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Frequently asked questions

How much does medical editing pay?

Freelance editors often make $25 to $35 per hour at a temp agency, and $60 to $80 per hour on their own. Staff editors  often start at $70,000 to $90,000 a year. 

What does a medical editor edit?

Many freelance medical editors work for pharmaceutical advertising agencies on material for patients, doctors, hospitals, insurers, or the drug companies themselves. 

Can I work from home?

Yes. Ordinarily, it's necessary to have on-site experience first, but in the pandemic, work from home has become easier to snag even as a beginner. 

Do I need to have editing experience, or a background in science or medicine?

Any of these is a plus, but not essential. I know many successful editors who began with neither.  

Can I work part-time?

Yes, but it helps to have some full-time experience first.

How long are freelance gigs?

Many are between a week and a month.

Do I get a certificate for finishing the course?

No, but put the class on your resume after finishing. Many agencies are familiar with my course. 

How do I know if I can do this work?

If you're a meticulous reader and a clear, able writer, you'll do wonderfully. 

Is it boring?

It can be tedious, but if you're the kind of person who gets a little thrill from catching a typo, it’ll probably never get boring.

What happens in the class?

We spend the first three weeks going through the American Medical Association (AMA) Manual of Style, learning what's in it and how to use it. We also go over digital editing and do plenty of practice. The last three weeks are mostly practice, designed to sharpen your editing skills and your knowledge of the AMA manual. We also cover correction checking, fact checking, and FDA guidelines about drug ads, and the class ends with advice for getting your first gig.  

How do I find work after the class?

I give you a list of temp and ad agencies that hire medical editors. Some agencies require you to take a medical editing test, which you'll be prepared for after the class. Once you have some experience, you can use the class Google Group to network and find independent gigs.    

Will I get work?

Although I can't say for sure that you will get work, many students do. It depends on your skill, availability, personality, persistence, and the time of year. 

What is your refund policy?

The deadline for a full refund is the Monday before the first day of class. But if you must miss the class you paid for, you can attend a later offering at no charge.

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