Senior Editor Job Description

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People looking for a job with a lot of variety might aspire to a position as a senior editor. The senior editor plays many key roles to ensure that the highest quality publications are created. Senior editors are responsible for administration, writing, designing and distribution.

Job Duties

  • A senior might be responsible for: hiring writers, junior editors, graphic designers and photographers; overseeing the design of a publication; coordinating the work of section editors and graphic designers; giving final approval for a publication before it is printed; writing copy, such as the publication's editorial; meeting with advertisers; attending conferences of publishing professionals; managing budgets
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    coordinating production of several publications simultaneously; and planning future publications.

Consideration

  • These duties will vary depending on the size of the publication and the publishing company. For example, in a large corporation, a senior editor will do little, if any, writing or editing and instead be responsible for administration and budgets. In smaller companies, the senior editor could be the only editor.

Qualifications

  • A senior editor generally works her way through the industry, starting as a writer, then proceeding through the editorial ranks, such as junior editor, managing editor and news edito.
    A bachelor's degree in written communications, journalism, English or a similar subject is usually necessary for an editorial position. Advanced coursework or a masters degree might be required for a senior editor, depending on the position.
    Coursework will likely include writing, editing, photography, graphic design, advertising, marketing and public relations. While not usually required, experience or coursework in budgeting or business management are suggested for those aspiring to be senior editors.
    Trade publications may require knowledge of the particular trade.

Personal Qualities

  • A senior editor, to be successful, needs: an excellent grasp of writing and editing;
    the ability to handle multiple tasks and projects simultaneously; the ability to work with colleagues, advertisers and readers diplomatically; an understanding of the publishing process; the ability to meet deadlines; the flexibility to find quick solutions to problems; and an awareness of trends.

Salary

  • According to Salary.com, the median salary for a senior editor in the United States in 2009 is $83,314.

Advancement

  • A senior editor is often the top editorial position at a company, while at another company, he might be second to the publisher. Advancement in editorial positions often occurs by moving to another company or publication.

Outlook

  • The U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment for writers and editors, including senior editors, to grow about 10 percent, about as fast as the average, through 2016. Those with technical expertise, such as in medicine, technology or law are expected to have the best opportunities.

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