Art editor

Alternative titles for this job include

Art editors use images and words to create the look and feel of online and print magazines.

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

Explore the different ways to get into this role.

How to become an 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 an HNC, Foundation degree or degree in subjects like:

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

Your creative skills will be as important to employers as your degree. Getting work experience and building a portfolio to show what you can do is important.

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
  • Level 4 Diploma in Interactive Design and Development

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, 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. You could:

  • create a blog or build your online 'brand' through social media
  • build a website to showcase your work
  • design books, magazines, brochures, leaflets or websites for charities or student organisations
  • engage with magazines through their social media channels and look out for events, work experience and job vacancies advertised online

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 publication's subject matter.

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 applications 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

In your day-to-day duties you may:

  • lay out pages using the most suitable graphics and photographs
  • discuss ideas with colleagues, like journalists and editorial staff
  • hire and work with freelance designers, illustrators and photographers
  • produce cover designs
  • set an overall look and style for each issue
  • redesign the publication to keep it up-to-date
  • make sure the layout of apps and digital magazines works well
  • manage photo shoots

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

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.

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

Award in Graphic Design

  • Provider: KENDAL COLLEGE
  • Start date: 02 February 2022
  • Location: Kendal

Graphic Design - BA Hons Degree

  • Start date: 13 September 2022
  • Location: Blackpool

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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