While there are no certifications or professional designations uniquely for copyeditors, there are training programs which offer students opportunities to refine their grammar and editing skills to a professional level. Individuals interested in a career in copyediting can find many certificate programs offered by colleges and universities. These programs are usually designed for professionals already working in fields such as publishing, education or the sciences. Some programs can be customized to help the students meet their professional goals and last anywhere from months to a year. Some programs are available through online study, allowing students to access recorded lessons and course materials at their convenience.
Copyediting certificate programs go beyond the correction of typographical errors to guide students as they refine texts for grammar, accuracy and clarity. Successful students are capable of improving writing on a sentence-by-sentence level. Programs may begin with an analysis of the student's skill level, followed by writing exercises tailored to individual need. Coursework focuses on mechanics of sentence structure, concision, accuracy and readability. Students train by performing practice exercises on written work and editing various types of writing. Course topics could include:
- Grammar and style
- Accuracy and reliability
- Language: modern usage
- Clarity and concision
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), opportunities in editing may be on the rise in digital and multimedia technologies as companies seek to expand their client-base via the Internet (www.bls.gov). However, that growth is offset by the reductions seen on the traditional print and advertising-based side. The BLS predicts that employment in the editing field will decrease -5% during the 2014-2024 decade, although media and communication workers are expected to see a growth of 4% during that same period. The BLS reports that the mean annual wage for editors in May 2015 was $64,910.
Those interested in continuing their education can attend advanced certificate programs. Some programs offer specializations in editing for journalistic, technical, medical, scientific or creative writing. Schools may also offer classes regarding the details of beginning a career in freelance editing. For individuals who wish to pursue undergraduate degree options, a certification program in copyediting gives an excellent foundation for an associates or bachelor's degree in English.
Certificate programs can help those interested in copy editing strengthen their technical skills. Generally these programs are designed for those already in the field and advanced certification is available.