How to Become an Assistant Editor

Editing is an essential part of the journalism field that involves choosing and preparing written content through a variety of correction and organization processes. Assistant editors are highly trained professionals that are responsible for a variety of editing tasks.

What does an assistant editor do?

Assistant editors work in a variety of print and online media environments such as magazine, book, and newspaper publishing. They typically work directly with senior editors and assist with selecting written content to be published. They also complete research, edit articles, check facts and statistics, and assist with the layout. They often help choose illustrations, photographs, graphs, and charts to accompany content. Assistant editors are sometimes responsible for developing new ideas and assigning stories to writers and reporters. They are typically in charge of certain subjects such as feature stories, sports, local news, and international news.

What kind of training does an assistant editor need?

Assistant editors typically need at least a bachelor degree in journalism, English, or other related field. Many employers prefer candidates with previous writing and editing experience. Prospective assistant editors typically complete courses in English, composition, mass communications, and editing and production. Many aspiring assistant editors complete internships or obtain part-time jobs working for college newspapers, community newspapers, and local magazines to gain practical experience and establish valuable contacts. Most editors begin their careers as writers and advance to editing positions as the gain the necessary skills and experience. Many employers provide some on the job training to enable new editors to learn the necessary procedures and expectations. Assistant editors must complete regular continuing education to keep their skills up to date and stay abreast with advancements in the field. They often participate in editing workshops, conferences, and seminars.

What are the prospects for a career as an assistant editor?

Employment for editors is expected to experience little or no change from 2008 to 2018 (1).

Job prospects should be fair with strong competition. Assistant editors with advanced education and extensive experience will have the best job opportunities. Those employed by online publications will also experience favorable job prospects.

How much do assistant editors make?

As of February 2010, assistant editors with less than 1 year experience earn average annual salaries between $27,919 and $35,915. Those with 1 to 4 years experience earn average annual salaries between $28,959 and $38,269 (2).

A career as an assistant editor is a great choice for people with a strong interest in writing and performing a variety of editing tasks. Assistant editors must have a solid background in editing and production procedures. Patience, detail orientation, self-motivation, and perseverance are necessary characteristics. Assistant editors must have excellent written and oral communication and the ability to interact with a variety of people. They must have good judgment and make effective decisions on what material to publish. They must also be able to work under stress and pressure to meet strict deadlines.

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