Job Description of an Associate Production Editor

Associate production editors require some formal education. Learn about the potential degrees, job duties, description and employment outlook statistics to see if this is the right career for you.

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In addition to relevant work experience and a superb comprehension of the editing process, an associate production editor typically needs at least a bachelor's degree in a related field, such as communications, English, or journalism. These professionals work with a team of writers and other editors, and have a solid understanding of a text's subject matter with excellent communication skills.

Essential Information

Books require authors, but many other individuals are needed to complete and print that same work. One of these professionals is the associate production editor. This person acts as the last line of defense in ensuring the accuracy of the final copy. These workers typically have an undergraduate degree and an excellent grasp of the editorial process. Additionally, most employers like to hire associate production editors with some experience under their belt.

Required Education A bachelor's degree in journalism, English or communications
Projected Job Outlook (2014-2024)* 5% decline (for editors)
Median Annual Salary (January 2016)** $43,493 (for production editors)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com

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Associate Production Editor Job Description

The associate production editor is responsible for ensuring that the final copy of the text is accurate. Whether book, magazine or journal, the associate production editor must keep track of the various edits performed by copy editors, managing editors and authors, and maintain the final proof of the edited text. Thus, associate production editors need to understand not only text edits, but format, print and photo edits as well.

Job Duties

As the last editor to ensure accuracy before the work is disseminated, whether in print or online, associate production editors must liaise not only with the author and fellow editors, but also with the printing and publication staff. Associate production editors must comprehend the logistics of actual publication. In doing so, they must also judge what is feasible based on the author's intent, the editor's alterations and the printer's capabilities.

Depending on the subject matter of the publication, associate production editors must also ensure that all graphs, statistics and charts are clear, coherent and comprehensive. This often means that associate production editors understand the subject matter of the work as much as they do the grammar and format. For associate production editors in the sciences, therefore, these individuals need to maintain current knowledge of the field and a basic understanding of the principles behind that field.

Educational Requirements

Like their fellow editors, most associate production editors have at least an undergraduate degree. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), many employers in the field hire people whose degrees are in English, communications or journalism, although being able to demonstrate an understanding of the editorial process and a good writing ability is a necessity, regardless of the major (www.bls.gov). Often, employers prefer to hire associate production editors who have experience in the field.

Salary Information and Job Outlook

The BLS predicted a decline of 5% for editor employment in the 2014-2024 decade, which equates to little or no change. Traditional jobs with magazines and newspapers will decrease, but some positions will exist in online media. However, competition for these positions could be strong. PayScale.com reported in January 2016 that the median annual wages of all production editors were $43,493 per year.

An associate production editor works with both online and print publications, viewing a text's final proof to ensure all content is accurate and free of errors. They need to hold at least a bachelor's degree and experience in the field, in order to be considered for employment. Aspiring associate production editors can expect to see a 5% decline in job opportunities over the 2014-2024 decade, with fewer magazine jobs, but more employment at online publications.

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