There are many copy editor jobs available

What Copy Editor Jobs Are Out There?

When you graduate from university, the first thing that you’re asked is: “So what are you going to do with your life?” If you’re anything like me – with a love of communication, the English langauge and an analytical mind – you will immediately be thinking in terms of copy editing and proofreading. The next question you’ll be asking yourself is: “What copy editor jobs are available?”


Copy Editor Jobs: Magazines


The work environment that copy editors are most needed are in magazines. This applies to both business to business (B2B) and business to consumer (B2C) magazines. The reaso why copy editors are essential here is because a lot of content is produced on a very regular basis. This writing needs to be quality checked. (I started out life as a copy editor at a B2B publishing house myself. It’s a great learning ground as you can test your skills without the pressurised environment of, say, a newspaper.)


All of these companies have style guides. You – as the copy editor and/or proofreader – will need to make sure that everything in the magazine adheres to this style guide. (The publishing house’s style guide will detail, for example, what words should be capitalised and the preferred spelling of certain words.) The copy editor is usually the last person who scrutinises the magazine before it goes to print. This means that any mistakes that are found in the final, printed version will be on your head so make sure that you get it right!

Copy Editor Jobs: Newspapers


Another type of publication that needs copy editors are newspapers. Here the deadlines are much stricter than in magazines as these publications come out on a daily basis – sometimes twice a day – as opposed to magazines that are published, for example, on a monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly basis. Newspapers will usually have two teams of copy editors – one which works a day shift and the other which takes the night shift – to ensure that the publication comes out on time and error free.

Copy Editor Jobs: Academia


An area that I’m quite involved in is copy editing for academic works, specifically theses and dissertations. (Follow this link to find out more.) Here, the work is mainly freelance and tertiary institutions will have panels of editors to who they turn when they need the services of an editor. The author – for example the student who wrote the dissertation or the academic who wrote a paper or article – will usually be your point of call and you, as the copy editor, will liaise directly with him or her.


There are loads more jobs and industries out there that need a copy editor – and not just the ones I’ve mentioned above. Being a copy editor is a very rewarding job. If you have a love of language I highly recommend it!