Copy Editor Salary

The average Copy Editor in the United States earns approximately $42K annually. Geography is the main element affecting pay for this group — years of experience and the individual firm are driving factors as well. The majority of Copy Editors claim high levels of job satisfaction. Although slightly less than a third lack health benefits of any kind, a majority do enjoy medical insurance, and a little more than half get dental coverage, too. Female Copy Editors make up most of the survey respondents at 71 percent. Figures cited in this summary are based on replies to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$29,860 - $63,312
$30K
$42K
$63K
MEDIAN: $41,687
10%
50%
90%

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$11.94 - $32.34
$12
$18
$32
MEDIAN: $18.49
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$22K$44K$66K
Salary
$29,860 - $63,312  
   
Bonus
$197.27 - $4,562  
Profit Sharing
$924  
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).
)
$27,714 - $65,223  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 463
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
$11.94 - $32.34  
   
Overtime
$18.07 - $39.87  
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
$197.27 - $4,562  
   
Profit Sharing
$924  
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).
)
$27,714 - $65,223  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jan 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 308

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United States (change)

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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

  • 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.

Common Career Paths for Copy Editor


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Copy Editors sometimes assume positions such as Senior Copywriters. That role pays $70K per year on average. It is quite typical for Copy Editors to transition into roles as Managing Editors or Editors, where reported median earnings are $11K and $5K higher per year.

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Popular Employer Salaries for Copy Editor


Popular Skills for Copy Editor


Copy Editors seem to exploit a large range of skills on the job. Most notably, facility with copyediting, Quality Assurance / Quality Control, and writing are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 22 percent, 17 percent, and 14 percent, respectively. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Graphic Design, Adobe InDesign, and Microsoft Word. Most people skilled in Editing are similarly competent in Copywriting.

Pay by Experience Level for Copy Editor

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


Experience and pay tend to be weakly linked for Copy Editors — those with more experience do not necessarily bring in higher earnings. The median compensation for relatively untried workers is $38K; in the five-to-10 year group, it's higher at around $42K. For Copy Editors, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $48K. 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

National Average: $40,937

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

For Copy Editors, busy San Francisco offers a higher-than-average pay rate, 34 percent above the national average. Copy Editors can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Washington (+24 percent), New York (+24 percent), Boston (+20 percent), and Los Angeles (+19 percent). The smallest paychecks in the market, 16 percent south of the national average, can be found in Virginia Beach. Philadelphia and Louisville are a couple other places where companies are known to pay below the median — salaries are 15 percent lower and 5 percent lower, respectively.

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Copy Editor

Gender

Female
71 %
Male
29 %

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 84 votes.
Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
40%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
18%
20 years or more
15%
Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Copy Editor Salaries

▲28%

▲18%

▲2%

National Average
$41,000

▼8%

Skills That Affect Copy Editor Salaries

copyediting
▲22%

Quality Assurance / Quality Control
▲17%

writing
▲14%

fact checking
▲10%

copy Editing
▲10%

Design
▲7%

Project Management
▲6%



Proofreading
▼0%

National Average
$41,000

▼1%

▼2%

Microsoft Word
▼6%


Graphic Design
▼14%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 84 votes.

Gender

Female
71 %
Male
29 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
40%
5-9 years
20%
10-19 years
18%
20 years or more
15%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 67%
dental benefits
Dental: 55%
vision benefits
Vision: 46%
dental benefits
None: 30%
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