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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

  • $57,000

    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 Career Paths

Photo Editor
Graphic Designer Editor Public Relations Manager
Manager Of Corporate Communications
7 Yearsyrs
Editor Owner Marketing Director
Director Of Marketing And Public Relations
6 Yearsyrs
Editor Project Manager Marketing Director
Director Of Digital Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer Web Designer Web Developer
Web Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer Senior Graphic Designer Marketing Director
Vice President Of Marketing & Communications
12 Yearsyrs
Freelance Photographer Writer And Editor Managing Editor
Publications Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Reporter Communications Consultant Marketing Communications Manager
Content Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Reporter Managing Editor Content Manager
Senior Content Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Reporter Senior Writer Creative Director
Digital Director
9 Yearsyrs
Designer Principal Public Relations Director
Media Relations Director
5 Yearsyrs
Video Editor Senior Editor Content Manager
Content Director
7 Yearsyrs
Producer Marketing Manager Marketing Manager/Project Manager
Digital Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Freelance Photographer Writer And Editor Public Relations Specialist
Media Relations Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Video Editor Producer Content Manager
Digital Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Producer Marketing Specialist Digital Marketing Specialist
Online Marketing Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Video Editor Social Media Manager
Manager Of Digital Media
5 Yearsyrs
Freelance Photographer Writer And Editor Senior Editor
Bureau Chief
7 Yearsyrs
Graphic Artist Marketing Specialist Social Media Manager
Marketing Strategist
6 Yearsyrs
Artist Studio Manager Traffic Manager
Freelance Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Artist Social Media Manager
Digital Communications Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Photo Editor?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Senior Editor 4.0 years
Staff Photographer 3.7 years
Executive Editor 3.5 years
Managing Editor 3.3 years
Editor 2.6 years
News Editor 2.6 years
Associate Editor 2.5 years
Magazine Editor 2.4 years
Design Editor 2.4 years
Image Editor 2.3 years
Photo Editor 2.0 years
Web Editor 2.0 years
Assistant Editor 2.0 years
Content Editor 1.9 years
Multimedia Editor 1.9 years
Photography Editor 1.8 years
Co-Editor 1.6 years
Top Careers Before Photo Editor
Internship 15.6%
Photographer 14.3%
Assistant 5.6%
Cashier 4.1%
Researcher 4.1%
Editor 3.5%
Volunteer 2.5%
Top Careers After Photo Editor
Photographer 18.6%
Internship 10.0%
Editor 5.7%
Cashier 3.3%
Researcher 3.2%
Owner 2.8%
Assistant 2.7%
Volunteer 2.7%
Director 2.6%

Do you work as a Photo Editor?

Photo Editor Demographics

Gender

Female

49.2%

Male

38.8%

Unknown

12.0%
Ethnicity

White

60.8%

Hispanic or Latino

16.3%

Black or African American

10.8%

Asian

8.1%

Unknown

4.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

42.0%

French

15.1%

German

7.3%

Japanese

4.6%

Italian

4.1%

Chinese

3.7%

Mandarin

3.2%

Korean

3.2%

Russian

3.2%

Arabic

2.3%

Cantonese

1.8%

Romanian

1.4%

Danish

1.4%

Portuguese

1.4%

Swedish

0.9%

Vietnamese

0.9%

Norwegian

0.9%

Armenian

0.9%

Greek

0.9%

Polish

0.9%
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Photo Editor Education

Schools

School of Visual Arts

10.0%

New York University

9.1%

Columbia College Chicago

7.2%

Fashion Institute of Technology

6.9%

Savannah College of Art and Design

6.7%

Rochester Institute of Technology

6.5%

San Francisco State University

5.2%

University of Missouri - Columbia

5.2%

Syracuse University

4.6%

Academy of Art University

4.1%

Art Institute of Pittsburgh

4.1%

University of Texas at Austin

3.9%

Brooks Institute

3.7%

Boston University

3.5%

Ohio University -

3.3%

Temple University

3.3%

University of Florida

3.3%

University of Washington

3.3%

Indiana University Bloomington

3.3%

Pennsylvania State University

3.0%
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Majors

Photography

23.6%

Graphic Design

15.7%

Journalism

13.1%

Fine Arts

10.2%

Communication

9.9%

Business

3.9%

Design And Visual Communication

3.1%

English

2.8%

Psychology

2.1%

Marketing

1.9%

Computer Applications

1.9%

Public Relations

1.6%

Visual And Performing Arts

1.5%

Digital Media

1.3%

Political Science

1.3%

Computer Science

1.2%

Animation

1.2%

Agricultural Public Services

1.2%

Liberal Arts

1.2%

History

1.2%
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Degrees

Bachelors

61.0%

Other

16.8%

Masters

9.6%

Associate

8.2%

Certificate

3.1%

Diploma

0.9%

Doctorate

0.3%

License

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$57,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$31,000
Min 10%
$57,000
Median 50%
$57,000
Median 50%
$57,000
Median 50%
$57,000
Median 50%
$57,000
Median 50%
$57,000
Median 50%
$57,000
Median 50%
$106,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
The New York Times Company
Highest Paying City
Cambridge, MA
Highest Paying State
Maine
Avg Experience Level
2.3 years
How much does a Photo Editor make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Photo Editor in the United States is $57,557 per year or $28 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $31,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $106,000.

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

  1. Adobe Photoshop
  2. Photo Shoots
  3. Stock Photography
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Use Adobe Photoshop to digitally edit photographs
  • Scheduled appointments for photo shoots and supervised other photographers.
  • Edited rights-managed stock photography from world-renowned National Geographic Society photographers, in submissions of approximately 200 frames each.
  • Produced new story ideas with editorial staff according to daily rundowns and photo specifications.
  • Worked alongside photographers to provide art direction and creative production support.

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Top 10 Best States for Photo Editors

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Massachusetts
  3. New York
  4. Connecticut
  5. Virginia
  6. California
  7. New Jersey
  8. Alabama
  9. Washington
  10. Pennsylvania
  • (79 jobs)
  • (66 jobs)
  • (324 jobs)
  • (37 jobs)
  • (95 jobs)
  • (224 jobs)
  • (26 jobs)
  • (12 jobs)
  • (26 jobs)
  • (45 jobs)

Top Photo Editor Employers

Jobs From Top Photo Editor Employers

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