Textbook Editor

Plan, develop, and publish textbooks.
picture of Textbook Editor

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$29,000 – $97,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Textbook Editors do?

When was Thomas Jefferson president? What’s a cumulus cloud? How many plays did William Shakespeare write? If you’re a Textbook Editor, you’ll probably know the answers to these and thousands of other questions, since it’s your job to read and edit textbooks that will be used as teaching aids at elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, vocational schools and universities.

Like other Editors, Publishers give Textbook Editors manuscripts and pay them to manage their production. And because “production” begins with conception, your job as a Textbook Editor starts with planning, as you’re in charge of generating textbook ideas and creating project profiles, which include specifications about subject matter, audience, style and reading level.

As production continues, you’re also in charge of assigning projects to Textbook Writers and Illustrators, who look to you to for directions, deadlines and feedback. Once content is created, it’s your job to edit it, paying attention to spelling, punctuation, grammar, style and structure, as well as the quality and accuracy of information — which is especially important in textbook publishing, where the purpose of content is to educate, not entertain.

Once content’s done, it’s your job to work with Art Directors on layout and design, and to collaborate with colleagues on sales and marketing strategies, including promotional materials and packaging.

Whether you’re editing a history textbook or a science textbook — for first-graders or college seniors — you play a major part in developing curriculums and educating future leaders. And if that’s not reward enough: You learn enough trivia at work to make you a guaranteed Trivial Pursuit champion!

Should I be a Textbook Editor?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Independent: You enjoy flying solo and doing things your own way.
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • How to become a Textbook Editor

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