Editorial Assistant

Job Description:

Editorial assistants provide support at all stages of the publication process for books, journals, magazines and online content.

Job Category:
Culture, Media & Sport

What you will do:

In this role you could:

  • be a point of contact for authors
  • keep databases, spreadsheets and other records up to date
  • read documents and make corrections
  • deal with rights and permissions
  • act as personal assistant to commissioning editors
  • work with images and page layout software
  • proof and edit online text, including social media content
  • compile and send out newsletters using design and distribution software
  • edit text and images using a content management system (CMS)
  • edit text on apps


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of English language
  • knowledge of media production and communication
  • the ability to read English
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

As well as:

Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become an Editorial Assistant, specific subjects are not typically required. However, building a strong educational foundation and developing relevant skills can be advantageous for pursuing a career in editorial work. Here are some considerations:

  1. English Language: English language skills are critical for editorial roles. A strong command of grammar, punctuation, and writing is essential.
  2. Mathematics (Maths): Basic math skills may be helpful for certain editorial tasks, such as budgeting or data analysis, depending on the specific responsibilities of the editorial assistant role.
  3. Literature: While not mandatory, a passion for literature and reading can be a valuable asset in an editorial career. It can also help you appreciate various writing styles and genres.
  4. Computer Skills: Proficiency in using word processing software, content management systems, and other digital tools is important for modern editorial roles.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • specialist training courses with professional bodies


Subjects like English, journalism or media studies are often preferred.

If you want to specialise in a particular field of publishing, you may need a degree that’s closely related to it, for example physics or maths for a scientific journal.


You can get into this role through an advanced apprenticeship as a publishing assistant.

This typically takes 18 months to complete as a mix of workplace learning and off-the-job study. Employers will set their own entry requirements.


You could work in a publishing office or a company’s communications department as a general assistant and work your way up through in-house training and promotion.


You’ll find it useful when applying for jobs, to have done some paid or unpaid work experience in publishing.

Other Routes

You could take a proofreading or editing course.

Working Hours and Environment:

A typical week consists of 37-39 hours of work. You could be required to work evenings occasionally.

You could work in an office or from home.

Career Path & Progression:

With experience you could move into more senior editorial roles, or work on a freelance basis.