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How to Become a Web Editor: Step-by-Step Career Guide

Research the requirements to become a web editor. Learn about the job description, duties and read the step-by-step process to start a career in web editing. View article »

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  • 0:00 Should I Become a Web Editor?
  • 1:00 Career Requirements
  • 1:36 Steps to Become a Web Editor

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Video Transcript

Should I Become a Web Editor?

Web editors are responsible for creating and reviewing websites, emails and social media postings. They look for and correct spelling and grammatical errors. Editors may write content or review copy written by website contributors. They also manage the flow of Web content production and ensure publishing deadlines are met.

Web editors spend many hours in front of a computer screen, possess a keen eye for detail, and work nontraditional hours. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), more editors in this field are working from home offices. The BLS also states that while competition in this field is strong, there is more job growth for editors working online than in print media.

Educational requirements for this job vary. Many employers will hire Web editors who have a bachelor's degree in journalism or English, while other Web editors can start their own sites with little or no formal education.

Career Requirements

Degree Level Bachelor's degree
Degree Fields Journalism, English, or communications
Experience 1-2 years writing and proofreading online content
Key Skills Spelling, grammar, and communication skills; creativity; proficiency with Word processing, email, social media, content management systems, and HTML
Salary (2015) $47,615 (2016 median for web editors)

Source: Payscale.com

Employers typically look for web editor candidates with a bachelor's degree in journalism, English or communications. At least one to two years writing and proofreading online content is needed. Web editors should have good spelling, grammar and communication skills. They should also possess creativity, proficiency with Word processing, email, social media, content management systems, and HTML is also needed. According to 2016 data from Payscale.com, Web editors earned a median annual wage of of $47,615.

Steps to Become a Web Editor

Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree

Most employers require a Web editor to have at least a bachelor's degree. The most common fields of study for Web editors include communications, journalism and English, but some employers may hire editors with degrees in advertising, business, or a technology field. Many schools offer journalism programs that focus on online media.

Many schools allow students to produce a newspaper for distribution on campus. Students can gain editing experience while earning their degree by working for a school affiliated newspaper, or another type of school publication.

Another opportunity to gain experience is to participate in an internship. Interns receive hands-on training from experienced industry professionals and are able to establish contacts in the publishing field. Completing an internship may boost a student's marketability after graduation.

Some companies prefer to hire editors who know how to use computer and Internet programs and tools, such as basic HTML, video and uploading along with specific Web-based writing techniques. Completing classes in these subjects may increase employment opportunities.

Step 2: Gain Experience

Before Web editors are considered qualified, they often need experience working as a writer beyond what they did as a student in a bachelor's degree program. Many editors prefer to hire Web editors with online writing experience because it indicates that the individual possesses the writing skills and knowledge required to work in multimedia and to edit Internet content. By writing blogs, information for websites, or working for online newspapers and magazines, aspiring Web editors receive the experience some employers require.

Writing samples are a common requirement for anyone applying for writing or editing positions. Therefore, having properly revised and edited pieces ready to submit to employers is essential for job seekers. Aspiring Web editors should compile a writing portfolio of their work to accompany their resumes.

Step 3: Work as an Editor for Career Advancement

Editors who gain enough experience managing organizational flow and generating ideas for content may eventually move into supervisory roles, such as those of managing editors or publication directors.

Web editors typically need a bachelor's degree in communications, journalism, English, or a related field as well as experience writing and editing online content.

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