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Become A Publication Editor

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Working As A Publication 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

  • $73,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Publication 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 Publication 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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Publication Editor Career Paths

Publication Editor
Editor Consultant Marketing Manager
Marketing Communications Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Editor Owner Marketing Director
Director Of Communications And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Editor Project Manager Marketing Director
Brand Director
10 Yearsyrs
Writer And Editor Public Relations Specialist Public Relations Manager
Manager Of Corporate Communications
7 Yearsyrs
Writer And Editor Communications Consultant Public Relations Manager
Director, Corporate Communications
10 Yearsyrs
Writer And Editor Technical Writer Web Developer
Web Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Reporter Managing Editor Communications Manager
Internal Communications Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Reporter Senior Editor Communications Director
Vice President Of Marketing & Communications
12 Yearsyrs
Reporter Public Relations Specialist Communications Manager
Communications Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Technical Writer Communications Manager Public Relations Director
Media Relations Director
5 Yearsyrs
Technical Writer Product Manager Marketing Communications Manager
Content Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Managing Editor Content Writer Staff Writer
Public Information Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Managing Editor Content Manager
Senior Content Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Assistant Editor Marketing Coordinator Digital Marketing Specialist
Online Marketing Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Assistant Editor Writer Senior Technical Writer
Publications Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Assistant Editor Senior Editor Content Manager
Content Director
7 Yearsyrs
Copy Editor Communications Specialist Public Relations Specialist
Media Relations Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Copy Editor Content Writer Content Manager
Digital Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Copy Editor Content Writer Social Media Manager
Manager Of Digital Media
5 Yearsyrs
Staff Writer Social Media Manager
Digital Communications Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Publication Editor?

Publication Editor Demographics

Gender

Female

59.7%

Male

33.2%

Unknown

7.1%
Ethnicity

White

64.4%

Hispanic or Latino

12.8%

Black or African American

11.1%

Asian

7.5%

Unknown

4.2%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

38.6%

French

19.3%

Japanese

7.2%

Italian

7.2%

Chinese

3.6%

German

3.6%

Hebrew

3.6%

Arabic

3.6%

Greek

2.4%

Portuguese

1.2%

Irish

1.2%

Thai

1.2%

Aramaic

1.2%

Persian

1.2%

Russian

1.2%

Korean

1.2%

Mandarin

1.2%

Hmong

1.2%
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Publication Editor Education

Schools

Columbia University

7.8%

Michigan State University

7.0%

University of Missouri - Columbia

7.0%

George Mason University

7.0%

Ohio University -

6.1%

Northwestern University

6.1%

New York University

5.2%

University of Alabama

4.3%

Arizona State University

4.3%

Pennsylvania State University

4.3%

Georgia State University

4.3%

University of Southern California

4.3%

Hampton University

4.3%

University of Washington

4.3%

Loyola University of Chicago

4.3%

Indiana University Bloomington

4.3%

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

4.3%

Brigham Young University

3.5%

San Francisco State University

3.5%

University of Maryland - College Park

3.5%
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Majors

Journalism

19.7%

English

19.2%

Communication

11.4%

Writing

7.0%

Business

6.3%

Marketing

4.4%

Public Relations

4.1%

Fine Arts

3.3%

Law

3.3%

Agricultural Public Services

2.6%

Political Science

2.2%

History

2.2%

Education

2.0%

Psychology

2.0%

Journalism And Mass Communications

2.0%

General Education, Specific Areas

1.8%

Graphic Design

1.7%

Audiovisual Communications Technologies

1.7%

Photography

1.5%

Elementary Education

1.5%
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Degrees

Bachelors

51.8%

Masters

24.3%

Other

13.0%

Doctorate

5.3%

Certificate

3.3%

Associate

1.9%

Diploma

0.3%

License

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$73,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$38,000
Min 10%
$73,000
Median 50%
$73,000
Median 50%
$73,000
Median 50%
$73,000
Median 50%
$73,000
Median 50%
$73,000
Median 50%
$73,000
Median 50%
$141,000
Max 90%
Highest Paying City
Seattle, WA
Highest Paying State
Hawaii
Avg Experience Level
3.3 years
How much does a Publication Editor make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Publication Editor in the United States is $74,022 per year or $36 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $38,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $142,000.

Real Publication Editor Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Editor, Spcialist Publication Pei Media, Inc. New York, NY Sep 24, 2013 $68,032
Hebrew Publication Editor Catalyst Multimedia Marketing, Inc. Hillsborough, CA Nov 18, 2014 $66,810
Editor, Spcialist Publication Pei Media, Inc. New York, NY Sep 24, 2013 $60,032
Manager, Public Outreach & Editor Chemical Heritage Foundation Philadelphia, PA Sep 01, 2010 $60,000
Asian Language Editor & Public Relations Captions, Inc. Burbank, CA Oct 01, 2014 $53,000
Law Student Publications Editor/Coordinator University of California, Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA Jan 08, 2016 $52,012
Law Student Publications Editor/Coordinator University of California, Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA Aug 01, 2016 $52,012
Publications Editor Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation(USA New York, NY Jul 15, 2014 $52,000
Publications Editor Sea New York Inc. New York, NY Jan 18, 2016 $50,000
Publications Editor and Authentication Manager Collectable Investment Brokerage Norcross, GA Jan 07, 2016 $45,225
English Educational Publication Editor Halls of Ivy, Inc. Great Neck, NY Jan 25, 2014 $43,514
Publications Editor The News Inc. New York, NY Aug 22, 2016 $42,765
Publications Editor High Seas Inc. New York, NY Nov 01, 2011 $42,099
Electronic Publications Editor Loma Linda University Loma Linda, CA Feb 01, 2013 $41,808
English Educational Publication Editor Halls of Ivy, Inc. Great Neck, NY Jan 20, 2014 $41,427
English Educational Publication Editor Halls of Ivy, Inc. Great Neck, NY Sep 16, 2013 $41,427

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Top Skills for A Publication Editor

  1. Weekly Newsletter
  2. Press Releases
  3. Web Application
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Serve as the editor, layout editor, and graphic designer for a weekly newsletter.
  • Developed communication strategies and wrote and edited news publications, marketing pieces, press releases and other types of publications.
  • Developed story content with editorial staff.
  • Design layout, oversee/edit content, enforce deadlines and timelines, and produce final draft.
  • Composed and delivered news releases, edited/proofread complex business unit bulletins for internal and external audiences.

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Top 10 Best States for Publication 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
  • (64 jobs)
  • (54 jobs)
  • (274 jobs)
  • (32 jobs)
  • (65 jobs)
  • (172 jobs)
  • (22 jobs)
  • (9 jobs)
  • (20 jobs)
  • (0 jobs)

Top Publication Editor Employers

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