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.

What responsibilities are common for Copy Editor jobs?
  • 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
What are the typical qualifications for Copy Editor jobs?
  • 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
EducationBachelor's Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.5 ★
Total Pay--
Career Opportunity
3.3 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

How much does a Copy Editor make near United States?

$49,976 /yr
Total Pay

Base Pay


Additional Pay


 / yr
Most Likely Range
Possible Range
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Copy Editor Career Path

Learn how to become a Copy Editor, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

Copy Editor
Senior Copy Editor
Copy Editor

Years of Experience Distribution

0 - 1
2 - 4
5 - 7
Not including years spent in education and/or training

Copy Editor Insights

Read what Copy Editor professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Copy Editor and Content Creator
Jul 5, 2022

“This company is great for any creator and the employers really allow you to express your creative freedom.”

Johnson & JohnsonJohnson & Johnson
Copy Typing, Copy Writing
Aug 4, 2022

“Its nice and good to work”

Wunderman ThompsonWunderman Thompson
Copy Supervisor
Feb 9, 2022

“I say this in a broad sense but it's mostly applicable to promotion and advancement.”

Copy Editor
Aug 15, 2022

“The pay for doing an assignment is $0.40 which means I have to do a lot for a good pay.”

IIIT HyderabadIIIT Hyderabad
Junior Language Editor
Feb 5, 2022

“I cannot enjoy my job because of my work from home profile i couldn't go there”

Penguin Random House Penguin Random House
Senior Copyeditor
Jan 3, 2023

“Great exposure and the best place to work with world”

Centre for Science and EnvironmentCentre for Science and Environment
Senior Copy Editor
Jul 9, 2021

“Lunch was great fun and convival”

TNQ TechnologiesTNQ Technologies
Trainee -copy Editing
Dec 20, 2021

“Low salary and I have no cons”

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Copy Editor Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the roles and responsibilities of a Copy Editor

When working as a Copy Editor, the most common skills you will need to perform your job and for career success are Editing, Degree IN English, English Language Grammar, Microsoft Office Suite, and Writing.

The most similar professions to Copy Editor are:
  • Editor
  • Copywriter
  • Writer
  • Managing Editor

The most common qualifications to become a Copy Editor include a minimum of a Bachelor's Degree and an average of 0 - 1 years of experience not including years spent in education and/or training.

Related Careers

75% skills overlap
50% skills overlap
63% skills overlap
Managing Editor
50% skills overlap

Copy Editor Jobs