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Become An Editorial Director

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Working As An Editorial Director

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

  • Make Decisions

  • Repetitive

  • Stressful

  • $81,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Editorial Director 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 Editorial Director

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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Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Senior Editor 4.0 years
Editorial Director 4.0 years
Managing Editor 3.3 years
Editorial Manager 3.1 years
Deputy Editor 2.9 years
Content Director 2.4 years
Digital Editor 2.2 years
Top Careers Before Editorial Director
Editor 21.9%
Reporter 4.4%
Internship 2.6%
Director 2.0%
Consultant 1.6%
Writer 1.6%
Top Careers After Editorial Director
Editor 16.9%
Consultant 6.2%
Director 4.1%
Owner 3.8%
President 3.2%
Principal 2.9%
Author 2.2%
Writer 2.2%
Founder 2.1%

Do you work as an Editorial Director?

Average Yearly Salary
$81,000
Show Salaries
$39,000
Min 10%
$81,000
Median 50%
$81,000
Median 50%
$81,000
Median 50%
$81,000
Median 50%
$81,000
Median 50%
$81,000
Median 50%
$81,000
Median 50%
$167,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
J. C. Penney
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
Colorado
Avg Experience Level
4.1 years
How much does an Editorial Director make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Editorial Director in the United States is $81,082 per year or $39 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $39,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $168,000.

Real Editorial Director Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Manager/Editorial Director, Metro Books Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. New York, NY May 24, 2010 $160,000
Editorial Director Milk Makeup, LLC New York, NY May 01, 2016 $135,000
Editorial Director Milk Makeup, LLC New York, NY Nov 12, 2015 $135,000
Editorial Director Milk Makeup, LLC New York, NY Nov 01, 2016 $135,000
Editorial Director Bloomberg, LP New York, NY Jun 07, 2012 $134,000
Editorial Director Townsquare Management Company, LLC New York, NY Oct 01, 2012 $133,000
Editorial Director Bloomberg L.P. New York, NY Sep 15, 2010 $125,000
Editorial Director Regent Communications Inc. Greenwich, CT Nov 15, 2010 $102,000 -
$120,000
Editorial Director SFX Entertainment, Inc. New York, NY Aug 19, 2014 $100,000
Editorial Director SFX Entertainment, Inc. New York, NY Oct 01, 2014 $100,000
Editorial Director National Association of Corporate Directors Washington, DC Jan 23, 2011 $100,000
Editorial Director National Association of Corporate Directors Washington, DC Jan 24, 2011 $100,000
Editorial Director Bloomberg, LP New York, NY Jun 07, 2012 $100,000
Global Editorial Director Marsh USA Inc. New York, NY Jun 11, 2012 $98,400 -
$200,100
Editorial Director Pearson Education, Inc. White Plains, NY Aug 15, 2010 $97,635 -
$104,040
Editorial Director Bloomberg, LP New York, NY Jan 31, 2011 $90,000
Editorial Director Bloomberg, LP New York, NY Apr 07, 2012 $90,000
Editorial Director Delia*S, Inc. New York, NY Nov 19, 2014 $89,586
Regional Editorial Director Buzzfeed, Inc. New York, NY Oct 15, 2015 $88,000
Editorial Director E Consultancy, LLC. New York, NY Oct 18, 2011 $86,000
Associate Editorial Director Intermix LLC New York, NY Nov 15, 2016 $84,500
Editorial Director, CTR. for Monetary and Financial ALT. Cato Institute Washington, DC Jan 12, 2015 $82,000
Editorial Director, Social Impact Platforms AOL Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 30, 2014 $76,752

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Top Skills for An Editorial Director

  1. Web Content
  2. Editorial Calendar
  3. Editorial Staff
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed interactive web content based on contributions from Firefly users.
  • Planned editorial calendar and edited all content for award-winning patient education center program, including 60+ brochures with accompanying website.
  • Train and support editorial staff on newly implemented electronic publishing software.
  • Launched, redesigned, and managed primary online publications for University.
  • Supervised 50 remotely located freelance writers and photographers providing content for two publications.

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Top 10 Best States for Editorial Directors

  1. Colorado
  2. Texas
  3. California
  4. Minnesota
  5. Massachusetts
  6. Washington
  7. Utah
  8. Arizona
  9. District of Columbia
  10. North Dakota
  • (3 jobs)
  • (28 jobs)
  • (67 jobs)
  • (4 jobs)
  • (16 jobs)
  • (12 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)
  • (5 jobs)
  • (21 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)

Editorial Director Demographics

Gender

Female

47.1%

Male

43.5%

Unknown

9.4%
Ethnicity

White

63.2%

Hispanic or Latino

14.7%

Black or African American

11.8%

Asian

6.8%

Unknown

3.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

48.2%

German

8.2%

French

8.2%

Portuguese

7.1%

Italian

5.9%

Chinese

4.7%

Mandarin

4.7%

Russian

2.4%

Swahili

1.2%

Cantonese

1.2%

Japanese

1.2%

Gujarati

1.2%

Hindi

1.2%

Urdu

1.2%

Arabic

1.2%

Venda

1.2%

Korean

1.2%
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Editorial Director Education

Schools

New York University

13.2%

Northwestern University

8.2%

Temple University

6.2%

Columbia University

6.2%

Ohio University -

4.9%

University of California - Berkeley

4.9%

Pennsylvania State University

4.9%

Boston University

4.9%

Syracuse University

4.5%

University of Southern California

4.5%

University of Texas at Austin

4.5%

Emerson College

4.5%

University of Missouri - Columbia

4.1%

University of Kansas

4.1%

University of Pennsylvania

3.7%

University of Alabama

3.3%

Villanova University

3.3%

San Francisco State University

3.3%

Fordham University

3.3%

San Diego State University

3.3%
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Majors

Journalism

24.5%

English

22.1%

Communication

9.2%

Writing

6.0%

Business

5.8%

Political Science

4.6%

History

3.3%

Fine Arts

2.9%

Marketing

2.6%

Photography

2.3%

Public Relations

2.1%

Education

2.0%

Psychology

1.9%

Agricultural Public Services

1.8%

Management

1.8%

Law

1.8%

Liberal Arts

1.6%

Graphic Design

1.4%

General Education, Specific Areas

1.4%

Sociology

1.2%
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Degrees

Bachelors

53.0%

Masters

27.3%

Other

12.0%

Doctorate

3.7%

Certificate

2.5%

Associate

1.2%

Diploma

0.3%
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