How to become a copy editor
You can get into this job through:
- a university course
- an apprenticeship
- working towards this role
- specialist training courses with professional bodies
- a graduate training scheme
Many copy editors have a degree. Most subjects are accepted.
A degree in publishing, media, English or a similar subject may improve your chances of finding work.
You may need subject matter expertise or a specific degree to work in specialist publications, like scientific, medical or technical journals.
Work experience at university
You may find it useful to get work experience during your studies.
Some publishers offer work shadowing, work experience or internship opportunities.
Your university careers service can help you explore your options.
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 can work towards this role through an advanced apprenticeship as a publishing assistant.
It usually takes a year and 6 months to complete as a mix of learning on the job and in the classroom.
Employers will set their own entry requirements.
You could start as an editorial assistant at a publishing company to build up your experience editing and proofreading.
This would also allow you to build a portfolio of your work which you can show to potential employers.
Charities often look for volunteers to help them write and edit their publications.
You can search volunteering opportunities through The National Council for Voluntary Organisations and Do IT.
You could take a proofreading or editing course, like the ones offered by the The Publishing Training Centre or the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP).
Some publishing houses run graduate training schemes and internships.
Employers will often expect you to have some experience in the publishing industry which you can get from:
- shadowing someone who works in publishing
- working on a student magazine or website
- doing admin work in a publishing company
Professional and industry bodies
You could join a professional organisation like the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP).
The Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP) and the Publishing Training Centre have further details on training options.
You can also find out more about working in this and other creative careers from Discover Creative Careers.