How to become a Professional Editor

Why not follow me as I show you how to be an editor. However, you will also know the basics of the career, your future job opportunities, and what you need to get started. Also, you will know how much editorial personnel earns.

Ever wondered how to be an editor? I hope you know that proofreaders make a lot of money? This is because they are in high demand. Did you know that publishers always need the services of a rewriter before they publish a book? This is because the editorial personnel reads through the material to correct mistakes.

However, editors read pieces written for publication and edit them with an eye. Proofreaders check for spelling, grammar, punctuation, and style. Also, rewriters work with writers to help shape their work into a piece that fits with the writer’s vision.

Similarly, editorial personnel is responsible only for correcting individual pieces. Besides, editors at publishing houses work closely with authors. They not only edit their work but guide that work through the publishing process.


Who is an Editor?

An editor is someone who works closely with writers to revise their work and help prepare it for publication. However, the duties of a proofreader include:

  • Checking for punctuation, grammatical, and spelling errors
  • Checking facts for accuracy
  • Coming up with content ideas
  • Helping writers further develop their stories and ideas
  • Determining what is worthy of publication
  • Assisting with page layouts
  • Approving final drafts for publication

Also, a copy rewriter is responsible only for editing individual pieces. Managing editorial personnel guide the day-to-day activities of publications like newspapers, magazines, journals, and websites. They choose pieces for print, or give work to staff and self-employed writers.

However, assistant editors of print or online publications are responsible for managing these tasks within their department.

What qualifications do I need to become an editor?

Well, for you to become a proofreader, you will need the following education and experience:

College Degrees

What skills do I need to be a proofreader?

Well, for you to become editorial personnel, the skills you need include:

  • Reading skills: However, book editors love to read books, as they spend a great deal of time reading manuscripts.
  • Writing skills: Actually, rewriters ensure that all written content has correct grammar, punctuation, and syntax. Editors must write clearly and logically.
  • Interpersonal skills: A proofreader must have to maintain good working relationships with authors and staff. This is important for carefully guiding the author through the development of their title, as well as working with other staff to produce the book on time.
  • Sound judgment: Also, editorial personnel must also determine if the manuscript has good morals and free from copying.
  • Detail-oriented: Besides, proofreaders may be working on more than one publishing project at a time and need to plan their work to ensure that all books meet their scheduled deadlines. This includes staying in touch with authors and working with staff to ensure each manuscript moves through the publishing process.
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How much can I earn in a year as a book rewriter?

Honestly, the amount of money a book editor makes varies widely. However, the top 10 percent of proofreaders earn more than $ 114,460 a year; an average of $55.03/hour per hour according to the BLS report. On the lowest end of the pay scale, rewriters are paid less than $30,830 per year, an hourly wage of $14.82.

But, editors, in general, earned an average annual wage of $60,490, or $29.08 per hour, according to the most recent statistics compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, the median wage is slightly lower, $52,380 per year, or $25.18 per hour according to the BLS.

Also, the largest number of editorial personnel work for book and periodical publishers, earning an average of $60,120 per year, or $28.91 an hour. Besides, the best-paid publishers work for computer manufacturers, where they earn an average of $91,710 per year or $44.09 per hour.

How long does it take to become editorial personnel?

Honestly, it takes most people around four years to earn a bachelor’s degree. Anyone who wants a graduate publishing or editing degree will take another year or two to complete his/her education.

Also, anyone who wishes to work with publications or in publishing houses may have to spend some time completing internships or working in an entry-level position before landing an editing job.

However, freelance editors can begin seeking clients at any time, but it may take time to build a portfolio that will attract bigger clients.

How can I find a job as a proofreader?

Well, if you are looking for your first editing job and want to work for a publishing house, you can gain experience and make contacts by taking on internships or taking entry-level clerical jobs.

Competition for jobs in traditional and online media can be strong. However, you will need to increase your chances of landing a position by first building a professional network of experienced rewriters who are familiar with you and your work.

Also, if you want to pursue freelance editing work, there are many websites devoted to connecting freelancers, including editors, with potential clients. Some editorial associations host job boards on their websites as well. However, if you do not have a portfolio of work to show clients, you can start by taking on small jobs.

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What is the job outlook for rewriters?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states that employment of editors is expected to have little change up to 2026, as print media continues to face strong pressure from online publications.

However, the BLS predicts that competition for jobs in print media will be very strong. Also, job prospects will be best for those who are comfortable with online media and digital publishing tools.

How can I become an editor without a degree?

Even though a bachelor’s degree is preferred, you as editorial personnel can enter the field without a degree. Honestly, all you need is strong writing skills and a background in areas other than English and communications.

For example, some editors may be able to specialize in a particular area where they have had work experience before, such as fashion or advertising.

How can I become an Editor?

1. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

Actually, editors typically need a bachelor’s degree in journalism, English, or communications. Bachelor’s degree programs in these fields usually take 4 years to complete. However, some programs may offer a 3-year fast track. Besides, you can complete the programs online.

Also, most of these degree programs provide hands-on learning opportunities through projects and internships. Undergraduate courses in English may include topics like:

  • Composition
  • Critical reading
  • Creative writing
  • Research and argument
  • Rhetorical situations
  • Literature

2. Get an Experience

Well, editorial personnel usually need to have some experience writing and proofreading. However, they can gain experiences through internships or work as a writer, editorial assistant, or reporter.

Moreover, internship opportunities can commonly take place during college. Here, students may also have the opportunity to gain experience at school newspapers and radio stations.

Also, editors develop computer skills in such areas as multimedia production, electronic publishing, and social media. Rewriters generally need to be good at finding compelling stories and communicating well with writers throughout the writing process.

3. Make Your Career to Advance

Advancement in editing looks different for various kinds of proofreaders. But it may include working at larger and/or more well-known publications. Also, editorial personnel can move up from copy editing positions to positions of an executive or managing editors.

However, other editors may prefer to work as freelancers or move to a position where they can do their own writing. Also, if you want to learn more about becoming an editor, you can seek out groups like the Editorial Freelancers Association, the American Copy Editors Society, or the American Society of News Editors.

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How can I start my own editing company?

Find your niche
Be patient, but proactive
Do not just build a website, build a brand
Segment your clients
Be smart about pricing
Stay organized
Market effectively
Take a holistic approach
Advance your skills
Join a marketplace

What are the schools for aspiring Editors?

1. University of Missouri
2. University of Texas Austin
3. University of Southern California Annenberg
4. Ohio University
Another editing School is:
5. Boston University


Book editorial personnel do a lot more than just read and edit raw manuscripts. They are a key part of the chain of command in publishing and have a lot of influence over which books get published and which ones do not.

Besides, one of the most important things rewriters do is to acquire books for publication. Usually, book editors or proofreaders read manuscripts submitted by writers, some solicited, most unsolicited. However, proofreaders do this by keeping their knowledge of a genre and its potential market, and determine which works are a good fit for their publishing house.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does a freelance proofreader earn?

Honestly, the amount of money a proofreader makes varies. A freelance proofreader can expect to make between $25-$44 per hour as a proofreader. If you choose a proofreading niche, like proofreading court transcripts, you can earn more per hour.

What do I study to become an editor?

Though a college education is required for most editing jobs, but it is advisable to earn a bachelor’s degree in English, communications or journalism. This is because, the bachelor’s degree is often a prerequisite for one seeking to become an editor. Although it’s possible for someone who demonstrates strong writing and editorial skills to train on the job.


Is editing a good career?

Well, editors or rewriters need strong writing, interpersonal, listening, and speaking skills. However, proofreaders need a bachelor’s degree in English, journalism or communication. Their median annual salary is $56,010.

Is editing a skill?

Yes, it is a skill. It is more than knowing an adjective from an adverb, a noun from a pronoun. It is more than being able to construct and deconstruct a sentence or a paragraph.

What is the difference between an editor and a proofreader?

An editor makes changes and suggestions that will improve the overall quality of your writing, particularly in relation to language use and expression. While a proofreader corrects surface errors in writing, such as grammatical, spelling, punctuation, and other language mistakes.

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