Exploring Editing as a Career? 6 Suggestions to Get You Started

by Beth McAuley & Lesley-Anne Longo

Published at 2021-01-20

To be an editor is a rewarding career choice. There are so many different types of editing and so many different types of editors. And for those in the field, a common question we are asked is, “How do I become an editor?” Well, there are many ways to become an editor, but one of the key components is training. If you are looking into becoming an editor, here are some suggestions to help you get started.



Ryerson University’s School of Publishing


This comprehensive one-year certificate program is the largest professional training program in the publishing industry — and it offers an “intensive” option that can help you finish the program even faster. You also have the option of taking specialized courses in areas that interest you, such as children’s publishing, editing recipes and cookbooks, scholarly and reference publishing, and more.


If this program interests you, contact the coordinators with questions and maybe set up a phone call:


Kelvin Kong and Meg Taylor, Academic Coordinators.



Kelvin and Meg are both very friendly and keen to assist new students looking into the program.



George Brown College


This program offers a practical introduction to the essential skills required in the key areas of editing, and students study all stages of the process: structural and stylistic editing, copyediting, proofreading and production editing. The program also includes a 45-hour work placement that allows students to apply what they’ve learned in a real publishing setting. Elective courses include options like Reporting, or Starting a Small Business.


If you’re interested, there are a couple of ways you can reach out. In theory, the college offers “editorial skills information sessions,” which give potential students a way to learn more about the program and meet some of their teachers. However, none are currently scheduled. Keep an eye on the page though, and perhaps some sessions will be posted in the future.


You can also contact the Continuing Education Liberal Studies department at 416-415-5000, ext. 2092, or email them at



Centennial College’s “Publishing — Book, Magazine, and Electronic” Certificate


This program is actually the one TEC’s own Lesley-Anne Longo graduated from! The program is one year in length and it offers some unique learning opportunities not found in other programs. Students will learn the basics of the publishing industry (for both books and magazines), develop editing skills, gain experience publishing e-books, plus participate in the production of the program’s magazine, On the Danforth, which is distributed around the Danforth area. You’ll also complete a six-week field placement at a book or magazine publisher.


If you have questions, contact the program coordinator, Denise Schon, at You can also call 416-289-5000, ext. 8803.



Simon Fraser University’s Master of Publishing Program


The Master of Publishing (MPub) program is the only program in Canada to offer a postgraduate degree in publishing. Importantly, the 2021 deadline for applications is February 1, if you’re interested! Also importantly, residence in Vancouver is required for the first half of the program. The second half of the program does not have that requirement.


The program is full time, and runs over 16 months (four terms of four months each). It offers students a mix of seminar and hands-on project courses that enable them to learn practical skills and build a portfolio of work. Students also complete an internship as part of the program. Once completed, each student receives a master’s degree from Simon Fraser University.


Part of the admission process is submission of a portfolio (along with other documents) that can include examples of editorial work, writing, or desktop publishing, articles or books (if you have editing experience), and more. The application process is extremely rigorous, so be prepared!


If you have questions, contact Program Advisor Jo-Anne Ray at, or call 778-782-5242.



Editors Canada


This is the professional organization for editors in Canada.

For those looking into becoming an editor, visit its “So You Want to Be an Editor” page.


Editors Canada offers webinars throughout the year that provide excellent training for new and seasoned editors alike.



The Editing Company (That’s Us!)


TEC offers a great monthly newsletter that includes a monthly editing tip or editing-related advice. You can sign up here:


TEC’s website also has a great collection of Resource Guides (with content for both editors and authors!) and a wonderful collection of blogs — both options will help you learn and sharpen your skills.



Go Forth and Edit!


We hope one of these first steps will appeal to you if you are exploring editing as a career. Once you get started with coursework and networking, you can develop your skills and identify your niche — that is, identify the type of editing you would like to do, be it academic, business, medical, tech, finance, education … the list goes on. There are so many starting points on offer, and one of them will be the perfect fit for you.


Good luck!