Copy Editor Salary

The average Copy Editor in the United States earns approximately $42K annually. This group's pay is mainly influenced by experience level, followed by geography and the specific company. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. Slightly less than a third of professionals in this line of work do not receive benefits; however, more than half report medical coverage and the larger part claim dental coverage as well. The figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$29,532 - $63,091
(Median)
$30K
$42K
$63K
MEDIAN: $41,526
10%
50%
90%

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$11.32 - $34.44
(Median)
$11
$18
$34
MEDIAN: $18.00
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
$29,532 - $63,091  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,928  
Profit Sharing
$1,952  
Commission
$618  
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).
)
$27,292 - $66,343  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 731
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
$11.32 - $34.44  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00  
Overtime
$18.21 - $41.60  
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
$0.00 - $2,928  
   
Commission
$618  
Profit Sharing
$1,952  
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).
)
$27,292 - $66,343  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 477
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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

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

Common Career Paths for Copy Editor


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While Copy Editors do not often become Senior Copywriters, the job pays $69K per year on average. Copy Editors moving up in their careers tend to step into positions as Managing Editors or Editors. The median paychecks in those roles are $10K higher and $4K higher, respectively.

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Popular Employer Salaries for Copy Editor


Popular Skills for Copy Editor


Copy Editors report using a pretty varied skill set on the job. Most notably, skills in Design, Writing Procedures & Documentation, Proofreading, and Editing are correlated to pay that is above average. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Graphic Design, copy Editing, and Microsoft Word. Those proficient in Editing are, more often than not, also skilled in Copywriting.

Pay by Experience Level for Copy Editor

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


For Copy Editors, level of experience appears to be a somewhat less important part of the salary calculation — more experience does not correlate to noticeably higher pay. The average worker who claims fewer than five years of experience earns around $36K. In contrast, however, individuals who report five to 10 years in this occupation see a much larger median of $44K. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $50K in this role. Copy Editors who have stuck around for more than two decades see earnings that are only slightly higher than those of folks who have worked for 10 to 20 years; the more senior group makes around $52K on average.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $40,939

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

Home to some of the best pay for Copy Editors, Detroit offers exceptional salaries, 28 percent above the national average. Copy Editors can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Los Angeles (+26 percent), Washington (+25 percent), Philadelphia (+24 percent), and New York (+24 percent). Atlanta ranks last in the field for pay, reporting salaries 8 percent below the national average. Employers in Denver and San Diego also lean toward paying below-median salaries (7 percent lower and 5 percent lower, respectively).

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Experience Affects Copy Editor Salaries




National Average
$41,000


Skills That Affect Copy Editor Salaries

Design
up arrow 7%

Writing Procedures & Documentation
up arrow 2%

Editing
up arrow 1%

Proofreading
up arrow 1%

Technical Writing
up arrow 1%

National Average
$41,000

Copywriting
up arrow 1%


Microsoft Word
up arrow 6%

copy Editing
up arrow 11%

Graphic Design
up arrow 14%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 138 votes.

Gender

Female
69 %
Male
31 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
40%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
20%
20 years or more
15%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 69%
dental benefits
Dental: 58%
medical benefits
Vision: 46%
dental benefits
None: 29%
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