Newspaper or magazine editor

Print and publishing, marketing and advertising

Career outlook for newspaper or magazine editor

UK Salary Ranges





Currently employed in Scotland


Salary information is provided by the "National Careers Service". "Oxford Economics" supplies job forecasts and employment figures. Due to COVID-19 the jobs market is constantly changing. Some of the information may not reflect the current situation.

What's it like?

You would lead a team of journalists, sub editors and designers to produce a magazine or newspaper that appeals to readers.

You’d manage the style and content of publications. You might oversee the overall editorial direction of a publication or you could be responsible for one section.

Using your creative skills, visual sense and understanding of the target audience you would put together a publication that people will want to buy and read.

You would:

  • Commission articles from journalists and feature writers
  • Commission photographers and illustrators
  • Choose articles to include in the publication
  • Decide how the articles will be laid out
  • Choose images and text for the cover

You’d also read submissions from freelance contributors and decide whether to use their work.

You would work with sub-editors, designers, production staff and printers to make sure you meet the publication deadlines.

Working for a specialist publication, you will usually need knowledge or experience in that subject area.

If you work on a local newspaper you may also do some writing and sub-editing. On bigger papers your role might be just editorial.

You’d need commercial awareness and some legal knowledge about what you can publish.

You could also be responsible for controlling the budget, hiring staff and working with advertising and production departments.

Working conditions


You can expect to work irregular hours, including evenings and weekends. If you work for a monthly publication or a specialist trade journal you will work normal office hours, with some overtime leading up to publication deadlines.


Your work will be mainly office-based.


You may need to travel to meet clients and reporters.

UK employment status





Self employed


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  • Listening
  • Verbal communication
  • Written communication
  • Creative
  • Researching
  • Attention to detail
  • Time management
  • Coaching
  • Delegating
  • Taking responsibility

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Entry requirements for courses can change. Always contact the college, university or training provider to check exactly what you'll need.

Foundation Apprenticeships

Choosing a Foundation Apprenticeship as one of your subjects in S5 and S6 can help you get a head start with this type of job.

You'll get an SCQF level 6 qualification (the same level as a Higher) plus valuable work placement experience and skills you can't learn in a classroom.

Interested? Find out what's on offer at your school on


Most editors work extensively as journalists before moving on to editing.

You would need an HNC/HND (SCQF level 7/8), or a degree (SCQF level 9/10) or postgraduate qualifications (SCQF level 11) in:

  • Journalism
  • English
  • Media
  • Advertising
  • Communications
  • or publishing 

Entry to a degree (SCQF level 9/10) usually requires National 5 qualifications and a minimum of four Highers at BBBC or above or a relevant HNC/HND.

You could also enter journalism through a Modern Apprenticeship in Creative and Digital Media (SCQF Level 7).

Useful subjects

  • English (required by most courses)
  • Administrative  subjects
  • ICT subjects
  • Maths
  • Social studies subjects such as media

Helpful to have

Qualifications and experience that show understanding of the industry, research and writing skills such as Skills for Work Creative Digital Media (SCQF level 4) or Creative Industries (SCQF level 5).