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Career profile Editor

Also known as Acquisitions Editor, Business Editor, Editor, Features Editor, Legal Editor, News Editor, Newspaper Copy Editor, Science Editor, Sports Editor, Web Editor

Editor

Also known as Acquisitions Editor, Business Editor, Editor

Interests Profile
  • Artistic
  • Enterprising
  • Conventional
Pay Range
$33,620 - $126,800 (annual)
Required Skills
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Writing
  • Active Listening
Knowledge Areas
  • Communications and Media
  • Administration and Management
  • Administrative
Core tasks
  • Read copy or proof to detect and correct errors in spelling, punctuation, and syntax.
  • Verify facts, dates, and statistics, using standard reference sources.
  • Read, evaluate and edit manuscripts or other materials submitted for publication, and confer with authors regarding changes in content, style or organization, or publication.
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What does an Editor do?

Editors plan, coordinate, revise, or edit written material.

In addition, Editors may review proposals and drafts for possible publication.

What kind of tasks does an Editor perform regularly?

Editors are often responsible for overseeing or executing some or all of the following tasks:

  • Read copy or proof to detect and correct errors in spelling, punctuation, and syntax.
  • Verify facts, dates, and statistics, using standard reference sources.
  • Read, evaluate and edit manuscripts or other materials submitted for publication, and confer with authors regarding changes in content, style or organization, or publication.
  • Develop story or content ideas, considering reader or audience appeal.
  • Prepare, rewrite and edit copy to improve readability, or supervise others who do this work.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Confer with management and editorial staff members regarding placement and emphasis of developing news stories.
  • Review and approve proofs submitted by composing room prior to publication production.
  • Assign topics, events and stories to individual writers or reporters for coverage.
  • Meet frequently with artists, typesetters, layout personnel, marketing directors, and production managers to discuss projects and resolve problems.

The above responsibilities are specific to Editors. More generally, Editors are involved in several broader types of activities:

Working with Computers
Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Getting Information
Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Thinking Creatively
Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Communicating with People Outside the Organization
Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

What is an Editor salary?

The median salary for an Editor is $63,400, and the average salary is $73,910. Both the median and average roughly describe the middle of the Editor salary range, but the average is more easily affected by extremely high or low salaries.

Many Editors earn significantly more or less than the average, due to several factors. About 10% of Editors earn less than $33,620 per year, 25% earn less than $45,310, 75% earn less than $89,530, and 90% earn less than $126,800.

Between the years of 2020 and 2030, the number of Editors is expected to change by 5.1%, and there should be roughly 11,200 open positions for Editors every year.

Median annual salary
$63,400
Typical salary range
$33,620 - $126,800
Projected growth (2020 - 2030)
5.1%

What personality traits are common among Editors?

Interests

Career interests describe a person's preferences for different types of working environments and activities. When a person's interest match the demands of an occupation, people are usually more engaged and satisfied in that role.

Compared to most occupations, those who work as an Editor are usually higher in their Artistic, Enterprising, and Conventional interests.

Editors typically have very strong Artistic interests. 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.

Also, Editors typically have very strong Enterprising interests. 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.

Lastly, Editors typically have moderate Conventional interests. Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Values

People differ in their values, or what is most important to them for building job satisfaction and fulfillment.

Compared to most people, those working as an Editor tend to value Independence, Achievement, and Recognition.

Most importantly, Editors very strongly value Independence. Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions.

Second, Editors strongly value Achievement. Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment.

Lastly, Editors strongly value Recognition. Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious.

Psychological Demands

Each occupation brings its own set of psychological demands, which describe the characteristics necessary to perform the job well.

In order to perform their job successfully, people who work as Editors must consistently demonstrate qualities such as attention to detail, integrity, and cooperation.

Below, you'll find a list of qualities typically required of Editors, ranked by importance:

Attention to Detail
Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
Integrity
Job requires being honest and ethical.
Cooperation
Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
Adaptability/Flexibility
Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
Dependability
Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.

What education and training do Editors need?

Many Editors will have a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

Editors usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Educational degrees among Editors

  • 1.1% did not complete high school or secondary school
  • 3.4% completed high school or secondary school
  • 8.5% completed some college coursework
  • 4.0% earned a Associate's degree
  • 54.3% earned a Bachelor's degree
  • 23.2% earned a Master's degree
  • 5.5% earned a doctorate or professional degree

Knowledge and expertise required by Editors

Editors may benefit from understanding of specialized subject areas, such as communications and media, administration and management, or administrative knowledge.

The list below shows several areas in which most Editors might want to build proficiency, ranked by importance.

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.
Administration and Management
Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Administrative
Knowledge of administrative and office procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and workplace terminology.
Education and Training
Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
Customer and Personal Service
Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Important Abilities needed by Editors

Editors must develop a particular set of abilities to perform their job well. Abilities are individual capacities that influence a person's information processing, sensory perception, motor coordination, and physical strength or endurance. Individuals may naturally have certain abilities without explicit training, but most abilities can be sharpened somewhat through practice.

For example, Editors need abilities such as written comprehension, written expression, and oral comprehension in order to perform their job at a high level. The list below shows several important abilities for Editors, ranked by their relative importance.

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.
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.
Speech Recognition
The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.

Critical Skills needed by Editors

Skills are developed capacities that enable people to function effectively in real-world settings. Unlike abilities, skills are typically easier to build through practice and experience. Skills influence effectiveness in areas such as learning, working with others, design, troubleshooting, and more.

Editors frequently use skills like reading comprehension, writing, and active listening to perform their job effectively. The list below shows several critical skills for Editors, ranked by their relative importance.

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.

What is the source of this information?

The information provided on this page is adapted from data and descriptions published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration under the CC BY 4.0 license. TraitLab has modified some information for ease of use and reading, and the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment, and Training Administration has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this information, please send a message.