Copy editing is one of the best career paths for online workers who understand the writing process and can spot spelling and logical errors a mile away.
Whether you want to freelance or join an in-house editing team, start your new career today by checking out our list of copy editor jobs. We’ll also share a few of the top platforms for finding work.
- Best Copy Editor Jobs (An Overview)
- What Is Copy Editing?
- Types of Copy Editor Jobs
- Top 5 Platforms to Find Copy Editing Jobs
- What You’ll Need to Do Copy Editing
- Tips to Succeed at Copy Editing
- Similar Jobs
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Wrapping Up
Best Copy Editor Jobs (An Overview)
You can land a few jobs within the world of copy editing. Here are some of the most popular ones:
- Digital Copy Editing
- Academic Copy Editing
- Medical Copy Editing
- Sports Copy Editing
- Technical Copy Editing
Where to find the best copy editing jobs:
What Is Copy Editing?
Copy editing is the process of editing promotional written content to ensure it adheres to a company’s guidelines, policies, and vision. These editors may also have to do line-by-line editing to correct grammatical errors, improve flow, and make the text more concise.
If statistics or facts are involved, the copy editor’s responsibility is to fact-check the piece.
As for the content, the term “copy” primarily refers to commercial material created to establish a brand in a positive light and entice the reader to convert.
Here are a few types of content you’d work on as a copy editor:
- Website copy (e.g., the landing page)
- Blog posts
- Social media posts
- Manuscripts, etc,
Types of Copy Editor Jobs
Let’s review a few types of copy editing jobs to help you decide which fits you best.
1. Digital Copy Editing
Digital copy editors focus on all forms of online marketing materials. It’s the most popular type of copy editing work and one of the more accessible ones.
Your job is to edit the content on the website’s blog, social media posts, ads, video descriptions, emails, and flyers.
Digital written content should be optimized for all target audiences. The focus is on short, snappy sentences packed with meaning.
You need a solid knowledge of SEO and to understand what a good hook should be.
2. Academic Copy Editing
An academic copy editor is primarily responsible for line-by-line editing of academic papers. They focus on ensuring that the grammar is on point, the correct words have been selected, and the style is consistent from start to finish.
An academic copy editor should have a thorough knowledge of the standard style guides: AP, APA, Chicago, and MLA.
You’d also check for formatting errors, references, and citations.
3. Medical Copy Editing
Medical copy editing involves working on various medical texts that could focus on nursing, overall health, diseases, and similar topics.
For instance, you could work for a medical journal and edit works written by doctors and registered nurses. You’d check the references used, cross-reference data and statistics, fix any glaring errors, and ensure the style remains consistent across all texts.
4. Sports Copy Editing
Texts related to sports are the opposite of medical and academic, as the style is typically informal and conveys a sense of excitement.
There are a few places sports copy editors can work at. The most common are sports newspapers and magazines, social media, broadcasts, and books.
In addition to a passion for a sport of your choosing, you should have a firm grasp of style guides and grammar.
5. Technical Copy Editing
Technical writing is the exact opposite of creative writing. Technical copy editors work on complex technical texts, such as guides, manuals, and documentation.
Like technical writing, this is one of the better-paid copy editing jobs, as it requires both a strong understanding of complex technical expressions and editing skills.
You’ll be revising the grammar, flow, and style and have to verify the accuracy of the information provided.
Top 5 Platforms to Find Copy Editing Jobs
If you’d like to become a copy editor, here are some of the best platforms to find work:
Indeed is one of the most popular job searching platforms. You can browse through over 1,000 copy editing jobs at any given time.
Indeed is used by some of the most reputable organizations in the world, which means excellent career-building opportunities with generous benefits for you. There’s also a handy 5-star review system that allows you to quickly determine whether a company is a great place to work.
They also have an excellent and pretty thorough filtering system. That’s a vital feature for any job website, especially if you have specific requirements, such as no college diploma.
- Excellent job variety;
- Jobs at highly esteemed companies;
- Several filtering options;
- 5-star employer review system;
- Great keyword-based search results.
- Limited remote work opportunities and filters;
- High competition.
If you want to become a freelance editor, Upwork is the platform for you.
Upwork has a range of jobs for freelance copy editors, as writing is one of the primary industries on the platform. Some are full-time roles, but many are part-time or flexible.
It’s a great place to find a one-time copy editing project to add to your resume, which makes it the best platform for students.
Employers often provide salary or project ranges, meaning the numbers are 100% accurate.
The experience level feature allows you to find a job with no previous experience in copy editing. You can also use it to only see expert-level opportunities if you’ve already been in the industry for a few years.
- Writing and marketing are primary categories on Upwork;
- Most jobs are remote, freelance work;
- Accurate wages;
- Excellent project length and commitment variety;
- Direct-to-bank transfers.
- Fierce competition;
- Lack of expert-level full-time positions;
- 10% service fee on all earnings.
LinkedIn allows you to create a web presence with the help of your user profile. You can then use it along with your resume and cover letter to find a copy editing job based on your location and preferences.
There are both on-site and remote opportunities for copy editors, and the handy filter allows you to choose between remote, on-site, and hybrid.
Most job posts on LinkedIn are serious, full-time positions and require previous experience in copy editing or writing. But you can still find some internship programs and part-time positions using the built-in filters.
- High-quality jobs at prospective companies;
- Network expansion in the industry;
- Recruiters may reach out to you directly;
- Excellent location-based job search system.
- Poor job variety due to location-based job posts;
- Success depends on the quality of your LinkedIn profile.
FlexJobs is one of the few employment services that charge the job hunters rather than the employers.
But this means you’ll pay for fully screened job posts and employers. You won’t run into scams or low-quality jobs that are present on free platforms.
FlexJobs primarily focuses on remote work, making it perfect for copy editors and freelancers.
- Premium employment service with screened listings;
- Most jobs are remote and offer a flexible schedule;
- Advanced filtering system;
- Free skill tests for some listings;
- Completely ad-free.
- Membership fee is relatively pricey;
- No salary information.
ZipRecruiter has one of the largest databases of copy editing jobs despite being limited only to the U.S., U.K., and Canada.
What makes them stand out are the AI-driven search results. For instance, if you type in “copy editing,” you’ll also get results for marketing specialist jobs that involve a lot of copy editing work.
To get a list of relevant jobs, type in the keyword and select your location. You can opt for on-site or remote jobs using the filter. Note that you need to change the distance to “any distance” to get relevant remote jobs.
Their Quick Apply function is unlike any other. Once you’ve uploaded your resume to ZipRecruiter, you can submit an application and cover letter in just a few minutes.
- Top-notch Quick Apply function;
- AI-enhanced search results;
- Salary ranges visible on most job posts;
- Excellent mobile app;
- Allows you to track applications.
- Limited to U.S., Canada, and the U.K.;
- Lackluster filtering system and UI.
What You’ll Need to Do Copy Editing
Here’s everything you need to land a gig successfully and become a copy editor:
- Perfect English: A copy editor should have a thorough knowledge of grammar, spelling, punctuation, word use, and syntax. An ad with even the slightest spelling mistake can cost a company a fortune in revenue.
- Understanding of style guides: Learn the AP Stylebook and Chicago Manual of Style and memorize the most important rules and differences. MLA and APA are also used, though it depends on the type of job.
- Attention to detail: Research every fact and statistic mentioned and be meticulous in line-by-line editing. Tools like Grammarly can help, but don’t solely rely on them.
- Resume: One of the best ways to showcase your editing skills is to submit a concise, polished resume.
- Bachelor’s degree: A bachelor’s or master’s degree in English, writing, or literature significantly increases your chances of getting hired.
- Portfolio: Create a strong editing portfolio that showcases your critical thinking skills and attention to detail. Alternatively, include works you’ve written, but edit them thoroughly first.
Tips to Succeed at Copy Editing
Here are some tips to help you become a successful copy editor:
- Familiarize yourself with the company’s values: The work your writing team churns out should be the best reflection of the company. Learn the ins and outs of the editing process to advance your career.
- Read and stay up-to-date: By reading and analyzing the best copy on the market, you’ll come closer to mastering the art.
- Keep it simple: The message should be clear and easy to understand. For instance, ads have a budget of around 150 to 200 characters to work with, you need to be direct.
- Use a grammar checker: It can help you catch minor errors and improve flow. Treat the alerts as suggestions, though, and override them if necessary.
- Read the copy aloud: This will help you identify awkward sentences and contextual errors you might ordinarily miss.
- Implement feedback: If production editors catch errors, correct them and apply their feedback immediately. You could also forward it to the copywriters, if applicable.
If you’ve decided that copy editing isn’t the right choice for now, don’t worry. Here are some alternatives:
- How to Become a Book Editor: As a book editor, you can choose to work in a field that interests you, such as creative or technical writing. You never have to worry about marketing and branding.
- How to Become a Songwriter: If you’d still like to do marketing, you could make jingles instead.
- How to Become a Technical Writer: An excellent technical writer earns as much as a copy editor. If you’re good at technical writing, this is a rewarding job.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Much Does a Copy Editor Make?
The average copy editor salary is around $60,000 per year, with an average hourly rate of about $30 per hour. Entry-level rates are typically in the $15 to $20 range; top earners make around $50 per hour or about $100,000 per year.
Do You Need a Degree to Be a Copy Editor?
Most employees expect a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, such as English, writing, or marketing. To become a copy editor without a college degree, pursue an editing course and gain experience as a freelance copywriter first.
Copy editing is a popular job, which is why you can find thousands of job posts with varying requirements across the platforms we’ve mentioned here.
To become a copy editor, start improving your writing skills, attention to detail, and knowledge of grammar rules and style guides. A bachelor’s degree is often required for the role, though you can find some entry-level copy editing projects that don’t require a degree or experience.
Let us know what you think of this guide below, and remember to share it with others looking to become copy editors.