Working in publishing

Publishing is the industry which creates and distributes books, magazines, journals, and newspapers in print and online.

Publishing is about a lot more than books. People are viewing all sorts of content online, on their smartphones, e-readers and tablets. Magazine and newspaper publishing are linked to journalism. The range of jobs is very wide, from working directly with authors through designing and illustrating, editing and proofreading, marketing and sales, production and distribution, to creating video and audio. Competition is fierce. People start at the bottom and work their way up. Many people applying for jobs will have a degree. 

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Approximate pay levels

Figures supplied as a guide only

Employers often ask for a degree. Unpaid work experience and internships are common to gain experience.

However, it may be possible to enter the industry in a support role, for example as an administrator, and work your way up from there.

Pay levels graph

Future careers

Digital technologies are changing the publishing industry. Customers want rich audio and video as well as text. There is a growing number of roles that require web and digital experience.

Things to consider

  • It can be hard to get into this industry if you do not have a degree.
  • Work experience is often required to get a first job.
  • You may need to consider doing an unpaid internship to get experience.

Useful links

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Skillset: careers in publishing

Information about working in publishing

National Careers Service

Find out about careers in publishing

British Printing Industries Federation

Information about careers in printing