What Are the Different Types of Magazine Career Opportunities?

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

Magazine career opportunities call for a wide variety of training, talent, and interests. Whether a person is skilled at writing, graphic design, or business affairs, the magazine industry can be an exciting and adventurous place to find jobs. Some of the most common magazine career opportunities include assistant positions, contributor jobs, design and layout work, and editing.

Magazines often hire new writers to work on smaller features that may appear toward the end of their issues.
Magazines often hire new writers to work on smaller features that may appear toward the end of their issues.

Many people interested in becoming future journalists or editors begin by taking magazine career opportunities at the assistant level. Editorial or graphic assistants tend to perform secretarial work, and may even be put into service running errands for their bosses. While these positions can be a good way to learn about the magazine trade from the ground up, and may provide great opportunities to make professional contacts, they are often thankless jobs that do not pay very well. Generally, assistants use these positions as a launching pad for more advanced magazine career opportunities.

Photojournalists sometimes work for magazines.
Photojournalists sometimes work for magazines.

Contributing writers provide the written content for a magazine. These writers may be full-time staff of the publication, or freelance experts hired to write on a specific subject. Contributing writers may have a degree in journalism, or may be published authors or well-known bloggers. Working as a writer on a magazine might include writing a monthly or weekly column on a specific subject, or may be based on specific assignments from the magazine. Photographers are also sometimes hired as contributing professionals, and may be tasked with providing certain required images, or going on an assignment to capture the events of a particular story.

Magazines require a keen artistic touch to keep the eye interested and create an all-over visual appeal. Graphic designers help create images for each piece, size text and choose font, and design the layout of the magazine, page by pages. Magazine career opportunities in the visual arts often require a degree in graphic design, production design, or photojournalism. Graphic artists must be extremely computer savvy, since much of magazine design is done with computer software.

The editorial department can be a vast source of magazine career opportunities. Entry-level jobs in this field often go to young writers or journalists, especially those with strong proofreading skills. Copy editors are in charge of ensuring that the final text of the magazine is error-free and fact-checked. The editor-in-chief, also sometimes called the creative director, is responsible for the vision, style, and content of each magazine issue. This prestigious job is only available to highly experienced professionals, and may take many years to achieve.

Magazines employ copy editors who read through and publish articles prior to print.
Magazines employ copy editors who read through and publish articles prior to print.
Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica is passionate about drama and film. She has many other interests, and enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics in her role as a wiseGEEK writer.

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