What does a Copy Editor do?

A copy editor may work for any industry to create, proofread, and modify content for writers or employers. From books to articles to web content, copy editors make sure that documents are grammatically correct, readable, and correspond with the brand image and target audience of the company. Depending on the industry they work in, they use style manuals to make decisions about voice, word choice, formatting, and other variables.

Professional copy editors generally hold a bachelor's degree in English, journalism, or a related field. They must be able to adhere to strict deadlines and be extremely meticulous to identify and correct small errors in punctuation, spelling, or grammar. A copy editor may work exclusively for one organization or they may freelance for various companies. They also research information presented in articles to make sure that facts, such as dates, names, and statistics are correct and current.

  • Communicate within the company with creative directors or other interested parties via email, telephone calls, or in person
  • Conduct extensive research and interviews to ensure content is accurate and up-to-date
  • Proofread text and edit text at various stages of the writing process and in response to feedback from writers or creative directors
  • Engage readers with informative, entertaining, and educational copy
  • Understand and consistently reflect the brand voice of the company in writing style
  • Inform readers on the features of products using accurate and current information
  • Produce email marketing copy for products or services using promotional language designed to motivate
  • Keep abreast of trends in content and style reflected on various popular social media channels
  • 2+ years of copy editing experience preferred
  • Proficiency with applying the principles of style guides, such as the Chicago Manual of Style, to different types of writing
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in the English language
  • Thorough knowledge of media production and communication
  • Ability to remain detailed-oriented and focused when processing large amounts of text
  • Willingness to collaborate with a creative team of writers, graphic designers, and others
  • Strong computer processing skills, especially G Suite and Microsoft Office
  • Basic knowledge of legal issues involved in publishing, such as libel and plagiarism
  • Mastery of spelling, grammar and punctuation errors and ability to make constructive suggestions

Average Years of Experience

0 - 1
40%
2 - 4
55%
5 - 7
4%
8+
1%

Common Skill Sets

Editing
Degree IN English
English Language Grammar
Microsoft Office Suite
Writing
Adobe Acrobat
Professional Writing
Written Communication

Copy Editor Seniority Levels

L2
Copy Editor
$49,890/yr
L3
L4
Editor
55% made the transition
Copywriter
76% made the transition
See Career Path

Copy Editor Salaries

Average Base Pay

$49,890 /yr
Same as national average
Not including cash compensation
See More Insights
$32K
Median: $50K
$78K
See More Insights
Glassdoor Estimated Salary

Copy Editor Jobs

Copy Editor Interviews