Plastics Engineering: Technical Editor Job Description

About the Publication

Plastics Engineering(PE) is an official publication of the SPE-Inspiring Plastics Professionals. We provide plastic industry professionals with a wealth of information about machinery, technological advances, materials innovations, sustainability, and more. We also include timely reports on industry events, news and patents. Each issue of PE is packed with up-to-date indispensable content that can be used in practical applications or for innovative solutions.

Plastics Engineering is distributed to 30k+ plastics professionals and contains articles written by professionals, experienced plastics industry journalists, and the staff of Plastics Engineering. The content is not peer-reviewed in a traditional sense, although the technical editor and SPE staff review all articles.

The magazine is distributed in print and online at It also features e-newsletters that highlight print and online-exclusive content sent to SPE members. Those e-mails reach 35k plastics professionals.

About the Position

The Technical Editor works collaboratively with SPE staff and the Wiley Editor, who runs the day-to-day editorial office operations. Together, the Technical Editor, the Wiley Editor, and SPE staff plan the annual editorial strategy.


  1. Ten times per year, you will participate in a story call with SPE and Wiley staff to assist in:
    1. Idea generation for future print and online only articles;
    2. Identifying and soliciting experts to write articles for Plastics Engineering, corresponding to 35%-40% of the content in each issue; and
    3. Helping to select articles for the Wiley editor to assign to freelance writers and suggesting resources or sources for those articles (40%-50% of the content of each issue).
    4. Note: SPE is responsible for 15%-20% of the remaining content for each issue.
  2. You may choose to write or recruit someone in the plastics industry to write a two-page column (approximately 1,000 words) on a topic of your choice to appear in every print issue of Plastics Engineering. Deadlines and specific details will be determined by the Technical Editor and the Wiley Editor.
  3. You will review all content for both the print issue and website for accuracy and relevance to SPE members prior to publication. You will submit your comments to the Wiley Editor via e-mail.
  4. Ten times per year, you will participate in an art call with the Wiley Editor and SPE’s designer to finalize the editorial lineup and discuss images needed for the issue.
  5. Ten times a year, you will review a PDF of the designed issue to ensure all images and supporting design elements are appropriate.
  6. On an as-needed basis, you will generate story ideas and sources, as well as review articles for technical accuracy, for the Plastics Engineering website and e-newsletters (approximately four to seven articles per month).
  7. On an as-needed basis, you will make yourself available to the Wiley Editor for general opinions and advice.
  8. On an as-needed basis, review, edit and approve Plastics Engineering social media posts and updates.
  9. You will attend SPE’s annual ANTEC® event as a representative of Plastics Engineering and other SPE events on an as-needed basis.
  10. You will lead biannual editorial board conference calls.

Note: In terms of the time commitment, this equates to roughly 10 hours per week. More time may be required during production weeks. The Wiley Editor will provide the Technical Editor with a production schedule. The Technical Editor may have to devote more time to the position in the beginning as he/she becomes acclimated to the job.

Skills & Requirements

  • A plastics industry professional who can help develop the editorial vision of Plastics Engineering;
  • A current SPE member who is known within the plastics community and who has established contacts throughout the Society;
  • Previous publishing experience—print or digital—preferred;
  • Excellent verbal and written communication and editing skills;
  • Ability to make decisions to ensure Plastics Engineering meets quality editorial standards;
  • Ability to work flexibly and on deadline with the Wiley Editor and SPE staff to make editorial decisions; and
  • An awareness of SPE programs, events, and products and their competitive position in the marketplace.