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. Selecting an English degree provides a broad basis of liberal arts, which is helpful in editing different forms of material.

Editorial Training Programs

Students training to become editors will gain writing experience and will proofread, edit and rewrite 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.

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 begin their career as an intern or volunteer.

  • Program Specializations: Options such as creative writing or multimedia communications
  • Prerequisites: Proof of high school graduation, standardized test scores, at least a 2.0 GPA.

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. Students in the program not only study speech and composition as general education requirements, but they may also have the option of specializing in creative writing or multimedia communications. 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.

Job Experience

Students can benefit from a hands-on, supervised internship under the direction of a professional editor or editors. An internship may include researching, fact checking, writing and some clerical tasks.

Employment Outlook

The May 2014 BLS report showed that the 97,350 professional editors earned a median annual wage of $54,890. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), editors were projected to see a -2% change, little or no change, in employment opportunities from 2012-2022 (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.

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