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Editor Training Programs and Requirements

Pursuing a bachelor's degree in English is a common academic choice for students seeking a career as an editor. This degree provides a broad basis of liberal arts, which can be helpful in editing different forms of material.

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Editorial Training Programs

Students training to become editors will gain writing experience while proofreading, editing and rewriting content for print and electronic formats. They need to learn to check spelling, grammar and facts prior to the material being submitted to the public, and they should learn to edit content for tone and clarity. While studying, they should also develop skills such as strong computer proficiency and the ability to work well under pressure. Specializations in this field may include creative writing or multimedia communications.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, (www.bls.gov), the minimum educational requirement to become an editor is a bachelor's degree, although some editors may be required to begin their career as an intern or volunteer. Proof of high school graduation, standardized test scores and at least a 2.0 GPA are required for entry into most bachelor's degree programs.


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Bachelor of Arts in English

A Bachelor of Arts in English program concentrates on the proper use of language and critical thinking, both of which are crucial when editing material. Graduates of a B.A. in English program learn how to research, express, write and edit complex information. Through homework, students also complete assignments that build technical writing and oral communication skills.

Hands-on, supervised internships are another way for students to explore career paths. Under the direction of professional editors, a student's duties may include researching, fact checking, writing and some clerical tasks. Internships are typically completed for college credit and taken in the summer.


Employment Outlook

The May 2015 BLS report showed that the nation's 96,690 professional editors earned a median annual wage of $56,010. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), editors were projected to see a 5% decline in employment opportunities from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov).

Workshops and Seminars

Students can find sources of extracurricular learning through community colleges and universities on topics such as specific manual styles, proposal writing or working through writer's block. Some regional media associations also may offer training workshops for college students on topics such as social networking and proofreading.

Professional Development

Prospective editors may expand their editorial opportunities by earning a certificate in a niche area, such as technical or creative writing.

Aspiring editors can start by entering a bachelor's degree program in English before specializing in more specific editorial coursework. Students can also find relevant education through internships, workshops, and/or community college courses.

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