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IPEd’s survey of members in April 2021 askedPhoto of a graduation cap, books, globe and laptop editors about their qualifications and years of experience in editing.

The IPEd survey of members in 2021 showed that 92% had at least a bachelor’s degree as their highest qualification, 17% of respondents had a doctorate and 25% had a master’s degree.

The 2021 results were similar to the surveys in 2014 and 2016. In the IPEd survey of members in 2016, respondents were typically well educated, with 93% having a degree or higher: 12% had a doctorate and 64% had a qualification higher than an undergraduate degree. In the IPEd survey of members in 2014, respondents were well educated, with 93% holding a degree or higher, and 65% holding a qualification higher than an undergraduate degree.

Tertiary qualifications, regardless of whether they are specifically in editing or not, show that editors have skills in communication, critical thinking and judgement, as well as an understanding of broader cultural contexts.

IPEd members are also experienced in editing: 30% of respondents had 16 years or more full-time equivalent editing experience, and a further 15% had 11 to15 years experience. The age profile also confirmed the body of professional experience: 50% of respondents were aged over 55 years, with 31% aged 55 to 64 years and 19% aged 65 years and over.

The Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO), developed by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, classifies the occupation of editor (code 212212) as the highest Skill Level of 1 (out of five levels). The highest skill level of 1 means the occupation has a level of skill commensurate with a bachelor degree or higher qualification.

The skill level of editing and the actual qualifications of editors will form part of our evidence base seeking an increase in the pay rates for editors in the Book Industry Award 2020.

More information

The 2021 survey report is available for members here. There is also a discussion thread on the IPEd Discussion Board to discuss the survey results or answer any questions. Previous survey reports are available to members here.

Our article in February Gatherings on awards and agreements for employee editors is available here.

By Dr Rhonda Daniels AE
Member, Pay Rates Working Party