Newspaper or magazine editor

Career outlook for

Figures and forecasts for roles at the same level, which require similar skills and qualifications.

Average UK salary

Currently employed in Scotland

Jobs forecast

This information is supplied by LMI For All, where data is currently available for Scotland.

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

Hours

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.

Environment

Your work will be mainly office-based.

Travel

You may need to travel to meet clients and reporters.

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

Here are some of the skills that people in this job would be most likely to have:

  • Persuading people
  • Taking the lead
  • Communicating ideas through writing
  • Using computers
  • Being creative
  • Budgeting
  • Planning and organising
  • Time management
  • Paying attention to detail
  • Making decisions

Build your skills

Your skills can help you choose the career that’s right for you. You can build your skills through work, study or activities you do in your spare time.

To understand more, have a look at what are my skills?

Keep track of your skills in your account and find the jobs, opportunities and courses that suit you.

Click here to view / add your skills

Getting in

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 Apprenticeships.scot.

Qualifications

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).