Journo Salary Sharer: How much do editors make?

Now that we’ve touched on what reporters make, let’s look at their bosses: editors. Editors made a bit more than reporters (and sometimes more than a bit more) in every category I looked at.

I limited my focus to a specific group of editors, those who oversee coverage and don’t fit into a different specialized group:

  • Who’s included: Assigning editors, associate editors, deputy editors, senior editors, managing editors, line editors, web editors, news directors, managers, content coaches.
  • Who’s not included: Social media and audience engagement editors, video and photo editors, design and graphics editors, copy editors, database editors. (Each of these will get included in their own category posts. See the end of this post for a revised schedule.)

Who responded to the survey?

A respectable 650 editors used Journo Salary Sharer as of Monday (637 included their salaries). Of those who included their salaries:

Responses from women editors outnumbered men, 4:3

More responses came from editors at small outlets than larger ones:

  • Small: 40% | Medium: 28% | Large: 32%
  • A few (7 people) who run their own one-person operations also responded, including freelance editors.

A majority (57%) of respondents are in high cost-of-living cities. About one-quarter are in medium-cost areas, and one-fifth are in less expensive locations.

The most common titles of people who responded were “Editor,” “Associate Editor” and “Managing Editor.”

65% of those who responded are 24 to 36 years old. Just 10% are in their late 40s or older:

What’s the range of salaries for editors who responded to the survey?

Not shown: The four editors who listed salaries higher than $200,000.

Another way to look at that same information:

How do salaries for editors compare in places with different costs of living?

Similar to what we saw with reporters, the range of salaries reported was higher and wider for people in high-cost-of-living cities like New York or San Francisco than in lower-cost areas.

For reference, the same ranges for reporters:

  • Low: $25K to $50K | Medium: $30K to $70K | High: $36K to $87K

What about the size of the company? Do editors in bigger newsrooms make more?

Sometimes. But it’s worth considering that larger organizations likely have more levels of editors (assistant editors, deputy editors) than smaller organizations.

Also, a substantial majority (73%) of respondents from large organizations are in high cost-of-living areas, so those factors could both be at play together here and in the previous graphic.

For reference, the same ranges for reporters:

  • Small: $25K to $56K | Medium: $32K to $70K | Large: $37K to $92K

What are different levels of editors paid?

Not surprisingly, “Editor in Chief” responses had the highest median salary, at $104,000. However, only 21 people with that title have responded to the survey so far, and the majority of them are at small companies (20 or fewer editorial employees). So it’s definitely a too-small and skewed sample.

Looking at titles where we have at least 50 responses:

  • “Associate” editors reported a median salary of $46,750
  • “Managing” editors reported a median salary of $55,000

Managing editors had a wider range of reported salaries, with 75% making between $35K and $95K (a $60K range), whereas 75% of associate editors reported making between $29K and $63K (a $34K range).

Just more than 120 respondents to the survey listed the title “Editor.” Of those, the median salary was $70,000, and three-quarters of responses fell between $33K to $110K, with responses pretty evenly spread out in that huge range.

I’ll dig into more specific editor titles as more responses come in.

What other questions do you have about how much editors make?

Programming note: I’m going to take a break from posting for a couple of days. (I’m going out of town to do some unrelated research.) The bright side: This gives more time for producers, copy editors, social media/engagement folks and others to share their salaries before I dig into the data. If you know anyone who hasn’t taken the salary survey yet (3,000 responses so far!), please encourage them to, especially if they’re on the production or visuals sides of the newsroom.

Revised schedule:

  • Late this week/early next week: Post on producers
  • Next week: Posts on copy editors and social media/engagement folks
  • Other posts on the docket after that: Video, photo, developers, designers (including web, print and graphics), marketing, and the one I’ve been asked about more than any other: A post about any gender gaps in pay, positions, or negotiating.

For more about the limitations of this survey data and my process in handling it, see my earlier post.

Holler at me on Twitter (@JuliaJRH) or email (Julia.Haslanger@journalism.cuny.edu).

Next ⇛ How much do web producers make?

Previous posts about Journo Salary Sharer:

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