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Become A Photo Editor

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Working As A Photo 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

  • $74,130

    Average Salary

What Does A Photo 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 Photo 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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Photo Editor jobs

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Photo Editor Career Paths

Photo Editor
Director Of Photography Creative Director Marketing Director
Brand Director
11 Yearsyrs
Editor Marketing Manager
Communications Director
7 Yearsyrs
Writer And Editor Content Manager
Content Director
7 Yearsyrs
Director Of Photography Producer Writer And Editor
Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Production Manager Product Manager Marketing Communications Manager
Content Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Video Editor Production Manager Art Director
Creative Services Director
8 Yearsyrs
Art Director Graphic Designer, Marketing Senior Graphic Designer
Creative Services Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer Marketing Specialist Marketing Manager
Digital Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Graphic Artist Media Specialist Media Director
Digital Media Director
7 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer Marketing Manager Marketing Director
Director Of Communications And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Art Director Account Executive Public Relations
Director Of Marketing And Public Relations
7 Yearsyrs
Reporter Communications Manager Marketing Consultant
Head Of Marketing
6 Yearsyrs
Editor Account Executive Marketing Specialist
Marketing Communications Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Photographer Delivery Driver Operations Manager
Marketing Director
7 Yearsyrs
Photographer Specialist Account Manager
Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Reporter Communications Director Marketing Consultant
Marketing Strategist
6 Yearsyrs
Producer Writer And Editor Social Media Manager
Marketing/Social Media Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Video Editor Media Specialist Media Manager
Media Director
5 Yearsyrs
Producer Marketing Director Search Engine Optimizer
Online Marketing Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Writer And Editor Senior Writer Managing Editor
Publications Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Executive Editor 3.4 years
Managing Editor 3.3 years
Newsletter Editor 2.7 years
Editor 2.6 years
Associate Editor 2.5 years
Newspaper Editor 2.5 years
Magazine Editor 2.4 years
Design Editor 2.4 years
Video Editor 2.4 years
Image Editor 2.2 years
Digital Editor 2.1 years
Assistant Editor 2.0 years
Web Editor 2.0 years
Photo Editor 2.0 years
Photography Editor 1.9 years
Web Content Editor 1.9 years
Art Editor 1.8 years
Top Employers Before
Internship 14.8%
Photographer 13.7%
Editor 3.9%
Cashier 3.4%
Researcher 3.0%
Volunteer 2.7%
Top Employers After
Photographer 18.7%
Internship 9.2%
Editor 6.3%
Researcher 3.0%
Volunteer 2.8%
Director 2.7%
Cashier 2.3%
Owner 2.2%

Photo Editor Demographics

Gender

Female

54.4%

Male

43.3%

Unknown

2.3%
Ethnicity

White

78.7%

Hispanic or Latino

10.6%

Asian

8.6%

Unknown

1.5%

Black or African American

0.6%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

39.2%

French

15.1%

German

6.6%

Chinese

4.8%

Japanese

4.8%

Mandarin

4.2%

Korean

4.2%

Russian

3.6%

Italian

3.0%

Cantonese

2.4%

Danish

1.8%

Portuguese

1.8%

Swedish

1.2%

Romanian

1.2%

Bosnian

1.2%

Vietnamese

1.2%

Armenian

1.2%

Arabic

1.2%

Swahili

0.6%

Turkish

0.6%
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Photo Editor Education

Schools

School of Visual Arts

9.4%

Columbia College Chicago

7.7%

Savannah College of Art and Design

7.4%

San Francisco State University

6.4%

University of Missouri - Columbia

6.4%

Rochester Institute of Technology

5.7%

New York University

5.4%

Fashion Institute of Technology

5.1%

Syracuse University

4.7%

Temple University

4.7%

Iowa State University

4.7%

University of Kansas

4.4%

Academy of Art University

4.0%

Ball State University

4.0%

University of Oregon

3.7%

Boston University

3.7%

American University

3.4%

University of Washington

3.4%

Brooks Institute

3.0%

Ohio University -

2.7%
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Majors

Photography

21.5%

Graphic Design

15.1%

Journalism

14.8%

Communication

11.0%

Fine Arts

9.7%

Business

3.7%

English

2.9%

Design And Visual Communication

2.4%

Computer Applications

2.1%

Marketing

2.1%

Public Relations

1.9%

Agricultural Public Services

1.6%

Psychology

1.6%

Visual And Performing Arts

1.5%

Audiovisual Communications Technologies

1.4%

Liberal Arts

1.4%

Political Science

1.4%

History

1.4%

Advertising

1.4%

Writing

1.3%
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Degrees

Bachelors

61.4%

Other

16.3%

Masters

10.4%

Associate

7.7%

Certificate

2.9%

Diploma

0.6%

Doctorate

0.5%

License

0.2%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Photo Editor Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Online Photo Editor Parade Publications New York, NY Jan 28, 2013 $85,000
Associate Photo Editor Time Inc. New York, NY Apr 06, 2012 $83,000 -
$93,000
Deputy Photo Editor Time Inc. New York, NY May 16, 2010 $80,000 -
$90,000
Deputy Photo Editor Time Inc. New York, NY Apr 05, 2010 $80,000 -
$90,000
Associate Photo Editor Time Inc. New York, NY Aug 31, 2013 $61,000 -
$71,000
Senior Photo Editor Source Interlink Magazines LLC San Clemente, CA Mar 15, 2011 $60,863
Photo Editor Hollywoodlife.Com, LLC New York, NY Mar 01, 2012 $55,000
Photo Editor ZUMA Press, Inc. Dana Point, CA Mar 30, 2009 $50,336
Film and Photo Editor Lilian Haidar Photography and Film LLC New York, NY Sep 14, 2013 $47,020
Photo Editor/Photo Graphic Technician Stars & Stripes Washington, DC Feb 15, 2010 $46,073
Photo Editor/Photo Graphics Technician Stars & Stripes Washington, DC Jan 31, 2010 $46,073
Associate Photo Editor Nomad Editions LLC New York, NY Nov 21, 2011 $43,827
Photo Editor Washington Iranians Media, Inc. Ashburn, VA Mar 23, 2010 $41,740
Photo Editor Partos Company, LLC Santa Monica, CA May 01, 2014 $40,300
Photo Editor Partos Company, LLC Santa Monica, CA May 05, 2014 $40,300

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Top Skills for A Photo Editor

AdobePhotoshopStockPhotographyDailyNewspaperArtDirectionCompanyWebsitePhotoShootsLayoutAdobeLightroomVideoPhotoResearchPhotoAssignmentsColorCorrectionAdobeIndesignEditPhotosPhotoDepartmentSelectAdobeIllustratorCustomerServiceGraphicDesignFreelancePhotographers

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Top Photo Editor Skills

  1. Adobe Photoshop
  2. Stock Photography
  3. Daily Newspaper
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Corrected images using Adobe Photoshop and other photo correcting programs on both PC and MAC.
  • Maintain a consistent look and feel for the branding of each magazine using a mix of original and stock photography.
  • Scheduled and photographed news, sports and events for daily newspaper, sister publications and the Associated Press.
  • Maintained budgets, negotiated contracts, art direction, and editing and final art preparation for press.
  • Developed and managed company website.

Top Photo Editor Employers

Photo Editor Videos

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