Sub-editor

sub 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 check written text before it is published in newspapers, magazines and on websites.

You would:

  • Make sure articles are correct and do not break laws such as libel and copyright
  • Check any queries with the reporter or journalist
  • Re-write articles if needed to make them clearer or shorter
  • Make sure articles follow the house style
  • Write headlines, captions, short paragraphs which lead into articles and ‘panels’ which break up the text
  • Make sure articles are in the right place on each page
  • Use page layout and image editing software like Quark Express, InDesign and Photoshop
  • Send completed pages to the printers

You would work closely with reporters, editors, designers, production staff and printers.

You would need a good understanding of the laws relating to publishing.

Working conditions

Hours

You will need to be flexible about your working hours, as you could have early starts and late finishes to meet deadlines. The period immediately before going to print (which could be daily, weekly or monthly) will be particularly busy.

Environment

You will usually be based in an open-plan office, which is likely to be busy and noisy most of the time.

UK employment status

Full-time

Part-time

Self employed

Here are some of the skills needed for this job. Sign in to see how your skills match up.

  • Time management
  • Attention to detail
  • Working with technology
  • Written communication
  • Cooperating
  • Researching
  • Observation
  • Innovative
  • Designing
  • Creative

Build your skills

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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

Many subeditors have extensive experience as a journalist; they often have a relevant degree (SCQF level 9/10) or postgraduate qualification (SCQF level 11) in journalism. Qualifications in English, advertising, communication, marketing and media may also be helpful.

You can enter journalism National Qualification courses (SCQF 2-6) with four National 4 or National 5 qualifications (SCQF level 4/5).

You can enter Higher National Certificate (SCQF level 7) or Higher National Diploma courses (SCQF level 8) with National 4/5 qualifications and one to two Highers or equivalent qualifications.

To enter 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.

Entry to a postgraduate qualification (SCQF level 11) requires a relevant degree and may require experience.

Useful subjects

  • English (required by most courses)
  • Social subjects

Helpful to have

Work-based experience and qualifications such as a Diploma in Creative Digital Media (SVQ level 3) or National Progression Award (NPA) in Digital Media Editing (SCQF level 5).