How to become an editorial assistant

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • specialist training courses with professional bodies

University

You'll usually need a degree in English, journalism or media studies.

If you want to specialise in a particular field of publishing, you may need a degree that's closely related to it, for example physics or maths for a scientific journal.

Entry requirements

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

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Apprenticeship

You can get into this role through an advanced apprenticeship as a publishing assistant.

Entry requirements

Employers will set their own entry requirements.

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Work

You could work in a publishing office or a company's communications department as a general assistant and work your way up through in-house training and promotion.

Volunteering

You'll find it useful when applying for jobs, to have done some paid or unpaid work experience in publishing.

Other Routes

You could take a proofreading or editing course, like the ones offered by the The Publishing Training Centre or the Society for Editors and Proofreaders.

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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.

Further information

You can find out more about becoming an editorial assistant from:

You can also get information on other publishing and creative careers from Discover Creative Careers.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of English language
  • knowledge of media production and communication
  • the ability to read English
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • excellent written communication skills
  • the ability to work well with others
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your job may involve:

  • being a point of contact for authors
  • keeping databases, spreadsheets and other records up to date
  • reading documents and making corrections
  • dealing with rights and permissions
  • acting as personal assistant to commissioning editors
  • working with images and page layout software

If you work online you could be:

  • proofing and editing online text, including social media
  • compiling and sending out newsletters using design and distribution software
  • uploading text and images to a website using a content management system (CMS)
  • editing text on apps

Working environment

You could work in an office or from home.

Career path and progression

With experience you could move into more senior editorial roles, or work on a freelance basis.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Production Assistant Apprentice

  • Wage: £16,000.00 Annually
  • Location: LONDON

Publishing Assistant Apprentice

  • Wage: £15,000.00 Annually
  • Location: ABINGDON

Courses In England

NCTJ Diploma in Journalism (18 months - February)

  • Provider: HIGHBURY COLLEGE PORTSMOUTH
  • Start date: 01 February 2021
  • Location: Portsmouth

Level 3 Multimedia Journalism

  • Provider: NORTHAMPTON COLLEGE
  • Start date: 13 September 2021
  • Location: NORTHAMPTON

Jobs In the United Kingdom

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