How to become a commissioning editor
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- working towards this role
- applying directly
- specialist courses run by professional bodies
The degree subject you choose is not usually important but particularly relevant subjects might include:
- creative writing
However, if you want to work for a specialist publication, for example, a technical, medical or scientific journal, you're likely to need a related degree or a high level of specialist subject knowledge.
You could take a postgraduate qualification in publishing or digital publishing, but this isn't essential.
You'll usually need:
- 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English
- 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
You'll usually start out as an editorial assistant and work your way up. There's a lot of competition for jobs so you may find it useful to have a degree.
You'll need to get some experience before applying for your first job in publishing. To build up your experience you can:
- volunteer for student and community newspapers
- keep an online blog
- have an online presence on social media sites
- submit articles and reviews to local papers or websites
This is also a good way to develop contacts, as many jobs are not advertised.
Professional and industry bodies
You may find it useful to join organisations like the The Publishers Association and Professional Publishers Association for professional recognition, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.
You can find out more about becoming a commissioning editor from:
You can also get information on working in creative careers from Discover Creative Careers.