Newspaper and magazine editors manage the style and content of printed publications.
Salary range: £30,000 to £80,000
How to become a newspaper or magazine editor
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- working towards this role
- training with a professional body
You’ll usually start by doing a degree in English, journalism or media studies.
You can do a postgraduate qualification in publishing or journalism if your first degree is not related to the industry.
You’re likely to need a degree or postgraduate qualification and a high level of specialist subject knowledge if you want to work for a specialist publication like a medical or 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
- a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course
- equivalent entry requirements
- student finance for fees and living costs
- university courses and entry requirements
You can start as a reporter or journalist with a regional newspaper or magazine and work your way up. There’s a lot of competition for jobs so you may have an advantage if you’ve got a relevant degree.
Volunteering and experience
You’ll need to get some experience before applying for your first job in publishing. To build up your experience you can:
- volunteer for student and community newspapers
- keep an online blog
- have an online presence on sites such as Twitter
- submit articles and reviews to local papers or websites
This is also a good way to develop contacts, as many jobs are not advertised.
You could take a proofreading or editing course, like the ones offered by the National Council for the Training of Journalists, the Society for Editors and Proofreaders and The Publishing Training Centre.
Professional and industry bodies
You can find out more about becoming a newspaper and magazine editor from:
- The Publishers Association
- National Council for the Training of Journalists
- Creative Choices
You can get more 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
Depending on the publication you work for as an editor, your day-to-day tasks may include:
- commissioning articles
- choosing which articles to publish
- deciding how they’ll be laid out for publishing
- assessing work sent from freelance journalists, photographers and illustrators
You could work in an office.
Career path and progression
With experience as a local newspaper editor you could move on to regional and then national publications.
You could become editor-in-chief of a group of newspapers, or magazine publishers.