Want to be a Successful Copy Editor?

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Copy editors are required to write content for ads, brochures and other marketing collateral. They need to write and edit copy that is appealing to the readers. Tone, style, formatting and accuracy of the writing is important. A copy writer works for newspaper articles, magazine, books and websites. Copy editor job is a stressful work and they need to constantly work under pressure and continuously strive hard to meet the work deadlines. Copy editors may have to work for long hours.

If you are looking for a career as a copy editor you must know the responsibilities associated with it. Some of them are as follows:
  • Writing articles, punch lines, sales and marketing copy for websites, advertisements
  • Ensure that the materials are according to the house style of the publication house
  • Locating and correcting mistakes in the printed materials.
  • If the quality of printed work is not up to the mark they are supposed to make the necessary improvisations and changes.
  • They are the last person after the author to check out the text before the material goes for final printing in the magazines or newspaper.
  • Give their best even in the situations of extreme pressure.
  • Must constantly keep in touch with the other staff members so as to maintain proper coordination.
  • Reviewing and editing work of junior writers
  • Making content outlines and guiding junior writers to write
  • Deciding what to write on
  • Providing guidance for better writing
  • Ensuring work has no errors
In general the field of Copy Editing is open to graduates of all disciplines with flair for writing but a degree in English literature is preferred. Also, if you have a specific Bachelor's Degree in Publishing, publishing studies and media studies, nothing could be better than that. Post-Graduation Degree in English literature, mass communication or publishing can further improve your chances of getting a good job.
  • Good oral and written communication skill
  • Must be dedicated and hardworking
  • Good command over the language
  • Good knowledge on the grammar and spellings
  • Attention to detail to spot language errors
  • Good research skills to gather information
  • Time management, interpersonal and organizational skills
  • Ability to listen patiently and explain things
Courses in Writing and Journalism can prove to be really helpful. Copy Editors can gain extensive basic training while on the job itself. This includes guidance from the seniors and colleagues along with effective shadowing.


Copy-editors and proofreaders based in-house are likely to undergo some basic training whilst working, which usually includes shadowing and receiving support from more experienced colleagues.

Since from your childhood if you have had interest in reading books and participating in the newspaper making event then a copy editor job is the right one for your career. Many schools have courses to teach copy editing to the students who have interest to build career as copy editor. This job is such that even the teacher can enter into publishing books on the subjects in which they are specialized. Getting copy editor job is easy. A person can start as an editorial assistant, secretary or researcher. Copy editors are also hired by the some firms and universities even though they don't have publication as their chief business.

A little bit of relevant prior experience within the publishing environment can be helpful. Though such editorial experience cannot be obtained easily but still interested students can work on the school newspaper or the yearbook from an initial stage to have an idea of the editorial role.

The growth of the copy editor in the publishing house totally depends on his talent and the place where he/she is employed. Advancement possibilities in small firms are more than the large firms because in small organizations the numbers of people are less and more work is assigned to each individual. Hence a person gets more experience in small firms as compared to large firms. In large firms copy editors have to remain in one job for long duration of time and their chance of growth is very slow. There is severe competition in the market for the jobs concerned with the famous magazines. Now with the fast growing technology of the internet, jobs in e-publishing are also increasing heightening the career opportunities for the copy editors.

The average salary for copy editor is about $55,000. The salary may vary depending on your talent, experience and the position you hold currently. It is a respectable job and has good pay scale but involves lot of hard work and the person who is really dedicated towards work can get successful in it.

Salaries vary widely according to the nature of the work and the employer. The typical hourly rates vary from $23 for copy-editors to $20 for proofreaders to $30+. In-house salaries start from around $18,000 rising to $30,000+ for experienced specialist copy-editors reported as on September 2007.

The growth of the copy editor in the publishing house totally depends on his talent and the place where they are employed. Advancement possibilities in small firms are more than the large firms because in small organizations the numbers of people are less and more work is assigned to each individual. Hence a person gets more experience in small firms as compared to large firms. In large firms copy editors have to remain in one job for long duration of time and their chance of growth is very slow. There is severe competition in the market for the jobs concerned with the famous magazines. Now with the fast growing technology of the internet, jobs for publishing material on the internet are increasing, so increasing the opportunity for the copy editor jobs.
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