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.
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
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.