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Job Descriptions


Editors read, review, and edit documents (e.g., book manuscripts, book chapters, articles, pamphlets, or other publication materials) submitted to them. They can work in any environment that produces reading materials. This can include private organizations, such as publishing companies, scientific journals, magazine companies, or media outlets (e.g., newspaper, television, internet, or radio companies); or public institutions, such as schools, colleges, hospitals, or branches of the government. They can also be self-employed and work from their own home (freelance). If you are an editor, you will have some clearly defined and repetitive tasks (e.g., reading and editing a document).


This job typically requires the minimum of a bachelor’s degree. Depending on what type of job you are applying for, the employer may favor applicants that specialized in a certain subject (e.g., English, Journalism, Technology, and Science). If this is the case, they will specify this requirement in their job advertisements.

Previous Experience

Previous experience doing the same or similar work is preferred. If you have the required education and skills, it is strongly encouraged that you apply anyways– everybody has to start somewhere!

Job Duties

  • Review and read work submitted by writers, authors, or other staff members.
  • Copy edit or line edit works submitted by giving suggestions, re-writing, fact-checking, proofreading the document, or looking for overall consistency in paragraph style and structure.
  • Communicate with authors or team members regarding questions about the content of the document.
  • Fact-check by conducting research via journals, books, or internet to verify sources, citations, dates, statistics, or facts.
  • Proofread documents by checking for spelling errors, syntax and grammar errors, or punctuation errors.
  • Submit edited work back to the writer for re-writes.
  • Review revised work and submit to supervisors for publication or edit and send back to author for further re-writes.
  • Review editorial policies or other publication requirements.
  • Communicate with staff members regarding publication requirements.
  • Your employer may also ask you to carry out additional duties than those listed here.

What’s Your Scene?

This job requires that you are able to work "Out of the Scene."  If you are working as an editor, you may not be working with the public on a regular basis. However, you may be required to speak with and interact with co-workers (e.g., other office staff, writers/authors) or take direction from your supervisor.

Skills / Abilities

Reading Comprehension - Demonstrated ability to read, and follow written instructions and ideas.

Oral Comprehension - Demonstrated ability to understand and follow verbal instructions and ideas.

Written Expression - You will be required to write and spell correctly.

Oral Expression - You will be required to speak clearly and effectively.

Attention to Detail - This job requires that you pay careful attention to what you are doing. Part of an editor’s job is to be meticulous and thorough by catching mistakes or errors in documents.

Computer Knowledge -You will need to have knowledge of computer usage as many manuscripts or documents are written via word processing programs.

Organization and Prioritization - This job requires the ability to clearly organize and categorize work priorities to complete your work.

Environmental Demands

Location – If you work as an editor, you will typically be working in an office setting, which is indoors in a climate-controlled setting. If you work from home, you may choose your own work location.

Noise Level - The noise level will usually be low (fairly quiet).

Lighting Level  - The lighting level will be dependent on your employer. If you work in an office setting at work, you may have to work in florescent lighting. If you are able to work from home, then you can choose your lighting level.

Work Hours- This job may have fulltime hours (40 hours per week), during regular business hours (9am-5pm), however sometimes you may be working on a project with a deadline that requires you work more than 40 hours a week. It will be up to your employer to decide if you are allowed to work flex time (working before 9am or after 5pm) and/or overtime. If you work from home, you may be able to come up with your own schedule.

Amount of Movement –This job typically requires that you sit for long periods of time.  You will need to be able to sit, stand, and walk for this job. For example, you may need to edit a document, print it, and walk to the photocopier to make copies.

Cleanliness and Odors - This job setting is typically quite clean, although it may be dependent on how well you maintain the cleanliness of your office or cubicle. You will want to make sure you keep your work area and surrounding areas neat and tidy.

Work Attire - Work attire will range - if you are in an office setting, work clothing will typically be business casual clothing. If you work from home, you can choose what you want to wear.

Structure and Predictability - This job will typically have a moderate degree of structure and predictability.  This means that you might complete the same tasks each day, or you may have different tasks each day.  These tasks might not be done in the same order each day.  You might not always know ahead of time how long each task will take to complete.  You might work in the same areas each day, and sometimes you may interact with the same people each day.

What's the Pace?

    • Steady:  In most cases, the work pace will be steady, which means that you will always have some work to do.  When the work pace is steady, you are working at a level “5” on a scale of “1” (nothing to do) to “10” (extremely busy, rushed pace).

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