If you’ve been looking for a work from home opportunity, yet can’t seem to find something that fits your capabilities and schedule, then you may not have considered online proofreading.
If you have a keen eye for the details and can spot the errors when you’re reading a blog post or book, then you’re likely to have the necessary skills to make a decent income as a proofreader.
What is Proofreading?
In simple terms, proofreading is the review or checking of documents for spelling, punctuation, and grammar errors. A proofreader is required to sift articles, documents, and other written materials for any mistakes.
The main purpose of proofreading is to ensure that the documents are as error-free as possible, to avoid typos or other errors compromising the content. Therefore, proofreaders need to have strong grammar skills and the knack of recognizing errors.
Proofreading vs. Editing
Proofreading can be confused with editing, but they are distinctly different. While there are similarities, as both roles have the goal of perfecting document, editing is more in-depth, as it corrects thought coherence, idea organization, and the clarity of ideas. Proofreading is less detailed and aims to look for errors that may have been missed during the editing process. Typically, proofreading takes place after editing, and it becomes the last step of the writing process.
Why You Might Want to Work Online as a Proofreader
There are a number of benefits associated with working online as a proofreader. This type of role offers good income potential, yet provides the flexibility to fit around your schedule. Even beginners can start with entry-level jobs, so in most cases, you don’t need to worry about qualifications or previous experience.
Additionally, there are low start-up costs, as you don’t need specialized equipment and there is no phone work involved. If you already have strong grammar skills, you can make good use of your skills.
How Much Money Can I Make as a Proofreader?
According to ZipRecruiter, freelance proofreaders can make an average of $51,375 a year. However, your earnings will depend on your skills, experience, expertise, the type of projects, and the clients that you’re working with.
Entry-level proofreaders can expect to earn $10 an hour, but as you continue to gain experience and find better clients, you should find it easy to make $30 an hour or more.
What are the Job Requirements to Work as a Proofreader?
While each platform and even each project is likely to have different requirements, there are some requirements that you will need to meet to work as a proofreader. These include:
- A Strong Vocabulary: If you don’t have a passion for words and lack a strong vocabulary, then proofreading is not the role for you. You will need to have an interest in sharpening your skills by reading articles, books, and any other forms of writing to continue building your vocabulary.
- Excellent Grammar: The main purpose of proofreading is to spot grammar, punctuation, and formatting mistakes. In order to identify these errors, you need to have a solid understanding of grammar rules and have an excellent command of your language.
- A Degree: While this is only necessary in some cases, there are some sites and companies that require you to have a degree. Most sites will state in advance that their specific requirements, so you can determine if you have the qualifications necessary to apply for jobs. However, there may be exceptions if you have unquestionable expertise, skills, and experience.
- Experience: In some cases, you will also need to demonstrate proofreading experience. However, many proofreaders begin with entry-level positions and work up to jobs that require experience. While this means that you may not be able to enjoy the higher-paying work immediately, you will be able to apply for jobs requiring experience after you develop your skills and earn at a higher rate.
How to Get Training to Become a Proofreader
If you’re not confident of your proofreading skills, it’s possible to get training to become a proofreader. One of the best proofreading training services is Proofread Anywhere.
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This fantastic site offers a variety of proofreading courses, including general proofreading and transcript proofreading, with free introductory workshops. This will help you to learn the theory and practice of proofreading so that you can apply for online jobs with confidence. You can even try the free introductory workshop to see if proofreading appeals to you, so you can then invest more of your time to learn more complex skills.
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How to Find Proofreading Jobs
There are a number of ways to find online proofreading jobs. These include:
Job Boards: There are lots of job boards where you can find proofreading jobs. Search using keywords such as proofreader, proofreading, copy editor to find suitable positions. Many of these sites require that you set up a profile, but once you have completed this, you can post about your services or apply for jobs that appeal to you and fit your skillset.
Facebook Groups: You can also use social media to post your availability. Facebook, in particular, has groups for writers, editors, and bloggers, so you can offer your proofreading services.
Companies that Hire Proofreaders: There are many companies that hire proofreaders. Each has its own requirements but represent decent earning potential. These include:
This company has been around since 2013 and has proofread and edited over 43 million words across six countries. The primary objective of Wordvice is supporting its clients in research, academic, and business projects, and the company has service agreements with universities, medical institutions, laboratories, and academic societies.
Wordvice does require that you have at least two years of professional editing experience, be enrolled, or have completed a graduate degree program and have native English fluency.
Scribendi has been around since 1997 and is an internet-based company that offers revision services for documents in all sectors, including publishing, business, and academia. While there are in-house roles, Scribendi also has a variety of freelancer positions that allow you to work from home and choose the assignments that appeal to you, working on your own schedule.
The standard requirements for Scribendi freelancers include a college degree, at least three years of experience, native level English and an average proofreading speed of 1,000 to 1,500 words an hour. Additionally, Scribendi positions are not available for residents of certain states, including California, New Jersey, New York, and Illinois.
Scribemedia is a more specialized service that focuses on helping people write, publish, and market non-fiction books. You need to join their email list to be alerted to freelance positions as and when they are available. However, there are no specific requirements for freelancers.
Since Scribemedia is a premium service, you may want to boost your proofreading resume before applying.
This is a global company with work-from-home and freelance opportunities for all aspects of writing, including proofreading. Most positions require a degree, and many posts are in technical niches.
EditFast offers freelance work with positions available on an as-and-when basis. All potential freelancers must register and complete the editing tests, resume builder, and non-disclosure agreement before you can solicit work. EditFast will review your information, and if successful, your profile will be “activated” within two weeks. You will then be eligible to receive new project notifications when a client has requested communication about a project.
EditFast freelancers are required to hold a degree from a recognized university and demonstrate past proofreading experience. The compensation for each project varies, but payments are made through Paypal, and EditFast takes 40% as its fee for each project.
This editing and proofreading service has a number of in-house professionals, but it’s also seeking additional qualified applicants. To work with ProofreadingPal, you’ll need to hold a graduate degree and have five years of professional proofreading experience or be enrolled as a graduate or post-grad student in the U.S with a minimum 3.5 GPA.
You will need to fill in a questionnaire to apply for a position and answer questions about your experience, writing style proficiencies, your native language, and your software set up. You will also be asked about your pay expectations. Successful applicants will be contacted, and you can expect proofreading jobs in business or academic writing.
Enago expects freelancers to have at least five years of proofreading experience, but priority is given to applicants with post-doc research experience and knowledge of various editing styles.
To apply, you need to submit your resume and a cover letter, which will be examined by the Enago team. If you meet the Enago requirements, you will be sent an editing sample that is designed to test your expertise. If the evaluation goes well, you will be presented with a contract and non-disclosure agreement.
Gramlee has a straightforward application to join its team as a proofreader. The site offers reasonably-priced services for all types of writing.
This is a site designed to provide resources for writers, including proofreading services. There is a basic application form to apply for a position, and the company will notify you if there are opportunities suited to your skills.
10. Polished Paper
This site offers editing and proofreading services for academics and businesses, with opportunities for exceptional professionals. To be considered for an opportunity, you need to register as a user and upload your resume. You will then be directed to a questionnaire, but you can use outside resources, including formatting guides to complete the test.
This company has part-time and full-time at home positions for those who can demonstrate superb proofreading skills. Proofreaders from any country are welcome to apply, and you can expect flexible hours and competitive pay that ranges from $19 to $46 an hour, depending on the project and turnaround time.
To apply, you need to complete a 20-minute test, and Proofreading Services will contact you with projects for businesses, authors, and academics.
LifeTips has millions of fans that benefit from the tips and advice to help people take their business and personal life to the next level. The company continues to look for proofreaders and editors who can clarify and connect content to entertain the reader.
The in house editorial team members need to have the experience and knowledge of the search engine marketing industry, working directly with clients. A salary and full medical benefits package is available for the right candidates. You will need to provide your contact information and a copy of your resume to apply for a position.
Book Editing Associates specializes in Christian and spiritual content, romance fiction, and paranormal fiction. The company requires proofreaders, and other writing professionals who have traditional and self-publishing experience.
You will need to complete a short proofreading test, and demonstrate that you have 5+ years of experience, can offer consistent availability, are based in the U.S, and are 100% freelance. These positions are not available for newbies, as they state that the projects are not entry-level.
14. Editor Live
Editor Live receives high volumes of business and academic papers and requires live editors to provide corrections to grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. All the work must be performed in a four-hour collection period, but you can select the periods that work with your schedule.
Your earnings will depend on the time of day of collection periods, how many people are sharing the shift, and the number of documents that are uploaded to the site. Typically, you can earn $750 to $1,800 per two week period.
To work with Editor Live, you need to have a bachelor’s degree and have a minimum of five years of experience or be currently enrolled in a university program with a 3.6 or above GPA. You will need to submit an application and complete a test, which will take 60 to 90 minutes.
This platform specializes in academic editing for students, so they are continually looking for editors and proofreaders who are academic writing and thesis experts.
The signup process for Scribbr is in-depth; you will need to complete a quiz, submit your resume, and complete an application. If you are successful through these stages, you will be invited to join Scribbr’s academy. This involves completing up to five simulated orders, and you’ll be provided with feedback before you can become a member of the team.
16. Managed Editing
Managed Editing seeks editors and proofreader freelancers, and you must have five years of practical experience and a college degree as a minimum standard. You will need to fill in an application and wait to see if you’re called on.
17. Kirkus Reviews
This platform offers editing services for authors and occasionally has new positions on their editorial team. The positions are advertised on the Kirkus Reviews website, and you will need to submit your resume and a cover letter.
18. English Trackers
This company helps businesses, individuals, and government organizations to communicate their ideas in a professional and effective way. Periodically, they welcome applications to work as a professional editor around your schedule. Priority is given to native English speakers with a Ph.D. and a minimum of two years of editing experience.
WordsRU provides specialist proofreading and editing services to writers, academics, and businesses. To apply to join the WordsRU team, you must have at least two years of experience, hold a Ph.D. or Master’s degree, and be familiar with different formatting styles.
To apply, you need to submit your resume and a copy letter, but the team may not personally respond to your inquiry.
If you have a Ph.D., you can also consider working with Edit911. The requirements are stringent as you need to be a published scholar and a teacher or book editor with verifiable experience. You will need to submit your resume and a writing sample, but you can expect a response within 48 hours.
Other Websites to Find Online Proofreading Work
Finally, there are some freelancer sites and other job sites where you can find online proofreading work. These include:
This is a membership platform where you can access over 30,000 jobs. Membership costs range from $14.99 a month, but each post is vetted by a real person before the job is posted. Additionally, you don’t need to browse through hundreds of listings to find a flexible job, as you can log in to find the most current and best freelance projects.
While it is possible to view a short version of the listings as a free visitor, you need to become a full member to experience the full scope of the available work. How you apply for each position varies according to the employer. Most allow you to apply through the Flexjobs platform, but some require emailing a cover letter and resume.
This is a fantastic resource for journalists. You can browse the categories to find your area of expertise or niche, or you can post your resume. Each job is posted with the requirements and contact details so that you can send your resume without needing to trawl through dozens of trade sites and papers. You can even perform a search using keywords, so you can narrow down the specific proofreading opportunities.
This is a paid platform, with a 14-day free trial. The website features thousands of job postings, and you can search by the keyword “proofreader” or “proofreading” to find opportunities to match your skillset. There are also training resources to help improve your skills.
This is one of the largest freelancing platforms, with thousands of postings in a variety of niches, including proofreading and editing. You will need to set up a profile and bid on jobs using connects. You need to pay for connects, but if you have a solid profile and a compelling cover letter, you should find it easy to find work. There is a staged fee structure, where the rate you’re charged drops the more you work with a client, encouraging repeat projects.
As the name suggests, this is another freelancer platform, where you can search for proofreading projects. Again, you will need to complete your profile, then you can browse the jobs and write bids. The fee structure is set at $5 or 10%, whichever is greater on a fixed price job or a flat fee of 10% on hourly projects.
Fiverr is a platform that allows you to earn from gigs doing practically anything. Despite the name, it’s possible to charge more than $5 for your services.
You’ll need to set up your profile and your gig page, then keep checking the site to see if you have any projects. Buyers pay in advance, and you’ll get to keep 80% of the fee. So, you can advertise your proofreading skills and appeal to students, writers, and others looking for a more budget-friendly service provider.
As you can see, it possible to earn a decent income as an online proofreader. Whether you’re looking to replace your full-time income or develop a side gig around your schedule, online proofreading can be a rewarding and interesting career choice. You will need to take some time to develop your resume, create cover letters or even set up a profile page, as you develop your skills and confidence, you’ll start to be able to reach higher-paying clients and greater earnings.
Even if you’re a complete beginner, you should be able to investigate entry-level positions, so you can start gaining crucial experience. You can specialize in particular types of writing or take a more general approach. Of course, if you’re struggling with your confidence, you can always try a proofreading course so that you can learn the basic skills and practice. Before you know it, you could establish yourself as a proofreading expert and earn more than the ZipRecruiter average of $51,375 a year.