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 related subject may improve your chances of finding work.
To work for a specialist publisher, for example of scientific or technical publications, employers will prefer you to have subject matter expertise through a related degree.
It's useful to get relevant work experience during your studies. Some publishers offer work shadowing, work experience, internship and traineeship 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.
This typically takes 18 months to complete as a mix of workplace learning and off-the-job study.
Employers will set their own entry requirements.
You could start as an editorial assistant in a publishing company and build up your experience of text editing and proofreading. This would also allow you to build a portfolio of work, to showcase your skills to potential employers.
Employers will often expect you to have some experience in the publishing industry which you can get from:
- job shadowing
- editing and proofreading student magazines and websites
- 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).
You can also find out more about working in this and other creative careers from Discover Creative Careers.