Site Search
The Riley Guide

Home >> Careers & Education

Copy Editors

Editors


Education

Fast Facts*
Recommended Degree LevelBachelor
Salary, Typical$53,880
Salary Range$29K - $105K
Number of Jobs, 201299,040
Annual Job Growth Rate2.9%
Job Openings per Year (est.)3,700

What's Needed:

  • Typically, editors have a bachelor's degree in communications, English or journalism.
  • Those with a different academic background who demonstrate strong writing skills may be able to acquire an editor position.
  • Editor positions dealing with a specific subject may require experience related to the specific field.

What you study:

  • English
  • Copy editing
  • Grammar and punctuation
  • Writing and editing for the Web
  • Journalism
  • Editing electronically
  • Digital publishing


A Day in the Life

Editors are responsible for the nature and quality of printed material.

As an editor your thoughts matter. As the editor you get to approve the final versions of content and images submitted by staff members. Editors are responsible for the nature and quality of printed material. As an editor you'll ensure the content of the publication adheres to the publication's style and editorial policy.

If you want to be an editor you need to be detailed oriented and see the big picture. During the day you spend time correcting grammar, eliminating inconsistencies and working with writers on rewrites. As an editor you make sure the text is easy to understand. During the day you evaluate printed material for the quality of content.

During the day you adhere to the economics of publishing.

Throughout the day you work closely with writers. You also constantly work with other people working on the publication such as typesetters, artists, layout personnel, production managers and marketing directors. You also handle disputes between departments. During the day you adhere to the economics of publishing.

If you're a book editor you're involved in meetings listening to book proposals seeking the gem to publish. After you select a book to publish you collaborate with the author to produce the best possible book. As a book editor you'll be the manager who gets books printed by negotiating contracts, collaborating with authors, suggesting changes to the book and editing the material. You edit books for structure and style. You may also be involved in the rewriting process.

As a book editor you'll be the manager who gets books printed.

If you're a copy editor you evaluate copy for errors in punctuation, grammar and spelling and you also evaluate copy for style and readability and make sure the material adheres to editorial policy. You'll also suggest revisions. As an assistant editor you'll oversee a specify subject such as feature stories, local news or international news. If you're a managing editor you oversee the daily operations of a news department. As an executive editor you manage assistant editors and you make the final decisions regarding which stories are published and how they are covered. You hire employees, create a budget and negotiate contracts.


Certifications and Licensing

Editors are not required to have certifications or licenses but many employers requires candidates to take proofreading and word processing tests.


Job Flexibility

Full-time versus part-time: Most editors work full-time. Editors' schedules are typically determined by the type of editorial position and the production schedule. They often work overtime when they get close to a production deadline.

Work location: Editors work for newspapers, magazines, book publishers, websites as well as advertising and public relations companies.


Recommended Websites

  • American Copy Editors Society offers an array of resources including a mentorship program, especially for editors just beginning in the business. New editors develop their knowledge and skills throughout the mentorship program. Click on the membership button to access information about the membership program. The website also has job listings.
  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Handbook provides an overview of the various editor roles. The BLS also offers salary data, educational requirements and an employment growth forecast.
  • American Society of Magazine Editors offers a 10-week Magazine Internship program for college seniors at magazines in New York and Washington. Applicants need to be full-time students and have a GPA of at east a 3.0. The interns are regarded as temporary employees of the magazine and are paid at least $350 a week before deductions.

Salaries by City

See typical salaries and ranges for this career below*. Shift click to sort by more than one column -- for example first shift-click on state and then shift-click on salary to find best and worst salaries in each state.

StateCity / RegionTypical SalarySalary RangeJob Count% of All Jobs
AKAnchorage$52,880$36K - $74K900.05%
ALBirmingham - Hoover$37,840$17K - $60K1400.03%
ALDothan$31,250$22K - $58K300.06%
ALHuntsville$42,580$19K - $83K700.03%
ALMobile$34,460$25K - $102KN/AN/A
ALMontgomery$47,860$28K - $71K800.05%
ALTuscaloosa$55,940$33K - $74K900.10%
ARFayetteville - Springdale - Rogers$34,850$24K - $63K600.03%
ARFort Smith$32,450$21K - $57K500.05%
ARLittle Rock - North Little Rock - Conway$47,700$32K - $80K2200.07%
AZPhoenix - Mesa - Glendale$53,420$34K - $89K1,0400.06%
AZTucson$45,920$33K - $72K1300.04%
CABakersfield - Delano$42,020$26K - $80K600.02%
CAChico$41,780$26K - $87K400.06%
CAFresno$52,480$33K - $77K900.03%
CALos Angeles - Long Beach - Glendale (Metro Area)$59,010$35K - $109K4,1000.11%
CAOakland - Fremont - Hayward (Metro Area)$46,850$19K - $86K6500.07%
CAOxnard - Thousand Oaks - Ventura$53,980$36K - $105K1900.06%
CARiverside - San Bernardino - Ontario$49,100$33K - $76K2900.03%
CASacramento - Arden - Arcade - Roseville$55,170$33K - $84K4100.05%
CASalinas$51,040$29K - $91KN/AN/A
CASan Diego - Carlsbad - San Marcos$46,160$33K - $76K6000.05%
CASan Francisco - San Mateo - Redwood City (Metro Area)$58,490$38K - $97K2,3100.23%
CASan Jose - Sunnyvale - Santa Clara$49,010$26K - $135K7100.08%
CASan Luis Obispo - Paso Robles$55,680$39K - $93K300.03%
CASanta Ana - Anaheim - Irvine (Metro Area)$65,860$40K - $139K6800.05%
CASanta Barbara - Santa Maria - Goleta$55,280$36K - $106K1400.08%
CASanta Cruz - Watsonville$38,690$33K - $72K400.05%
CASanta Rosa - Petaluma$58,840$34K - $76K1200.07%
CAStockton$53,700$19K - $74K500.02%
CAVisalia - Porterville$38,640$27K - $58K300.02%
COBoulder$54,290$36K - $97K2200.14%
COColorado Springs$46,570$32K - $94K1500.06%
CODenver - Aurora - Broomfield$55,900$25K - $112K7800.06%
COFort Collins - Loveland$46,040$28K - $74K1400.11%
COGreeleyN/AN/A - N/A400.04%
CTBridgeport - Stamford - Norwalk$51,360$28K - $98K4100.10%
CTDanbury$45,190$27K - $77K400.05%
CTHartford - West Hartford - East Hartford$56,060$30K - $107K2200.04%
CTNew Haven$59,630$39K - $92K1900.07%
CTNorwich - New London$51,640$32K - $90K1200.09%
DCWashington - Arlington - Alexandria (Metro Area)$63,960$37K - $117K4,4500.19%
DEDover$38,340$28K - $69K400.06%
DEWilmington (Metro Area)$62,940$42K - $92K1600.05%
FLCape Coral - Fort Myers$56,690$35K - $85K800.04%
FLDeltona - Daytona Beach - Ormond Beach$63,110$44K - $92K500.03%
FLFort Lauderdale - Pompano Beach - Deerfield Beach (Metro Area)$60,460$41K - $113K4300.06%
FLGainesville$55,420$35K - $90K1100.09%
FLJacksonville$52,670$33K - $88K2000.03%
FLLakeland - Winter Haven$60,680$35K - $116K600.03%
FLMiami - Miami Beach - Kendall (Metro Area)$60,210$39K - $141K5200.05%
FLNaples - Marco Island$62,770$49K - $97K400.04%
FLNorth Port - Bradenton - Sarasota$62,730$39K - $126K1500.06%
FLOcalaN/AN/A - N/A800.09%
FLOrlando - Kissimmee - Sanford$60,460$41K - $133K5200.05%
FLPalm Bay - Melbourne - Titusville$50,440$36K - $70K700.03%
FLPort St. Lucie$46,680$34K - $82K600.05%
FLPunta Gorda$59,360$40K - $122K300.08%
FLTallahasseeN/AN/A - N/A1300.08%
FLTampa - St. Petersburg - Clearwater$58,330$34K - $94K5700.05%
FLWest Palm Beach - Boca Raton - Boynton Beach (Metro Area)$64,210$44K - $102K3700.07%
GAAthens - Clarke CountyN/AN/A - N/A300.04%
GAAtlanta - Sandy Springs - Marietta$47,810$25K - $91K1,0000.04%
GAAugusta - Richmond County$39,780$27K - $69K700.03%
GAGainesville$39,590$28K - $81KN/AN/A
GAMacon$49,580$24K - $68K400.04%
GASavannah$45,530$29K - $94K600.04%
HIHonolulu$53,230$22K - $90K1800.04%
IAAmes$44,660$32K - $75K400.10%
IACedar Rapids$37,890$22K - $66K400.03%
IADavenport - Moline - Rock Island$43,980$27K - $74K900.05%
IADes Moines - West Des Moines$62,020$30K - $109K7000.22%
IADubuque$36,320$26K - $59K500.10%
IAIowa City$51,440$25K - $70K1100.13%
IDBoise City - Nampa$41,480$19K - $71K1800.07%
ILChampaign - Urbana$46,130$31K - $75K1800.19%
ILChicago - Joliet - Naperville (Metro Area)$47,500$28K - $88K3,6400.10%
ILKankakee - Bradley$36,830$25K - $70KN/AN/A
ILLake County - Kenosha County (Metro Area)$58,040$40K - $92K2400.06%
ILPeoria$56,090$28K - $92K1000.05%
ILRockford$54,690$34K - $91K500.04%
ILSpringfield$50,580$33K - $84KN/AN/A
INBloomington$45,150$26K - $71KN/AN/A
INEvansville$41,030$27K - $68K400.03%
INFort Wayne$41,670$28K - $62K900.05%
INGary (Metro Area)$35,950$22K - $89KN/AN/A
INIndianapolis - Carmel$41,320$25K - $72K5900.07%
INLafayette$40,840$22K - $70K600.07%
INMuncie$42,180$28K - $57KN/AN/A
INSouth Bend - Mishawaka$40,390$25K - $70K800.07%
INTerre Haute$62,440$28K - $75K700.10%
KSLawrence$59,160$32K - $94K1000.22%
KSTopeka$39,410$23K - $91K400.04%
KSWichita$44,450$28K - $73K900.03%
KYLexington - Fayette$35,700$20K - $61K1500.06%
KYLouisville - Jefferson County$39,530$18K - $84K3000.05%
LABaton Rouge$49,090$28K - $71K1700.05%
LANew Orleans - Metairie - Kenner$41,500$19K - $75K2400.05%
MABarnstable Town$46,570$37K - $71K700.08%
MABoston - Cambridge - Quincy (Metro Area)$67,510$41K - $117K3,0000.18%
MAFramingham (Metro Area)$65,970$43K - $109K2400.15%
MAPeabody (Metro Area)$50,960$36K - $177KN/AN/A
MASpringfield$46,710$27K - $105K2200.08%
MAWorcester$53,460$30K - $88K1400.06%
MDBaltimore - Towson$54,050$33K - $86K8800.07%
MDBethesda - Rockville - Frederick (Metro Area)$62,110$38K - $95K7600.14%
MDHagerstown - Martinsburg$38,500$28K - $74KN/AN/A
MEBangorN/AN/A - N/A400.06%
MELewiston - Auburn$39,680$24K - $58K300.07%
MEPortland - South Portland - Biddeford$42,190$33K - $65K1000.05%
MIAnn Arbor$52,130$33K - $101K1900.10%
MIDetroit - Livonia - Dearborn (Metro Area)$47,570$31K - $89K2500.04%
MIFlint$34,450$22K - $60KN/AN/A
MIGrand Rapids - Wyoming$40,270$24K - $61K2600.07%
MIKalamazoo - Portage$30,020$21K - $47K500.04%
MILansing - East Lansing$58,160$33K - $109K900.04%
MINiles - Benton Harbor$44,300$32K - $79K300.06%
MIWarren - Troy - Farmington Hills (Metro Area)$47,660$28K - $72K6300.06%
MNDuluth$31,470$17K - $38KN/AN/A
MNMankato - North Mankato$41,040$33K - $56K400.09%
MNMinneapolis - St. Paul - Bloomington$56,800$33K - $96K2,8600.16%
MNRochesterN/AN/A - N/A700.07%
MNSt. Cloud$39,780$30K - $104K300.04%
MOColumbia$33,820$21K - $66K900.11%
MOKansas City$50,260$27K - $95K5900.06%
MOSpringfield$39,690$26K - $54K700.04%
MOSt. Louis$46,770$25K - $94K6000.05%
MSJackson$44,170$22K - $67K900.03%
MTMissoula$37,900$27K - $67K500.10%
NCAsheville$41,570$31K - $55KN/AN/A
NCCharlotte - Gastonia - Rock Hill$56,280$30K - $96K4400.05%
NCDurham - Chapel Hill$49,620$34K - $71K3200.12%
NCGreensboro - High Point$49,210$33K - $72K2000.06%
NCRaleigh - Cary$52,370$34K - $105K1800.03%
NCWilmington$45,890$32K - $71K500.04%
NCWinston - Salem$40,260$22K - $66K800.04%
NDFargo$53,630$39K - $72K400.03%
NELincoln$28,800$17K - $66K1100.07%
NEOmaha - Council Bluffs$47,010$29K - $75K2600.06%
NHManchester$67,520$40K - $78K800.08%
NHNashua (Metro Area)$52,260$30K - $89K500.04%
NJAtlantic City - Hammonton$56,940$29K - $90K500.04%
NJCamden (Metro Area)$66,850$43K - $92K1900.04%
NJEdison - New Brunswick (Metro Area)$57,280$31K - $104K7300.08%
NJNewark - Union (Metro Area)$61,150$34K - $116K8200.09%
NJTrenton - Ewing$51,690$40K - $95K3100.14%
NMAlbuquerque$39,240$28K - $73K1900.05%
NMSanta Fe$60,750$40K - $104K700.12%
NVLas Vegas - Paradise$48,360$29K - $78K2300.03%
NVReno - Sparks$47,710$35K - $73K400.02%
NYAlbany - Schenectady - Troy$59,000$32K - $116K3300.08%
NYBinghamton$34,960$17K - $88K600.06%
NYBuffalo - Niagara Falls$43,840$25K - $76K3600.07%
NYGlens Falls$29,430$23K - $51K2500.47%
NYIthaca$46,900$25K - $82K700.13%
NYKingston$40,360$29K - $85K400.07%
NYNassau - Suffolk (Metro Area)$71,360$34K - $118K1,3100.11%
NYNew York - White Plains - Wayne (Metro Area)$67,760$36K - $150K17,7400.34%
NYPoughkeepsie - Newburgh - Middletown$49,820$28K - $79K1500.06%
NYRochester$48,400$31K - $98K4500.09%
NYSyracuse$43,010$26K - $92K2900.10%
NYUtica - Rome$44,300$32K - $73K400.03%
OHAkron$56,510$31K - $89K1600.05%
OHCincinnati - Middletown$47,920$30K - $75K5700.06%
OHCleveland - Elyria - Mentor$49,310$24K - $74K9600.10%
OHColumbus$59,320$39K - $98K1,4400.16%
OHDayton$52,730$28K - $83K1900.05%
OHToledo$45,320$29K - $86K1500.05%
OKOklahoma City$43,910$26K - $73K3000.05%
OKTulsa$38,270$28K - $89K2100.05%
OREugene - Springfield$47,840$22K - $72K1200.09%
ORMedford$36,590$27K - $75K300.04%
ORPortland - Vancouver - Hillsboro$52,530$24K - $83K6200.06%
ORSalem$63,640$19K - $76K900.06%
PAAllentown - Bethlehem - Easton$47,800$18K - $77K2700.08%
PAErie$37,640$21K - $89K500.04%
PAHarrisburg - Carlisle$44,510$26K - $72K2500.08%
PALancaster$37,100$25K - $67K1700.08%
PAPhiladelphia (Metro Area)$55,120$31K - $95K1,6700.09%
PAPittsburgh$49,840$28K - $77K5100.05%
PAReading$41,500$26K - $70K400.03%
PAScranton - Wilkes - Barre$50,790$26K - $63K1300.05%
PAState College$48,930$29K - $75K700.10%
PAYork - Hanover$46,020$28K - $75K800.04%
PRSan Juan - Caguas - Guaynabo$39,690$23K - $78K2800.04%
RIProvidence - Fall River - Warwick$56,250$29K - $93K2900.05%
SCCharleston - North Charleston - Summerville$47,790$28K - $73K1900.07%
SCColumbia$33,380$18K - $49K900.03%
SCGreenville - Mauldin - Easley$45,250$27K - $75K1200.04%
SCMyrtle Beach - North Myrtle Beach - Conway$48,020$33K - $58K300.03%
TNChattanooga$35,030$23K - $64K900.04%
TNKingsport - Bristol - Bristol$32,460$21K - $59K300.03%
TNKnoxville$61,760$38K - $94K1200.04%
TNMemphis$40,780$31K - $65K2000.03%
TNNashville - Davidson - Murfreesboro - Franklin$48,320$31K - $83K5400.07%
TXAmarillo$42,340$31K - $56K400.04%
TXAustin - Round Rock - San Marcos$45,720$28K - $84K7300.09%
TXCollege Station - Bryan$46,400$25K - $77K900.10%
TXCorpus Christi$43,180$23K - $97K400.02%
TXDallas - Plano - Irving (Metro Area)$53,390$23K - $125K9500.05%
TXEl Paso$41,480$23K - $62K700.02%
TXFort Worth - Arlington (Metro Area)$50,200$27K - $89K3300.04%
TXHouston - Sugar Land - Baytown$49,890$21K - $90K9200.03%
TXKilleen - Temple - Fort Hood$37,350$30K - $57K600.04%
TXLongview$29,980$17K - $50K500.05%
TXLubbock$35,520$23K - $55K400.03%
TXMcAllen - Edinburg - Mission$30,330$16K - $56K500.02%
TXSan Antonio - New Braunfels$40,730$24K - $85K6500.08%
TXWaco$41,550$24K - $81K800.08%
UTOgden - Clearfield$51,100$23K - $60K600.03%
UTProvo - Orem$44,730$21K - $74K1300.07%
UTSalt Lake City$49,940$31K - $74K3000.05%
VACharlottesville$50,050$34K - $73K3900.40%
VARichmond$54,400$30K - $81K3600.06%
VARoanoke$47,030$18K - $75K600.04%
VAVirginia Beach - Norfolk - Newport News$37,620$29K - $65K5200.07%
VTBurlington - South Burlington$44,510$29K - $60K900.07%
WABellingham$38,480$32K - $61K800.10%
WABremerton - Silverdale$66,030$34K - $97KN/AN/A
WASeattle - Bellevue - Everett (Metro Area)$67,400$35K - $126K1,9000.13%
WASpokane$41,880$28K - $74K1100.06%
WATacoma (Metro Area)$63,630$39K - $95K900.04%
WIEau Claire$39,470$25K - $49K400.05%
WIGreen Bay$37,970$21K - $74K700.04%
WIJanesville$43,650$19K - $63KN/AN/A
WIMadison$44,650$18K - $68K4100.12%
WIMilwaukee - Waukesha - West Allis$43,400$24K - $68K4300.05%
WIOshkosh - Neenah$55,250$34K - $75K500.05%
WIRacine$51,120$31K - $88K500.07%