Editors
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Overview
Editors plan, review, and revise content for publication.
Predicted employment growth
Over the next decade, jobs for editors are expected to shrink by 1%, and should have about 12,800 job openings a year.
Safety from automation
Editors are less likely to be automated than 79% of other careers.
Workforce size
Editors, with 127,400 workers, form a larger workforce than 70% of careers.
Education
About 83% of editors have at least a bachelor's degree.
Education attained by editors
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Context: workers with bachelor's degrees
More editors have bachelor's degrees than 88% of other careeers.
Salaries
The median (middle) salary for editors is higher than 66% of all other jobs' middle salaries. The graph shows inflation-adjusted salaries for most editors.
This job's median $59KAll jobs' median $39K$59K$38K20142015201620172018$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median Salary
Gender
Women account for 51% of editors -- that's a larger percentage than 65% of other jobs.
Gender of editors
Men
Women
Context: Salary inequity
For each career, we compared the median (middle) men's salary to the median women's salary. For editors, the median men's salary was 10% more the median woman's salary.
Race/Origin
About 13% of editors are minority, and 8% are foreign-born.
Race/origin of editors
White
Black
Pacific Islander
Hispanic
Asian
American Indian
Multiracial
Other
Context: Foreign-born workers (8%)
Where are the most jobs?
We ranked the number of jobs in Editors per thousand workers in each state, DC, and Puerto Rico. The darker the blue, the higher the job density.
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
Job benefits
Employer or union-sponsored pension plans are offered to 39% of editors, and 61% have company-sponsored health insurance (22% have dependents enrolled in their employer's health plan).
Employer-provided health coverage for editors
100% premiums covered
Partial premiums covered
Plan with no cost sharing
No health insurance
Top college degrees
Here are the top college degrees held by the 83% of people in this job who have at least a bachelor's degree. Some of degrees may link to multiple programs due to the way Census classifies college majors. Click on a program to learn more about career opportunities for people who major in that field.
The downside
Some jobs are more stressful than others, and some are just plain dangerous. The following list gives the percentages of editors who report hazardous or difficult situations typically occurring at least once a week.
  • Time Pressure (91%)
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations (44%)
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People (36%)
SOURCES:24.0 O*NET
Salary and diversity
Salary overview
What do editors earn?

In this section, we want to give you a clear idea of what you can expect to earn in this career. We use two sources of data here: the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which asks employers to classify their workforce and to report salaries using the SOC-specialty level of reporting, and the American Community Survey (ACS), which asks people to classify their jobs using the broad classifications that ididio uses for career profiles, and to self-report their salaries. For some jobs, the differences in survey approaches between BLS and ACS can paint a very different end-picture. Whenever possible, we provide data from both sources.

The BLS-compiled salary data is reported by companies for their employees. This data excludes self-employed workers. We first show the distribution of salaries for editors, and then we show how the middle (median) salary for editors compares to the BLS-computed median salaries of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for editors (BLS Salary Data)
$59K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (BLS Salary Data)
$59K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
We compiled household data from the ACS to determine the salaries that people working at least 35 hours a week report themselves to earn. Unlike the BLS estimates, this data includes self-employed wages. We first show the full salary distribution for all editors, and then we show how the median (middle) salary for editors compares to the median ACS-reported salary of other careers.
Distribution: Salaries for editors (ACS Salary Data)
$53K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Context: Median salaries across careers (ACS Salary Data)
$53K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Employers and salary
A look at employers and corresponding salaries
The donut shares the break-down of workers by employer type, and following we show the salary distributions for these workers based on those employer types. For some careers, the salaries can be vastly different between private, government, and self-employment. As with our salary overview, we view the both the BLS economists' salary profiles and the household-reported salaries from ACS to get a thorough understanding of where editors work and for what salary. We have the great faith in the accuracy of economist-vetted BLS data; however, the BLS restrictions on which employers are surveyed skews the data a bit (read more in the sources), and the ACS responses provide different and useful categorizations of employers and salaries.
Employers of Editors (ACS)
Private for-profit (71.9%)
Private not-for-profit (11.9%)
Local government (0.6%)
State government (2.7%)
Federal government (1.6%)
Self-employed incorporated (3.1%)
Self-employed not incorporated (8.1%)
Working without pay (0.0%)
Distribution: Salaries of editors by type of employer (ACS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type calculated by aggregating individual household survey responses.
$53K$54K$57K$51K$38K$49K$84K$0$50,000$100,000$150,000Self-employed not incorporatedSelf-employed incorporatedFederal governmentState governmentPrivate not-for-profitPrivate for-profitAll
Distribution: Salaries of editors by type of employer (BLS data)
Following are the salary distributions by employer type as reported by BLS based on large employer-focused surveys. We note that smaller employer categories are not included by BLS.
$59K$51K$57K$60K$56K$0$20,000$40,000$60,000$80,000$100,000$120,000Federal governmentState governmentLocal governmentPrivateAll
Age and career advancement
Salary growth for editors

The biggest take-away from the following two charts is the relationship between salary and experience that we can infer from age. Does this job seem to attract especially younger or older workers? Does it reward experience?

Take a minute a look at how much you might expect your salary to increase with each five years' experience, as well as how the numbers working in this career changes. We only provide this data when there are enough consistent ACS survey responses to allow a reasonable margin of error, so for some careers you will see gaps in our reporting of salary by age.

$30K$60K$69K$52K$62K$41K$62K$65K$62K$0$50K$100K$150KSalary distribution20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64
05K10K15K20K25KNumber employed20-2425-2930-3435-3940-4445-4950-5455-5960-64

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Gender and Equity
Editors and gender

With 51% women, this occupation has a higher percentage of women than 65% of careers.

Context: Women in the workforce
51%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Gender of Editors
Men (49%)
Women (51%)
Distribution: Salaries by gender

As we'll illustrate at the bottom of this section, the median salary for all full-time male workers in the US exceeds the full-time median salary for women by 20%. The situation is a little better for editors, with the median salary for men 10% higher than the median salary for women. This chart shows you the salary range for most workers by gender.

$51K$57K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120KWomenMen
Context: Salary Inequity

Nationwide there are twenty careers for which men do not have a higher median (middle) salary than women. The chart below shows the salary inequity, the percentage by which the median men's salary is higher than the median women's salary, for most jobs. Editors have one of the smaller percentage increases for men's salary, with the increase the men's median salary over the women's median salary in this job lower than that for 72% of other jobs.

10%0%20%40%60%80%100%

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Race/Origin
Race and origin of editors

The representation of minority and foreign-born workers is quite different between careers, and the relative pay of those workers also varies significantly between careers. There is a smaller percentage of minority editors than for 79% of other careers. As with minority workers, there is also a smaller percentage of foreign-born workers in this career than in most other careers.

Race/origin of editors
White (85% )
Black (5% )
Asian (5% )
Multiracial (3% )
Other (1% )
Hispanic (0% )
American Indian (0% )
Pacific Islander (0% )
Context: Representation of minorities in the workforce
13%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Context: Representation of foreign-born workers
8%0%20%40%60%80%100%
Distribution: Salaries for editors by race/origin

For some careers, there is a pay disparity depending on race or origin, though this is not prevalent. We calculate standard errors for all of our calculations, and when the error is high we do not show results. Therefore, for some jobs will have omitted race/origin categories.

$40K$47K$48K$54K$56K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120KOtherBlackMultiracialWhiteAsian
Distribution: Salaries for editors by nativity
$53K$57K$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120KAll native citizensAll foreign-born

Our only sources for career data containing age, gender, or origin/race come from the Census Bureau. To provide these breakdowns, we have aggregated ACS person-level career survey responses by career, gender, race, and age. These graphics reflect the results of our aggregations, and are useful for identifying trends. A careful statistical study of the impact of age, gender, and race on salaries would correct for other factors that could be contributing to salary differences.

Pathways to this career
Education requirements and salary
Education attained by editors

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), editors typically hold a bachelor's degree.

Sometimes the typical education identified by the BLS differs a bit from the reality of the how much education current workers actually have. The donut shows the education level held by people currently working as editors as reported in responses to the American Community Survey. Following, we investigate whether education level influences salary for editors.

Education attained by editors
None
High School
Some College
Associate's Degree
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Professional Deg/Doct
Doctorate
Details: Education and training recommended for editors

Employers generally prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, or English. They also prefer candidates who have experience in a few types of media, such as newspapers, social media, and television.

Candidates with other backgrounds who can show strong writing skills also may find jobs as editors. Editors who deal with specific subject matter may need previous related work experience. For example, fashion editors may need expertise in fashion that they gain through formal training or work experience.

Distribution: Salary by education level

What level of education is truly needed for editors? Below we see the distribution of editors salaries based on the education attained. These comparisons are based on all survey responses by those who identified themselves as editors, and are not intended as a statistical analysis of salary differences that would correct for non-educational factors that could contribute to high or low earnings.

$40K$39K$46K$47K$53K$62K$74K$67K$0$50K$100K$150KNone (0%)High School (3%)Some College (9%)Associate's Degree (4%)Bachelor's Degree (61%)Master's Degree (18%)Professional Deg/Doct (2%)Doctorate (2%)
Bachelor's degree pathways
College majors held by editors

This table shows the college majors held by people working as editors. Select any degree to see detailed information. We are able to connect careers to degrees using the American Community Survey (ACS), and their degrees are defined a little differently from our programs, which are based on standard CIP classifications. Therefore, selecting some degrees will lead to a selection of CIP-level programs from which to choose.

If you see "**" before the name of a degree/program, that means this field is one that the Department of Education believes is preparatory for this career. However, you can see from this list that those recommendations are far from your only path to this job!

Degree
Select any title to learn more about that degree
Percentage of Editors with this degree
Salary for all majors
Salary distribution (across jobs). Showing 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
Final education level of all people with this major
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Gender of people this bachelor's degree
Men
Women
The link between degrees and careers
The link between degrees and careers

With the following "sankey" diagram, you can follow the top ten bachelor's degrees held by people working as editors, and then, in turn, you can see the 10 occupations that hire the most of each degree's graduates. This visualization links fields of studies and careers, suggesting both similar careers and options for degrees. The full list of bachelor's degrees held by editors given in the previous section reminds us that there are many paths to these careers beyond what we can summarize here.

This job
Top 10 majors
Each major's top ten jobs
Elementary and middle school teachersLawyers, judges, and magistratesPostsecondary teachersManagers (specialized areas)Secondary school teachersEducation administratorsSecretaries and administrative assistantsEditorsWriters and authorsMarketing and sales managersNews analysts, reporters and correspondentsPublic Relations SpecialistsProducers and directorsChief executives and legislatorsWholesale and manufacturing sales representativesCustomer service representativesHuman resources workersFirst-line supervisors of retail sales workersRetail salespersonsDesignersTelevision, video, and motion picture camera operators and editorsPhotographersManagement analystsCounselorsSocial workersPsychologistsPhysicians and surgeonsFinancial managersTechnical writersArtists and related workersEnglish Language andLiteratureJournalismCommunicationsMass MediaFilm Video andPhotographic ArtsHistoryPsychologyPolitical Science andGovernmentComposition and RhetoricFine ArtsAll other degrees
Switching Careers
Most common new jobs
The most common next careers for editors

What jobs will most editors hold next year?

The data in this chart comes from person interviews for the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey. The survey interviews households eight times over a two-year period, allowing us a glimpse into how people move from job to job. You can see more details from the results of the survey in our last tab in this section, and you can read about our methodology in our source descriptions.

Here we see all of the jobs that at least 1% of editors reported holding in their second year's survey. Is your future job on this list?

EditorsTelevision, video, and motion picture camera operators and editorsManagers (specialized areas)Writers and authorsNews analysts, reporters and correspondentsProofreaders and copy markersProducers and directorsManagement analystsPostsecondary teachers
Lateral career moves
Lateral job transitions for editors

A lateral career transition is a move to a job with similar pay and responsibilities. A move to such a job can offer a change of pace without an increase in stress or a decrease in pay. The following table simply identifies all 6 jobs which were held by at least 1% of survey respondents before working as editors as well as 1% of respondents after working as editors. Select a row to investigate the job's full description and determine if it truly offers an opportunity for a lateral transition.

Lateral-move careers for editors
Annual openings
How many openings are expected each year?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Men
Women
Managers (specialized areas)
84,000
$0$200K$72K
Producers and directors
14,700
$0$200K$60K
Writers and authors
14,600
$0$200K$53K
Television, video, and motion picture camera operators and editors
7,100
$0$200K$49K
News analysts, reporters and correspondents
4,500
$0$200K$50K
Proofreaders and copy markers
2,200
$0$200K$37K
Full prior and next career listings
Prior and next careers for editors: full listings

What do people typically do before and after they work as editors? Here are the full lists of all jobs that at least 1% of editors surveyed reported as holding a year earlier or later.

Choose which type of transition to view
Prior jobs
Next jobs
Prior careers for editors
Annual openings
How many openings are expected each year?
Salary
Salary distribution for people in this occupation. Range is 0-$200,000.
Median
Middle 50%
Middle 80%
Education
High School
Some College
Bachelor's Degree
Master's Degree
Doctorate
Gender
Men
Women
Percentage Transitioning
What percentage worked in this job the previous year?
Retail salespersons
676,200
$0$200K$31K
1.1%
Managers (specialized areas)
84,000
$0$200K$72K
5.8%
Producers and directors
14,700
$0$200K$60K
1.1%
Writers and authors
14,600
$0$200K$53K
3.0%
Editors
12,800
$0$200K$53K
55.7%
Television, video, and motion picture camera operators and editors
7,100
$0$200K$49K
3.2%
News analysts, reporters and correspondents
4,500
$0$200K$50K
1.1%
Proofreaders and copy markers
2,200
$0$200K$37K
1.3%
No occupation
8.3%
Read about editors
Responsibilities and activities
Responsibilities and activities

Editors typically do the following:

  • Read content and correct spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors
  • Rewrite text to make it easier for readers to understand
  • Verify facts cited in material for publication
  • Evaluate submissions from writers to decide what to publish
  • Work with writers to help their ideas and stories succeed
  • Develop story and content ideas according to the publication’s style and editorial policy
  • Allocate space for the text, photos, and illustrations that make up a story
  • Approve final versions submitted by staff
  • Promote articles and content on various social media networks

Editors plan, coordinate, and revise material for publication in books, newspapers, magazines, or websites. Editors review story ideas and decide what material will appeal most to readers. During the review process, editors offer comments to improve the product, and suggest titles and headlines. In smaller organizations, a single editor may perform all of the editorial duties or share them with only a few other people.

The following are examples of types of editors:

Copy editors proofread text for errors in grammar, punctuation, and spelling and check for readability, style, and agreement with editorial policy. They suggest revisions, such as changing words and rearranging sentences and paragraphs to improve clarity or accuracy. They also may carry out research, confirm sources, and verify facts, dates, and statistics. In addition, they may arrange page layouts of articles, photographs, and advertising.

Publication assistants who work for book-publishing houses may read and evaluate manuscripts, proofread uncorrected drafts, and answer questions about published material. Assistants on small newspapers or in smaller media markets may compile articles available from wire services or the Internet, answer phones, and proofread articles.

Assistant editors are responsible for a particular subject, such as local news, international news, feature stories, or sports. Most assistant editors work for newspaper publishers, television broadcasters, magazines, book publishers, or advertising and public relations firms.

Executive editors oversee assistant editors and generally have the final say about what stories are published and how they are covered. Executive editors typically hire writers, reporters, and other employees. They also plan budgets and negotiate contracts with freelance writers, who are sometimes called “stringers” in the news industry. Although many executive editors work for newspaper publishers, some work for television broadcasters, magazines, or advertising and public relations firms.

Managing editors typically work for magazines, newspaper publishers, and television broadcasters, and are responsible for the daily operations of a news department.

Personality and skills
Personality and skills

Can you see yourself in the ranks of editors? Here are the skills and traits that could lead to success.

Creativity
Editors must be creative, curious, and knowledgeable in a broad range of topics. Some editors must regularly come up with interesting story ideas and attention-grabbing headlines.
Detail oriented
One of an editor’s main tasks is to make sure that material is error free and matches the style of a publication.
Good judgment
Editors must decide if certain stories are ethical or if there is enough evidence to report them.
Interpersonal skills
In working with writers, editors must have tact and the ability to guide and encourage them in their work.
Writing skills
Editors must ensure that all written content has correct grammar, punctuation, and syntax. Editors must write clearly and logically.
Trends in employment
Salary trends
Distribution and trends: Salaries for editors
Choose actual dollars or inflation-adjusted dollars to view
Adjusted for inflation
Historic dollars

In 2018, the median (middle) salary for editors was higher than 66% of all other jobs' middle salaries. This graphic shows how the salary distribution (adjusted for inflation) has changed for this job over recent years. The gray line, as a comparison, shows the median salary of all US workers.

This job's median $59KAll jobs' median $39K$58K$38K200420052006200720082009201020112012201320142015201620172018$0$20K$40K$60K$80K$100K$120K
Projected versus actual employment
Exploring actual employment trends versus projected trends

Currently, jobs for editors are anticipated to shrink by 1%. over the next decade; 80% of jobs are projected to grow more.

The projected employment for editors is the best guess created by talented economists and statisticians at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, as you look through several careers you'll notice that the projections are heavily influenced by past performance and may miss current trends. No one can tell the future, and as new information and better techniques are developed, actual counts and future projections may change. Here's a glimpse at the actual counts versus the projections over time.

2000201020202030050,000100,000150,000
Employment counts
Actual measured employment
BLS 10-year predictions
Variation by state
Employment
State-by-state employment numbers

Some careers tend to be centered in specific parts of the country. For example, most jobs in fashion are in New York or California. Let's see if your dream job is easy to find in your dream location! We have a few choices for viewing the data that can help you get a full employment picture.

Job density versus job count

Which states hire the most editors? We wonder if that's a fair question since states come in all sizes, so instead let's start with the question of which states have the highest density of people working as editors. You can choose to view the number of jobs per state if you prefer.

BLS vs ACS data

This map defaults to employment information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which provides job totals carefully compiled for accuracy and with a primary focus on how employers describe their workers. The BLS job totals do not count self-employed workers. We've also compiled totals using the Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) which are based on how workers describe themselves. Sometimes ACS results are quite a bit different from the employer-based BLS data.

Choose the metric to review
Jobs per 1000 working
Number of jobs
Use this data source
BLS
Number of Editors per 1,000 workers (BLS)
Select a state to see local area details
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
0.01.02.03.04.05.0
Salary
Salaries by state
Let's get a feel for where editors earn the highest salaries. There are several choices for which data we consider and how we view that data, and each can lead to different conclusions, so please read on...
Median salary versus state ratio

We use two methods to compare salaries across states:

  • In-state comparisons: the ratio of median (middle) salaries for editors compared to the median salary for all people working in each state, or
  • Median salary: the unaltered median salaries for editors.

We hope the ratio allows perspective about how salaries may compare to the regional cost-of-living.

BLS vs ACS data

We have two sources for statewide salary information with important distinctions. The BLS data is created by surveying companies, missing individuals who are self-employed or work for smaller companies. The ACS data is compiled from multi-faceted household surveys and may reflect the inconsistencies that people may have in reporting information.

Choose the metric to review
In-state comparisions
Median salary
Use this data source
BLS
Median salary ratio: Editors to all workers (BLS)
The darkest shading corresponds to states in which editors earn the highest salary when compared to other jobs in the state. We think this ratio might be a better indicator than the actual salary for your buying power as a state resident.
Select a state to see local area details
AKMEVTNHWAIDMTNDMNMINYMARIORUTWYSDIAWIINOHPANJCTCANVCONEMOILKYWVVAMDDEAZNMKSARTNNCSCDCOKLAMSALGAHITXFLPR
0.00.51.01.52.0
Compare to similar jobs

If this job interests you, then use the dots below to find other jobs you might like. The dots closer to the top represent jobs that are like Editors (shown with a blue star). Look for the dots to the right to find the best salaries! (We pulled salary data from BLS, and they give a top salary value of just over $200K to protect privacy, so our graph would go much higher if the salaries were not top coded.)

How should the career similarity be computed

There are a number of ways to measure the similarity of jobs, here are a few we provide:

  • Interests: Also known as a Holland Code - Are you a thinker? A helper? What fits your personality?
  • Environment: Are there hazards? Will you be comfortable? Will it be stressful?
  • Knowledge: What do you need to know the most about?
  • Physical Abilities: Do you need to especially strong or coordinated?
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