Editors review, rewrite, and edit the work of writers. They also may do original writing and their duties may include planning the content of books, journals, magazines, and other general-interest publications. In general, editors are responsible for managing and shaping written content across a wide variety of communications.
Editing is everything. The best prose is the result of judicious editing. The most informative journalism, the most persuasive op-ed, the most effective marketing copy is always the result of editorial intelligence in its journey to publication. An editor understands the strengths and weaknesses of any given piece of writing; he or she works closely with writers to enhance those strengths and excise the weaknesses, bringing out the best in the finished product. Along the way, editors manage writing staff and plan for publication, keeping calendars and watching costs. Are you an incisive reader, a talented writer, and a skilled politician? Do you work well under deadline pressure? If so, a career as an editor could be for you!
Editors generally hold a bachelor’s degree, and often a master in communications, journalism, or English. Many editor jobs may require both experience and either a degree or knowledge in management.
An editor’s responsibilities vary with the employer and type and level of editorial position held. Editorial duties may include planning the content of books, journals, magazines, and other general-interest publications. Editors also review story ideas proposed by staff and freelance writers then decide what material will appeal to readers. They review and edit drafts of books and articles, offer comments to improve the work, and suggest possible titles. In addition, they may oversee the production of publications. In the book-publishing industry, an editor’s primary responsibility is to review proposals for books and decide whether to buy the publication rights from the author.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, editor positions will experience average growth through 2018 as compared to other professions. However, keen competition is expected for editor positions and, at the same time, employers are downsizing. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expresses median annual earnings for editors in May 2008 at $49,990, with the highest ten percent earning more than $95,490.