Copy Editor Salary

The average Copy Editor in the United States earns approximately $41K annually. The most influential factor affecting pay for this group is experience level, though geography and the individual firm have a (lesser) impact as well. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Copy Editors. Most Copy Editors survey respondents are women (70 percent). Although just under one in three lack health benefits of any kind, the greater part do enjoy medical insurance, and more than half get dental coverage, too. The figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$29,573 - $63,659

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$10.96 - $34.70

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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
$29,573 - $63,659  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,576  
Profit Sharing
$247.90 - $2,035  
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).
)
$26,863 - $67,155  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 688
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
$10.96 - $34.70  
   
Overtime
$17.81 - $41.72  
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 - $2,576  
   
Profit Sharing
$247.90 - $2,035  
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).
)
$26,863 - $67,155  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 451
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Job Description for Copy Editor

The basic function of copy editor is to review, make changes, and sometimes rewrite articles written by others. Copy editors are often considered a "last line of defense" before a written piece is published for the public eye to see. They usually work for newspapers, magazine productions, and other types of written publishing companies. Being a writer or reporter is often a prerequisite for doing this job, as there is a considerable amount of knowledge that needs to be learned before they can do what is expected of them properly. They check facts, make sure the writing fits the selective style of the company, correct grammar and spelling mistakes, and ensure the article is logically sound. A copy editor must consider other corrections for the work before it is published. He or she also makes visual layout changes to a publication when concerning newspapers and magazine pages. As far as education goes, a Bachelor's degree in English, journalism, or communications is usually expected or required.


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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For Copy Editors, progressing to a Senior Copywriter role may result in a significant raise. On average, a Senior Copywriter can earn $69K annually. 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


Self-Employed seems to offer the smallest paychecks with a median salary of only $54K. The pay range is quite narrow, too; compensation generally sits between $14K and $114K.

Popular Skills for Copy Editor


Survey results show that Copy Editors use a fair number of skills. Most notably, skills in Design, Writing Procedures & Documentation, Editing, and Technical Writing are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include 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.


In general, experience and pay appear to be strongly linked; those with more experience usually bring in higher incomes. Workers in their first five years can expect to earn $35K, but people who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably bigger sum of $45K. For Copy Editors, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $51K. 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 $54K on average.

Pay Difference by Location


For Copy Editors, busy Los Angeles offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 33 percent above the national average. Copy Editors can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like New York (+26 percent), Detroit (+26 percent), Washington (+25 percent), and Philadelphia (+24 percent). Atlanta ranks last in the field for pay, reporting salaries 6 percent below the national average. Denver and San Diego are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries tend to be 3 percent less than the median.

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Experience Affects Copy Editor Salaries




National Average
$41,000


Skills That Affect Copy Editor Salaries

Design
up arrow 7%

Editing
up arrow 2%

Writing Procedures & Documentation
up arrow 2%

Proofreading
up arrow 1%

Technical Writing
up arrow 1%

National Average
$41,000

Copywriting
up arrow 2%


Microsoft Word
up arrow 6%

copy Editing
up arrow 11%

Graphic Design
up arrow 14%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 152 votes.

Gender

Female
70 %
Male
30 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
41%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
20%
20 years or more
14%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 69% dental benefits Dental: 57%
vision benefits Vision: 45% employee benefits None: 29%
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