Career Search: what it means to be an editor

By Paula Stachuletz, staff writer

Paula

Paula Stachuletz

In today’s world, we are surrounded by text. Online, on paper, on TV, on ebooks – text is everywhere and plays a crucial role in sharing and getting information. To make sure that they’re error-free and logical, you need someone to look over and correct them. That is what an editor does; they’re one of the most important people behind every piece of writing that is published.

To become an editor, you will need a bachelor’s degree in English, journalism or communication. Many employers prefer people who already have some experience in different kinds of media – working for your high school’s or college’s newspaper is great for that. Most editors start out as assistants and climb the career ladder by proving they have an outstanding ability to work with text. You can even become a manager in your area if you’re good enough.

If you want to work in this field, you’ll need lots of creativity, a broad knowledge and the determination to meet hard deadlines. Sometimes a lot of projects are going on at the same time which also means that your work days will be longer; an average day is between eight and nine hours. However, more work can mean more than ten hours. While many editors work in offices, it’s often possible to operate from home where you can plan your schedule yourself. That makes the job a little easier.

Editors in 2016 had an average annual salary of $57,210 and earned around $28 per hour. Most editors are hired by professional information services, book publishers, magazines and newspapers. While it’s an option to become self-employed, it’s normally safer to get a job at a company.

With the ongoing digitalization of our world, the traditional job of an editor is slowly losing importance. Autocorrect replaces actual humans to proofread and point out mistakes; however, a machine can’t spot logical or aesthetical errors. If an editor can work well with computers and text programs it is possible to get a good job.

I always had a passion for text, but the thought of being an author never really amazed me. While I enjoy writing, I prefer not being in the spotlight too much. Since I’m very interested in grammar, spelling, logical plotlines and such, being an editor sounds great to me. My uncle works for a newspaper and it’s very fascinating to learn about the journey that a story goes through before it’s published. I would like to be a part of that process.

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