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Become A Production Editor

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Working As A Production 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 Production 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 Production 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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Production Editor Career Paths

Production Editor
Editor Owner Marketing Director
Director Of Communications And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Editor Project Manager Marketing Director
Brand Director
10 Yearsyrs
Editor Manager Marketing Director
Director Of Digital Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Managing Editor Marketing Manager Marketing Communications Manager
Manager Of Corporate Communications
7 Yearsyrs
Managing Editor Communications Manager Director Of Communications And Marketing
Vice President Of Marketing & Communications
12 Yearsyrs
Managing Editor Technical Writer Web Developer
Web Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Writer And Editor Communications Consultant Communications Manager
Communications Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Writer And Editor Public Relations Specialist Communications Manager
Community Relations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Writer And Editor Marketing Specialist Marketing Manager/Project Manager
Digital Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Editor, Freelance Technical Writer Marketing Communications Manager
Content Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Editor, Freelance Technical Writer Content Manager
Senior Content Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Editor Owner Creative Director
Digital Director
9 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer Marketing Coordinator Digital Marketing Specialist
Online Marketing Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer Communications Specialist Senior Technical Writer
Publications Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Senior Editor Content Manager
Content Director
7 Yearsyrs
Editor, Freelance Senior Editor Content Manager
Digital Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Graphic Designer Marketing Specialist Social Media Manager
Manager Of Digital Media
5 Yearsyrs
Video Editor Producer Social Media Manager
Marketing Strategist
6 Yearsyrs
Video Editor Studio Manager Traffic Manager
Freelance Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Video Editor Social Media Manager
Digital Communications Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Production Editor?

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Do you work as a Production Editor?

Production Editor Demographics

Gender

Female

52.8%

Male

38.0%

Unknown

9.2%
Ethnicity

White

63.2%

Hispanic or Latino

14.6%

Black or African American

11.4%

Asian

7.5%

Unknown

3.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

34.8%

French

19.9%

German

9.3%

Italian

6.8%

Chinese

6.2%

Mandarin

4.3%

Russian

3.1%

Portuguese

3.1%

Greek

1.9%

Hindi

1.2%

Korean

1.2%

Malay

1.2%

Cantonese

1.2%

Hebrew

1.2%

Arabic

1.2%

Vietnamese

0.6%

Romanian

0.6%

Dutch

0.6%

Hungarian

0.6%

Finnish

0.6%
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Production Editor Education

Schools

New York University

14.4%

Emerson College

7.5%

Pennsylvania State University

6.0%

Ohio State University

5.6%

University of Missouri - Columbia

5.0%

George Washington University

4.7%

San Jose State University

4.7%

Temple University

4.7%

Syracuse University

4.4%

Fordham University

4.4%

University of California - Berkeley

4.1%

Columbia College Chicago

4.1%

George Mason University

4.1%

Indiana University Bloomington

4.1%

Towson University

4.1%

Arizona State University

3.8%

Full Sail University

3.8%

Ball State University

3.8%

University of Florida

3.4%

Montclair State University

3.4%
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Majors

English

25.9%

Journalism

13.9%

Communication

10.9%

Photography

8.2%

Writing

6.6%

Graphic Design

4.2%

Business

3.8%

Fine Arts

3.3%

Political Science

2.7%

History

2.4%

Marketing

2.3%

Digital Media

1.9%

Psychology

1.9%

Public Relations

1.9%

Liberal Arts

1.8%

Publishing

1.8%

Audiovisual Communications Technologies

1.8%

Law

1.7%

General Education, Specific Areas

1.6%

Education

1.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

54.3%

Masters

21.8%

Other

12.5%

Certificate

4.4%

Associate

3.7%

Doctorate

2.5%

Diploma

0.6%

License

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$63,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$32,000
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%
$125,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Scholastic
Highest Paying City
Redwood City, CA
Highest Paying State
Hawaii
Avg Experience Level
3.6 years
How much does a Production Editor make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Production Editor in the United States is $63,575 per year or $31 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $32,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $125,000.

Real Production Editor Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Production Editor Zealot Productions Inc. New York, NY Jul 01, 2012 $85,000
Production Editor Venture 3D Culver City, CA Oct 01, 2014 $69,000
Supervising Editor Video Production Rill Films Berkeley, CA Aug 01, 2010 $62,610
Production Editor Seven Stories Press, Inc. New York, NY Sep 13, 2011 $62,193
Production Editor Zealot Productions, Inc. New York, NY Aug 01, 2010 $60,000
Production Editor, Claremont Review of Books The Claremont Institute Claremont, CA May 15, 2012 $55,000
Production Editor IOP Publishing, Inc. Washington, DC Sep 14, 2013 $53,654
Materials Production Editor Cinetic Rights Management LLC New York, NY Sep 21, 2016 $52,500
Assistant Production Editor International Peace Institute New York, NY Jan 06, 2016 $51,500
Production Editor Mundo Hispanico Atlanta, GA Apr 21, 2009 $50,000
Production Editor Baral Inc. Coral Springs, FL Sep 29, 2013 $47,396
Production Editor Baral Inc. Coral Springs, FL Oct 01, 2010 $47,396
Production Editor Artnet Worldwide Corporation New York, NY Jun 09, 2016 $46,800
Videographer/Video Production Editor Robert A.M. Stern Architects New York, NY Aug 23, 2016 $45,000
Production Editor IOP Publishing, Inc. Washington, DC Sep 14, 2010 $45,000
Production Editor Day O Productions, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Jul 01, 2015 $44,453
Associate Digital Production Editor Open Road Integrated Media Inc. New York, NY Sep 10, 2014 $40,352
Production Editor Artnet Worldwide Corporation New York, NY Sep 05, 2013 $39,945
Materials Production Editor Cinetic Rights Management LLC New York, NY Sep 21, 2013 $39,945
Assistant Production Editor Guadalupe Associates, Incorporated San Francisco, CA Oct 01, 2011 $39,000
Production Editor Italian American Digital Project, Inc. New York, NY Sep 22, 2016 $38,875
Development and Production Editor Planet C Studios, A California Corporation Los Angeles, CA Oct 01, 2015 $38,589
Post Production Editor Zero Point Zero Production, Inc. New York, NY May 23, 2011 $38,317
Production Editor Day O Productions, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Sep 15, 2010 $37,879
Development & Production Editor Planet C Studios, A California Corporation Los Angeles, CA Oct 01, 2012 $37,566

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Top Skills for A Production Editor

  1. Editorial Staff
  2. Adobe Photoshop
  3. Layout
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Worked strategically with management and media editorial staff to plan conversions of print publications into new digital-only format editions.
  • Used Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign to lay out conference program, newsletter, and promotional materials.
  • Create original illustrations used for conference book covers, as well as format and layout of the book contents.
  • Managed the technical aspect and communication aspects of the post-production department of a major electronic publicity firm.
  • Manage company website and studio equipment maintenance.

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Top 10 Best States for Production Editors

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Massachusetts
  3. Connecticut
  4. Virginia
  5. New York
  6. California
  7. New Jersey
  8. Rhode Island
  9. Alabama
  10. Washington
  • (70 jobs)
  • (67 jobs)
  • (48 jobs)
  • (96 jobs)
  • (348 jobs)
  • (326 jobs)
  • (45 jobs)
  • (3 jobs)
  • (19 jobs)
  • (41 jobs)

Top Production Editor Employers

Jobs From Top Production Editor Employers

Production Editor Videos

Matt Lees: Video Production Editor (VideoGamer.com) - VideoGamer

David Marsh, Production Editor of the Guardian

A Day In The Life: Video Editor

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