How Do I Become an Associate Editor?

Associate editors may work for a newspaper, magazine or book publishing company. Read on to learn about job duties, degree programs, employment opportunities and salary information. Schools offering Children`s Book Illustration degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is an Associate Editor?

Editors review publication work before press to ensure that it is free of errors, easy to understand and factual. They evaluate submissions to see if they're appropriate for inclusion into the publication. They collaborate with writers to increase the likelihood of success and with other publishing members to make sure the text fits with image sizes. They also generate story ideas. The table below highlights some facts about this career.

Degree Required Bachelor's
Education Field of Study Journalism, English, Creative Writing, Communications
Key Responsibilities Assign stories to writers, edit articles for grammatical errors and length, oversee publication layout, review printed/online content, work with senior editors
Job Growth (2014-2024)* -5% (for all editors)
Median Salary (2017)** $39,916 (for associate editors)

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **

What Will I Do as an Associate Editor?

Your duties as an associate editor will vary depending on where you find work in the field. For example, if you become an associate editor for a newspaper or magazine, you might assign stories or feature articles to staff writers. You could make sure articles are turned in by deadline; you might edit written material for clarity and length. In some cases, you could be responsible for page layout. An online publication might expect you to add audio or video links to written material when necessary.

If you find work as an associate editor for an educational institution or business organization, you may be asked to delegate writing assignments; you could also research and write your own articles for publication. Other duties might include reviewing content for grammar errors, content accuracy and readability. You might work under the guidance of an editor or senior editor.

What Educational Programs Are Available?

A bachelor's degree program in English will usually provide you with the educational background necessary to become an associate editor for print or online media. You'll study writing style, tone and grammar in an English bachelor's program.

Other bachelor's degree programs that could prepare you for a career in this field include journalism, communications or creative writing. While not required by most employers, you might consider pursuing a master's degree in English, journalism or publishing; earning a master's degree may lead to an increase in career opportunities.

How Will I Find Work in the Field?

If you're interested in becoming an associate editor, you should start building your resume in college. Consider working for the university's newspaper or literary magazine; you could complete an internship at a magazine, newspaper or book publishing company to gain some work experience. Once you've graduated, you might find an entry-level position with a newspaper, magazine, professional organization, advertising company or educational group.

Many editors begin their careers as writers. After gaining some professional writing experience, you could become an editorial assistant or assistant editor; notes that these are common positions for individuals who are eventually promoted to associate editor.

What Salary Can I Expect to Earn?

According to, associate editors earned a median salary of $39,916 in 2017. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not report specific data for associate editors, but did report that editors in general held 96,690 jobs in 2015 (

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Related careers include broadcast news analysts, technical writers and authors. Broadcast news analysts present the latest happenings internationally and/or domestically via television or print. Technical writers work to present intricate details in a simple manner for things like instruction manuals. Authors produce text for all kinds of publications, like books and magazines. All of these careers require a bachelor's degree.

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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