Here’s How Much Money Editors Earn In Every State

Magazine editors brainstorming in the office. Discussing and looking for new ideas for their magazine.

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Print media might be under pressure, but it’s hardly dying. And the explosion of digital media, during both Web 1.0 and Web 2.0, the latter of which accelerated its growth even more, requires editors to manage the increasing volume of content and media available online.

The average income for an editor has reached $69,480 as of May 2018, according to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Employment Statistics. Equally important is the future outlook for editors. Unfortunately, the future of editor employment is rather unclear at the moment. According to the Occupational Outlook Handbook (BLS), employment of editors is set to decline 1% through 2026, which equates to little or almost no change over so many years. In raw numbers, employment is projected to decline by 1,800, which isn’t much when compared to, say, postal service workers, which are projected to decline 13% in employment from 2016 to 2026.

With the proliferation of digital media, there’s no shortage of work for editors. Alas, this development has kept wages down for editors while making jobs at established newspapers and magazines more difficult to attain. But you can optimize the opportunities presented by this occupation by picking a state that pays editors best. Check out the full breakdown below of where editors’ incomes are the lowest, and where their incomes are the highest.

10 States Where Editors Earn the Most Money

When looking at editors’ salaries across all 50 states and the District of Columbia, the latter ranks No. 1 ahead of all states, with editors earning an annual mean wage of $89,710 in 2018. Excluding D.C., Massachusetts ranks as the best state for editor salaries, earning an average of $89,280 a year.

Here’s a list of the top 10 states that pay editors the most money.

Rank
State
Mean Annual Wage

1
Massachusetts
$89,280

2
New York
$83,070

3
Hawaii
$78,390

4
California
$78,150

5
New Jersey
$74,130

6
Virginia
$72,660

7
Texas
$72,300

8
Connecticut
$71,260

9
Delaware
$68,790

10
Washington
$67,560

The East Coast largely dominates this list, accounting for 6 out of the top 10 states. The West Coast accounts for three — Hawaii, California and Washington — while the South accounts for two states — Virginia and Delaware.

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10 States Where Editors Earn the Least Money

The 10 states where editors make the least money geographically fall primarily in the West and South. Montana, which lies in the Census-designated Mountain division, has the lowest average editor salary, $41,030 a year. Seven out of the 10 lowest-paying states are located in the Census South region, which stretches from Oklahoma in the west to Delaware in the east, and everything south of this.

Here’s a list of the top 10 states that pay editors the least money.

Rank
State
Mean Annual Wage

1
Montana
$41,030

2
Louisiana
$42,340

3
Kentucky
$44,050

4
New Mexico
$44,370

5
Oklahoma
$44,380

6
Mississippi
$46,070

7
South Carolina
$46,630

8
Arkansas
$47,480

9
Nebraska
$47,910

10
South Dakota
$48,100

Some of these states, however, are actually seeing editor salaries increase over the years, while other states have seen significant declines. Looking at average editor wages from 2015 to 2018, Louisiana has experienced a 15.7% decline in salaries for editors; in New Mexico, a 15.5% decline in three years. On the flipside, editor incomes in Mississippi rose by 18.5%, from $38,890 in 2015 to $46,070 in 2018.

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How Much Editors Earn In Every State

Moving beyond highest and lowest, here’s a look at average editor salaries by state, in alphabetical order. On the left is the state’s rank from No. 1 to No. 48, with the District of Columbia excluded, and Alabama and North Dakota left out because they have no wage data for 2018.

Rank
State
3-Year Change
2018 Average Wage
2017 Average Wage
2016 Average Wage
2015 Average Wage

*
Alabama
n/a
*
*
$52,260
$48,460

32
Alaska
-10.7%
$50,790
$53,200
$55,550
$56,890

24
Arizona
14.4%
$57,180
$55,360
$53,040
$50,000

41
Arkansas
13.5%
$47,480
$48,920
$44,740
$41,840

4
California
6.5%
$78,150
$79,170
$77,830
$73,390

19
Colorado
-1.5%
$59,120
$58,490
$58,130
$60,010

8
Connecticut
19.3%
$71,260
$66,630
$62,190
$59,730

9
Delaware
13.2%
$68,790
$69,370
$65,020
$60,760

(1)
District of Columbia
6.8%
$89,710
$87,740
$87,860
$83,980

21
Florida
-10.9%
$58,200
$61,120
$66,200
$65,330

15
Georgia
22.6%
$61,330
$55,530
$55,870
$50,030

3
Hawaii
42.0%
$78,390
*
$55,320
$55,200

38
Idaho
25.8%
$48,160
$47,890
$39,540
$38,280

14
Illinois
9.1%
$62,590
$59,510
$60,300
$57,350

30
Indiana
4.6%
$51,800
$50,690
$48,480
$49,540

31
Iowa
15.7%
$51,480
$49,440
$45,170
$44,510

34
Kansas
3.5%
$50,390
$52,370
$50,510
$48,690

46
Kentucky
-2.8%
$44,050
$44,130
$45,650
$45,310

47
Louisiana
-15.7%
$42,340
$44,870
$47,520
$50,220

33
Maine
1.2%
$50,650
$49,260
$51,970
$50,030

18
Maryland
-6.7%
$59,560
$61,870
$64,040
$63,840

1
Massachusetts
20.0%
$89,280
$83,640
$79,890
$74,370

22
Michigan
1.9%
$58,150
$59,070
$57,490
$57,040

20
Minnesota
1.5%
$58,820
$55,220
$59,140
$57,940

43
Mississippi
18.5%
$46,070
$42,920
$38,660
$38,890

27
Missouri
-2.7%
$55,460
$58,440
$55,620
$56,980

48
Montana
4.6%
$41,030
$44,130
$37,750
$39,230

40
Nebraska
2.1%
$47,910
$44,560
$48,220
$46,940

25
Nevada
12.1%
$56,790
$54,500
$53,400
$50,660

23
New Hampshire
19.2%
$57,750
$53,560
$49,890
$48,450

5
New Jersey
-7.1%
$74,130
$75,610
$80,450
$79,830

45
New Mexico
-15.5%
$44,370
$50,790
$55,460
$52,490

2
New York
3.4%
$83,070
$81,760
$78,370
$80,340

11
North Carolina
22.2%
$67,450
$58,700
$59,420
$55,190

*
North Dakota
n/a
*
$55,490
$43,820
$35,230

17
Ohio
21.0%
$60,670
$57,610
$57,200
$50,130

44
Oklahoma
-9.1%
$44,380
$42,640
$45,780
$48,800

26
Oregon
17.3%
$55,610
$56,450
$50,450
$47,400

13
Pennsylvania
6.6%
$62,870
$60,870
$59,230
$58,950

12
Rhode Island
11.8%
$66,900
*
$48,640
$59,830

42
South Carolina
-2.1%
$46,630
$43,250
$46,600
$47,620

39
South Dakota
-2.3%
$48,100
$51,100
$49,040
$49,240

28
Tennessee
7.0%
$54,400
$53,180
$50,950
$50,850

7
Texas
29.5%
$72,300
*
$56,690
$55,840

16
Utah
14.0%
$60,990
$56,620
$53,760
$53,520

36
Vermont
-7.2%
$48,910
$50,030
$51,820
$52,720

6
Virginia
0.9%
$72,660
$71,160
$69,820
$71,990

10
Washington
1.9%
$67,560
$65,920
$61,120
$66,290

29
West Virginia
20.1%
$52,910
$52,700
$47,480
$44,070

37
Wisconsin
6.3%
$48,630
$47,740
$45,220
$45,760

35
Wyoming
28.7%
$49,550
$44,050
$40,270
$38,510

While the East Coast dominates top 10 highest-paying states for editors, in terms of salary growth, the biggest winners are more varied. Editor salaries in Hawaii have seen the most growth in three years, rising from an average of $55,200 in 2015 to $78,390 in 2018, a 42% increase. In second place is Texas, with a 29.5% increase in average editor wages since 2015. Two Mountain states — Wyoming and Idaho — saw impressive growth, with increases of 28.7% and 25.8%, respectively, from 2015 to 2018.

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