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Become An Editor

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Working As An Editor

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

  • Make Decisions

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $47,185

    Average Salary

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.

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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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Editor Videos

How to Become a Fashion Editor

To Be An Editor

Fashion Editor Shiona Turini: A Day In the Life

Editor Jobs

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Editor Career Paths

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Average Length of Employment
Publishing Editor 4.8 years
Senior Editor 3.9 years
Executive Editor 3.5 years
Managing Editor 3.3 years
Editor 3.0 years
Copy Editor 2.8 years
Features Editor 2.6 years
News Editor 2.6 years
Design Editor 2.5 years
Associate Editor 2.5 years
Magazine Editor 2.5 years
Newspaper Editor 2.4 years
Online Editor 2.1 years
Assistant Editor 2.0 years
Content Editor 2.0 years
Web Editor 2.0 years
Multimedia Editor 1.8 years
Co-Editor 1.6 years
Top Careers Before Editor
Internship 14.1%
Reporter 8.6%
Writer 4.1%
Teacher 3.6%
Volunteer 3.3%
Assistant 2.4%
Top Careers After Editor
Internship 9.4%
Writer 5.4%
Reporter 5.0%
Teacher 3.8%
Director 3.8%
Volunteer 3.4%
Consultant 3.3%
Owner 2.9%
Instructor 2.9%

Do you work as an Editor?

Editor Demographics

Gender

Female

52.9%

Male

44.5%

Unknown

2.6%
Ethnicity

White

61.5%

Hispanic or Latino

14.4%

Black or African American

10.9%

Asian

9.1%

Unknown

4.1%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

39.8%

French

17.6%

German

6.2%

Chinese

6.0%

Mandarin

4.9%

Italian

4.1%

Japanese

3.9%

Russian

3.6%

Portuguese

2.7%

Arabic

2.4%

Korean

2.1%

Hindi

1.3%

Cantonese

1.1%

Greek

1.0%

Hebrew

0.7%

Dutch

0.6%

Urdu

0.6%

Turkish

0.6%

Swedish

0.4%

Vietnamese

0.4%
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Editor Education

Schools

New York University

10.1%

Syracuse University

6.5%

University of Missouri - Columbia

5.8%

Temple University

5.8%

Columbia College Chicago

5.6%

University of Texas at Austin

5.3%

University of Iowa

5.1%

Full Sail University

4.7%

Northwestern University

4.7%

San Francisco State University

4.6%

Emerson College

4.6%

Florida State University

4.6%

Michigan State University

4.3%

University of Florida

4.3%

Columbia University

4.3%

American University

4.2%

Boston University

4.1%

Arizona State University

4.0%

Pennsylvania State University

3.9%

University of Washington

3.7%
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Majors

English

18.8%

Journalism

16.7%

Communication

13.2%

Writing

8.6%

Photography

8.2%

Business

4.7%

Political Science

3.3%

History

3.0%

Law

2.8%

Fine Arts

2.6%

Psychology

2.6%

Public Relations

2.3%

Marketing

2.1%

Graphic Design

2.0%

Agricultural Public Services

2.0%

Education

1.6%

Liberal Arts

1.4%

Elementary Education

1.4%

Digital Media

1.3%

Linguistics

1.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

52.9%

Masters

21.5%

Other

13.7%

Doctorate

4.7%

Associate

3.6%

Certificate

2.9%

Diploma

0.6%

License

0.1%
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Editor Videos

How to Become a Fashion Editor

To Be An Editor

Fashion Editor Shiona Turini: A Day In the Life

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Part Time
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Real Editor Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Editor Rodale Inc. Emmaus, PA Sep 23, 2016 $200,000
International Editor Fusion Media Network, LLC Miami, FL Dec 22, 2015 $150,000
Editor Bloomberg, LP New York, NY Sep 15, 2015 $145,000
Filing Editor Reuters America LLC Washington, DC Jul 09, 2015 $133,900
Product Editor Square, Inc. San Francisco, CA Jan 10, 2015 $126,500
Product Editor Square, Inc. San Francisco, CA Oct 01, 2015 $126,500
Editor Dow Jones and Company South Brunswick, NJ Jul 01, 2015 $120,000
Editor Dow Jones and Company New York, NY Jul 31, 2015 $120,000
Editor Motorsport.Com, Inc. Miami, FL Sep 10, 2015 $120,000
Editor-In Churchill Downs Incorporated Atlanta, GA Oct 01, 2015 $120,000
Reports Editor Bloomberg, LP New York, NY Jan 20, 2015 $110,000
Marcom Editor Apple Inc. Coral Gables, FL Oct 09, 2016 $110,000 -
$130,000
Editor Bloomberg, LP San Francisco, CA Jul 15, 2016 $110,000
Editor Endgame 360, Inc. Islandia, NY Oct 01, 2015 $105,000
VFX Editor Trugolf, Inc. Centerville, UT Dec 24, 2016 $61,756
Editor The Mathworks, Inc. Natick, MA Sep 13, 2016 $61,000 -
$95,400
Editor Taran Tactical Innovations, LLC. Simi Valley, CA Oct 20, 2016 $60,590
Editor Cuny TV, Cuny New York, NY Feb 06, 2016 $60,565
Editor Motorsport.Com, Inc. Miami, FL Sep 10, 2015 $60,000
Literary Editor United Talent Agency Beverly Hills, CA Mar 09, 2016 $60,000
Editor Passport Brand Design LLC Newport Beach, CA Feb 20, 2016 $60,000
Copywriter & Editor Contentink LLC New York, NY Jan 11, 2015 $60,000
Simplified Chinese Editor and Reviewer Multiling Corporation Provo, UT Nov 18, 2016 $44,845
Editor Lo-FI Pictures, LLC New York, NY Sep 09, 2015 $44,720
Editor-American Politics Suncloud Media, Inc. New York, NY Oct 13, 2016 $44,578
Research Editor Duo Creative Communications Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 13, 2016 $44,400
Editor C. 2K Entertainment, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Sep 12, 2015 $44,304
Editor Fishbowl LLC Los Angeles, CA Jan 05, 2015 $44,304

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Top Skills for An Editor

  1. Web
  2. Student Newspaper
  3. Online Content
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Created web-based student submission form; eliminated need for followup information collection.
  • Managed production of the weekly student newspaper and represented the publication for all interactions with college administration.
  • Managed and indexed online content for Psychology Today website.
  • Edited submissions; designed layouts; distributed publications; coordinated campus feedback
  • Confer with management and editorial staff members regarding placement and emphasis of developing news stories.

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Top 10 Best States for Editors

  1. Massachusetts
  2. District of Columbia
  3. Washington
  4. New York
  5. Virginia
  6. Connecticut
  7. Maryland
  8. Georgia
  9. Rhode Island
  10. California
  • (151 jobs)
  • (143 jobs)
  • (84 jobs)
  • (575 jobs)
  • (198 jobs)
  • (58 jobs)
  • (94 jobs)
  • (62 jobs)
  • (7 jobs)
  • (474 jobs)

Top Editor Employers

Jobs From Top Editor Employers

Editor Videos

How to Become a Fashion Editor

To Be An Editor

Fashion Editor Shiona Turini: A Day In the Life

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