After PhD and/or postdoc, one usually have three directions to go to. One leads to a tenure track position, other industry related to the field or third where one changes the field completely. However, recently, I came across other jobs that require PhDs, and specific fields but is not typical industrial position.

Scientific editor seems to be one such position. I have seen openings for this position on the Springer, Elsevier, Wiley career sites. How is it as a career path? Is it a rewarding career? By rewarding, I am referring to both intellectually and financially.

Please share your thoughts.

I understand there are ethical concerns considering working with scientific publishing houses. But, as a person who would like to have a decent job just to pay her rent and loans, I am really interested to know about the experience when working at these positions after PhD. The posts that are recommended for this question fails to address this aspect and talk more about the ethical concerns regarding working there.


I was interviewed for one of these roles once. At the end, the interviewer asked what my salary expectation was, and I said a number that matched my salary from my previous postdoc job. It was clear that they had a much lower number in mind. Unsurprisingly, I never heard from them again.

  • If you don't mind, could you please share how much did you ask for? And how much they were willing to pay?
    – Goku9
    Oct 14 '21 at 20:28
  • Welcome to academic publishing, where everyone from the authors to the reviewers to the editorial board members to the desk editors to the shareholders think they should be paid more =)
    – Allure
    Oct 15 '21 at 2:09
  • @Goku9 that's going to depend heavily on where you are. I would recommend a search using e.g. Google customized to your location.
    – Allure
    Oct 15 '21 at 2:13
  • @Goku9 The salary I asked for, matching my previous postdoc salary, would have been at the top of the UK postdoc pay scale, at the time about £36 000 pa. The interviewer at the publisher didn't say exactly how much lower they were thinking of for the editor role, but my impression was that it was several tens of percent lower. Oct 15 '21 at 13:26

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