Copy Editor Salary
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.Read More...
A bachelor's degree in journalism, English or another relevant field is typically the minimum educational requirement for this position. Previous work experience as a copy editor is often required or preferred as well. Some employers require prospective employees complete a copy-editing test and/or submit samples of their work. Copy editors must pay close attention to detail, work quickly and effectively, and be proficient with the software used by their company to copy edit materials.
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
Though some Copy Editors move into positions like Senior Copywriter (where the average salary is $70K), this progression is not the norm. When Copy Editors are ready for the next step in their careers, they often become Managing Editors or Editors. Those roles pay an additional $11K and $5K, respectively.
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Popular Employer Salaries for Copy Editor
Popular Skills for Copy Editor
Survey results imply that Copy Editors deploy a deep pool of skills on the job. Most notably, facility with writing, copyediting, and Quality Assurance / Quality Control are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 24 percent, 23 percent, and 18 percent, respectively. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Graphic Design, copy Editing, and Adobe InDesign. Most people familiar with Editing also know Copywriting.
Pay by Experience Level for Copy Editor
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For Copy Editors, more experience in the field does not usually mean bigger paychecks. Relatively untried employees who have fewer than five years of experience earn around $37K on average. People who have worked for five to 10 years can expect a higher median salary of $42K. On average, Copy Editors make $48K following one to two decades on the job. More than 20 years of experience mean a somewhat bigger median paycheck of $52K, but it's not much more than what less experienced people make.
Pay Difference by Location
Surpassing the national average by 31 percent, Copy Editors in San Francisco receive some of the highest pay in the country. Copy Editors can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Washington (+29 percent), New York (+25 percent), Los Angeles (+19 percent), and Seattle (+12 percent). In Atlanta, salaries are 17 percent below the national average and represent the lowest-paying market. Below-median salaries also turn up in Virginia Beach and Louisville (16 percent lower and 4 percent lower, respectively).