Editor Career Information

Editor career paths may change throughout the career of an editor. Editors may work for online or print publications either part-time, full-time or on an independent basis. Editors must have a bachelor's degree in journalism, English or a related field. Advanced positions require more experience. Senior editors, for instance, may start out as copy editors. But, depending on the size of the publication, one editor may do the majority of the work. Editors generally earn between $25,000 and $50,000 per year.

Career Paths

Editing is a field in which experience pays off. Some editors choose to work up from entry-level copy editor positions with large publication firms into managing editor positions. This career path takes a considerable investment of time and generally involves working a 40 hour week with relatively slow advancement. For this reason, many editors choose to freelance, either to supplement their salaries on the side or on a full-time basis. Some editors start out as writers, as well. Editors, regardless of their educational backgrounds, need to have an excellent knowledge of the mechanics of language as well as style, tone and audience reaction.


In addition to traditional majors for writers and editors like English and journalism, majors like biology, political science, history and many others are also relevant. Editors can receive employment working with generally anything that is written down or recorded. As such, editors may develop specializations like science or technical editing. Some writers and editors pursue law degrees, since legal writing and editing positions sometimes require a JD for consideration. Editors may also consider becoming proficient in two or more languages in order to advance their career prospects.

Magazine Editor

Magazine editors decide which stories or articles will be featured in the magazine by the issue. Editors also set tentative themes for the issues. Magazine editors receive articles from freelance writers and employees, review and edit them and work with titles and formatting. Depending on the size of the publication, editorial tasks may be divided in a hierarchy at the magazine office. Magazine editors may also write their own features, be responsible for recruiting writers and other staff and corresponding with other media outlets.

Copy Editor

Copy editors work with different kinds of publications. They read for grammar, punctuation, style, tone and other basic elements of the text. Copy editors also deliver revision suggestions to writers. Copy editors also check for plagiarism, verify the validity of facts presented in the content and proofread titles.

Video Editor

Video editors oversee video production and editing. Video editors should be familiar with computer programs. Video editors make cuts and rearrange film from the original shooting as necessary for production purposes. Video editors are responsible for editing explicit content and cutting film to time slots, for example. Video editors usually need to have relevant education in fields like graphic design, film and broadcasting. Video editors should have a good working knowledge of digital and raw forms of media. Video editors may also take on audio responsibilities, depending on the job.