Employment as an Editor
by Peter J. Francis, HGPublishing Senior Editor
Are you looking for work as an editor?
HyperGraphix is currently accepting applications from qualified editors seeking occasional freelance work editing essays and other documents. A university or college degree is required, as well as a demonstrated command of the English language. Use our contact form for enquiries.
You can also find editing and proofreading opportunities at the following sites:
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How can I qualify as an editor?
- Experience. It's possible that you have a natural flair for grammar and a perfectionist attitude. You may have been the one in a company who everyone turns to for grammar advice, or who is trusted to review all outgoing copy. If you can do it, and you have done it, then that's pretty convincing. Nothing beats a great resume.
- Education. English degrees are particularly useful, because you need to study the language to some degree, but most liberal arts degrees give you the broad education needed to be a good editor. Language skills are necessary, of course, but having a basic grasp of a wide range of subjects is very helpful, as well. I started my education in science, because that's where my heart was in high school. In university, I joined the student newspaper. I got a part-time job as a journalist covering city council meetings for a small community newspaper because no one else wanted to do it and I got a free dinner. I found I liked writing and I changed my major to English and transferred to another university. During my time there, I took courses in many different departments, from psychology to archeology, to humanities, and even women's studies. I ended up editing the student newspaper there, and moved on to work professionally as a writer and editor.
- Membership. There are professional editors' associations. The Association of Canadian Editors is one here in Canada. Membership is open to anyone; and they also have courses and certification to improve your skills. I'm a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association. Often you can find local editor's associations. I am a member of a few different groups on LinkedIn, a social network for professionals. .
What kind of wages do editors earn?
Just like anything else, wages depend on qualifications and experience. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, wages run from $13.89 per hour to $46.54 per hour. The median wage is $24.75. The average is $28.53. If you understand statistics, you can see that this is a normal distribution, with most editors earning in the middle. In my experience, most freelance work is not paid by the hour, but by the job, so it depends on how skilled you are. It also depends on the job. What I find is that when something is fairly well written and I'm only revising one or two sentences per paragraph, I can go quickly, earning near the top of this bracket. But when I'm editing something written by someone with a poor command of English and I can hardly understand what they want to say, even when I'm charging extra, I'm still earning near the bottom. There's a discussion of editing and proofreading rates on my proofreading rates page. Use the link at the top of the page.