What are the price ranges/fees for editing?

You are wondering the same thing that every upcoming editor wants to know: How much does an editor make?

Editors can either work in a company or as a freelancer. Editing can be broken down into several categories that focus on a wide range of projects that involve different methods of editing. It can involve textbooks, mazines, brochures, manuscripts, TV/movie scripts, etc…

What’s the Price?

The price range depends on four things:

1. Editing experience.

2. Working for a company or as a freelancer.

3. The demand for editors in areas.

4. What type of editing is involved.


Experienced editors with years under their belt in editing will be paid more than those who have just started their editing career. In general editors are professionals who modify any given content to a sensible, readable, viewable and acceptable format. The responsibility of an editor also includes shaping a given content for a specific audience and taking the viewer or reader along with the content. The more experienced editor would be offered more projects to work than someone who just started. Normal editors get around $41,000 a year on average. Those who have done their time in the editing world and are successful might get a position like editorial director, editor-in-chief, or managing editor. Those positions get around $82,000 to over $100,000. In the end however, experience can only be gained through time and opportunity.

Company or Freelancing

Working in a company can more or less guarantee a consistent income. Most people who want their work to be edited professionally will go to a business where they have experienced editors. This means that there is a constant flow of work and income. Also if one is working in a business that requires their own editors, then it is even more assure that the editor will get a steady rate of income from their work.

Freelancers would have a harder time with getting a consistent income since they work independently and have to compete with those bigger editing corporations. For freelancers they have to find the work instead of the work finding them. Only through networking, promoting oneself, and getting credited for one’s work, can a freelance editor be able to get enough work to make a profit. There are always those who are looking for a better deal for their work to be edited; especially if those people are beginners themselves like fresh writers who just finished their first manuscript and want a deal that they can afford. Freelancers have that ability, because they have more flexibility to negotiate over the price.


The salary of an editor depends on the area of work. Normal editor salaries vary from place to place. For example, the Virgin Islands offer the highest paid salary of $55,000 with Mississippi in second with $51,000 and New York in third with $48,000. Of course the salary will still vary on experience and editing skills.

Types of editing

There are several different types of editing. These are a few:

  • Developmental editing: This is the most intensive form of editing. This would be considered as heavy editing. The document is evaluated as a whole and problems of structure, organization, coherence, and logical consistencies are corrected if need be. Sentences may be removed or added. Paragraphs may be rewritten, condensed, expanded or even deleted if necessary. Blocks of text may be moved from one section to another.
  • Copy editing: The editor corrects problems of grammar, style, repetition, word usage, and jargon.
  • Proofreading: This is the lightest form of editing; things such as spelling, grammar, punctuation, and word usage.
  • Formatting: The editor will amend document text to ensure that it complies with the required format, such as the format required by a specific journal.
  • Works Cited/References: Literature citations are checked to ensure that each citation that appears in the text is also included in the list of citations. Citations are also checked to ensure that each citation that appears in the list of citations also appears in the text. The formats of the citations are corrected so that it conforms to requirements, such as the style preferred by a specific journal.

For more information:

Image source http://lillieammann.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/money.jpg

By Ian Yamagata, Writing major, Texas Christian University



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