Senior Editor

Oversee stories and staff for a section of a newspaper or magazine.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$29,000 – $97,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Senior Editors do?

Senior Editors are Editors who are senior to regular Editors but junior to Managing Editors. Employed by a Publisher, a Senior Editor is an editorial asset who’s paid to assist in the publication and production of newsletters, newspapers, magazines, or websites.

Hillary Clinton famously remarked that it “takes a village” to raise a child. Well, it takes one to edit a publication, too. A village of Editors, if you will, including — from least senior to most — Copyeditors, Assistant Editors, Associate Editors, Editors, Managing Editors, and Editors in Chief, among others. As a Senior Editor, you’re somewhere in the middle

In a typical publication’s chain of command, the Editor in Chief is the publication’s CEO while the Managing Editor is a senior-level Manager. You’re more like a mid-level Supervisor, reporting to the Managing Editor while everyone below you reports to you.

Often, you’re in charge of a single “department,” or section, within your publication. For instance, a city’s local magazine might have different sections devoted to dining, nightlife, shopping, fashion, real estate, and news. You might be in charge of one of those sections.

From an administrative perspective, your duties might include delegating work on projects, mediating disagreements between Editors, organizing and leading department meetings, and enforcing schedules and deadlines. From an editorial perspective, meanwhile, your duties might include developing story ideas, assigning stories to Writers, writing articles, copyediting manuscripts and proofs, and liaising with Graphic Designers to develop layouts and designs.

A cog in the editorial machine, you’re like the person at a factory who oversees the assembly line — only your product is words!

Should I be a Senior Editor?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.
  • Outside the Box Thinker: Your creative brainpower gets a workout as you come up with innovative ideas.
  • Independent: You enjoy flying solo and doing things your own way.

  • How to become a Senior Editor

    Most Senior 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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