Assistant Editor Jobs: Salary and Career Facts

Research what it takes to become an assistant editor. Learn about educational requirements, job duties and the salary range for assistant editors to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Children`s Book Illustration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is an Assistant Editor?

As an assistant editor, you would work under other editors, who might ask you to check for grammar and other mistakes in an article or manuscript, check facts and proofread. Typically assistant editors are responsible for one particular subject, such as local news or sports. They can work for newspapers, magazines, book publishers, public relations firms and more. Assistant editors may be tasked with developing story ideas, working with writers to improve their stories and offering constructive comments to enhance stories or headlines. Their main goal is to ensure that a piece is error-free and easily understood by their readers. The following chart gives an overview of this editorial career.

Degree Required Bachelor's
Education Field of Study Journalism, English, communications
Key Skills Editing copy, checking facts, working with writers and other editors
Job Growth (2014-24) -5% (for all editors)*
Median Salary (October 2016) $37,435 (for assistant editors)**

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com

What Education Will I Need For a Career as an Assistant Editor?

You'll usually need to earn a bachelor's degree in order to qualify for an assistant editor position. You might consider applying to a bachelor's program in electronic or print journalism, English or communications. Working for a college publication can also help you gain experience in writing and editing.

As a print journalism major, you'll take subjects such as editing and news reporting, mass communications, foreign language, media ethics and public relations. Electronic journalism bachelor's programs may offer audio journalism, investigative reporting, television news production and electronic media courses. Most bachelor's programs also require completion of general education classes like algebra or introductory psychology.

If you choose to become an English major, you might take courses like advanced creative writing, contemporary fiction, Victorian novels, American literature, British literature and mythology. A bachelor's degree program in communications may consist of classes such as culture and media, social networking and visual communication. You might need to complete an internship in order to graduate.

What Will My Job Duties Be?

In most industries, editors are responsible for proofreading the work of writers for grammar, punctuation and clarity. Additional duties vary by employer. For example, assistant editors who work in magazine publishing may be responsible for researching story concepts or selecting page layouts. Assistant editors who work for a newspaper company may delegate story assignments to reporters and write headlines. In some cases, assistant editors may research and write articles of their own.

Along with the ability to meet deadlines, you'll need excellent communication and organizational skills as well as a detail-oriented approach to work as an assistant editor. You should also be familiar with word processing and web design software programs like Microsoft Word and Quark Xpress.

How Much Can I Earn?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, editors in general earned a median salary of $56,010 as of May 2015. PayScale.com looked at assistant editors in particular and found that their median salary was $37,435 in October 2016 (PayScale.com).

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Reporters, correspondents, and broadcast news analysts are all related positions that require a bachelor's degree. These professionals relay news and important events and information to the public. They may work in television, radio, newspaper and more. Writers and authors, and more specifically technical writers, are also similar careers requiring a bachelor's degree. Writers and authors create written content for various forms of media. Their work may be found in songs, books, magazines, advertisements and more. Technical writers create content that is technical and complex in nature. Their work may be found in things like instruction manuals or journal articles.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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