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Editors Career

Career Description

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

What Job Titles Editors Might Have

  • Editor
  • Managing Editor
  • Newspaper Copy Editor
  • Sports Editor

What Editors Do

  • Prepare, rewrite and edit copy to improve readability, or supervise others who do this work.
  • Verify facts, dates, and statistics, using standard reference sources.
  • Read copy or proof to detect and correct errors in spelling, punctuation, and syntax.
  • Develop story or content ideas, considering reader or audience appeal.
  • Review and approve proofs submitted by composing room prior to publication production.
  • 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.
  • Read, evaluate and edit manuscripts or other materials submitted for publication and confer with authors regarding changes in content, style or organization, or publication.
  • Allocate print space for story text, photos, and illustrations according to space parameters and copy significance, using knowledge of layout principles.
  • Oversee publication production, including artwork, layout, computer typesetting, and printing, ensuring adherence to deadlines and budget requirements.
  • Make manuscript acceptance or revision recommendations to the publisher.
  • Assign topics, events and stories to individual writers or reporters for coverage.
  • Confer with management and editorial staff members regarding placement and emphasis of developing news stories.
  • Meet frequently with artists, typesetters, layout personnel, marketing directors, and production managers to discuss projects and resolve problems.
  • Monitor news-gathering operations to ensure utilization of all news sources, such as press releases, telephone contacts, radio, television, wire services, and other reporters.
  • Select local, state, national, and international news items received from wire services, based on assessment of items' significance and interest value.
  • Interview and hire writers and reporters or negotiate contracts, royalties, and payments for authors or freelancers.
  • Direct the policies and departments of newspapers, magazines and other publishing establishments.

What Editors Should Be Good At

  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Originality - The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.

What Editors Should Be Interested In

  • Artistic - Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
  • Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

What Editors Need to Learn

  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Communications and Media - Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Median Salary: $57,210

This page includes information from O*NET OnLine by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.