Magazine Editor

Prepare magazines for publication.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$29,000 – $97,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Magazine Editors do?

A Magazine Editor plans, manages, and produces magazines for readers. If you’ve seen the 2006 film The Devil Wears Prada, you’ve seen a Magazine Editor. In the movie, Actress Meryl Streep plays the part of Miranda Priestly, the tyrannical Editor of a New York fashion magazine who spends her days berating employees, barking orders, and binging on glamour.

It’s a mistake to use her as your model for a Magazine Editor, though — even if Streep’s character is loosely based on Anna Wintour, the real-life Editor-in-Chief of Vogue magazine. Unless you’re playing one in a movie, your job as a Magazine Editor isn’t cruelly controlling people; it’s creatively commanding pages.

You might do that for a consumer magazine like Cosmopolitan, a special interest magazine like Cat Fancy, or a trade magazine like Convenience Store News. Regardless, you typically spend your days doing a wide range of activities. Depending on what type of Magazine Editor you are — an Associate Editor, for instance, a Senior Editor, a Managing Editor, or, like Wintour, an Editor-in-Chief — you might create editorial calendars, develop story ideas, or manage Writers. You might also assign, write, or edit stories, or manage the production process by delegating tasks to Editors and Art Directors.

The more junior you are, the more likely it is you’ll spend your days doing tactical tasks like writing and proofreading. The more senior you are, on the other hand, the more likely it is you’ll spend your days doing strategic tasks, like editorial planning and management. Always, however, your goal isn’t creating an office that scares people; it’s creating a magazine that engages them!

Should I be a Magazine Editor?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Outside the Box Thinker: Your creative brainpower gets a workout as you come up with innovative ideas.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.

  • Also known as: Editor, Magazine, Fashion Magazine Editor

    How to become a Magazine Editor

    Most Magazine Editors have a Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:bff9ce&chl=no+college+%282%25%29|certificate+%287%25%29|associate%27s+%287%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2875%25%29|master%27s+%283%25%29|doctorate+%286%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,2,75
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