Magazine Editors


Employment Prospects


Approximately 45,380 editors are employed by newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishers in the United States. Major magazines are concentrated in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, Dallas, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Minneapolis, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C., while professional, technical, and union publications are spread throughout the country.

Starting Out

Competition for editorial jobs can be fierce, especially in the popular magazine industry. Recent graduates hoping to break into the business should be willing to work in other staff positions before moving into an editorial position.

Many editors enter the field as editorial assistants or proofreaders. Some editorial assistants perform only clerical tasks, whereas others may also proofread or perform basic editorial tasks. Typically, an editorial assistant who performs well will be given the opportunity to take on more and more editorial duties as time passes. Proofreaders have the advantage of being able to look at the work of editors, so they can learn while they do their own work.

Good sources of information about job openings are school career services offices, classified ads in newspapers, and specialized publications such as Publishers Weekly (https://www.publishersweekly.com).

Advancement Prospects

Employees who start as editorial assistants or proofreaders and show promise generally become copy editors. Copy editors work their way up to become senior editors, managing editors, and editors in chief. In many cases, magazine editors advance by moving from a position on one magazine to the same position with a larger or more prestigious magazine. Such moves often bring significant increases in both pay and status. In some instances well-seasoned magazine editors may leave their full-time positions to start their own magazines.

Tips for Entry

Read publications such as Editor & Publisher (http://www.editorandpublisher.com) and ACES Insights (https://aceseditors.org) to learn more about the field.

Visit the following Web sites for job listings:

  • http://www.editorandpublisher.com
  • https://www.editingcrossing.com
  • https://www.indeed.com/q-Magazine-Editor-jobs.html
  • https://www.linkedin.com/jobs/magazine-editor-jobs
  • https://www.mediabistro.com/jobs/openings/editor-editorial 

Apply for entry-level jobs in the publishing industry in order to gain experience in the field.

Attend conferences organized by ACES: The Society for Editing and other organizations to network, improve your skills, and interview for jobs.