There are approximately 118,300 editors in the United States. Generally, newspaper editors are employed in every city or town, as most towns have at least one newspaper. As the population multiplies, so do the opportunities. In large metropolitan areas, there may be one or two daily papers, several general interest weekly papers, ethnic and other special-interest newspapers, trade newspapers, and daily and weekly community and suburban newspapers. All of these publications need managing and department editors. Online papers also provide opportunities for editors.
A typical route of entry into this field is by working as an editorial assistant or proofreader. Editorial assistants perform clerical tasks as well as some proofreading and other basic editorial tasks. Proofreaders can learn about editorial jobs while they work on a piece by looking at editors' comments on their work.
Job openings can be found using school career services offices, classified ads in newspapers and trade journals, and specialized publications such as Publishers Weekly (https://www.publishersweekly.com). In addition, many publishers have Web sites that list job openings, and large publishers often have telephone job lines that serve the same purpose.
Newspaper editors generally begin working on the copy desk, where they progress from less significant stories and projects to major news and feature stories. A common route to advancement is for copy editors to be promoted to a particular department, where they may move up the ranks to management positions. An editor who has achieved success in a department may become a city editor, who is responsible for news, or a managing editor, who runs the entire editorial operation of a newspaper.
Tips for Entry
Join your school's newspaper or yearbook staff to gain experience in reporting, writing, and editing articles.
Hone your interviewing skills by learning how to phrase open and closed questions.
Ask you school's career services office to help you set up the opportunity to job shadow a news editor. Prepare a list of questions in advance to get further insights on the job from the editor.
Take keyboarding and Internet searching classes.