Last week, I shared some common pay rates for US copyeditor freelancers and employees. This week, I’ll share what I’ve found for a few other English-speaking countries.
The United Kingdom
Graduate Prospects is a wealth of information on joining the UK workforce. Visitors can search the site for descriptions of the types of jobs available, average wages for the job, typical duties expected, and more. On Prospects, I found information for a publishing copyeditor and a press sub-editor.
The publishing copyeditor may work for a newspaper, a book publisher, or other type of publication. Such an editor can expect to earn £21–£28 an hour, or £18,000–£30,000 a year.
A press sub-editor works for a newspaper or magazine. The site notes that starting rates can vary greatly, depending on a candidate’s experience and the size of the publication. In general, a sub-editor can expect the following rates:
UK editorial freelancers can find support from the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP), including training materials, conferences, and freelance business information. The SfEP suggests the following minimum rates for freelance editorial work in the UK:
I wasn’t able to find any information on copyediting salaries in Ireland (if you have any, drop me a line), but the country does boast an excellent freelancers organization. The Association of Freelance Editors, Proofreaders & Indexers (AFEPI) requires freelancers to apply for membership, and full membership is given only to those with verifiable experience in the field. Those just starting out can apply for an associate membership and apply for full membership later.
The AFEPI suggests the following rates for freelance editing professionals in Ireland and reminds freelancers that specialists should charge higher rates:
I also had difficulty running down salary information for Canadian copyeditors. Again, freelancers have an easier time in knowing what to expect. The Editors’ Association of Canada (EAC) offers training, scholarships, certification, publications, and more to its members.
EAC surveys its members on current rates but restricts the results to members only. However, in the public area of its site, it counsels freelancers in setting rates. “If you would expect to pay an editor $60,000 a year in your industry,” says the EAC, “you should expect to pay a freelance editor about $60 an hour.” The organization reminds editors to think about all of the costs of doing business when setting rates.
Also important to note are tax rates. “Well-established editors are registered with the government and must collect tax on top of their work,” says the EAC. “In Ontario, this tax is the HST and is 13%. However, an editor performing a service for a client in another province must charge according to the other province’s tax rate. For example, an Ontario-based editor who edits a document for a client in British Columbia would charge that client 12% HST rather than 13% HST.”
Share your knowledge
If you have data on editor salaries and freelancer rates for your area—or know where to get it—add it in the comments section below.