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The Perfect Copy Editor Job Description: Tips & Free Template for Marketing Agencies

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Scroll down for our free copy editor job description template below. (Photo: Alina Vasylieva)

Do you have a copy editor on your team?

If your marketing agency is smaller, doesn’t directly work with copy very often, or has a stellar team of copywriters, you may not think a copy editor is necessary. After all, why do you need an entire role dedicated to editing grammar and punctuation? Isn’t that the copywriter’s job?

While a good copywriter should have an eagle eye for spelling and syntax mistakes, there are many benefits to hiring a dedicated copy editor anyway.

Between freeing up more time for your writers and adding an extra set of eyes to ensure your copy is always error-free, a copy editor can be the missing link between satisfied clients and clients who are blown away by your work.

So how do you hire the perfect copy editor who adds value to your marketing team?

In this article, we’ll provide you with a free copy editor job description template, along with some tips to help you attract and retain the best talent.

But first, let’s go over some basics.

In a rush? Get this article as a PDF guide so you won’t miss these tips!

What Does a Copy Editor Do?

Put simply, a copy editor is responsible for conducting a final quality check on your copy.

Whether it’s blog posts, website copy, ad copy, or design assets—like banner ads and infographics—a copy editor runs a fine-toothed comb over every piece of writing your agency produces.

In addition to correcting grammar, punctuation, spelling mistakes, and other small errors, a copy editor may also check for consistency in style (such as using Associated Press or Chicago style), ensure copy adheres to the client’s brand voice, and suggest changes to improve the flow or clarity of the copy.

Why Do I Need a Copy Editor?

Having a copy editor on your team can make all the difference when it comes to producing high-quality, error-free copy.

While it’s the copywriter’s responsibility to produce copy that’s professional and up to your company’s standards, having an extra set of eyes on the final product helps ensure nothing slips through the cracks.

Copy editors can also free up time for your copywriters, allowing them to focus on producing captivating copy rather than spending their time editing and proofreading. This can help increase the overall productivity of your copywriting team.

And copy editors don’t just catch small mistakes—they can also provide valuable insight into crafting a consistent brand voice and tone for your clients.

A copy editor with an understanding of the client’s brand and messaging can help ensure that copy aligns with those guidelines, resulting in a cohesive and professional final product.

What Makes a Good Copy Editor?

A good copy editor must have a strong attention to detail and a high level of organization.

Since much of a copy editor’s job involves balancing the creative vision and technical limitations of your copywriters, designers, clients, and even your agency, they need to be able to work well in teams, be flexible, and be open to different perspectives. Also essential to this balancing act are good written and verbal communication skills.

When it comes to hard skills, copy editors should have excellent English fluency and know even the most obscure grammar rules—and when it’s OK to bend or break those rules, especially when it comes to marketing copy.

Ideally, they should have a bachelor’s degree (or some form of certification) in a communication and language-related field, such as English, literature, communications, or journalism.

They should also have some experience in copy editing or a related writing or editing-heavy position, such as copywriting, content writing, journalism, technical writing, tutoring, or teaching. This experience will usually come with familiarity with brand and style guidelines, fact-checking, and grammar and punctuation rules—all of which are essential for doing the job.

Closeup photo of a woman's hands on top of paper with red markup. She is holding a red pen and is marking up errors on a document.
Hiring a copy editor for your marketing agency? The best candidates will have a strong attention to detail—and a flawless cover letter and résumé. (Photo: Lamai Prasitsuwan)

Ideally, a great candidate will have some experience with marketing writing or writing in the industries you target. However, this isn’t critical, as most writing and editing positions involve an understanding of English rules and adapting to a brand’s or organization’s particular style.

Finally, one thing you always want to do when recruiting copy editors for your marketing agency is to pay attention to the language used in their résumé and cover letter.

Do you see glaring grammar errors, awkward sentences, or anything else that shows a lack of familiarity with English? If they can’t even copy edit their own résumé, they’re probably not going to be very good at copy editing for your agency.

How Do I Attract a High-Quality Copy Editor?

As with many positions out there, offering a competitive salary and benefits will always attract top talent.

According to Zippia.com, copy editors in the United States make an average of around $62,000 a year, or about $30 per hour.

However, other estimates peg this value at anywhere from $45,000 to $72,000. If your industry (or the industry your clients are typically in) is highly technical or complex, such as tech or law, the pay may skew higher. Copy editor salaries are also higher in certain areas of the country, such as the Northeast (New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, etc.).

In general, it’s best to pay an experienced copy editor about $25–$40 per hour. Benefits like paid time off, health insurance coverage, and the option to work remotely are also always attractive and can help seal the deal.

One more thing you can do to attract talented copy editors is to ensure your copy editor job description is clear and specific about what the work entails.

Describing what industries they’ll be working with, how many years of experience you want, and the scope of their work (Do you want help with just grammar and punctuation? Or do you want someone who can act as a de facto content strategist?) will help attract qualified candidates who match your vision.

Copy Editor Job Description Template

To help you craft the perfect job description that will attract the kind of copy editor you need, try using this copy editor job description template.

Job Brief

We are looking for a copy editor to join our team at [insert agency name]. The goal of this position is to help perfect our copywriters’ copy and ensure it adheres to industry standards and guidelines and is free from any grammatical or technical errors.

Common projects may include website copy, blog posts, social media copy, advertising copy, white papers, and other forms of marketing writing.

The person who fills this position will need to collaborate with our copywriting team, project management team, design team, clients, and other key stakeholders to help craft copy that is optimized for each client’s individual goals and needs.

They will need to have excellent grammar, punctuation, and language skills as well as the ability to adapt to different brand voices and styles. They will also need to have good teamwork and communication skills, and the ability to work autonomously. Since most of our clients are in [insert industry], experience writing or editing within this industry is highly preferred.

About [Agency Name]

Use this section to talk about your agency’s overall goals, culture, and the type of clients you usually work with. This section is a great chance to allow candidates to assess whether they’d be a good “culture fit.” It’s also an opportunity to explain more about the kinds of projects you typically handle.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Edit copy for grammar, syntax, flow, and adherence to brand voice.
  • Collaborate with copywriting team, design team, project managers, clients, and other stakeholders.
  • Collaborate with copywriters and SEO specialists to ensure copy is optimized for search engine rankings.
  • Maintain a style guide for each client’s brand.
  • Proofread copy before final delivery to clients.
  • Stay aware of the latest writing and content trends in [industry].
  • Manage multiple projects at once and consistently meet deadlines.

Qualifications

Required
  • Bachelor’s degree in English, communications, writing, or a related field
  • Minimum two years of copy editing or copywriting experience
  • Fluency in English
  • Excellent grammar and language skills
  • Strong attention to detail and organization
  • Exceptional time-management skills
Preferred
  • Proficiency in [insert industries]
  • Experience using [insert platforms or software your team uses]

Salary and Benefits

  • Salary of $25–$40 per hour, depending on experience
  • Potential for yearly bonuses
  • Benefits package includes health insurance coverage and 401(k) with company match
  • 14 days of paid time off annually
  • Remote work options available

Don’t forget! Download “The Perfect Copy Editor Job Description: Tips & Free Template for Marketing Agencies” to keep it handy and take action on it. Click here to download it now.

Outsource Your Copy Editing to Super Copy Editors

If your agency doesn’t quite have the budget, bandwidth, or work volume to hire a full-time copy editor, you can also consider outsourcing the work.

At Super Copy Editors, our experienced team can provide you with all the copy editing services your agency needs. With personal attention, fast turnaround times, and editors who have extensive knowledge of marketing copy across industries, we can help ensure your copy is polished and error-free so you and your clients get ahead.

Check out this quick case study sharing how we’re saving one agency nearly $52,000 per year in overhead costs while delivering better results than they were getting in-house.

Or head over now and get your customized, no-obligation quote from Super Copy Editors. We’re excited to learn more about your needs.

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Dave Baker

View posts by Dave Baker
Hi, I’m Dave Baker, founder and copy chief of Super Copy Editors. I have more than 25 years of professional proofreading and copy editing experience, including work for The Nation magazine, The New York Times, and The Times-Picayune of New Orleans, where I shared two staff Pulitzer Prizes. At Super Copy Editors, we’re passionate about helping agencies, marketing teams, and education companies refine and polish their text to give them confidence and ensure success. Learn more here.

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