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Magazine features editor: Salary and conditions

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  • Starting salaries vary with the type of magazine and location. The smallest magazines can pay around £15,000, but the typical salary range for most others is around £25,000 to £40,000. The largest national publications offer the highest salaries.
  • Typical salaries at senior level (with 10-15 years of experience) 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.
  • 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.
  • In an attempt to offset the scarcity of black journalists, the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has set up the George Viner Memorial Fund  to help those who want to take industry-recognised pre-entry courses, but lack the money to do so.
  • Postgraduate bursaries for print media are also available from the Guardian Media Group's Scott Trust Bursary Scheme , a programme that encourages graduates from diverse social and/or ethnic backgrounds to apply.
  • 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 smart but casual, although this will vary with each publication.
  • Magazine features editors have a lot of responsibility and are constantly working to deadlines, which can make the job stressful. The working 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 some features editors also work as freelance writers when this does not conflict with their role.
  • Travel opportunities will vary with each employer, but most require only a limited amount of travel. Features editors 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 some features editors do 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.
Written by AGCAS editors
January 2013

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