How to Become an Editor

What To Do Now? Editor Career Training

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Written materials are everywhere. Books, newspapers and periodicals, manuals and catalogues, and a myriad other places feature written words. In today's economy, there are an increasing number of blogs and websites that also contain written content.

Behind most content is the work of an editor. An editor is the professional responsible for making sure that text is accurate and written for the intended audience. Retraining as an editor may be an appealing option for someone who enjoys language and is detail-oriented. Online editor training courses are one way to hone the career skills needed for this multi-faceted profession.

Word Play: Career Skills for Editors

Editors serve different roles depending on where they work. In the publishing world, editors are the professionals who decide which manuscripts to accept and how writers should be compensated. They oversee the successful completion and publication of the book, magazine or newspaper. Copy editors have the task of proofreading grammar and punctuation, while more general editors read, rewrite, and make ready for publication the copy that comes before them.

To do this job well, you must understand good writing. You need to be detail-oriented, have an expansive vocabulary, a firm grasp on grammar, and possess good verbal fluency. Editors also need to be able to communicate clearly and tactfully with the writers of the copy they edit. If this occupation sounds appealing, consider looking into the ways you can improve your skills to enter this exciting field. Career Advice for Editors

The education to become an editor typically includes a bachelor's degree in a field like communications, journalism, or English. Online editor training courses can help you improve your skills by supplying the critical coursework. For someone who wants to retrain into this field, experience is also helpful. Internships can help you get experience in editing. This career should have longevity--no matter the economy, because as long as there are writers and written materials, there will likely be a need for editors.

Career Outlook

  • Primary duties of book editors include: reviewing proposals for new books, deciding whether or not to purchase the publication rights from the writer, listening to story pitches, editing book copy
  • Typical educational background of an editor: Many editors have either a broad liberal arts background or a bachelor's degree in communications, journalism, or English
  • Handy skills to have: Editors can benefit from a working knowledge of basic technology, including using personal computers, various writing and publishing software packages, scanners, and multimedia software
  • Skills to pay the bills: To succeed as an editor, it helps to have tact and good people skills, since you need to guide, encourage, and give constructive criticism to writers
  • Employment opportunities for editors: Employment for editors is expected to be steady with little to no changes during 2012-2022.
  • Median Salary: In May 2013, Editors earned a median annual salary of $62,820 with top 10% making more than $106,190.
  • Top Paying States: New York, District of Columbia, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Colorado.
  • States with Highest Employment: New York, California, Texas, Illinois, Florida.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, Editors
Bureau of Labor Statistics, Editors, May 2013 Wages