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Article Editor: Salary and Career Facts

Research what it takes to become an article editor. Learn about education requirements, job duties, and salary potential to find out if this is the career for you.

What Does an Article Editor Do?

An article editor reviews and rewrites content for errors in spelling, punctuation and grammar before an article is published. The article editor also helps writers with brainstorming and formulating content ideas, verifies information in the article, decides which related text or other media may be included in the article, and approves the final version of the articles submitted by the writers. See the table below for information about education requirements, salary, and job outlook for this career.

Education Required Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Journalism, English, or communications
Job Growth (2018-2028) 3% decline (for all editors)*
Median Salary (May 2018) $59,480 (for all editors)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Education Requirements for Article Editors

To begin your career as an article editor, you likely need at least a bachelor's degree. You should major in journalism, English or communications at an accredited college or university. If you choose to enroll in an associate's degree program for journalism, you may wish to consider if your credits are transferable to a 4-year program. If you'd like to specialize in an area such as fashion magazine editing, you need to acquire training through an educational program geared toward that specific field.

Your journalism courses may consist of subjects such as advanced writing, news reporting, photography and newspaper production. Advanced editing, reporting and ethics are some other areas you might study. Minor or elective courses may include broadcast reporting and mass communication.

Professional Experience

Many editors begin their careers by writing, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). If possible, write for your college newspaper for valuable work experience. Seek out internships with magazine publishers or local newspapers. Other possible choices include literary magazines and television and radio stations. Securing an internship allows you to learn the publishing business, hone your craft and build your portfolio.

Also, consider job shadowing, which is essentially observing an experienced editor as they perform their daily tasks. Volunteering might be another option. It can give you experience and opportunities to make important business contacts.

Job Duties

Your responsibilities vary according to the type of editing you do. For example, a copy editor checks for spelling, grammar and punctuation accuracy, whereas an executive editor is in charge of hiring and budget planning. Basically, your job as an article editor may involve preparing and rewriting magazine or newspaper copy. You may also develop ideas for articles, adhere to strict publication deadlines and make decisions as to content. As an experienced editor, you may supervise a staff of editors and reporters.

Potential Earnings

In 2018, The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that editors who worked in the newspaper and publishing industries were paid a mean annual salary of $65,890 (www.bls.gov). Editors who worked in professional and political organizations in that same year earned approximately $74,210, while those employed in radio and television broadcasting earned $68,500.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Before becoming an article editor, you may consider a career as a writer/author to help you develop strong writing skills that can make you succeed as an editor. Technical writers create technical content including how-to guides and manuals. If your interest is in news reporting, you may look into becoming a reporter, correspondent or news analyst. A reporter or correspondent presents news in various media including newspapers and magazines. A news analyst, on the other hand, interprets news for the public. Any of these choices requires a bachelor's degree as well as good written and oral communication skills.