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What Does it Take to Be an Editor?

Career Description Plan, coordinate, or edit content of material for publication. May review proposals and drafts for possible publication. Includes technical editors.

A Day in the Life of an Editor

  • Allocate print space for story text, photos, and illustrations according to space parameters and copy significance, using knowledge of layout principles.
  • Supervise and coordinate work of reporters and other editors.
  • Plan the contents of publications according to the publication’s style, editorial policy, and publishing requirements.
  • Assign topics, events and stories to individual writers or reporters for coverage.
  • Read material to determine index items and arrange them alphabetically or topically, indicating page or chapter location.
  • Monitor news-gathering operations to ensure utilization of all news sources, such as press releases, telephone contacts, radio, television, wire services, and other reporters.

Editor Required Skills

These are the skills Editors say are the most useful in their careers:

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Writing: Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Time Management: Managing one’s own time and the time of others.

Other Editor Job Titles

  • Editorial Assistant
  • Copy Editor
  • Program Proposals Coordinator
  • Online Content Editor
  • Art Editor

Job Opportunities for Editors

There were about 127,400 jobs for Editor in 2016 (in the United States). There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Editor. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 12,000 job openings in this field each year.

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The states with the most job growth for Editor are Washington, Utah, and Nevada. Watch out if you plan on working in Alaska, Kentucky, or Wyoming. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Editor Average Salary

The average yearly salary of an Editor ranges between $31,500 and $117,810.

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Editors who work in District of Columbia, Massachusetts, or New York, make the highest salaries.

How much do Editors make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alaska $50,790
Arizona $57,180
Arkansas $47,480
California $78,150
Colorado $59,120
Connecticut $71,260
Delaware $68,790
District of Columbia $89,710
Florida $58,200
Georgia $61,330
Hawaii $78,390
Idaho $48,160
Illinois $62,590
Indiana $51,800
Iowa $51,480
Kansas $50,390
Kentucky $44,050
Louisiana $42,340
Maine $50,650
Maryland $59,560
Massachusetts $89,280
Michigan $58,150
Minnesota $58,820
Mississippi $46,070
Missouri $55,460
Montana $41,030
Nebraska $47,910
Nevada $56,790
New Hampshire $57,750
New Jersey $74,130
New Mexico $44,370
New York $83,070
North Carolina $67,450
Ohio $60,670
Oklahoma $44,380
Oregon $55,610
Pennsylvania $62,870
Rhode Island $66,900
South Carolina $46,630
South Dakota $48,100
Tennessee $54,400
Texas $72,300
Utah $60,990
Vermont $48,910
Virginia $72,660
Washington $67,560
West Virginia $52,910
Wisconsin $48,630
Wyoming $49,550

What Tools & Technology do Editors Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Editors:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Hypertext markup language HTML
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Web browser software
  • Microsoft Project
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
  • Microsoft SharePoint
  • Microsoft Visio
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
  • Facebook
  • Microsoft Publisher
  • Google Docs
  • FileMaker Pro
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator
  • Extensible markup language XML
  • Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Dreamweaver

How do I Become an Editor?

Education needed to be an Editor:

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What work experience do I need to become an Editor?

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Where Editors Work

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The table below shows the approximate number of Editors employed by various industries.

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References:

Image Credit: Jfurrer via Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unreported

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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