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What Does it Take to Be an Editor?

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

Life As an Editor: What Do They Do?

  • Prepare, rewrite and edit copy to improve readability, or supervise others who do this work.
  • Read material to determine index items and arrange them alphabetically or topically, indicating page or chapter location.
  • Oversee publication production, including artwork, layout, computer typesetting, and printing, ensuring adherence to deadlines and budget requirements.
  • Write text, such as stories, articles, editorials, or newsletters.
  • Arrange for copyright permissions.
  • Plan the contents of publications according to the publication’s style, editorial policy, and publishing requirements.

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.

Types of Editor

  • Society Editor
  • Make Up Editor
  • Science Editor
  • Continuity Reader
  • Content Editor

Job Outlook for Editors

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 127,400 jobs in the United States for Editor. There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Editor. The BLS estimates 12,000 yearly job openings in this field.

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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.

Average Editors Salary

The typical yearly salary for Editors is somewhere 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.

Below is a list of the median annual salaries for Editors 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 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?

Individuals working as an Editor have obtained the following education levels:

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How Long Does it Take to Become an Editor?

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Where Editors Are Employed

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Editors work in the following 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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