How to Become an Editor

Written by

Beatrice Harrison


August 14, 2014


Editing is a very important part of the writing process and involves modifying and checking for errors of many different media such as articles, manuscripts, video, sound, and other forms of media. Editors are very vital professionals in all publications.

What does an editor do?

Editors contribute to the production of a large variety of materials that are delivered to an audience in many different ways. They review, edit, and rewrite the content of writers and authors. Editors work with writers and authors through the writing process to proofread, change, and discuss topics in the material. They plan topics for books, magazines, journals, and other publications. They review story ideas suggested by writing staff and freelance writers and make the decisions on what material will appeal most to readers. Some review and edit drafts of articles and books, suggest titles and sections, and provide comments on how to make the work better. Some editors do original writing and some supervise production of written material.

There are many different kinds of articles typically employed by major newspapers and magazines including executive editor, assistant editor, assignment editor, managing editor, and copy editor. In smaller companies and organizations a single editor usually does most of the work or shares the responsibilities with a few other employees.

What kind of training does an editor need?

Editors typically need a college degree in journalism, English, communications, or other related field. Many employers look for candidates with a strong liberal arts background. Editors also need to be familiar with computers and communications equipment to communicate with sources and other personnel. Many editors receive on the job training and in small companies start editing material immediately. Positions are typically more structured in larger organizations where beginning editors conduct research, copy edit drafts, and check facts. Editors must stay up to date on new technology and techniques in the writing field.

What are the prospects for a career as an editor?

Employment of editors is projected to grow about as fast as average for all professions, increasing 10% through 2016 (1). Demand for magazines, newspapers, and online publications will drive growth.

Job prospects are expected to be good, especially for those with technical experience and specialized training. Job opportunities will also arise from the need to replace editors who retire or leave the field for other reasons.

How much do editors make?

Recently, the middle 50% of editors earned annual salaries between $45,206 and $61,257. The highest 10% earned annual salaries of more than $68,342 (2).

A career as an editor is an excellent choice for people who enjoy writing and can express their ideas in a clear and logical manner. Self-motivation, good judgment, creativity, perseverance, curiosity, and a broad range of knowledge are also valued qualities. A strong sense of ethics, ability to work under pressure, tact, and ability to guide and encourage others are essential skills.

Becoming an Editor Requires Skills & Training, Start Today

Want to know what the 10 top liberal arts schools are?

Are you serious about becoming an Editor? Then you need to get the required skills and training to do it! To start your new career, first you must decide what school you want to enroll in, so you need to gather info about potential schools. Use the  College Mouse Course Search tool  to find the right course and college for you, and get started towards your new dream job today! If you want more personalized assistance, call (888) 389-7996 TOLL FREE to speak with a college advisor, who will help you find the best college for you. After you sign up for your course, make sure you fill out and submit the FAFSA so you can take advantage of any financial aid currently available to you!

Written by:  Beatrice Harrison

Educated at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Beatrice Harrison has extensive professional experience in career counseling, having helped a growing number of job seekers find fulfilling and meaningful careers in a variety of fields and disciplines.

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