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Is Editing Right for You?

Editors work in a variety of fields. You might be a content editor for a textbook publishing firm (think Pearson or Norton). You could work for a local publishing house or a large company. Typically, editing jobs divide into three categories: 

What Can I Do Now?

Graduation may be far off, but start preparing now. 


Check out our advising page for recommended courses that will help you in this goal. Also, think about how your electives can help. Build your software skills. Learn more about graphic design and how to build a website. Why? Editors sometimes wear other hats, and you will be more marketable if you have more skills than just killer grammar. Take journalism courses can introduce you to that editing field. 

Take classes in a specific content area.  Going to edit for the Smithsonian? Take history and anthropology courses. Use the SmartElect program at BYU-Idaho to help you plan an effective strategy for your career goals. 


Learn how an internship can build your experience, introduce you to employers, and build your writing portfolio. Many students work for The Scroll as part of their internship.

Work Experience

While any job will pay the bills, try for a job that relates to your career goals. Here are some of the great editing experiences that English majors have had while completing their degrees at BYU-Idaho:

  • Editor of Chemistry Education Article-Chemistry Department
  • Content and copy editor-English Department Faculty
  • Be an editor for Outlet, the BYU-Idaho Art and Literary Journal

Learn more about editing and publishing. Check out the Occupational Outlook Handbook, which tells you what you'll do as an editor, how much you'll make, and how to become one.

Also, check out other resources such as or the American Society for Magazine Editors. These sites will spotlight the key skills you need in the publishing industry, as well as advertise internships and employment opportunities.

Editing Careers

Wherever there are words, there should be an editor. While you can work in almost any field, here are the primary areas for professional editors:

Creative Publications

Harry Potter was rejected numerous times before an editor saw the magic. T.S. Eliot, famous British author and editor, rejected George Orwell's Animal Farm. Sometimes editors get it wrong, but usually editors are both writers and readers' best friends, as they help find the brilliant story within a manuscript.

As a creative writing editor, you could work with small publishing houses such as Dreaming Big Publications, publishing houses that target specific markets such as Shadow Mountain, and the large publishers such as Random House.

Academic Publishing

How many textbooks have you read throughout your education? Someone edited each of these publications. Additionally, online materials are produced for every textbook. Get involved with the fascinating field of academic publishing. Check out publishers such as Pearson for great opportunities.

Many universities publish manuscripts and other materials. An editor at a university press could focus on acquisitions, production assistants, copyeditors, and proofers. Look at university job postings for a start with a university press.


The field of journalism is a great place for editors, particularly with new digital editions of magazines, newspapers, and social media appearing daily.