Layout Editor Job Description


Layout editors typically work at magazines planning the overall look of the publication, including the cover, sections and individual articles. They work with other editors to make the final publication attractive. They must have a knack for design as well as a knowledge of layout design software.


  • To be a competitive applicant for layout editor positions you should possess a four-year bachelor's degree. Typical areas of study include art, graphic design, graphic communication or other relevant fields. Trade schools, technical schools and community colleges may offer an intensive two-year associate degree program focused strictly on layout and graphic design.

Computer and Personality Skills

  • Layout editors must have a knack for and knowledge about design. They should have strong attention to detail and be able to adhere to strict deadlines. They also need strong technological skills since a lot of their work is done on computers. Software programs often used in layout design are Adobe PageMaker, Adobe Photoshop, QuarkXPress, Micromedia Freehand, Adobe InDesign and Adobe Illustrator.


  • Layout editors work through the art or visuals department to design pages and create a common theme for a magazine. They work with other editors to organize copy and pictures to make pages eye-catching. At times they may be asked to create diagrams or charts to match the article. They also are in charge of designing the cover of magazines to attract readers. Layout editors typically do not write articles.

Work Environment

  • Layout editors typically work in office settings. They may spend a significant amount of their time in front of a computer, which can lead to lower back strain, eyestrain, and hand and wrist issues. They typically work standard 40-hour work weeks. These professionals must adhere to strict deadlines so the magazine can be published on time. They may have to work overtime close to deadlines.


  • The median annual salary for a layout editor is $42,000 per year, or about $3,500 a month, according to July 2010 information from the Simply Hired website. Salary will vary significantly based on the size of the publication, geographic location, years of experience and other factors.

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