The following article brings forth the job description and salary prospects of a copy editor.
Copy editing is a much sought-after profession today, thanks to the growth of the online publications. Besides the websites, copy editors today find employment in book publishing houses, newspapers, magazines, advertising firms, and production houses. Sometimes they may be employed by universities, businesses, and government agencies as well. Freelance copy editing is taken up by those who want to work on a variety of projects with a number of companies. If you too are contemplating a career in this field, given below is the job description followed by the salary prospects that you can expect in this field.
Let’s start with the job profile of this media job before moving on to know about the copy editor wages. When a writer produces a manuscript, he sends it to a copy editor for checking. He then reviews the manuscript and looks for any mistakes. Grammar, spelling, facts of the content, punctuation, content clarity – these all are the main things that he checks amongst many others. There are some basic rules of editing with regards to punctuation, spelling, etc., which may vary from one company to another. These professionals, while editing, follow these rules which are referred to as “house style” in the publishing industry. Thus, their main job is to make corrections and suggest changes in a manuscript so as to improve it’s readability.
To get into this profession, a college degree in any of the fields such as English language, communication, or journalism is required. However, there is no hard and fast rule for this and it differs from organization to organization. Nevertheless, a strong hold over the language is a pre-requisite, besides good writing and computer skills. These days, due to the Internet, copy editors are able to perform their work from home itself, especially the freelancing professionals. In some work profiles, they may be required to work on weekends or late at night to meet deadlines.
The salaries for these professionals range anywhere between $35,000 and $55,000. This amount depends upon a number of factors, such as the location of the job, the number of years of experience a candidate has in this profession, and the industry he is employed in. For instance, the salary of a copy editor working for a newspaper will be any day higher than those working for book publishers. If you compare location wise, currently, the salaries of professionals working for a newspaper range from $45,000 in Dallas, Texas, to $75,000 in Manhattan, New York.
The salary of a medical copy editor ranges from approximately $34,000 to $72,000. Those with less than a year of experience in this field can expect up to $53,000. While those with more than ten years of experience can expect anywhere between $ 50,000 to $72,000. As for the freelancing professionals, the amount is usually fixed on an hourly basis and is around $25 an hour. However, this amount can vary from project to project. While for jobs such as developmental copy editing or doing layouts for books, a person can expect as high as $85-90 per hour. Along with the salary, sometimes these professionals are offered a share in profits as well.
The job of a copy editor has good career prospects. Further, the Bureau of Labor Statistics forecast states that this field is going to grow by eight percent between 2008 and 2018. As for growth opportunities in this career is concerned, with experience and hard work, one can become a newspaper editor or a managing editor.