Editors work for publishing houses and other organisations requiring editing services. They tend to work in offices, usually in city centres, but may have to do some travelling to liaise with authors or attend publication launches, fairs and conferences. Many editors work freelance, so may work from home. They tend to work normal hours, but are sometimes required to work long hours and on weekends to meet publication deadlines.
On average, book and script editors can expect to earn between $1 000 and $1 249 per week ($52 000 and $64 999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for, and their level of experience. Many book and script editors work on a freelance basis and their earnings can vary considerably depending on the type of project they work on, their negotiated contract, and the demand for their services.
Editors may scribble or mark paper copy, but the majority of their work is done through computer programs designed specifically for editing and formatting publications. While editors do not work with printing equipment, it is important for them to understand how the process works. Available printing equipment and materials, such as colour dyes, and their cost often influence what can and cannot be done in the layout and design of a publication. Editors also use style manuals, reference books and manuals to ensure accuracy and consistency in their work.
To become a book or script editor, you usually need to study a degree that will develop your writing, editing or scriptwriting skills along with an understanding of the relevant industry.
Most universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses in writing, professional writing or film studies. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.
Apprenticeships and traineeships
As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.
If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.
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If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.