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Become A Features Editor

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Working As A Features 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

  • $63,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Features 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 A Features 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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Features Editor Career Paths

Features Editor
Senior Editor Project Manager Marketing Manager
Senior Manager Of Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Editor Project Manager Marketing Director
Director Of Marketing & Development
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Editor Owner Marketing Director
Brand Director
10 Yearsyrs
President Field Director Communications Director
Director, Corporate Communications
10 Yearsyrs
President Senior Vice President Creative Director
Digital Director
9 Yearsyrs
President Interim Director Marketing Director
Director Of Marketing And Public Relations
6 Yearsyrs
Social Media Manager Owner Marketing Vice President
Vice President Of Marketing & Communications
12 Yearsyrs
Social Media Manager Founder Public Relations Director
Media Relations Director
5 Yearsyrs
Social Media Manager
Manager Of Digital Media
5 Yearsyrs
Owner Site Manager Communications Manager
Communications Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Editorial Director
Content Director
7 Yearsyrs
Editor In Chief Marketing Manager Marketing Communications Manager
Content Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Editor In Chief Content Manager
Web Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Editor In Chief Marketing Manager Marketing Program Manager
Online Marketing Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Senior Copywriter Content Strategist Content Manager
Senior Content Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Copywriter Content Manager
Digital Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Senior Copywriter Senior Writer
Publications Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Communications Manager Internal Communications Manager
Media Relations Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Content Strategist Digital Strategist
Digital Communications Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Features Editor?

Features Editor Demographics

Gender

Female

58.4%

Male

33.3%

Unknown

8.3%
Ethnicity

White

62.8%

Hispanic or Latino

14.7%

Black or African American

11.5%

Asian

7.4%

Unknown

3.7%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

46.5%

French

14.7%

German

5.4%

Italian

3.9%

Mandarin

3.1%

Cantonese

3.1%

Portuguese

3.1%

Hindi

3.1%

Thai

2.3%

Chinese

2.3%

Cheyenne

1.6%

Bengali

1.6%

Hebrew

1.6%

Tagalog

1.6%

Japanese

1.6%

Arabic

1.6%

Swedish

0.8%

Hausa

0.8%

Vietnamese

0.8%

Korean

0.8%
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Features Editor Education

Schools

New York University

12.7%

Syracuse University

6.6%

Northwestern University

6.6%

Temple University

6.6%

University of Missouri - Columbia

6.6%

Columbia University

4.8%

University of Iowa

4.8%

Texas State University

4.4%

Fordham University

4.4%

University of Florida

4.4%

Rowan University

4.4%

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

4.4%

Michigan State University

3.9%

Columbia College Chicago

3.9%

University of Southern California

3.9%

University of Georgia

3.9%

University of California - Irvine

3.5%

Illinois State University

3.5%

University of Maryland - College Park

3.5%

Emerson College

3.5%
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Majors

Journalism

31.3%

Communication

17.6%

English

16.2%

Writing

5.5%

Political Science

3.5%

Agricultural Public Services

3.3%

Psychology

2.7%

Business

2.6%

Photography

2.4%

Public Relations

2.3%

History

1.9%

Fine Arts

1.8%

Graphic Design

1.6%

Audiovisual Communications Technologies

1.3%

Liberal Arts

1.2%

Marketing

1.1%

Education

1.0%

Management

1.0%

Literature

0.9%

Digital Media

0.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

68.0%

Masters

16.8%

Other

10.2%

Certificate

1.8%

Associate

1.7%

Doctorate

1.2%

Diploma

0.3%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$63,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$37,000
Min 10%
$63,000
Median 50%
$63,000
Median 50%
$63,000
Median 50%
$63,000
Median 50%
$63,000
Median 50%
$63,000
Median 50%
$63,000
Median 50%
$107,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Conde Nast
Highest Paying City
Anchorage, AK
Highest Paying State
Alaska
Avg Experience Level
2.6 years
How much does a Features Editor make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Features Editor in the United States is $63,376 per year or $30 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $37,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $107,000.

Real Features Editor Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Features Editor Dow Jones and Company New York, NY Mar 14, 2011 $110,370
Features Editor Creativea, Inc. Buena Park, CA Apr 30, 2015 $108,618
Deputy Arts and Features Editor Guardian News and Media New York, NY Oct 01, 2015 $90,000
Deputy Arts and Features Editor Guardian News & Media New York, NY Oct 01, 2015 $84,053
Deputy Arts and Features Editor Guardian News & Media LLC New York, NY Oct 01, 2015 $84,053
Fashion Features Editor Advance Magazine Publishers Inc. DBA Conde Nast New York, NY Sep 26, 2016 $80,000
Features Editor New Star Realty Inc. Los Angeles, CA Nov 02, 2007 $70,228
Deputy Arts & Features Editor Guardian News & Media LLC New York, NY Jun 29, 2016 $63,419 -
$90,000
Features Editor IGN Entertainment, Inc. San Francisco, CA Apr 16, 2012 $60,000
Associate Digital Features Editor The Lucky Group Inc. New York, NY Jun 01, 2015 $42,500
Feature Editor China Daily Distribution Corporation West New York, NJ Sep 21, 2010 $41,490
Features Editor Daily World Press Inc. New York, NY Sep 04, 2014 $40,488
Features Editor Daily World Press, Inc. New York, NY Sep 24, 2012 $39,945
Features Editor The Town News, Inc. Garden Grove, CA Oct 01, 2011 $38,875

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Top Skills for A Features Editor

  1. Feature
  2. Daily Paper
  3. Editorial Staff
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Reported in a senior position during Spring 2012 semester covering higher education topics and community features.
  • Collaborated with expert authors and editorial staff to develop targeted and timely editorial content.
  • Managed page layout and graphic selection, consistently meeting weekly deadlines under pressure, and authoring both news and feature articles.
  • Cleaned up and adjusted images using Adobe Photoshop, leading to multiple awards.
  • Supervised features department, directing in-house and freelance writers on article development and completion.

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Top 10 Best States for Features Editors

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Massachusetts
  3. New York
  4. Connecticut
  5. Virginia
  6. California
  7. New Jersey
  8. Alabama
  9. Washington
  10. Rhode Island
  • (67 jobs)
  • (52 jobs)
  • (293 jobs)
  • (26 jobs)
  • (76 jobs)
  • (169 jobs)
  • (20 jobs)
  • (8 jobs)
  • (19 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)

Top Features Editor Employers

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