How to be an Editor?

7 minute read
How to be an Editor?

Any media platform that uses sound, visual to written pieces requires some refinement and furnishing before its content is published and released to the masses. This is where an editor comes in, from writing to video creation to filmmaking, editors are the backbone of any media team or production house. Keep reading to find out more about the different types of editors and what all you need to become an editor in the growing world of new media.

What is the Job of an Editor?

How to be an editor
Source: giphy

An Editor is a crucial contributor in any publishing house or production team. Editing is the process of selecting, modifying, and organizing written, photographic, visual, audible, or cinematic material created by a person or an entity before publishing or putting it out for the audience to consume. The field of editing is quite broad and involves various different job profiles. The most common and popular one is editors working on the written materials like books, newspapers, magazines, or the web. They are mainly responsible for preparing language, images and approving the final text that appears in the media. 

Different Job Profiles for an Editor

Book Editor

YouTube: Penguin Random House UK

A book editor is someone who is responsible for reading and editing manuscripts or books.  Book editors work closely with authors, they try to bring new talents and make their work reach a bigger audience. They are responsible for eliminating common errors, checking for plagiarism, ensuring readability, and finally preparing the draft for publication. 

Book editors generally fall into two categories: Copy Editors and Acquisitions Editors

  • Copy Editor: Copyeditors edit an author’s manuscript which includes ensuring correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
  • Acquisitions Editor: Acquisitions involve buying books for a publishing house. They make deals with literary agents and authors. They read proposals and sample chapters and make offers to publish manuscripts that they find appealing. They work with authors throughout the writing process to ensure that the book stays on track and on time. 

Section Editor

In newspapers, magazines, there are different sections of content that are published. The editors of such content are known as section editors. They oversee what stories are placed on what pages of the newspaper and when. They supervise the entire outlook and content of the newspaper or magazine including editorials, advertisements, and pictures.

Web Editor

With the internet becoming the hub of content and content writers, a new sector of editors, web editors has grown in popularity. They create, manage and edit content for various online sources from social media to blogs. They must pay close attention to search engine optimization (SEO) and screen readability. They also learn to publish their writings with tools like WordPress and other content management systems Web editors can find editing positions in many places including television stations and online media companies.

Academic Editor

Academic editors work on research papers and dissertations. They are usually long texts and require both relevant knowledge on the subject and adequate editing skills. Thus, in order to become an academic editor, one needs to have a post-grad degree in the relevant subject. 

Film/ Video Editor

YouTube: clarisseintheclouds

Film or Video editors play an important role in the post-production of a movie. Just like written texts, films, and videos to require detailed editing before it reaches the TV screens. They select the footage accordingly to form a sequence, in order to make the story crisp and relevant. From cutting out scenes to managing their order of display to regulating their presentation, film and video editing requires great precision and knowledge of editing tools. 

Eligibility Criteria

There is no specific eligibility criteria or path to follow for a career in editing. However, having an interest and command over the language for editors in publishing is a must. While video editors must be acquainted with various editing tools. Holding a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in the relevant field can give one an edge over others in jobs.

Skills Required

Here are some skills required for building a career in the world of literacy:

  • Composition
  • Language Proficiency
  • Discernment
  • Coordination skills 
  • Critical reading
  • Creative writing
  • Research and argument
  • Literature

How to Become an Editor?

Inculcate a Passion and Interest for Editing 

Firstly, one needs to figure out one’s interest in editing. For this, one can read more, gain knowledge about the job and work of an editor, and most importantly get a better hold of the language and mediums of work. One should be proficient with the language and have certain basic skills to become an editor. 

Attain Academic Qualifications

Most of the editors are required to hold a bachelor’s degree in the language of preference. For instance, to become a Hindi content editor, you may be required to hold a UG degree in the language (or a good command over the language along with a degree). To become an English content editor, a degree in the English language will be required. There are undergraduate and postgraduate courses in editing as well as book designing that are available as well. There are many online proofreading or editing courses with certificates available as well in various free online platforms. 

If one is looking to become a web editor, one can apply for a degree or course in journalism/mass communication as well. This will help you in learning different aspects of digital content. Similarly for video editors, students can take up several online courses or enroll in filmmaking and directorial courses to learn about the art.

Start with Internships and Freelancing 

The most important step is to get started and gain as much experience as possible. One can get numerous internships on online platforms like LinkedIn. One can even be a freelancer or work part-time. Networking is significant to the job. One can form networks, collect testimonials from past clients, make their own professional site, etc.

How to be an Editor for a Youtuber?

Credits: Charlie Rowlands

How to Become a Book Editor?

Credits: Mollie Reads

Indian Colleges Offering Editing Courses

Several colleges in India provide BA in Editing, BSc. Editing, Diploma in Editing and Film and video editing related courses. A list of such colleges are as follows:

  • National Institute Of Mass Communication
  • Whistling Woods International Mumbai
  • National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad
  • Institute of Mass Communication Film and Television Studies (IMCFTS), Kolkata
  • Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication Pune
  • MIT Art, Design and Technology University Pune National Institute of Design Ahmedabad
  • YMCA Institute for Media Studies and Information Technology, New Delhi

Top Universities for Studying Editing Abroad

  • University of Melbourne
  • University of Missouri 
  • University in Austin, Texas
  • Ohio University
  • Boston University
  • University of North Carolina 
  • Stony Brook University, New York
  • Emerson College
  • University of Florida

Note: Students interested in editing in the field of publishing can take up courses like English, Journalism, Mass Communication, and Creative Writing in order to advance in the field.

Application Process

The application process takes place over a period of time and begins months before the commencement of classes. The universities have two main intakes known as the fall intake and winter intake for international students to kickstart their journey. You can call our Leverage Edu experts on 1800 572 000 to find out how the application process can be fast-tracked and streamlined! Here’s an easy 5-step process to complete your application process:

  1. Call our experts on 1800 572 000 to shortlist your favourite universities and courses. Start your application to multiple universities through our one dashboard platform
  2. Compile all your documents like SOPs, essays, certificates and LORs and exam scores like IELTS, TOEFL, GRE, GMAT, etc
  3. Meet all the applications deadlines and start the application process for accommodation, USA students visa, and scholarships/student loans
  4. Accept the offer letter and meet your teachers, college mates and roommates virtually
  5. Get your visa approved and fly to your dream university!

Documents Required 

Career Scope

Here is the salary map for pursuing a job in the literary and entertainment world for different writers and editors:

Editor Jobs

Here is a plethora of employment opportunities to explore:

  • Newspaper houses
  • News agencies
  • Magazines
  • Websites
  • Publishing houses
  • Advertising companies
  • Social media platforms 
  • Radio and TV stations
  • NGOs
  • Indian information service or state government information service

Average Editor Salary

The salary of an editor depends on their experience, skills, and other qualifications. Thus, it varies with the institution, project one’s working on, and subjective factors. However, the average salary is ₹30,000-35,000 per month in India.

How to be an Editor
Credits: PayScale


What qualifications do I need to be an editor?

Typically, you’ll begin with a degree in English, journalism, or media studies. If your first degree is not in the field, you can pursue a postgraduate qualification in publishing or journalism.

Is it hard to be an editor?

It takes a lot of effort to edit a book. It may not take as long as writing it, but book editors work really hard to help manuscripts reach their full potential. A bachelor’s degree, a strong command of the written word, and a willingness to search out appropriate career possibilities are all required to become a book editor.

Can I be an editor without a degree?

Although there is no set educational or training path to becoming an editor, most editors have a bachelor’s degree in some subject.

This is all you need to know about how to become an editor. If you’re someone who wants to pursue a career as an editor, then contact our Leverage Edu experts today and embark on your journey of becoming a successful editor.

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