Copy Editor Salary

Copy Editors in the United States can expect to earn an average of $42K per year. Compensation for this group is mainly affected by geography, but experience level and the specific company are influential factors as well. Health benefits are not enjoyed by everyone in this line of work, and just under one in three lack any coverage at all. Medical benefits are reported by the larger part and dental coverage is claimed by more than half. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. Men are in the minority of survey respondents, with female Copy Editors making up 73 percent. This overview is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$30,388 - $65,389
$30K
$42K
$65K
MEDIAN: $42,126
10%
50%
90%

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$11.84 - $32.07
$12
$19
$32
MEDIAN: $18.53
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$23K$46K$69K
Salary
$30,388 - $65,389  
   
Bonus
$197.27 - $4,907  
Profit Sharing
$1,147  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$27,943 - $66,749  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 4 May 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 457
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$14$28$42
Hourly Rate
$11.84 - $32.07  
   
Overtime
$18.05 - $41.04  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$28K$56K$84K
Bonus
$197.27 - $4,907  
   
Profit Sharing
$1,147  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$27,943 - $66,749  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 4 May 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 299

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United States (change)

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Job Description for Copy Editor

Copy editors are responsible for reviewing content for their organization's publications, which could include newspapers, magazines, newsletters, website content, mass emails and other written materials. These editors must ensure that materials are factually accurate and free of spelling and grammatical errors; they may also have to work with writers and others within the company to resolve errors and ensure materials are ready for publication. Copy editors also need to make sure that materials fit within the tone, style and perspective of their publication(s). Additionally, they may work with designers, photo editors, web editors and other professionals to ensure content fits within a cohesive package and resolve any issues that arise in the editing process. Copy editors often need to work within tight deadlines, and they must be able to multitask and prioritize assignments to ensure that all tasks are completed promptly.

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Copy Editor Tasks

  • Correct grammar and spelling.
  • Check documents and other items for readability, style, and agreement with editorial policy.
  • Check text to ensure copy is well written and logically structured.
  • Check facts and ask questions to the author.
  • Ensure that text agrees with the approved style.

Common Career Paths for Copy Editor


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It's not very common for Copy Editors to move on to become Senior Copywriters. Average pay for a Senior Copywriter is $70K annually. A common career progression for a Copy Editor is to become an Editor or a Managing Editor. Compared to Copy Editors, the first group earns $5K more on average, and the second group earns $11K more.

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Popular Employer Salaries for Copy Editor


Popular Skills for Copy Editor


Copy Editors seem to exploit a large range of skills on the job. Most notably, facility with writing, Quality Assurance / Quality Control, and copyediting are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 23 percent, 17 percent, and 9 percent, respectively. Skills that pay less than market rate include Graphic Design, Adobe InDesign, and Microsoft Word. Most people familiar with Editing also know Copywriting.

Pay by Experience Level for Copy Editor

Pay by Experience for a Copy Editor has a positive trend. An entry-level Copy Editor with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $38,000 based on 414 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Copy Editor with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $42,000 based on 187 salaries. An experienced Copy Editor which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $48,000 based on 153 salaries. A Copy Editor with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $53,000 based on 117 salaries.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $41,127

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

With a pay rate for Copy Editors that is 34 percent greater than the national average, San Francisco offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. Copy Editors will also find cushy salaries in Washington (+24 percent), New York (+23 percent), Los Angeles (+21 percent), and Boston (+17 percent). Falling short of the national average by 16 percent, the area with the worst salaries is Virginia Beach. Workers in Philadelphia and Louisville earn salaries that trail the national average for those in this profession (15 percent less and 5 percent less, respectively).

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Copy Editor

Gender

Female
73 %
Male
27 %

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 88 votes.
Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
41%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
16%
20 years or more
17%
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Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Copy Editor Salaries

▲29%

▲16%

▲1%

National Average
$41,000

▼8%

Skills That Affect Copy Editor Salaries

writing
▲23%

Quality Assurance / Quality Control
▲17%

fact checking
▲9%

copy Editing
▲9%

copyediting
▲9%

Design
▲7%

Project Management
▲2%

Technical Writing
▼0%

National Average
$41,000

▼1%

Proofreading
▼1%

Writing Procedures & Documentation
▼1%

▼3%

Microsoft Word
▼7%


Graphic Design
▼15%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 88 votes.

Gender

Female
73 %
Male
27 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
41%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
16%
20 years or more
17%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 68%
dental benefits
Dental: 56%
vision benefits
Vision: 47%
no benefits
None: 29%
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