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
To become a commissioning editor, it will help if you a have a degree. The subject you choose is not usually important but relevant subjects include:
- creative writing
If you want to work for a specialist publication like a technical, medical or scientific journal, you may need a degree in that subject instead.
You could do a postgraduate qualification in publishing or digital publishing but it's not 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 easier if you have a degree.
You'll need some experience before you apply for your first job in publishing.
To build up your experience you can:
- volunteer for student or local newspapers
- write and promote a blog on a certain topic
- send articles to local newspapers or websites
This is also a good way to get to know people who work in the industry. This will help as many jobs are not advertised.
If you have specialist subject knowledge, you can apply directly for commissioning editor jobs in academic publishing.
You could take a proofreading or editing course from the Publishing Training Centre or the Society for Editors and Proofreaders.
Professional and industry bodies
You may find it useful to join The Publishers Association and Professional Publishers Association. It might help you get professional recognition, training opportunities or make industry contacts.
You can find out more about becoming a commissioning editor from The Publishers Association and Society for Editors and Proofreaders.
You can also get information on working in creative careers from Discover Creative Careers.