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Become A Manuscript Editor

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Working As A Manuscript 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

  • $50,000

    Average Salary

Example Of What A Manuscript Editor does

  • Suggested pertinent changes to the authors and production staff, as needed.
  • edited journal articles, including editorial adaptation of graphs, tables, and figures.
  • Proofread and copyread articles from legal experts to prepare them for online and print publication.
  • Copy edited papers for the Astrophysical Journal
  • Formatted manuscripts for publication to public health, psychological, and substanceabuse journals Designed posters and figures for publication and poster presentations
  • Ensured compliance with AMA and RSNA styles; recast tables and figures as appropriate.
  • Coded text using soft-SGML and SGML languages extensively.
  • Edited and proofread manuscripts for scholarly journals using the APA Style format.
  • Edited 200+ scientific manuscripts (largely written by international, ESL scientists) for grammar, style, organization and clarity.
  • Edited 2 manuscripts successfully published in peer reviewed scientific journals and 1 book chapter published by Nova Science Publishers.
  • Edited scientific manuscripts written by non-native English speakers for grammar and clarity prior to publication.
  • Edited a variety of academic manuscripts, including dissertations, monographs, edited collections, and year-in-review volumes.
  • Assisted with the technical preparation of three scholarly book manuscripts.
  • Proofread colleagues' editorial changes, increasing quality and facilitating production.

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How To Become A Manuscript Editor

A bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, or English, combined with previous writing and proofreading experience, is typically required to be an editor.


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.


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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Manuscript Editor jobs

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Manuscript Editor Typical Career Paths

Manuscript Editor Demographics


  • Female

  • Male

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Asian

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • French

  • Chinese

  • German

  • Arabic

  • Russian

  • Greek

  • Mandarin

  • Urdu

  • Italian

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Manuscript Editor

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Manuscript Editor Education

Manuscript Editor

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Top Skills for A Manuscript Editor


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Top Manuscript Editor Skills

  1. Journal Articles
  2. Scientific Manuscripts
  3. Book Manuscript
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • edited journal articles, including editorial adaptation of graphs, tables, and figures.
  • Edited and formated over 20 scientific manuscripts
  • Edited book manuscripts for consistency in grammar, spelling, syntax, punctuation, conceptual/theoretical issues.
  • Converted and coded manuscript files in SGML; reviewed all stages of page proofs; copyedited new material; edited indexes.
  • Edited and proofread manuscripts for scholarly journals using the APA Style format.

Top Manuscript Editor Employers

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