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 2019 was £30,378
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 39 a week

You could work: evenings; occasionally

2%
Future employment

There will be 2% more Editorial assistant jobs in 2024.
In your local area

What's it all about?

Day to day tasks

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

Working environment

You could work in an office or from home.

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.

Entry requirements

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
For more information
Apprenticeship

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

For more information
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 work experience

You'll find it useful when applying for jobs, to have done some paid or unpaid work experience in publishing.

Other routes

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.

More information

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.

Further information

You can find out more about becoming an editorial assistant from:The Publishers Association; Society for Editors and Proofreaders

You can also get information on other publishing and creative careers from Discover Creative Careers.

With experience you could move into 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
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently
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