An associate editor typically assists a senior editor in tasks such as writing, editing and selecting content for a publication. The exact job description generally depends on the size and nature of the publication. Becoming an associate editor typically involves obtaining an undergraduate degree in journalism, communication or a specialized field that is relevant to the publication. Some employers require a degree and several years of editorial experience. Jobs can be found in a multitude of industries that produce newspapers, magazines, websites and journals.
The exact duties of an associate editor depend on the publication. Specific responsibilities typically are outlined in the associate editor's job description. Assisting the senior editor in the day-to-day aspects of the publication, selecting articles and images and devising story angles might be some of the required tasks. If the publication accepts submissions from freelance writers, photographers and videographers, responding to and coordinating their activities might be a requirement of the job.
Associate editor jobs can be found in any industry, company or organization that publishes documents on a regular basis. A science journal might hire associate editors to work with a team of science editors to review and select high-quality submissions for publishing. Government publications that educate people on local policies and events might hire editors to gather information and decide where to place articles and pictures. Editor positions in mainstream and popular publications typically are more competitive and often require extensive networking.
Depending on the publication, the requirements of an associate editor position typically are a degree in the field and several years of journalism experience. A topic-specific publication might require an advanced degree in a field that is related to that topic. General knowledge publications might hire entry-level individuals who have gained experience in university newspapers or community publications. The ability to interact effectively and possibly manage other staff members might be a job requirement. Many Internet publications also require computer proficiency and knowledge of specific Internet applications.
The traditional path for becoming an associate editor is to obtain a degree in journalism or the language of the publication. Learning the multiple aspects of writing engaging stories or informative articles is an important skill for the job. Solid language and grammar skills are obligatory for this position to adequately communicate thoughts and edit the work of other writers. Courses in a journalism program typically also train an editor to develop sensitivity and sound judgment in predicting how readers will react to published materials.