Art editor

Art editors use words and images to make magazines look good and easy to read.

Average salary (a year)

£18,000 Starter


£40,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 39 a week

You could work

evenings occasionally

How to become an Art editor

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • working towards this role
  • volunteering
  • applying directly if you have relevant skills, knowledge, experience


It's becoming more common for new art editors to have a degree in an art-related subject like:

  • graphic design
  • illustration
  • fine art

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • a foundation studies diploma in art and design 
  • 2 to 3 A levels for a degree

More information


You could get into this job by joining a magazine as a graphic designer and progressing to deputy art editor and then art editor.

Volunteering and experience

Word of mouth is a good way of getting work in this industry so experience should also help you to make valuable contacts. Ways of getting experience include:

  • creating a blog
  • building a website
  • designing published materials such as books, magazines, brochures, leaflets or websites for charities or student organisations

Direct application

For specialist magazines, you may have an advantage if you have a special interest or background in the publication's subject matter.

For example, you could have an interest in science fiction to work for a sci-fi magazine or a science qualification or relevant work experience to work for publications such as New Scientist.

More information

Career tips

Gaining experience through an internship will help you to build a portfolio that showcases your print designs and art layout experience. It will also give you a better understanding of the magazine industry.

Professional and industry bodies

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

Further information

You can find out more about this role from Creative Choices.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of English language
  • knowledge of media production and communication
  • the ability to read English
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • excellent written communication skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • You will be expected to use a computer confidently as part of this job.

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • laying out pages using the most suitable graphics and photographs
  • discussing ideas with colleagues, like journalists and editorial staff
  • hiring, and working with, freelance designers, illustrators and photographers
  • producing cover designs
  • setting an overall look and style for each issue
  • redesigning the publication to keep it up-to-date
  • making sure the layout of apps and digital magazines works well
  • managing photo shoots

Working environment

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

Career path and progression

You could become an art director, or move to advertising agency work.

You could use your experience and industry contacts to become self-employed or set up your own design agency.

Training 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

Ual Diploma In Art And Design - Graphic Design Level 3

  • Start date: 02 September 2019
  • Location: Ware

L3 90 Credit/Extended Dip in Art and Design: Graphic Design

  • Provider: Ealing, Hammersmith & West London College
  • Start date: 10 September 2019
  • Location: London

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