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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

  • $51,000

    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 Career Paths

Editor
Technical Writer Project Manager Marketing Director
Brand Director
10 Yearsyrs
Consultant Owner Marketing Director
Director Of Marketing And Public Relations
6 Yearsyrs
Consultant General Manager Marketing Director
Director Of Digital Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Public Relations Manager Manager Of Corporate Communications
Director, Corporate Communications
10 Yearsyrs
Consultant Marketing Manager Director Of Communications And Marketing
Vice President Of Marketing & Communications
12 Yearsyrs
Technical Editor Technical Writer Web Developer
Web Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Senior Account Executive Public Relations Director
Media Relations Director
5 Yearsyrs
Manager Property Manager Communications Manager
Communications Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Contributing Writer Content Writer Staff Writer
Public Information Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Marketing Manager Marketing Communications Manager
Content Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Contributing Writer Managing Editor
Publications Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Managing Editor Content Manager
Senior Content Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Owner Art Director Creative Director
Digital Director
9 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Marketing Specialist Digital Marketing Specialist
Online Marketing Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Contributing Writer Managing Editor Content Manager
Content Director
7 Yearsyrs
Technical Writer Content Manager
Digital Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Marketing Consultant Communications Consultant
Media Relations Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Marketing Manager Social Media Manager
Manager Of Digital Media
5 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Communications Manager Social Media Manager
Marketing Strategist
6 Yearsyrs
Assistant Manager Communications Manager Social Media Manager
Digital Communications Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as an Editor?

Average Yearly Salary
$51,000
Show Salaries
$32,000
Min 10%
$51,000
Median 50%
$51,000
Median 50%
$51,000
Median 50%
$51,000
Median 50%
$51,000
Median 50%
$51,000
Median 50%
$51,000
Median 50%
$79,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Moody's
Highest Paying City
Washington, DC
Highest Paying State
Delaware
Avg Experience Level
2.6 years
How much does an Editor make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Editor in the United States is $51,092 per year or $25 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $32,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $79,000.

The largest raises come from changing jobs.

See what's out there.

Real Editor Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Editor Rodale Inc. Sep 23, 2016 $200,000
International Editor Fusion Media Network, LLC Dec 22, 2015 $150,000
Editor Bloomberg, LP Sep 15, 2015 $145,000
Filing Editor Reuters America LLC Jul 09, 2015 $133,900
Product Editor Square, Inc. Jan 10, 2015 $126,500
Product Editor Square, Inc. Oct 01, 2015 $126,500
Editor Dow Jones and Company Jul 01, 2015 $120,000
Editor Dow Jones and Company Jul 31, 2015 $120,000
Editor Motorsport.com, Inc. Sep 10, 2015 $120,000
Editor-In Churchill Downs Incorporated Oct 01, 2015 $120,000
Marcom Editor Apple Inc. Oct 09, 2016 $110,000 -
$130,000
Editor Bloomberg, LP Jul 15, 2016 $110,000
Reports Editor Bloomberg, LP Jan 20, 2015 $110,000
Editor Endgame 360, Inc. Oct 01, 2015 $105,000
VFX Editor Trugolf, Inc. Dec 24, 2016 $61,756
Editor The Mathworks, Inc. Sep 13, 2016 $61,000 -
$95,400
Editor Taran Tactical Innovations, LLC. Oct 20, 2016 $60,590
Editor Cuny TV, Cuny Feb 06, 2016 $60,565
Editor Oromia Media Network Inc. Aug 01, 2015 $60,000
Editor Passport Brand Design LLC Feb 20, 2016 $60,000
Literary Editor United Talent Agency Mar 09, 2016 $60,000
Copywriter & Editor Contentink LLC Jan 11, 2015 $60,000
Simplified Chinese Editor and Reviewer Multiling Corporation Nov 18, 2016 $44,845
Editor Lo-FI Pictures, LLC Sep 09, 2015 $44,720
Editor-American Politics Suncloud Media, Inc. Oct 13, 2016 $44,578
Research Editor Duo Creative Communications Inc. Sep 13, 2016 $44,400
Editor Fishbowl LLC Jan 05, 2015 $44,304
Editor C. 2K Entertainment, Inc. Sep 12, 2015 $44,304

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Top Skills for An Editor

  1. Web Content
  2. Online
  3. Weekly Newspaper
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Guided and developed Web content; consistently received excellent magazine readership survey ratings.
  • Organized projects including logging/digitizing footage, element organization, scheduling transfer, effects artists, online editorial and audio recording sessions.
  • Managed and edited 117-year-old weekly newspaper that covered local municipalities, school districts and community affairs in Albany County.
  • Assumed other department responsibilities such as video production and editing.
  • Edited articles for the Toledo City Paper Used Adobe InDesign CS3 and Adobe PhotoShop CS3 to create graphics for the website.

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Top 10 Best States for Editors

  1. Connecticut
  2. District of Columbia
  3. Massachusetts
  4. Delaware
  5. Maine
  6. Rhode Island
  7. New York
  8. Alaska
  9. Indiana
  10. Virginia
  • (58 jobs)
  • (143 jobs)
  • (151 jobs)
  • (6 jobs)
  • (11 jobs)
  • (7 jobs)
  • (575 jobs)
  • (10 jobs)
  • (25 jobs)
  • (198 jobs)

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 54,677 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 Editor Resume

View Resume Examples

Editor Demographics

Gender

Female

50.6%

Male

44.5%

Unknown

4.9%
Ethnicity

White

61.0%

Hispanic or Latino

15.0%

Black or African American

11.1%

Asian

8.9%

Unknown

4.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

39.9%

French

17.5%

Chinese

6.2%

German

6.1%

Mandarin

5.2%

Italian

4.2%

Japanese

3.7%

Russian

3.5%

Portuguese

2.6%

Arabic

2.5%

Korean

2.1%

Cantonese

1.2%

Hindi

1.2%

Greek

0.9%

Hebrew

0.8%

Turkish

0.6%

Dutch

0.6%

Urdu

0.6%

Swedish

0.4%

Tagalog

0.4%
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Editor Education

Schools

New York University

11.2%

University of Texas at Austin

6.3%

Full Sail University

5.6%

Columbia College Chicago

5.1%

Pennsylvania State University

5.0%

Emerson College

4.9%

San Francisco State University

4.9%

Brigham Young University

4.9%

University of California - Los Angeles

4.7%

Florida State University

4.6%

Temple University

4.5%

University of Missouri - Columbia

4.5%

Columbia University

4.5%

University of Washington

4.5%

University of Florida

4.4%

Syracuse University

4.4%

American University

4.1%

Northwestern University

4.1%

Arizona State University

4.0%

University of Maryland - College Park

3.9%
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Majors

English

18.1%

Journalism

15.3%

Communication

13.0%

Photography

9.2%

Writing

8.7%

Business

4.4%

Political Science

3.7%

Psychology

3.0%

Fine Arts

2.8%

History

2.7%

Graphic Design

2.6%

Law

2.4%

Public Relations

2.3%

Agricultural Public Services

2.3%

Marketing

2.1%

Liberal Arts

1.8%

General Education, Specific Areas

1.6%

Linguistics

1.4%

Computer Science

1.4%

Digital Media

1.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

63.9%

Masters

18.2%

Associate

5.7%

Doctorate

4.1%

Certificate

3.9%

High School Diploma

3.0%

Diploma

1.0%

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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