Publisher Vs. Editor-in-Chief

May 30, 2020

Comparing Publishers to Editors-in-Chief

The publishing industry is full of exciting opportunities. From magazines, to newspaper publications, to book publishers, there are positions available for many unique skill sets. Get an in-depth look at two of these career paths: publisher and editor-in-chief.

Job Title Education Requirements Median Salary (2019)* Job Outlook (2018-2028)*
Publishers Associate's degree $45,390 (for all Desktop Publishers) -16% (for all Desktop Publishers)
Editors-in-Chief Bachelor's degree $61,370 (for all Editors) -3% (for all Editors)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Responsibilities of Publishers vs. Editors-in-Chief

Wherever there is written content, both publishers and editors-in-chief are almost always needed. Writers and authors submit their manuscripts, articles, and blog posts to publishers and editors-in-chief for review. Publishers review content to ensure that no formatting changes are needed, while an editor-in-chief proofreads, checks the accuracy of research, and requests edits to grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Editors-in-chief generally have more duties assigned them regarding publication, but approval by individuals in each role is typically required before publication can occur.


Publishers are the creative designers behind the layouts of the books, magazines, and online content that you read every day. Once content is submitted to them (both written and graphic), publishers are responsible for creating layouts that appeal to the eye. In addition to their relevant associate's degree, there are other design courses that publishers can take to further grow their knowledge of various software platforms. While publishers of the past focused solely on print publications, the latest publisher jobs also involve creating layouts for online publications. The ultimate goal of a publisher's daily duties is to bring content pieces to completion for official publication.

Additional duties that publishers are expected to perform include:

  • Correct errors in layouts
  • Utilize skills to ensure that layout designs meet the correct measurements
  • Prepare the final draft of articles and books
  • Match appropriate graphics to written content


Editors-in-chief (also known as executive editors) are the supervising editors at a print or online publication. Those who work in this position have demonstrated a superior knowledge of proofreading and correcting articles, manuscripts, and blog posts. Despite their exceptional skill set, a portion of their time is spent on tasks other than editing. Editors-in-chief make decisions about what written content is needed for a publication, and which are ultimately accepted. If an organization employs a small team, the editor-in-chief may also be in charge of all standard managerial duties, including hiring and training staff.

More daily responsibilities of editors-in-chief include:

  • Manage the activities of assistant editors
  • Issue approval for final versions of written copy
  • Request edits from writers
  • Work with freelance writing staff to ensure that deadlines are met

Related Careers

Because publishers have a special talent for design, working as a graphic designer is often another outstanding career choice. Also, for those with an in-depth knowledge of the written word, another unique career opportunity is that of a textbook author.

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