Art editor

Alternative titles for this job include

Art editors use images and words to decide what an online or printed magazine looks like.

Average salary (a year)

£20,000 Starter


£40,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 39 a week

You could work

evenings occasionally

How to become

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become Art editor

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • working towards this role
  • applying directly


It may help to have a higher national diploma (HND), foundation degree or degree in a subject such as:

  • graphic design
  • illustration
  • fine art
  • photography
  • publishing

Work experience at university

Your creative skills will be as important to employers as your degree. It's important to get work experience and build a portfolio to show what you can do.

Your university careers service can help you find relevant work experience, internship and year placement opportunities.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • a foundation diploma in art and design
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

More Information


You could apply for a job as an assistant editor after completing a creative or media related course at college.

Relevant subjects include:

  • Level 3 Diploma in Photography
  • Level 3 National Diploma in Art and Design

Entry requirements

You may need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, for a level 3 course
  • 1 or 2 A levels, a level 3 diploma or relevant experience for a level 4 or level 5 course

More Information


You could get into this job by joining a magazine as a graphic designer or picture editor.

You could then move on to become deputy art editor then editor.


You should get yourself known and build up your contacts in the industry to help find paid work.

To do this you could:

  • create a blog or build your online 'brand' through social media
  • build a website to showcase your work
  • find design opportunities with charities or student organisations
  • follow magazines on social media to find out about events, work experience and jobs

Direct Application

You can apply directly for jobs if you've got the right skills and experience. For specialist magazines, you may have an advantage if you have a special interest or background in the subject.

For example, an interest in science or architecture will be useful if you want to work on magazines covering those topics.

More Information

Career tips

It's useful to get experience of print and digital work. Showing you can use up to date desktop publishing and computer graphics software will make your application stand out.

Professional and industry bodies

You may find it useful to join the Professional Publishers Association (PPA) for professional recognition, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.

Further information

You can also find out more about working in art, publishing and other creative careers from Discover Creative Careers.

What it takes

Find out what skills you’ll use in this role.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of media production and communication
  • the ability to read English
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to organise your time and workload
  • excellent written communication skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages confidently

What you’ll do

Discover the day to day tasks you’ll do in this role.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

As an art editor, you might:

  • design the layout of pages using graphics and photos
  • discuss your ideas with colleagues
  • manage freelance designers, illustrators and photographers
  • design the cover of the magazine
  • choose an overall look and style for each issue

Working environment

You could work in a creative studio or in an office.

Career path and progression

Look at progression in this role and similar opportunities.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could:

  • become an art director
  • work at an advertising agency
  • become self employed as a freelance art editor 
  • set up your own design agency

Current opportunities

Find apprenticeships, courses and jobs available near you.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for an Art editor right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

BA (Hons) Graphic Design

  • Start date: 09 September 2024
  • Location: Farnborough

FdA Graphic Design

  • Start date: 09 September 2024
  • Location: Durham

Jobs In the United Kingdom

The Find a job service can help you with your search for jobs and send alerts when new jobs become available.

Skills assessment

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