Career outlook for copy editor
UK Salary Ranges
Currently employed in Scotland
What's it like?
You would check text written for books, journals and magazines, take out any errors and make sure it’s ready to be published for readers.
You’d carefully read the author’s manuscript (or 'copy') and make any necessary changes. You’d make sure the meaning is clear for readers.
You’d speak with the author to tactfully explain what changes you have made and why. You’d also ask them for more information if there’s anything in the text you don’t understand.
- Correct errors in spelling, grammar and punctuation
- Check the length of the text matches the publisher’s requirements
- Make sure the text is in the publisher's or publication’s house style
- Make sure that the meaning of the text is clear
- Check that references are quoted correctly and pictures have the right captions
- Check for possible legal issues, such as libel, partiality or breach of copyright
- Resolve queries with the author
- Consult with the author if extensive revision of the text is needed
Most of your work would be done on a computer but you may also sometimes work on a printout, or hard copy, of the author’s typed or word-processed manuscript.
You could work on books but you might also edit articles for journals and text for brochures, instruction manuals and websites. You might need to work quickly to meet tight deadlines.
UK employment status
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- Written communication
- Attention to detail
- Time management
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