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Copy Editor Salary

Copy Editors in the United States pull down an average of $42K per year. Experience level and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Job satisfaction for Copy Editors is high. Health benefits are not claimed by all — just under a third lack any form of coverage — but the greater part have medical insurance, and the larger part have dental, too. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.
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$29,500 - $63,977
(Median)
$29K
$42K
$64K
MEDIAN: $41,634
10%
50%
90%

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$10.82 - $34.62
(Median)
$11
$18
$35
MEDIAN: $18.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$23K$46K$69K
Salary
$29,500 - $63,977  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $3,395  
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).
)
$26,463 - $67,458  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 686
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$14$28$42
Hourly Rate
$10.82 - $34.62  
   
Overtime
$17.78 - $41.40  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$28K$56K$84K
Bonus
$0.00 - $3,395  
   
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).
)
$26,463 - $67,458  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 461

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United States (change)


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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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Copy Editors may progress into high-paying roles like Senior Copywriter, where median compensation is $69K annually. Copy Editors most often move into positions as Managing Editors or Editors; those groups report median salaries that are $10K higher and $4K higher, respectively.

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Popular Skills for Copy Editor


Survey results imply that Copy Editors put a diverse skill set to use. Most notably, skills in Design, Writing Procedures & Documentation, Editing, and Technical Writing are correlated to pay that is above average. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Graphic Design, Adobe InDesign, and Microsoft Word. Most people who know 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 many Copy Editors, experience and pay levels seem to be correlated; more years in the business generally lead to more money. Respondents with less than five years' experience take home $35K on average. In contrast, those who have been around for five to 10 years earn a noticeably higher average of $45K. Copy Editors who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $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 $53K on average.

Pay Difference by Location


Home to some of the best pay for Copy Editors, Los Angeles offers exceptional salaries, 28 percent above the national average. Copy Editors will also find cushy salaries in New York (+27 percent), Detroit (+26 percent), Washington (+24 percent), and Philadelphia (+24 percent). In Atlanta, salaries are 8 percent below the national average and represent the lowest-paying market.

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United States (change)

Experience Affects Copy Editor Salaries




National Average
$41,000


Skills That Affect Copy Editor Salaries

Design
up arrow 7%


Editing
up arrow 2%

Technical Writing
up arrow 2%

Proofreading
up arrow 1%

National Average
$41,000

Copywriting
up arrow 1%

Microsoft Word
up arrow 6%


Graphic Design
up arrow 14%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 184 votes.

Gender

Female
70 %
Male
30 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
41%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
20%
20 years or more
14%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 69% dental benefits Dental: 58%
vision benefits Vision: 45% employee benefits None: 29%
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