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Newspaper or magazine editor

Newspaper and magazine editors manage the style and content of printed publications.

Annual Salary

£25,000 to £50,000

Average UK salary in 2023 was £34,963
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 39 variable

You could work: evenings / weekends; flexibly

Future employment

There will be 2.4% more Newspaper or magazine editor jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

Depending on the publication you work for as an editor, you could:

  • commission articles
  • choose which articles to publish
  • decide on the layout for publishing
  • assess work sent from freelance journalists, photographers and illustrators

Working environment

You could work in an office.

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.

If you want to work for a specialist publication like a medical or scientific journal, you'll likely need a:degree or postgraduate qualification in a relevant subject; high level of specialist knowledge

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
  • a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course
For more information

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 work 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.

Other routes

You could take a proofreading or editing course, like the ones offered by the National Council for the Training of Journalists, the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading and The Publishing Training Centre.

More information

Professional and industry bodies

You may find it useful to join organisations like the Society of Editors and Professional Publishers Association for professional recognition, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a newspaper and magazine editor from the National Council for the Training of Journalists.

You can learn more about other editorial and media careers from Discover Creative Careers.

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With experience as a local newspaper editor, you could move on to regional publications. Then you could work at national publications.

You could become editor-in-chief of a group of newspapers or magazine publishers.

The National Council for the Training of Journalists and the Professional Publishers Association have more information on journalism and becoming a newspaper or magazine editor.

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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