What you need to know
Editors plan, review, and revise content for publication.
Although most editors work in offices, a growing number now work remotely from home. The work can be stressful because editors often have tight deadlines.
Some of the things an editor might do:
- Read content and correct spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors
- Rewrite text to make it easier for readers to understand
- Verify facts cited in material for publication
- 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
- Promote articles and content on various social media networks
- 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 write clearly and logically.
The average pay for editors in the United States ranges from $31,500 to $117,810 as of May 2018.
The specific pay depends on factors such as level of experience, education and training, geographic location, and specific industry.
Employment of editors is projected to show little or no change from 2016 to 2026, as print media continues to face strong pressure from online publications.
Despite some job growth for editors in online media, the number of traditional editing jobs in print newspapers and magazines is declining and will temper employment growth.
Employers generally prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, or English. They also prefer candidates who have experience in a few types of media, such as newspapers, social media, and television.
Candidates with other backgrounds who can show strong writing skills also may find jobs as editors. Editors who deal with a specific subject matter may need previous related work experience.