Copy Editor Salary

Copy editing is a much sought-after profession today, thanks to the growth of the online publications. Besides the websites, copy editors today find employment in book publishing houses, newspapers, magazines, advertising firms and production houses. Sometimes, they may be employed by universities, businesses and government agencies as well. Freelance copy editing is taken up by those who want to work on a variety of projects with a number of companies. If you too are contemplating a career in this field, given below is the job description followed by the average salary to expect in this field.

Job Description

Let's start with the job profile of this media job before moving on to know about the copy editor wages. When a writer produces a manuscript, he sends it to a copy editor for checking. Copy editors review the manuscript and look for mistakes in it. Grammar, spelling, facts of the content, punctuation, content clarity - these all are the main things that a copy editor checks amongst many others. There are some basic rules of editing with regards to punctuation, spellings, etc which may vary from one company to another. A copy editor, while doing editing, follows these rules, which are referred to as "house style" in the publishing industry. Thus, the main job of a copy editor is to make corrections and suggest changes in a manuscript so as to improve it's readability.

To get into this profession, a college degree in any of the fields such as English language, communication or journalism is required. However, there is no hard and fast rule for this and it differs from organization to organization. Nevertheless, a strong hold over the language is a pre-requisite, besides good writing and computer skills. You may further go to how to become an editor. These days, due to the Internet, copy editors are able to perform their work from home itself, especially the freelance copy editors. In some work profiles, copy editors may be required to work on weekends or late at night to meet deadlines.

Salary Range

In the year 2011, the copy editor salaries range anywhere between $30, 309 and $ 50, 148. The salary of a copy editor depends upon a number of factors, such as the location of the job, the number of years of experience a person has in this profession as well as the industry a copy editor is employed in. For instance, the salary of a newspaper copy editor will be any day higher than those working for book publishers. If you compare location wise, currently, the newspaper copy editor salaries range from $42, 476 in Dallas, Texas to $ 72, 375 in Manhattan, New York.

The salary of a medical copy editor ranges from approximately $29, 934 to $ 67, 463. Those with less than a year of experience in this field can expect up to $ 48, 980. While those with more than ten years of experience can expect anywhere between $ 45, 125 to $ 67, 463. As for the freelance copy editor, the salary is usually fixed on hourly basis and varies from project to project. For basic freelance copy editing jobs, a person can expect anything from $20 and above. While for jobs such as developmental copy editing or doing layouts for books, a person can expect as high as $ 80-85, per hour. Along with the salary, sometimes copy editors may be given a share in profits as well.

The job of a copy editor has good career prospects as the Bureau of Labor Statistics forecast that it is going to grow by eight percent between 2008 and 2018. As for growth opportunities in this career, a copy editor with experience in original writing can become a newspaper editor or a managing editor.