Editor Salary at Large

Harvard University, salary range, manuscript editing services, publishing help for authors, writing process and rewriting stage, freelance editor, freelance proofreader, career pay, Let's Go Travel Guides Name: Laura Leon
Job Title: Editor
Where: Boston, MA
Years of Experience: 10+
Salary: See PayScale's median Editor Salary
Employer: Self-Employed
Education: M.Ed. Harvard University

Editor Job Description:

An editor makes people's writing better. I provide manuscript editing services. I prepare reports, articles, and book manuscripts (fiction and non-fiction) for publication. This occasionally includes fact-checking during the writing process and rewriting stage. This usually includes making the manuscript conform to the publishers' style guidelines. I have worked on technical reports, textbooks and glossy magazines. I provide publishing help for authors. Requirements: a good eye for detail and lots of patience.

How did you become an editor?

I started editing as a student in college, so that was my first "job," but there was no editor salary range as I didn't charge back then. Foreign students would ask me to correct their papers--I'm not sure why, perhaps I just looked like an editor. As a senior in college, I interned part-time at a policy think tank on-campus. It just so happened that they needed a proofreader and funneled me into this kind of work.

What was your next job as an editor?

While in graduate school at Harvard University, I edited for the student-run Let's Go Travel Guides--an experience that was equally wacky and satisfying. The office was like a funhouse littered with all sorts of children's toys, a giant inflatable Godzilla, toy soldiers and a chaotic arrangement of desks and computers.

Everyone was easy-going and yet totally focused on the writing process and rewriting stage. We regularly kept the fires burning all night long, in the run up to tight deadlines. It was the kind of place where nothing mattered except getting your job done right and getting it done fast.

What types of manuscript editing services did you do after graduation?

After graduation, I put my editing experience aside to teach ESL and work in admissions, two experiences that no doubt have made me a better editor. I continued to take all sorts of writing and journalism courses in the evening and then returned to editing in the late 90s when I took a position as editor of several college publications.

What do you love about being a freelance editor?

There are three best things about being an editor: I get to read all sorts of new writing before it's published, I love the freedom of working as a freelance editor, and I'm very satisfied to have a finished product.

What's the typical editor salary range?

The typical editor salary range is $20.00-$75.00 per hour. An editor's salary range depends on experience.

What's the oddest thing that has happened to you as a freelance editor?

I recently edited a report on the ethics of targeted killings of terrorists. But the most memorable thing was a job interview at an outdoor cafe on the beach, sipping designer drinks and soaking in the sun. Why memorable? 

The night before, I got a facial and mentioned it to a friend on the phone. Although it was late, she wanted to see the results of the facial, so we decided to meet at a bar. She bumped into a friend there, who bumped into a friend who was looking for someone to work on his radio program. Needless to say, I got the job.

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