Looking for an entry level job or internship in editing? This is an overview of how to approach the search and a list of companies that might have relevant entry level and internship opportunities.
One of my favorite books that I recently discovered is Ellen Degeneres’ Seriously…I’m Kidding. Seriously though, I’m not kidding. I literally laughed out loud while reading the introduction, which is something most books don’t make me do. I know Ellen devoted hours to writing her book and then rehashed it again and again to make the book the masterpiece that it is. She didn’t go through that process alone, though. She worked with an editor, who suggested changes to make it better–everything from punctuation, to specific words to substitute, to the overall topics covered. An editor collaborates with a creator to make a complete final product the best it can be.
An editor selects and prepares written, visual, audible, and film media to produce a correct, consistent, accurate, and complete work. The editing process often begins with the creator’s idea for the work itself, continuing as a collaboration between the creator and the editor as the work is created. Editors can work within a number of industries, so there are many opportunities, such as film editing, technical editing, book editing, and musical editing.
During a typical day, an editor works with the creator and does a lot of reading or viewing, reviewing, and making suggestions to make the final product better. You might spend a lot of time behind a computer editing a work. After the creator receives your edited work, they might discuss the changes with you and suggest more, leading to another round of editing.
If you’re a book editor, you might attend a production meeting where you would go over each title with the design, copy-editing, and production departments to make sure everything is going according to schedule. You could also spend time meeting with an illustrator who’s showing his or her portfolio or meeting with a designer to go over cover ideas, or to review sketches for a picture book. You might have a conference call with an agent and/or an author. You might have an informational interview with someone trying to break into publishing. You might be meeting with a foreign publisher or a packager. All these tasks require computer skills, people skills, and the ability to handle multiple projects.
Beginning editors earn on average between $27,000 and $76,000 per year. From there, you can grow into a number of roles including Senior Editor ($39,000-$99,000), Managing Editor ($30,000-$89,000), and Editor for Magazines ($27,000-$93,000).
These hot spots are some of the best spots for editors:
A bachelor’s degree in English, Communications or Journalism is often a prerequisite to becoming an editor. In these programs, you typically learn about composition, sentence structure and editing. Advanced courses cover topics like news or content editing. There is a chance that if you demonstrate strong writing and editorial skills, you’d be able to just train on the job.
Beyond that, you might consider an editorial internship in a publishing house or with a news organization, which will help you gain professional experience while still in college. Although editorial internships are often unpaid, interns gain writing, editing and researching skills and make connections that could help them secure a job. Recent graduates often start out as editorial assistants and advance to work under an editor-in-chief.
If editing still sounds like your cup of tea, here are a few things you should do to get started.
Check out the latest job and internship postings in editing.