How to Become an Editor
Editor Job Duties
Skills and Qualities of an Editor
Editor Salaries
Influential Editors
Leading Organizations for Editors
Top Cities for Editor Jobs
Other Careers of Interest

How to become an Editor

Most jobs in this field require a degree in journalism, communications, or English. Editors who specialize in a given field (i.e. fashion, sports, law) will be expected to have a background in their chosen field as well. Some people with good writing skills transfer into editorial positions from careers as technicians, scientists, engineers, or other occupations. Other individuals may begin as trainees or research assistants. Beginning editors often research or check the facts in articles. Advancement usually comes more slowly in large firms than in smaller ones, but also follows a more predictable pattern. In order to advance in this career, it is important for individuals to build a reputation of reliability and credibility

What does an Editor do?

Editors review the writing of others to rewrite and edit the work. An editor's responsibilities will vary depending on the type and level of editorial position held and depending on the employer. Some editing positions also include original writing assignments, particularly for newspapers. Typical duties include planning the content of written material, reviewing story ideas to decide which material will be published, reviewing and editing drafts, and overseeing production of publications.

The executive editor, sometimes called the chief executive editor, is the top editor who is responsible for the content of the published work and overseeing the production of that work. He or she sets the standards and motivates people on the writing staff. Those in position are also often responsible for operational planning. Executive editors often have assistants who hold entry level positions. These assistants frequently hold the position of copy editors who check articles for errors in grammar and punctuation and suggest revisions to improve clarity or accuracy. They may also perform research duties or check facts for writers.

What skills or qualities do I need to become an Editor?

Editors must be able to express ideas clearly and logically and should enjoy writing. Having a broad range of knowledge is helpful. Editors should have leadership skills, including tactfulness, in order to guide and encourage the work of others. Editors must be self motivators and able to persevere when working in noisy environments and/or under tight deadlines. Professionals in this field also need good judgment and a sense of ethics to help determine what material should or should not be published. Finally, computer skills are becoming increasingly important as electronic communication is often necessary in this field.

How much does an Editor make?

In 2006 salaried editors had a median earning of $46,990 per year. The middle fifty percent earned between $35,250 and $67,820 per year. There is expected to be an increase in demand for salaried editors with web experience over the coming years due to the increased demand for web based publications with nearly real time information for readers. However, since many people are attracted to this field, the outlook is also expected to be competitive.
Editor Salary | More details for Editor Jobs | Salary

Who are some influential professionals in this field?

Theodore Menline Bernstein (1904-1979) was the managing editor of the New York Times for 25 years and a professor at the Columbia School of University. He co-authored Headlines and Deadlines, a manual for copy editors as well as seven books on grammar and usage. He was regarded as an authority on the correct use of the English language.

Pam Robinson and Hank Glamann co founded the American Copy Editors Society. Pam Robinson was the association's first president. She currently works for Newsday. Hank Glamann is a two time recipient of the John Murphy Award for Excellence in Copy Editing. Chris Wienandt is the current president of the American Copy Editors Society. He is the business copy desk chief at the Dallas Morning News.

What are some leading organizations in this field?

ACES (the American Copy Editors Society) is a professional organization dedicated to helping copy editors solve problems through discussion and training. ACES is based out of Suffolk, New York with chapters in cities across the United States. This group works to help individuals advance in their careers as editors for newspapers, magazines, websites, and other forms of journalism. Members receive a quarterly magazine, access to the full directory of members (updated annually), reduced fees for the national ACES conference and local conferences with other organizations, networking, and resources.

Associated Press Managing Editors (APME) is based out of New York, New York and is an association of editors from the United States and Canada. Individuals who hold senior positions in the field of editing are eligible for membership. APME has held annual conferences since 1933 dedicated to networking, training, and development for professionals who are running the newsrooms of our day. APME sets ethical standards in the fight for First Amendment rights and freedom of information.

What are the top cities for Editor jobs?

Individuals looking to become editors should be able to find work in any metropolitan area. Openings with major publishers, magazines, newspapers, and broadcasting companies are concentrated in New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, California, Boston, Massachusetts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Chicago, Illinois. However, with current technology, geographic location of editors is no longer as important as it once was. Currently, the city with the most openings in this field is New York City.

Other Careers of Interest

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Producer / Director
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Television Camera Operator / Editor
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Video Editor
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A writer writes. Period. What a writer writes depends on what type of work he or she is involved with. A journalist will investigate facts and...

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