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Editorial assistant

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

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £15,000 to £40,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: 35 to 40 per week

1. Entry requirements

You’ll usually need a degree in English, journalism or media studies. You might be able to get in without qualifications if you can prove you have relevant skills and experience.

You’ll usually need some paid or unpaid work experience in publishing. You may also need a degree to work on a specialist publication.

Taking a proofreading or editing course, like the ones offered by the Publishing Training Centre  or the Society of Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP), may help you get a job. 

The Publishers Association has more information about working in publishing.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • excellent reading and writing ability
  • a high level of accuracy and attention to detail
  • the ability to prioritise and meet deadlines
  • strong time management skills
  • IT and administration skills
  • effective communication skills
  • determination and resilience

3. What you'll do

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

4. Salary

Starter: £15,000 to £23,000

Experienced: £25,000 to £35,000

Highly Experienced: Up to £40,000

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

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.

6. Career path and progression

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

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Last updated: 06 December 2016

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