or Latino

7.9 %

Asian

7.1 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

39.9 %

French

17.5 %

Chinese

6.2 %
See More Demographics

Editor Education

Majors

English
21.9 %

Degrees

Bachelors

71.3 %

Masters

9.6 %

Certificate

7.6 %

Top Colleges for 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 • Private

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 • Private

In-State Tuition
$11,207
Enrollment
30,905
See More Education Info

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Top Skills For an 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, 13.6% of editors listed web content on their resume, but soft skills such as creativity and detail oriented are important as well.

  • Web Content, 13.6%
  • Video Production, 7.7%
  • Layout, 7.6%
  • News Stories, 6.4%
  • SEO, 5.6%
  • Other Skills, 59.1%
  • See All Editor Skills

Best States For an Editor

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as an editor. The best states for people in this position are Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, and Rhode Island. Editors make the most in Massachusetts with an average salary of $68,922. Whereas in Connecticut and New York, they would average $63,951 and $63,519, respectively. While editors would only make an average of $63,336 in Rhode Island, 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. Massachusetts

Total Editor Jobs:
378
Highest 10% Earn:
$121,000
Location Quotient:
1.25
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. District of Columbia

Total Editor Jobs:
242
Highest 10% Earn:
$121,000
Location Quotient:
4.38
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. New York

Total Editor Jobs:
1,004
Highest 10% Earn:
$111,000
Location Quotient:
2.38
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 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 editors and discovered their number of editor opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that Bloomberg was the best, especially with an average salary of $84,307. WarnerMedia follows up with an average salary of $52,443, and then comes PR Newswire with an average of $69,715. 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 an editor. The employers include j2 Global, Univision Holdings, and Cambium Learning Group

1. Bloomberg
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$84,307
Editors Hired: 
97+
2. WarnerMedia
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$52,443
Editors Hired: 
49+
3. PR Newswire
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$69,715
Editors Hired: 
49+
4. McGraw-Hill Education
4.7
Avg. Salary: 
$48,513
Editors Hired: 
46+
5. CBS
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$58,775
Editors Hired: 
42+
6. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$52,885
Editors Hired: 
37+

Editor Videos