Sub-editor

Alternative titles for this job include Subs

Sub-editors check written content before it's published in newspapers, magazines and on websites.

Average salary (a year)

£20,000 Starter

to

£60,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

37 to 39 variable

You could work

evenings / weekends flexibly

How to become a sub-editor

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • specialist courses offered by professional bodies

University

You’ll usually need a degree in a relevant subject like:

  • English
  • journalism
  • media studies

You can find relevant courses accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists.

You can do a postgraduate journalism course if your first degree is not in a related subject.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels for a degree
  • a degree in any subject for a postgraduate course

More information

Apprenticeship

You can work towards this role by starting with an advanced apprenticeship as a publishing assistant.

Entry requirements

Employers will set their own entry requirements.

More information

Work

You can work your way into this job by starting as a reporter or editorial assistant with a regional newspaper or magazine. This can help you to build up your experience of proofreading and text editing.

It will also allow you to develop a portfolio of work that you can use to showcase your skills to potential employers.

Volunteering and experience

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 sites such as Twitter
  • submit articles and reviews to local papers or websites

This is also a good way to develop contacts, as many jobs are not advertised.

Other routes

You'll find it helpful to take a sub-editing course if you've already got some experience in journalism, PR or media communications.

Courses are offered by organisations like the National Council for the Training of Journalists, the Society for Editors and Proofreaders and The Publishing Training Centre.

More information

Career tips

You'll also need to be able to use desktop publishing software for many sub-editing jobs.

Professional and industry bodies

You may find it useful to join organisations like the Society of Editors and Professional Publishers Association, for professional recognition, training opportunities and to make industry contacts.

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a sub-editor from:

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 day-to-day duties may include:

  • making sure articles are accurate, read well and do not break libel or copyright laws
  • re-writing articles to make them clearer or shorter
  • making sure articles follow house style
  • writing headlines, captions and short paragraphs which lead into articles, and ‘panels’ which break up the text
  • making sure articles are in the right place on each page
  • using page layout and image editing software
  • sending completed pages to the printers
  • working closely with reporters, editors, designers, production staff and printers

Working environment

You could work in an office.

Career path and progression

With experience, you may be able to progress to production editor or chief sub-editor.

You could also use your journalism experience to move into PR or work as a press or communications officer.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a sub-editor right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Journalism - NCTJ Level 3 Diploma (September start)

  • Provider: CITY OF LIVERPOOL COLLEGE
  • Start date: 02 September 2019
  • Location: LIVERPOOL

NCTJ fast-track diploma in multimedia journalism

  • Provider: NEWS ASSOCIATES LIMITED
  • Start date: 05 October 2019
  • Location: Wimbledon

JobsIn the United Kingdom

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