Editors (NOC 5122)

About this job

Editors review, evaluate and edit manuscripts, articles, news reports and other material for publication, broadcast or interactive media and coordinate the activities of writers, journalists and other staff.

People in this occupation:

  • work for publishing firms, magazines, journals, newspapers, radio and television networks and stations, and companies and government departments that produce publications such as newsletters, handbooks, manuals and websites
  • may also work on a freelance basis
  • must have excellent writing and communication skills, as well as highly developed computer skills
  • must be adaptable and able to work with online content
Common job titles
  • blog editor
  • consultant, editorial
  • editor
  • editor, language - English, French, etc.
  • editor, news - assignment / copy
  • Web site editor
  • blog editor
  • consultant, editorial
  • editor
  • editor, art
  • editor, broadcasting
  • editor, language - English, French, etc.

Duties

Editors:

  • evaluate the suitability of manuscripts, articles, news copy and wire service dispatches for publication, broadcast or electronic media and recommend or make changes in content, style and organization
  • read and edit copy to be published or broadcast to identify and correct errors in spelling, grammar and syntax, and shorten or lengthen copy as required
  • talk to authors, staff writers, reporters or freelance writers about copy revisions
  • plan and do copy layout according to space or time allocations and the copy significance
  • plan and coordinate staff activities and make sure productions deadlines are met
  • collaborate with senior staff, freelance photographers and writers, graphic designers, advertising sales representatives and printing companies
  • plan coverage of coming events and assign work accordingly
  • write or prepare introductions, marketing and promotional materials, biographical notes, indexes and other text
  • may negotiate royalties with authors and arrange payment of freelance staff

Special duties

Editors may specialize in a particular subject area or type of publication, such as: news, sports or features, books, magazines, newspapers or manuals.

Work environment

Editors typically work in office buildings, while freelance and contract editors often work from home offices. Editors work for a wide range of employers, including newspapers, television newsrooms, government and publishing firms.

A 35 to 40 hour workweek is common, however, editors may be required to work extra hours, sometimes on evenings or weekends, in order to meet deadlines. Looming deadlines may cause stress.

Editing is usually done using computers so eye and wrist strain are possible.

Insights from industry

Job opportunities in the next few years are expected to come from new job creation and the need to replace retiring workers.

Industry sources report that there is currently a large supply of recent graduates seeking work in addition to an already good supply of experienced editors. As demand for editors is expected to be average, future jobs for new graduates will be limited due to tough competition from more experienced editors.

Many editors work in the traditional areas of newspaper and printed publications, which have seen little expansion. Advances in technology have affected this field of work, and the internet is having a noticeable impact on traditional media. As a result, editors need to be fluent in both traditional and new media in order to perform effectively. As well, there will be greater opportunities for editors with specialized training (e.g., legal editing, editing of technology websites, editing jobs requiring medical or science background).

In recent years, the Canadian book industry has experienced economic challenges. As a result, many book editors have turned to freelance or contract-based work as opposed to full-time employment at one firm.

Education and certification will likely become more important, and applicants looking for work in book editing will benefit from taking a university publishing program or earning a Master's degree in publishing. Membership in the Editors' Association of Canada will likely become more important to employers in the coming years.

Career paths and resources

Career paths

Workers entering this field typically begin their employment in entry-level positions. These positions may involve work in public relations, marketing publicity, website editing or writing in the public sector or non-governmental organizations.

With experience, workers may progress to supervisory and management positions, such as editor-in-chief or managing editor at large newspapers, magazines or publishing houses.

Additional resources

Additional resources are not currently available for this career.