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Magazine features editor: Salary and conditions

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  • Starting salaries for features editors vary with the type of magazine and location. The smallest magazines can pay around £15,000, but the typical salary range for others is around £20,000 to £40,000. The largest national publications offer the highest salaries.
  • Typical salaries at senior level are around £35,000 to £65,000. The salary will depend on the responsibilities of the role and the size and type of publication.
  • Salaries can vary significantly between different magazines. Salaries are also dependent on the success of particular publications, which can change over time.
  • It is likely that you will start in a more junior role within a magazine, such as editorial assistant or junior reporter, where salaries will be lower. With experience you may then progress to the features editor role and gain a higher wage.
  • A 9am to 5pm day is common, with occasional late nights to meet deadlines. Hours can be longer for weekly publications, but are usually less than those expected by newspapers.
  • Most work is office based, although networking, particularly at industry events, can be an important part of the job.
  • There is an equal gender balance in the occupation, although features editors for men's magazines will usually be male, just as features editors for women's publications tend to be female.
  • To help black and ethnic minority students get the training they need the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has set up the George Viner Memorial Fund to address the shortfall of ethnic minorities in the media industry and to broaden diversity.
  • There are opportunities throughout the UK, but most are concentrated in London and the South East. Many of the larger national magazines are based in London.
  • The dress code is usually smart/casual, although this will vary with each publication.
  • The work includes a lot of responsibility and tight deadlines, which can make the job stressful.
  • The hours can be flexible and are usually less demanding and more sociable than other editorial positions, particularly those with newspapers.
  • Part-time opportunities are available, although these are slightly more common with smaller publications. Self-employment is rare, although it may be possible to work as a freelance writer if it does not conflict with your role.
  • Travel opportunities vary with each employer, but most require only a limited amount of travel. You may be expected to attend industry events, press trips and social events, and this can mean absences from home overnight.
  • Overseas travel is not common, but you may travel abroad for research and networking events. This is more common for publications that rely on information from overseas, such as international business or travel magazines.

Salary figures are intended as a guide only.

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Written by AGCAS editors
February 2015

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