Media

Editorial assistant

Editorial assistants provide support at all stages of the publication process for books, journals, magazines and online content.

Annual Salary

£15,000 to £40,000

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588 (source Office for Statistics)

Working hours

35 to 40

4%
Future employment

There will be 4% more Editorial assistant jobs in 2023.
In your local area

What's it all about?

Your day-to-day tasks might include:

  • 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
  • setting up interviews
  • working with images and page layout software
  • carrying out general office duties 

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 can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • specialist training courses with professional bodies

University

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 4 (C) or above, including English language
  • 2 to 3 A levels for a degree

Apprenticeship

You can get into this role through an advanced apprenticeship as a publishing assistant.

Employers will set their own entry requirements.

Work

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.

You could take a proofreading or editing course, like the ones offered by the The Publishing Training Centre or the Society for Editors and Proofreaders.

Further Information

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:

£15,000 to £40,000

Starter salary: £15,000 to £23,000

Experienced salary: £25,000 to £35,000

These figures are a guide.

35 to 40

You’ll usually work 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. You may need to work longer hours to meet deadlines.

 

You’ll normally be office-based, although working from home may be possible.

With experience you could progress to more senior editorial roles, or work on a freelance basis.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • 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
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