Editorial assistants provide support at all stages of the publication process for books, journals, magazines and online content.
Salary range: £15,000 to £40,000
How to become an editorial assistant
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
- specialist training courses with professional bodies
You’ll usually need a degree in English, journalism or media studies.
If you want to specialise in a particular field of publishing, you may need a degree that’s closely related to it, for example physics or maths for a scientific journal.
You’ll usually need:
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
You can get into this role through an advanced apprenticeship as a publishing assistant.
Employers will set their own entry requirements.
You could work in a publishing office or a company’s communications department as a general assistant and work your way up through in-house training and promotion.
Volunteering and experience
You’ll find it useful when applying for jobs, to have done some paid or unpaid work experience in publishing.
Professional and industry bodies
You may find it useful to join organisations like the The Publishers Association and Professional Publishers Association for professional recognition, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.
You can find out more about becoming an editorial assistant from:
- The Publishers Association
- Creative Choices
- Society for Editors and Proofreaders
You can also get information on working in creative careers from Discover Creative Careers.
What it takes
Skills and knowledge
- knowledge of English language
- knowledge of media production and communication
- the ability to read English
- excellent verbal communication skills
- to be thorough and pay attention to detail
- excellent written communication skills
- the ability to work well with others
- to be flexible and open to change
- to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
What you’ll do
Your job may involve:
- being a point of contact for authors
- keeping databases, spreadsheets and other records up to date
- reading documents and making corrections
- dealing with rights and permissions
- acting as personal assistant to commissioning editors
- working with images and page layout software
If you work online you could be:
- proofing and editing online text, including social media
- compiling and sending out newsletters using design and distribution software
- uploading text and images to a website using a content management system (CMS)
- editing text on apps
You could work in an office or from home.
Career path and progression
With experience you could move into more senior editorial roles, or work on a freelance basis.