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Become A Technical Editor

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Working As A Technical 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

  • $46,924

    Average Salary

What Does A Technical 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 Technical 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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Technical Editor jobs

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Technical Editor Career Paths

Technical Editor
Contract Technical Writer Senior Technical Writer Senior Project Manager
Account Director
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Technical Writer Business Analyst Product Manager
Business Development Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Writer And Editor Adjunct Professor Senior Project Manager
Chief Operating Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Business Analyst Product Manager Marketing Communications Manager
Content Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Editor, Freelance Adjunct Instructor Creative Director
Digital Director
10 Yearsyrs
Managing Editor Communications Manager Marketing Manager
Digital Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Writer Communications Specialist Systems Administrator
Director Of Information
10 Yearsyrs
Technical Writer And Editor Writer And Editor Communications Manager
Marketing Director
7 Yearsyrs
Technical Writer And Editor Senior Technical Writer Business Analyst
Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Contract Technical Writer Writer And Editor Marketing Consultant
Marketing Strategist
6 Yearsyrs
Senior Editor Communications Director Business Developer
Marketing/Business Development
8 Yearsyrs
Senior Editor Marketing Manager Search Engine Optimizer
Online Marketing Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Senior Technical Writer Project Manager Program Manager
Operations Director
9 Yearsyrs
Writer And Editor Communications Manager Marketing Manager
Operations Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Managing Editor Marketing Manager General Manager
President Of Operations
11 Yearsyrs
Technical Writer Project Manager
Program Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Writer Managing Editor Technical Writer
Proposal Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Construction Manager Operations Manager
Purchasing Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Technical Writer Business Analyst Project Manager
Senior Project Manager
12 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager Business Developer
Vice President, Business Development
13 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Production Editor 3.4 years
Managing Editor 3.3 years
Technical Writer 3.2 years
Editor/Proofreader 3.1 years
Writer And Editor 3.1 years
Technical Editor 3.0 years
Editor 2.6 years
Associate Editor 2.5 years
Lead Editor 2.4 years
Content Editor 2.0 years
Contract Editor 1.8 years
Top Employers Before
Editor 12.5%
Internship 3.3%
Consultant 2.5%
Instructor 2.5%
Teacher 2.3%
Top Employers After
Editor 7.7%
Consultant 3.5%
Owner 3.0%
Teacher 2.2%
Writer 2.1%

Technical Editor Demographics

Gender

Female

57.0%

Male

40.8%

Unknown

2.3%
Ethnicity

White

82.0%

Asian

7.9%

Hispanic or Latino

7.6%

Unknown

2.0%

Black or African American

0.6%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

34.8%

French

19.7%

German

9.0%

Italian

5.6%

Japanese

5.1%

Arabic

3.9%

Russian

2.8%

Portuguese

2.8%

Chinese

2.8%

Mandarin

2.2%

Greek

2.2%

Turkish

1.7%

Korean

1.7%

Bengali

1.7%

Swedish

1.1%

Icelandic

0.6%

Estonian

0.6%

Cherokee

0.6%

Romanian

0.6%

Dutch

0.6%
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Technical Editor Education

Schools

University of Washington

8.7%

George Mason University

7.1%

San Jose State University

6.8%

University of Phoenix

6.1%

University of Maryland - College Park

5.8%

University of Texas at Austin

5.5%

University of New Mexico

5.1%

University of Maryland - University College

4.8%

Pennsylvania State University

4.8%

Texas A&M University

4.8%

University of Pittsburgh -

4.5%

University of Central Florida

4.5%

Arizona State University

4.2%

University of Houston

4.2%

Brigham Young University

3.9%

University of Colorado at Boulder

3.9%

Strayer University

3.9%

Northeastern University

3.9%

University of Arizona

3.9%

Northern Virginia Community College

3.9%
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Majors

English

24.4%

Writing

10.8%

Business

10.0%

Journalism

9.6%

Communication

8.7%

Public Relations

4.5%

Computer Science

3.4%

Psychology

2.9%

Political Science

2.6%

Education

2.5%

Computer Information Systems

2.4%

History

2.3%

Management

2.3%

Liberal Arts

2.2%

Photography

2.1%

Fine Arts

1.9%

Marketing

1.9%

Graphic Design

1.9%

Law

1.8%

Agricultural Public Services

1.7%
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Degrees

Bachelors

44.6%

Masters

26.8%

Other

13.8%

Certificate

5.5%

Doctorate

4.8%

Associate

3.6%

Diploma

0.8%

License

0.0%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Technical Editor Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Technical Editor Cadence Design Systems, Inc. Chelmsford, MA Feb 10, 2015 $124,184 -
$134,184
Technical Editor The Ohio State University Columbus, OH Apr 03, 2015 $84,983
Technical Editor Masterword Services, Inc. Houston, TX Mar 23, 2016 $83,200
Technical Editor TDA Group, LLC Mountain View, CA Sep 16, 2010 $72,000
Technical Editor TDA Group, LLC Mountain View, CA Oct 01, 2010 $72,000
IT Editor Technology Review, Inc. San Francisco, CA Jan 25, 2010 $67,500
Multimedia Technical Editor 021C Communication Concepts, Inc. New York, NY Jan 14, 2010 $65,000
Technical Editor Benchmark Education Company, LLC. New Rochelle, NY Sep 17, 2015 $64,200
Technical Editor The Novim Group Santa Barbara, CA Feb 15, 2015 $62,610
Technical Editor Benchmark Education Company, LLC. New Rochelle, NY Sep 17, 2015 $62,610
Technical Editor and Translator Ubiqus Reporting, Inc. New York, NY Aug 19, 2016 $57,500
Technical Editor General Dynamics Information Technology, Inc. MD Oct 01, 2010 $57,000
Technical Editor Kartago Inc. Los Angeles, CA Apr 01, 2011 $56,659
Chinese Technical Editor and Reviewer Multiling Corporation Provo, UT Aug 25, 2016 $54,796
Technical Editor and Translator Russian and Slavic Language Service, Inc. New York, NY Jan 28, 2013 $53,800
Technical Editor and Translator Russian and Slavic Language Services, Inc. New York, NY Jan 30, 2013 $53,800
Technical Editor and Translator Russian and Slavic Language Services, Inc. New York, NY Jan 31, 2013 $53,800
Technical Editor General Dynamics Information Technology, Inc. Rockville, MD Feb 01, 2011 $52,437
Technical Editor Esperanto Inc. DBA Marketlogic Miami, FL Dec 14, 2007 $52,000
Technical Editor and Translator The Languageworks, Inc. New York, NY Aug 19, 2013 $52,000
Editor, Technical Materials Xlsoft Corporation Irvine, CA Sep 18, 2011 $49,200
Technical Editor General Dynamics Information Technology, Inc. Rockville, MD Jun 02, 2010 $48,639
Technical Editor and Translator Russian and Slavic Language Services, Inc. New York, NY Apr 15, 2013 $44,700
Technical Editor and Translator Russian and Slavic Language Services, Inc. New York, NY Apr 12, 2013 $44,700
Korean Technical Editor and Reviewer Multiling Corporation Provo, UT Dec 14, 2012 $43,000
Technical Editor and Translator Russian and Slavic Language Services, Inc. New York, NY Jan 08, 2016 $42,765

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Top Skills for A Technical Editor

ProceduresStyleGuideTechnicalDocumentsWebContentSubjectMatterExpertsTechnicalEditingPowerpointSharepointProposalTechnicalManualsTechnicalReportsWindowsServerSafetyTrainingMaterialsHtmlUserInterfaceTechnicalAccuracyFramemakerInternetSuite

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Top Technical Editor Skills

  1. Procedures
  2. Style Guide
  3. Technical Documents
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Conducted meetings (planned, prepared, and presented) to explain regulations and procedures.
  • Led project for creating departmental Style Guide and supervised establishment and enforcement of departmental processes and creation of departmental Process Handbook.
  • Edited technical documents of various sources and subject matter for technical accuracy and readability.
  • Designed marketing campaigns and related web content that increased new article submission and brought in updates that improved existing articles.
  • Work with the subject matter experts when content or associated metadata needs clarification.

Top Technical Editor Employers

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