A guide to the different types of editing jobs
Just as there are different types of engineers, doctors, or teachers, there are also different kinds of editors and editing jobs. Typically, when you think about editors, you think about the publishing industry. However, editing jobs can be found in many other fields as well, such as the broadcasting, film, educational, scientific, and medical fields. Editing jobs can be found everywhere! Editors can be generalists who deal with a wide variety of subjects or specialists who deal with very specific subjects. They can work alone or in collaboration with others, such as writers, publishers, or project managers.
Editing is a very rewarding, yet demanding, career. When undertaking editing jobs, you will rely on your innate love of language and reading, attention to detail, overwhelming urge to improve communication, strong organizational skills, and your abilities to work under pressure and meet deadlines.
Types of editing jobs
The following are examples and brief explanations of some of the different kinds of editing jobs that are available.
Editorial assistant: This might be the first editing job that you get in the field of editing. An editorial assistant does what other editors won’t or don’t have time to do and supports the editorial staff. The work includes editing copy, proofreading, checking for accuracy, researching, and liaising with others. The actual amount of editing will vary according to the industry and employer, but this type of position eventually leads to bigger and better editing jobs.
Copy editor: This editing job involves checking text for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors, ensuring smooth syntax, and applying style. Copyediting is rules-based and very mechanical. Copy editors are employed by organizations such as newspapers, magazines, publishing companies, public relations firms, and advertising agencies.
Managing editor: A managing editor is a senior member of an editorial team who is in charge of day-to-day operations. This editing job consists of many responsibilities, ranging from making daily decisions that affect the entire editorial team, such as scheduling, adjusting deadlines, and enforcing editorial policies and procedures, to editing content.
Editor-in-chief (or executive editor): This is the top editing job. The role of an editor-in-chief is all-encompassing and includes such responsibilities as setting editorial tone, direction, and policies; strategic planning; budgeting; and representing the employing organization in the public realm. An editor-in-chief is ultimately responsible for the final product put out by the employing organization.
Senior editor: Managing teams of editors is the main task associated with this editing job. A senior editor oversees content creation, ensures that style rules are followed and quality standards are met, sets deadlines, ensures editing is completed in a timely and effective manner, edits, and is responsible for ensuring overall consistency and accuracy.
Technical editor: A technical editor has very specific knowledge and edits very specific documents of a more complex nature, such as clinical protocols and manuals. This editing job necessitates collaborating with researchers and subject matter experts to ensure accuracy.
These are just some of the editing jobs that are available. There are also editing jobs—such as video editor, film editor, photo editor, and sound editor—that require more specific skills. So, if you are interested in becoming an editor, do a bit of research to find out exactly what it takes!
To brush up on your editing skills, check out our online editing training course. This comprehensive online course features interactive exercises and self-tests to help you expand the knowledge you already have, and it may even teach you a trick or two about editing to help you land that coveted editing job.