Associate Editor Job Description [Updated for 2024]

associate editor job description

In the evolving world of media and publishing, the role of associate editors has become increasingly pivotal.

As content continues to reign supreme, the demand for skilled professionals who can create, refine, and maintain our editorial standards amplifies.

So, what is truly expected from an associate editor?

Whether you are:

  • A job seeker aiming to understand the core of this role,
  • A hiring manager conceptualizing the perfect candidate,
  • Or simply captivated by the intricacies of the editorial process,

You’ve come to the right place.

Today, we present a customizable associate editor job description template, designed for effortless posting on job boards or career sites.

Let’s delve right into it.

Associate Editor Duties and Responsibilities

Associate Editors play a pivotal role in the production and development of content, including written articles, blog posts, and other forms of media.

They work closely with writers, proofreaders, and senior editors to ensure the final product is clear, concise, and accurate.

Their primary duties and responsibilities include:

  • Collaborating with the editorial team to brainstorm and develop engaging content
  • Managing and coordinating with writers to ensure timely submission of assignments
  • Reviewing, editing, and proofreading content to ensure it meets the established editorial standards
  • Managing the layout, appearance, and structure of articles and other content
  • Providing constructive feedback to writers to improve their skills and the quality of their work
  • Assisting with fact-checking to ensure the accuracy and authenticity of the content
  • Working closely with senior editors to plan and execute editorial calendars
  • Staying updated on industry trends and news to identify potential topics and themes for future content


Associate Editor Job Description Template

Job Brief

We are seeking a diligent Associate Editor to manage and produce high-quality content for our publication.

The Associate Editor will work closely with the Editor-In-Chief to plan, coordinate, review and edit content.

The successful candidate will be responsible for deciding which pieces to publish, ensure that the content aligns with our style and tone, proofread and edit spelling, grammar and syntax.

Ultimately, the Associate Editor should be able to deliver quality pieces that appeal to our audiences and boost reader engagement.



  • Coordinate with the Editor-in-Chief to determine issues’ content and topics
  • Collaborate with team members to brainstorm content ideas, in line with target audience’s interests
  • Oversee layout, artwork, and content of feature articles
  • Coordinate online or print publishing cycle and manage content areas
  • Set publication standards and establish goals and expectations
  • Suggest stories and generate headline ideas in alignment with targeted audience’s preferences
  • Proofread and edit spelling, grammar and syntax
  • Ensure that content remains consistent in terms of style, quality, and tone
  • Plan and approve assignments for writers and editors
  • Control schedules and enforce deadlines



  • Proven work experience as an Associate Editor, or similar role
  • Strong writing and proofreading skills
  • Experience with MS Office, InDesign, or other publishing tools
  • Familiarity with SEO and social media platforms
  • Proficiency in English
  • Attention to detail and excellent organizational skills
  • BSc degree in Journalism, English, or relevant field



  • 401(k)
  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Retirement plan
  • Paid time off
  • Professional development opportunities


Additional Information

  • Job Title: Associate Editor
  • Work Environment: Office setting with options for remote work. Some travel may be required for meetings or networking events.
  • Reporting Structure: Reports to the Editor-in-Chief.
  • Salary: Salary is based upon candidate experience and qualifications, as well as market and business considerations.
  • Pay Range: $55,000 minimum to $80,000 maximum
  • Location: [City, State] (specify the location or indicate if remote)
  • Employment Type: Full-time
  • Equal Opportunity Statement: We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.
  • Application Instructions: Please submit your resume and a cover letter outlining your qualifications and experience to [email address or application portal].


What does an Associate Editor do?

An Associate Editor is an integral part of the editorial team, who works closely with writers, reporters, and the editor-in-chief to develop and curate content.

Their primary responsibility is to manage the flow of content through the editorial process, from idea conception to publication.

This may involve commissioning articles, editing copy, fact-checking, and ensuring the content aligns with the publication’s style and tone.

Associate Editors often conduct interviews, research, and write articles themselves.

They may also assist in the planning and coordination of editorial calendars and special issues.

In the digital space, Associate Editors may also play a role in SEO strategy, making sure content is optimized for search engines, and managing social media channels to engage the audience and promote published content.

They also liaise with other departments such as advertising and marketing to ensure a coherent strategy across all platforms.

Additionally, Associate Editors often have a hand in the development and maintenance of relationships with contributors, freelancers, and industry professionals.

They are critical to ensuring the high quality and timely delivery of content to readers.


Associate Editor Qualifications and Skills

An associate editor should possess a combination of technical skills, communication abilities, and industry knowledge, including:

  • Strong writing and editing skills, with the ability to proofread content for grammatical and factual accuracy, and ensure it aligns with the publication’s style and tone.
  • Excellent communication skills to liaise with writers, photographers, and other team members, ensuring a seamless flow of information and timely completion of tasks.
  • Research skills to fact-check articles and stay updated on industry trends, news, and updates.
  • Project management skills to handle multiple projects simultaneously, meet deadlines, and work under pressure.
  • Understanding of publishing software and platforms, as well as basic HTML or other relevant programming languages.
  • Interpersonal skills to build and maintain positive relationships with contributing writers, freelance staff, and other editorial team members.
  • Critical thinking skills to review, critique, and provide constructive feedback on various kinds of content.
  • Knowledge of SEO principles and techniques to optimize online content for search engines.


Associate Editor Experience Requirements

Entry-level Associate Editors typically need at least 1 to 2 years of experience in a related field, such as journalism or communication.

This experience can be gained through internships, part-time roles, or freelance writing.

Proficiency in proofreading, fact-checking, and understanding of editorial guidelines are skills often honed during this initial experience.

Familiarity with writing or editing software, and digital content management systems is also beneficial.

Candidates with 3 to 5 years of experience have usually worked in roles such as Editorial Assistant, Content Writer, or Reporter.

They have developed a deeper understanding of style guides, publication processes, and have often managed projects or coordinated with other departments.

Those with more than 5 years of experience often have substantial industry knowledge and might have worked on a variety of content types such as blogs, articles, reports, or books.

They may have also led teams and coordinated with freelance writers and other staff.

This makes them suitable for more senior editorial roles or managerial positions.


Associate Editor Education and Training Requirements

An Associate Editor typically requires a bachelor’s degree in journalism, communication, English, or a related field.

They should have strong writing and editing skills, often demonstrated through a portfolio of published work.

Having a background in the subject matter of the publication, such as science, fashion, or politics, is often beneficial.

This can be gained through a combination of coursework, internships, or work experience.

Some positions may require or prefer candidates with a master’s degree in journalism or a related field, especially for more technical or specialized publications.

Some employers may also prefer candidates with proficiency in using digital editing software and content management systems.

Although not mandatory, certification in copyediting, proofreading, or a specific style guide, like AP or Chicago, can enhance a candidate’s credibility and expertise in the field.

Continuous professional development and staying up-to-date with evolving publishing trends and technologies is key in this ever-changing industry.


Associate Editor Salary Expectations

An Associate Editor earns an average salary of $54,455 (USD) per year.

This salary can vary depending on factors such as years of experience, specific skills, the type of industry, and geographical location.


Associate Editor Job Description FAQs

What skills does an associate editor need?

An associate editor should have exceptional writing and editing skills, a keen eye for detail, and the ability to work under tight deadlines.

Good organizational and communication skills are also necessary to manage multiple projects and collaborate effectively with various teams.

Knowledge of publishing procedures and standards, along with familiarity with style guides such as the AP or Chicago Manual, is highly beneficial.


Do associate editors need a degree?

Yes, associate editors usually need a bachelor’s degree in Journalism, English, Communications, or a related field.

Some employers may require or prefer a master’s degree.

Experience in editing or publishing is generally preferred and can sometimes substitute for formal education.


What should you look for in an associate editor resume?

On an associate editor’s resume, look for a degree in a relevant field, previous experience in editing or related roles, and examples of projects they have worked on.

Familiarity with certain editing software and style guides may also be important.

Soft skills like teamwork, attention to detail, and time management are crucial for this role, so any evidence of these should be taken into account.


What qualities make a good associate editor?

A good associate editor is meticulous, detail-oriented, and has a strong command of language.

They have excellent communication and interpersonal skills to work effectively with writers, other editors, and stakeholders.

They are deadline-driven, highly organized, and able to handle multiple projects at once.

Creativity and the ability to think critically are also vital for this role.


How challenging is it to hire an associate editor?

Hiring an associate editor can be quite challenging due to the specific skill set required for the role.

It requires a candidate with a strong background in writing and editing, attention to detail, and excellent communication skills.

Employers often look for candidates with specific experience in the same field of publishing, which can narrow down the candidate pool.

Therefore, offering competitive salaries and benefits can attract the right candidates.



And there you have it.

Today, we’ve illuminated the true essence of being an associate editor.


It’s not just about correcting grammar and punctuation.

It’s about shaping the narrative of tomorrow, one article at a time.

With our definitive associate editor job description template and real-life examples, you’re ready to step into the fray.

But why limit yourself?

Explore further with our job description generator. It’s your key to creating laser-precise job listings or polishing your resume to brilliance.

Bear in mind:

Every edited sentence contributes to the larger narrative.

Let’s weave that narrative. Together.

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