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Editors help writers, publishers and others prepare written text that is clear, accurate, appealing and effective for publication or broadcast.

Also Known As

Acquisitions Editor, Book Editor, Broadcast Editor, City Editor, Contributing Editor, Developmental Editor, Editor-in-Chief, Freelance Editor, Magazine Editor, Managing Editor, News Editor, Newspaper Editor, Online Editor, Production Editor, Proofreader, Section Editor, Technical Editor, Wire Editor

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used.

Here is how this occupation has been classified over time.

2006 NOC

  • 5122: Editors

2006 NOC-S

  • F022: Editors

2011 NOC

  • 5122: Editors

2016 NOC

  • 5122: Editors

2021 NOC

  • 51110: Editors

2023 OaSIS

  • 51110.00: Editors
Updated May 18, 2021

In addition to editorial responsibilities, editors in the broadcast and book, magazine and newspaper publishing industries often have supervisory and project management responsibilities. Editors also may work for non-traditional publishers such as website developers, government departments, schools or large corporations that produce annual reports, press releases, course materials, textbooks, journals or newsletters.

Book Editors

Book editors at publishing companies may acquire new manuscripts for publication or supervise the progress of literary works from manuscript drafts to the final printed book. Book editors usually perform many different roles (for example, substantive editing, copy editing, photo and illustration editing, proofreading). Some large publishers may employ different people for each role.

Editors responsible for acquiring new books for publication (often called acquisitions editors):

  • Contact and interview prospective authors of fiction and non-fiction works
  • Develop story or content ideas and solicit manuscripts
  • Evaluate submitted manuscripts
  • Make recommendations to the publisher
  • Negotiate contracts with authors or authors' agents

Editors who supervise the progress of an author's work may:

  • Consult with the writer
  • Conduct their own research on the topic
  • Arrange for copyright permissions
  • Locate and hire designers and illustrators
  • Hire another editor on a contract basis to check content, style, organization and grammar and to edit the manuscript in consultation with the author
  • Hire proofreaders and, when necessary, indexers
  • Make arrangements for printing
  • Keep the project within a predetermined timeline and budget

In larger publishing houses, these tasks may be performed by different editors:

  • Managing editors are responsible for overseeing all stages of the editing process
  • Developmental editors supervise the initial stages of a manuscript's development until it is ready for page layout
  • Production editors supervise and perform editorial tasks from layout until the book is printed

Newspaper Editors

Newspaper editors' job titles are generally are related to their position in a hierarchy of editors or to the topic areas for which they are responsible.

Copy editors:

  • Write headlines
  • Coordinate or assist with page layouts
  • Edit written text to make it concise and readable
  • Correct errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation and style
  • Check for potentially libellous content, good taste, accuracy, fairness and balance in each story

City editors are responsible for local news coverage. They:

  • Assign reporters to cover stories in the community
  • Gather information about stories via telephone, wire, email, radio, television, press releases, reporters or their own initiative

Newspaper editors in charge of other areas (often called section editors) supervise reporters and other staff covering topics such as sports, business, entertainment, fashion, food, photography, design and graphics.

Managing editors and section editors:

  • Organize production according to strict deadlines
  • Make decisions about the value and relevance of proposed articles and allot space accordingly
  • Plan the thrust and emphasis of news coverage with news staff
  • Assess news at international, national, provincial and municipal levels (assisted by wire editors who monitor news reports from other parts of the country and the world)
  • Make the final selection of and assign priorities to stories and photos
  • Maintain the newspaper's budget by controlling departmental hiring, promotions and salaries

The editor-in-chief, in addition to being responsible for everything in the news and comment columns:

  • Works with the publisher to write and administer content policies
  • Supervises and coordinates the work of other editors
  • Ensures the online edition of the paper is carried out following publication

Magazine Editors

Magazine editors have responsibilities similar to those of book and newspaper editors, but most magazines do not employ large numbers of editors. Small magazines may have 1 or 2 staff editors or contract freelance editors to:

  • Establish the editorial mandate of the magazine
  • Identify article concepts, conduct research and develop article assignment outlines including key contacts, thematic approach and article length
  • Commission articles from in-house or freelance writers
  • Commission photographs and other illustrative material
  • Receive and review story pitches from writers
  • Negotiate writers' fees
  • Ensure that deadlines are met
  • Receive first drafts of articles, do a substantive edit and return to the writer if required
  • Receive final drafts and do a copy edit
  • Check facts in articles
  • Write articles and editorials (contributing editors)
  • Collaborate with a design team regarding visual treatments for articles and write associated text
  • Proofread page proofs
  • Coordinate or develop online content as required
  • Gather feedback from readers to ensure their needs are met

Other Editors

Freelance editors are hired by governments, businesses and other organizations to produce newsletters, bulletins, website content, magazines, training programs, texts and research studies. They may:

  • Check facts
  • Correct or rewrite copy
  • Supervise and guide an author's work
  • Evaluate manuscripts
  • Edit copy for logical and coherent presentation of content, voice, style and punctuation
  • Update written texts or revise texts to suit different audiences
  • Oversee integration of artwork, layout, word processing and printing
  • Proofread

Broadcast editors prepare scripts or copy for news announcers on radio and television. In general, they:

  • Help reporters write copy in a conversational style
  • Assign reporters to cover events
  • Select teletype news and taped world news

Online editors prepare and post copy for websites. They may need to rewrite and edit the text for length and to match the website's style, or they may re-format the text for online use. Usually they work with a content management system to post the text but they still need to understand basic HTML markup. (HTML is the document description language used for most websites.)

Technical editors work with specialized scientific or technical publications. They edit copy written by technical writers or content experts. The style and format of these publications usually is rigidly defined for a particular purpose.

Working Conditions
Updated May 18, 2021
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg

Editors often work long, irregular hours with overtime required to meet publishing deadlines. Some newspaper editors work from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m., while others work day shifts.

Depending on the industry in which they work, editors may spend most of their day alone, with many people, or with 1 or 2 people. Newspaper editors work in loud and hectic surroundings. Book and freelance editors may work at home because editing manuscripts requires privacy and quiet.

Communication is frequent, so editors are regularly sending or responding to questions and comments by phone, text, email or video, as well as in person.

Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group

Interest in planning and co-ordinating activities of staff to assure production deadlines are met, and in planning coverage of upcoming events and assigning work


Interest in analyzing information to plan and implement layout or format of copy according to space and time allocations and significance of copy


Interest in negotiating with authors, staff writers, reporters and others regarding revisions to copy; may negotiate royalties with authors and arrange for payment of freelance staff

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 

It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective, and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes for this NOC group is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn About Interests


Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Traits & Skills
Updated May 18, 2021

Editors need:

  • An enquiring mind and a wide range of interests
  • Excellent writing and interviewing skills
  • The ability to criticize effectively and think creatively
  • Tact and the ability to negotiate with authors
  • Organization and time-management skills
  • Decision-making and leadership skills
  • The ability to work well under time pressure

They should enjoy planning and coordinating the work of others, analyzing information and solving problems, and negotiating.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For


2016 NOC: 5122

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 30 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Nov 21, 2021 and Jul 13, 2024.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Tasks: Write or prepare introductions, marketing and promotional materials, bibliographic references, indexes and other text
Tasks: Detect and correct errors in spelling, grammar and syntax
Tasks: Evaluate suitability of material for publication, broadcast or publication on Internet
Tasks: Plan coverage of upcoming events and assign work accordingly
Tasks: Plan and co-ordinate activities of staff and assure production deadlines are met
Computer and Technology Knowledge: MS Word
Tasks: Confer with authors, staff writers, reporters and others regarding revisions to copy
Tasks: Plan and implement layout or format of copy according to space or time allocations and significance of copy
Computer and Technology Knowledge: MS Excel
Tasks: Shorten or lengthen copy
Educational Requirements
Updated May 18, 2021
  • Minimum Education 4 years post-secondary

Editors come from a wide variety of backgrounds but most have a university degree. A liberal arts education with English (particularly useful for book editing) or journalism courses, and a working knowledge of media law, word-processing and online and print publishing programs are recommended. Newspaper editors must have several years of experience reporting or writing. Many copy editors need to be familiar with publishing and printing systems and technologies.

Some editors need specialized knowledge in particular subject areas. For example, editors in the technical textbook industry may need related post-secondary studies in education or in a scientific or technical field.

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Individual courses and occasional workshops in editing are offered by post-secondary schools and organizations such as:

Certification Requirements
Updated May 18, 2021
  • Certification Not Regulated

The Editors' Association of Canada offers a certification program for editors of written material who work in English. To keep up to date credential holders are required to pay a fee each year and participate in professional development every 5 years.

Employment & Advancement
Updated May 18, 2021

Editors may work in house or on a freelance (contract) basis for publishers or other publishing organizations. Sometimes, freelance editors are hired directly by authors.

Competition for editorial positions is keen, and most editorial positions go to qualified people who already work in the field. Related volunteer experience and membership in a relevant professional organization are definite assets for people trying to break into this field.

Prospective book editors should be willing to work on a freelance basis or take an entry-level position at a publishing firm (in publicity, promotion, or rights and permissions). When an assistant editor's job becomes vacant, people who have publishing experience and a related degree have a much better chance of being hired than those who do not have experience in a publishing office.

Most magazine publishing companies in Alberta hire only a few editors. Literary magazines usually are edited part time by English professors or interested volunteers. Academic journals often are edited part time by professors in relevant fields.

Promotions in the newspaper business typically involve more supervisory responsibilities. For example, a copy editor may become a section editor or be promoted to an assistant city editor position. The opportunity to work at a larger newspaper often is seen as a promotion. For example, many weekly newspaper editors move into junior daily newspaper positions. Occasionally, an editor may move from newspapers to magazines or to broadcast media. As online content continues to evolve, editors who understand and can work with content management systems have more opportunities available to them.

Skilled freelance editors who have access to modern communication technology may work for organizations all over the world. They must purchase their own equipment and supplies and manage all aspects of their businesses, including marketing and accounting.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 5122: Editors occupational group, 82.0% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 5122: Editors occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2.7% from 2021 to 2025. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 58 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: 2021-2025 Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated May 18, 2021

Editing pay can vary greatly, depending on the nature of the editing work. Generally, freelance editors will charge an hourly rate, which can be higher for substantive editing, slightly lower for copy editing, and still lower for proofreading.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.


2016 NOC: 5122
Average Wage
Per Hour
Average Salary
Per Year
Average Hours
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 5122 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production), and other forms of compensation.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

B: Good Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

Good Reliability, represents a CV of between 6.01% and 15.00% and/or fewer than 30 survey observations and/or if survey observations represent less than 50% of all estimated employment for the occupation.

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $15.00 $44.87 $29.28 $30.25
Overall $15.00 $58.13 $35.87 $38.56
Top $16.00 $64.30 $37.28 $40.31

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

Information, Culture, Recreation

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
Vacancy Rate
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Communications
  • Humanities and Languages
  • Social Sciences, Law and Religious Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated May 18, 2021

Alberta Magazine Publishers Association (AMPA) website:

Alberta Weekly Newspapers Association (AWNA) website:

Cultural Human Resources Council, Careers in Writing and Publishing website:

Editors' Association of Canada/Association Canadienne des Reviseurs (EAC/ACR) website:

News Media Canada website:

Society for Technical Communication (STC) website:

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2021. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook, and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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