You’ve heard that proofreading is a great way to make money from home, but you don’t know where to start.
You should know that many opportunities exist in the proofreading industry. You can learn how to turn proofreading skills into a side hustle or even full-time work.
However, before you decide if this career path is right for you, there are some things worth knowing about proofreading jobs.
In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about how to find the perfect proofreading gig for you and your skills.
- 1 What Is Proofreading?
- 2 General Responsibilities of Proofreaders and Editors
- 3 Where to Find Proofreading Jobs
- 4 Additional Options for Finding Proofreading Jobs
- 5 What Type of Education Do You Need to Become a Proofreader?
- 6 Proofreaders Average Salary
- 7 Benefits of Becoming a Proofreader and Working from Home
- 8 Figure out a Niche to Work in
- 9 Tools to Place in Your Proofreading Jobs Toolbox
- 10 Consider Taking a Proofreading Course
- 11 Learn the Style Guides
- 12 Keep Practicing to Get Better
- 13 Conclusion
What Is Proofreading?
Proofreading is the process of reading proof copy to find and correct errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation, style, usage, and format. During this stage of the writing process, editors may also check for consistency throughout a piece of work.
Proofreading also involves looking for and correcting discrepancies in facts and figures. Furthermore, proofreaders may also have to check for compliance with government publications.
Related post: Copy Editing vs. Proofreading
General Responsibilities of Proofreaders and Editors
To give you an even better idea of what you will do after successfully getting proofreading jobs, explore the following list of responsibilities for proofreaders and editors:
- Make sure there aren’t any typos, misspelled words, or grammatical mistakes.
- Make sure sentences make sense and transition properly.
- Check for consistency throughout a piece of writing. For example, if the author is describing a character as tall in one paragraph and short in another, you should check to ensure that they use consistent terms elsewhere.
- Ensure content matches the headline.
- Make sure the article follows a logical flow.
- Format numbers properly.
- Eliminate any inconsistencies in capitalization and heading size.
- Make sure bibliographies are complete and have proper formatting.
Where to Find Proofreading Jobs
Proofreading jobs are available from several companies. Here’s a list with descriptions of each opportunity. Keep in mind that some of these positions require a higher-level college education.
ProofreadingPal offers work from home proofreading jobs for $20+ per hour. You can set your schedule and work for between 15 and 40 hours per week. You’ll need at least five years of proofreading experience and need to understand various formatting styles.
ProofreadingServices offers proofreading jobs that pay from $19 to $46 per hour. They offer flexible hours and part-time or full-time work-from-home opportunities. Get ready to take a test that should take about 20 minutes.
ClickWorker wants people with quality editing abilities and language skills to proofread for its online service.
WordVice requires its proofreaders and editors to possess advanced college degrees and extensive experience in the field. It offers freelance work from home. You’ll need to understand Chicago, APA, and other formatting styles to work for WordVice.
Polished Paper hires proofreaders with and without prior experience. You’ll need to apply and qualify by taking a 35-minute test. The company looks for individuals with strong English language skills when filling its proofreading job opportunities.
JobsforEditors pays twice per month and provides training when you get started. It pays a competitive salary, paid vacation for managers, and offers a wide range of proofreading topics.
PeoplePerHour lets you set up a profile and offer your proofreading services to businesses and solopreneurs.
Get Editing Jobs offers many types of freelancing jobs such as writing, editing, and proofreading. Search for proofreading jobs, and you’ll see many opportunities open up to you.
WordsRU makes it more challenging to start working when compared to others on this list. You must hold a Master’s degree, Ph.D., or other equivalent experience. They want you to have a minimum of two years of experience with proofreading before hiring you.
Proofreading.org hires proofreaders. However, you must hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. Many of their proofreaders and editors hold master’s or doctoral degrees. If you have the educational requirements met, you can earn up to $25 per hour.
English Trackers look for native English speakers with at least two years of experience. The company pays once monthly on the 15th of each month.
Wordy is currently updating its systems. However, check back periodically to see when they have their registration page active for hiring again.
Quality Proofreading looks for proofreaders to work from home and do all work from the comfort of home. They want you to email your CV to initiate the hiring process.
Dominate offers the ability to work online. You’ll start by providing a sample of your work. They ask that you have proficiency with using Microsoft Word.
Lifetips is hiring proofreaders and editors with search engine industry experience. If you have experience in that area, you might carve out a nice income working for Lifetips.com from home.
Edit Fast looks for writers, proofreaders, and editors. You’ll need a bachelor’s degree and pass proofreading tests to land this proofreading job.
Scribe Media offers full-time roles for web marketing specialists, client success managers, and marketing managers. However, they also want remote, part-time proofreaders with positions that pay up to $60 per hour.
Kirkus Media hires proofreaders and book reviewers, but this option is a little hit and miss. They only need new proofreaders as those positions open up. Check their website often to see if they’re currently looking to fill the proofreader role.
Editor World hires proofreaders and editors with a Ph.D. and/or background in science. You must also reside in Canada, the United Kingdom, or the United States. You can’t work from an Apple computer. Editor World requires a PC with Microsoft Word 2010 or newer installed.
Proofread Now looks for professional proofreaders with at least five years of experience. They’re not always in the hiring mode, however. The company runs you through difficult tests before bringing you onto their team. If you’d like to receive their employment update emails, you can sign up for them here.
Cactus Communications looks for proofreaders and editors to fill its freelance, contract, and full-time positions. It researches the global scientific communications industry. If that sounds like your cup of tea, go apply with Cactus.
Lionbridge doesn’t offer proofreading jobs exclusively. The artificial intelligence data services company needs to fill a wide variety of positions in various fields, with proofreading as one of those options. It’s a quality place to begin if you’re starting on your proofreading journey.
Scribendi is an Internet-based language company. It helps clients in the publishing, academia, and business sectors. You can apply for freelance and in-house proofreading jobs if you happen to live in Ontario or Quebec.
SmartBrief hires proofreaders and editors with entrepreneurial mindsets. If you land this proofreading job, you’ll work with a stable company that’s worked in the field for over 20 years.
Edit911 is another firm offering proofreading jobs to PhDs. You must also possess strong writing skills and work well with Microsoft Word.
Additional Options for Finding Proofreading Jobs
What can you do if you don’t have a Ph.D. or hold some of the other college requirements that some companies require?
You can use the following list of proofreading job options to get your start in the industry. Most of these websites are freelancing boards or sites to post your profile and resume to. Businesses looking to hire you for their next proofreading gig go to these job posting sites to find your services.
Freelancer.com is a website where employers can find professionals within the web design, software development, marketing, data entry, and proofreading industries. The website offers jobs with different pay rates. Rates typically range from $1-$10 per 1,000 words depending on the level of experience.
The Writer’s Job Shop is a job notice board where you can find proofreading jobs that pay competitively. Apply to join the board, and you’ll know within seven days if you get accepted. The website pays monthly and even offers bonuses to top performers.
Writing Jobz posts over 100 projects to its board every day. With all those available daily jobs, plenty of diversity in topics exists. The topics might include proofreading for creative arts, humanities, and hard sciences.
Guru.com is a networking site that helps freelancers find jobs. Guru.com offers several proofreading jobs, including copyediting, resume editing, and more.
Upwork provides freelancing work for a variety of work. The job board offers many different opportunities to land proofreading gigs. You can bid for proofreading jobs as well as get contacted by employers who like your profile.
Indeed provides listings for a variety of proofreading job opportunities. Go through each listing and apply for any proofreading gig that looks interesting to you.
Monster.com is a job board where you can find proofreading work. Monster also provides help with building your resume. Take advantage of those services so you learn how to stand apart from anyone else looking to secure a proofreading gig.
LinkedIn.com lists tens of thousands of jobs in a variety of fields, including proofreading. Don’t forget about this vital resource that can help you land your next proofreading gig.
FlexJobs is a website that provides freelance work opportunities, including proofreading jobs. You’ll typically see hundreds of results when searching their job board for people looking to hire you as a proofreader. The company posts jobs daily and offers flexible hours for both part-time and full-time positions.
ZipRecruiter is a job site that works similarly to FlexJobs or Indeed. It offers flexible work, including proofreading jobs. Many of the opportunities on this board want to hire you for remote work.
SimplyHired is another popular job board site that offers various jobs, including proofreading gigs. The board puts up job postings daily and provides flexible hours to both part-time and full-time workers.
What Type of Education Do You Need to Become a Proofreader?
As you saw in the first section above, many companies may require you to have a bachelor’s degree in English or a related field.
However, anyone with strong analytical and communication skills can get started from scratch with proofreading jobs.
If you have a strong desire to earn money in this field, then you can build experience over time to become successful. You can do it without a formal college education. Start with the job boards first and begin building a portfolio of published work.
As with most jobs, you need to have strong communication and organizational skills.
You need excellent knowledge of English grammar because that’s the primary focus of this job role. However, the best proofreaders are those who are detail-oriented and analytical by nature.
Proofreaders Average Salary
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, proofreaders and editors earn an average of almost $20 per hour, or over $41,000 per year.
Those who work in this occupation typically have no formal education requirements beyond high school graduation or a GED. As mentioned above, however, some companies may require a college degree or prior experience in the field.
Benefits of Becoming a Proofreader and Working from Home
Becoming a proofreader offers plenty of tangible benefits to your lifestyle.
First, it’s possible to enter this career without college schooling or even any prior work experience. You’ll likely work from home while landing proofreading jobs. Many positives exist when working from your house. These include:
- Lower cost of living: Since you’ll live and work in the same place, your expenses (such as rent and utilities) typically remain lower than driving to and from work.
- No commuting time: No more wasting time sitting in gridlock traffic.
- No dress code: You can kick back and work in sweats or yoga pants.
- No set hours: Working from home means you no longer have to sit in an office from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M., Monday through Friday. You can work whenever your schedule allows.
Other benefits include fewer work-related interruptions (for example, co-workers stopping by your desk with questions) and the ability to set up a home office to create a professional environment.
If you have children, then you know that finding child care is never easy. Once you become a proofreader, though, you can eliminate that problem.
Figure out a Niche to Work in
It’s a good idea to select a niche to specialize in when looking for proofreading jobs.
It’s easier to find proofreading jobs in your niche because you’ll compete with fewer people. If you focus your efforts on one particular industry, you can become known as an expert in that one field. It’s easier to build your reputation when focusing on a smaller target market.
An added benefit is that you can write content about the niche on your blog or website, making it easier to market yourself online. You can also apply for work at companies in this field by submitting samples of your past work and discussing how you’re an expert in this area.
With a bit of research, you’ll discover a variety of niches to consider.
- Books and literature
- Business documents
- Medical documents
- Legal documents (you might enjoy working in this niche if you have a background in law or medicine)
- Web content
- Editing jobs for children’s books, especially when they’re about elementary school-age kids
- Tech or technology-related documents
Other great proofreading niches include:
- Nonprofit organizations
- Travel journals or guides for specific locations around the world
- Online magazines and newspapers about a particular topic, such as parenting
- Editing personal documents for individuals
- Assisting with product descriptions for companies selling on Amazon or similar online marketplaces
- Proofreading safety manuals, including those used in factories and other types of worksites
- Professional documents, such as assessment reports or annual reviews
- Proofreading content that’s used on websites
- Transcribing audio clips for commercials, presentations, and other types of videos
- Proofreading menus for restaurants
- Digital images
- Titles (such as movie titles)
You can use these niches to help expand your resume and increase your chances of getting hired. If you’re just starting as a proofreader, sticking with traditional niches such as business documents or books makes sense.
Tools to Place in Your Proofreading Jobs Toolbox
The first tool you need is Google Docs. Google Docs is a free, web-based word processing application that allows multiple users to simultaneously work on the same document. The revision feature enables you to track changes and return to different versions of your file at any time.
You’ll also need a tool for checking grammar, such as Grammarly or Ginger. You can use either one of these applications to create a free account and check your document for grammar, spelling, punctuation, and style errors.
You should also have a good dictionary for reference purposes. You can either use an online option such as Dictionary.com or download an application.
Dropbox is also an invaluable tool. A Dropbox account allows you to drop files into one organized folder. You can access your Dropbox documents no matter where you’re located.
Skype is a quality way to ensure smooth communication. You can use Skype for a text-based chat or video conferencing to talk with your clients.
Get your hands on a proofreading handbook such as the APA Manual. Handbooks give you a more in-depth explanation of style choices and layout guidelines.
Consider Taking a Proofreading Course
Before you get started, it’s a great idea to take a proofreading course for your initial training. Not only will this help you learn the basics of proofreading and editing quickly, but it also might lead to new opportunities down the road.
For example, if a local company that needs proofreaders and editors on staff offers the class, the relationship might turn into work after graduation.
Many online proofreading courses are also available. The advantage of this option is that you can take them at your own pace and from the comfort of your home or office.
Some courses teach you the mechanics of being a proofreader, while others will expand into tips on finding work. Courses that get into the business aspects will teach you how to create your first website, for example. You can use a simple website to start adding portfolio examples that help future clients see your skills.
These courses will teach you more advanced ways to use simple Internet marketing skills that help clients find you through search engine optimization methods. For instance, you might eventually start getting found when clients search for expert proofreaders in one of your chosen niches.
Learn the Style Guides
Common style guides that clients will want you to follow include:
- AP Style
- APA Style
- Chicago Style
You should learn how to use them all because each one represents a different niche. The AP Style Guide, for example, is primarily used in North American newspapers and websites.
The APA Style Guide covers the field of social sciences, particularly psychology and business. If you want to proofread these types of books and articles, you must know the style guide inside and out.
Chicago Manual Style is primarily used in publishing and journalism. If you want to work with newspapers or magazines, this style guide will help your resume stand out from other applicants who don’t know it.
Keep Practicing to Get Better
Start practicing your proofreading skills the moment you decide to go into this line of work. Even before you get your first gig, practice by proofreading everything you can get your hands on. For example, you can read emails and letters sent to you by friends and family.
It’s also a good idea to start reading for free online. Several sites such as BookBub allow you to read books, short stories, poetry, and more in exchange for an honest review. These activities offer helpful practice for your proofreading skills.
In the end, it’s important to remember that practice makes perfect when learning how to work as a proofreader. The more you practice building the necessary skills, the better you’ll become at finding jobs and improving your skills over time.
Your next step is to choose a niche and see what types of proofreading jobs you can start applying for.