Proofreading jobs are often talked about as the ideal work from home positions. And with more and more of them becoming available every day, it can be a good idea to look further into whether they may work for you.
But don’t worry: we’ve done the hard work for you. By looking into exactly what’s involved in taking a freelance or remote proofreading job, we’ll show you exactly what you can do to succeed in this kind of job, how much you’ll earn and exactly how to secure clients.
As you’ll soon see, proofreading is definitely a legit job. There’s a huge amount of demand for proofreaders, with the number of proofreading jobs online growing constantly as more and more content is produced.
And given that you can earn up to $100 per hour, it’s definitely worth taking a second look as to whether these proofreading jobs are right for you.
This includes if you’re looking for transcription jobs from home with no experience. Even if you’re an absolute beginner at proofreading, there are still plenty of opportunities to find work.
What is proofreading?
Proofreading is when you review a document to find any grammatical or spelling mistakes, as well as any other issues that may make the final document appear unprofessional.
This means that being detail oriented is important as a proofreader, so that you’re able to find any problems before the document is finalized.
Proofreading can be used by basically any individual or company that produces content. In fact, some major companies have their own in-house proofreaders to make sure that every document they issue is looked at by a fresh set of eyes.
The wide range of people and businesses that produce content means that they are proofreading jobs available for almost any type of content. This can include:
- Articles published online or in hard copy
- Blog posts
- Annual reports or other informational publications
- Self-published ebooks
- College essays or other academic essays published in journals
- Legal and medical transcripts
- Press releases
- Policies or user manuals issued by companies
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What is the difference between proofreading and copy editing?
Proofreading and copy editing are similar, although there are some differences to be aware. Essentially, proofreaders look for errors in grammar and spelling, whereas copy editors will also consider issues relating to the flow of the document, including making sure that it’s clear and consistent.
This difference can be seen in the way that proofreaders do their work compared to copy editors.
That is, proofreaders will generally mark up a document, adding comments when they notice any issues that need to be fixed before the document is published.
Copy editors, on the other hand, will generally do the re-drafting themselves. Because their work extends to wider issues that may run through the document, rather than the more specific mistakes that proofreaders identify, their work tends to involve suggesting larger changes to the draft rather than just pointing out problems.
What skills do you need to get remote proofreading jobs?
There are some skills that you can have to make you feel particularly suited to getting proofreading jobs. These include:
- Strong attention to detail. As your job involves spotting mistakes, being able to closely read a text and pick these out is imperative.
- Great spelling and grammar skills. This is why using a free app like Grammarly can really help, by picking out many of the issues at the push of a button.
- An ability to type quickly can help. Although you are’t redrafting massive chunks of text as a proofreader, the faster you can type your comments, the faster you’ll finish a project.
- Excellent time management. Your clients are going to set strict deadlines and it’s beyond important that you meet these. This is why having strong time management can help, especially if you’re juggling a few proofreading projects at once.
What are the benefits of proofreading?
There are a number of benefits to taking on remote proofreading jobs that can make this a great opportunity for many people to make some extra money. This includes:
- It’s very flexible. While you do have to meet the client’s deadlines, you don’t have to do your work at a set time of the day, as long as you submit the work by the time it’s due.
- It’s a great side hustle, meaning it’s perfect if you’re looking to earn money in addition to your day job. This is largely because of the flexibility we just mentioned, as you’re more than able to work on your proofreading work after you’ve finished your 9-5 for the day.
- You don’t need to spend much to get started. You probably already have a computer and Internet connection, maybe you already have everything you need to take on proofreading jobs. There are even people who do this work on their tablet, make it even easier for you to do this work literally anywhere.
- You don’t need to make any upgrade to the normal technology you already have at home. Some work from home jobs require you to have a really good Internet connection, especially when you work with video files. However, as you’ll only be working with text documents in your proofreading jobs, a very standard at-home internet connection is more than enough.
- There are plenty of available proofreading jobs online. Everywhere you look today, content is being produced on basically every single website. This means you’ll never be short on work in this area.
You may also be interested in: 41 Ways to Make $1,000 Fast (That Actually Work)
Are there any negative aspects to remote proofreading jobs?
No job is perfect, so it’s always worth considering The downside of any job. For proofreading jobs, you may want to keep in mind the following:
- The deadlines are strict. While, as mentioned, you can work at any time of the day or night, it’s extremely important that you still meet your deadlines. If you think that your schedule won’t allow you to commit to these, you may want to consider whether proofreading jobs are for you.
- Not all proofreading jobs available online are for beginners. That is, you may need some experience for some clients, some of whom also require you to have a certification of some kind. At the same time, there are some proofreading jobs online with no experience is fine – it’s just a matter of finding them.
Best proofreading jobs online
Here are some of the main sites advertising remote and freelance proofreading jobs online. Some sites are more focused on one than the other and rates will also vary depending on the nature of the work and what’s needed from you, so do your research to make sure you find some roles that match what you’re looking for.
Related: 37 of the Highest Paying Online Jobs
Upwork is a perfect place to start for anyone looking for freelance proofreading jobs. In fact, at the time of writing this, there are over 1,750 proofreading jobs on Upwork.
Some of these are one-off tasks, like someone looking to pay a proofreader to review their CV for $50 or to proofread their 20,000 work ebook for $200. Other people, however, are advertising longer term opportunities, like the person wanting to hire a proofreader for up to 30 hours per week for the next six months to review their social media posts.
You can also filter your search down to only see, say, academic proofreading jobs.
Click here to see which freelance proofreading jobs could work for you on Upwork
Is Upwork legit?
Upwork is definitely legit in terms of advertising freelance job opportunities. In fact, it’s one of the biggest online freelance marketplaces in the world with jobs in almost any sort of field you can think of.
It also ensures that you actually get paid, compared to if you do freelance work off an established platform where there’s always a risk that a client won’t pay.
2. Amazon proofreading jobs
You may not think of this at first, but Amazon has a ton of proofreading jobs available around the world and remotely. They employ proofreaders and other similar jobs, like copywriters, to check the massive amount of content they publish online.
At the time of writing this, there are 245 open jobs in this category, so you’re likely to find something that suits you, especially if you have relevant experience already. Quite a few of these also have a translation component to their work, so it helps if you speak a second language.
Click here to see which Amazon proofreading jobs are available for you.
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FlexJobs is similar to Upwork, except it lets you find both freelance and remote proofreading jobs in the one place.
It’s even got its own section for proofreading jobs, with over 250 advertised at the time of writing this.
One of the best parts about FlexJobs is that the job descriptions are extremely clear on what they’re looking for, including if you need a degree and whether you can apply for a proofreading job as a beginner. This saves you a ton of time when you’re looking for a job like this, as it saves you from applying for things you may not be eligible for.
Clickworker offers a range of one-off tasks for freelance proofreaders, with payment often being on a per word basis.
You do have to take a test to have access to their available jobs – which is good for you, as it means your competition is going to be lower.
When looking for freelance or remote proofreading jobs, you shouldn’t discount more traditional job websites, and LinkedIn is no exception. It has literally tens of thousands of proofreading jobs advertised at the time of writing this, many of which are remote.
The best part about applying for jobs through LinkedIn is that the jobs are usually on a more ongoing basis from actual companies. If you prefer this compared to working for individuals or doing one-off tasks, this may be better for you.
Fiverr is one of the best options for those looking for proofreading jobs online for beginners. It’s generally a place where people can have micro-tasks done, usually for a fairly low rate.
This means that if you have experience, it’s probably better that you look elsewhere. But for those that don’t, Fiverr can be a great chance to do some quick tasks and get some experience under your belt, allowing you to apply for better paying jobs going forward.
Gramlee is a site dedicated to proofreading and copy editing, which means they often have job openings for proofreaders – or, as they refer to them, “grammar fanatics”.
You don’t need a degree or even proofreading experience to apply for a job with Gramlee, although it certainly will help your application.
And the best part about getting a remote proofreading job with Gramlee is that there’s always work, meaning you won’t ever have to find clients again. That said, they do have a 24-hour turnaround on any work, so make sure you’re prepared to meet that deadline.
8. Get Editing Jobs
Get Editing Jobs is dedicated solely to advertising work in the field of editing and so have a large number of freelance jobs on there.
Many of them are remote too, if that’s where your job search is focused.
9. Proofreading Services
Proofreading Services, perhaps unsurprisingly based on its name, frequently hires part time and full time proofreaders and emphasises that you can be based anywhere in the world to apply for one of their remote proofreading jobs.
Rates vary from $19 to $46 per hour and the more urgent the job is, the more you’ll be paid.
Is there a demand for proofreaders?
There is definitely a demand for proofreaders, with the most recent data showing that there are 9,820 proofreaders currently employed in the US.
The same data says that the industry with the highest number of proofreading jobs is, perhaps unsurprisingly, newspaper and book publishers. However, a lot of proofreaders are also employed by companies in the fields of business support services, employment services and advertising and public relations services.
And in terms of demand for new proofreaders, the data is also strong on this point. Based on a LinkedIn search at the time of writing this article, there are over 19,000 proofreading jobs available worldwide. Almost 9,000 of these are in the US and over 1,600 of them are remote proofreading jobs.
What equipment do you need to be a freelance proofreader?
One of the main benefits of looking for proofreading jobs is that you probably already have all the equipment you need to do this successfully.
That is, you really only need a computer or tablet as well as an internet connection to receive and submit your work.
Neither of these have to be particularly advanced – as long as you can comfortably review and comment on documents on your screen and your internet connection is strong enough to receive text documents, you’re pretty much set.
Proofreading tools to help you make more money
There are some other things you could purchase to make your proofreading work easier and quicker, but they are definitely not required in order to do this job. That said, keep in mind that the faster you work, the more projects you’ll finish and the more money you’ll earn. This is why purchasing some of these tools can be a smart move in the long run.
For example, Grammarly is an amazing proofreading tool, as it’s great at quickly picking up on any spelling and grammar mistakes. It also makes suggestions on sentence structure and writing style that go way beyond what Microsoft Office does on this point.
The free version of Grammarly is really good for this although, if you find yourself working in Word or Google Docs, you’ll have to grab the premium version for it to work. That said, the price is more than worth it given that you’re paid per project or per hour simply based on how much time it will save you.
(Grammarly is also great to download for use in your day-to-day life, as it catches all sorts of errors, including in your emails.)
You’ll also generally only have to review documents in either Word or Google Docs. That said, some companies do ask you to proofread in specific applications that are more widely used in the publishing world.
This includes various Adobe products, such as Adobe Acrobat 8 (Professional), or iAnnotate, both of which are used to read and mark up PDF documents. For this reason, it may be good to purchase a temporary subscription for these, just so you know your way around these applications if you’re asked to use them in your proofreading work.
How do you make money as a proofreader?
You make money as a proofreader on either a per word, per page, per project or hourly rate. The most common is to be paid on a per project basis, with the rates varying depending on the complexity of the document and whether any technical knowledge is required.
This means that the faster you work, the more money you’ll make as you’ll be able to complete projects faster. This is why we mentioned using applications like Grammarly to make things easier, as you’ll be able to get through your work more efficiently and make more money overall.
How much money can you make as a proofreader?
According to Glassdoor, the average salary of a proofreader is $44,921 per year, which is equivalent to earning $21.60 per hour working full time. That said, the amount of money you make as a proofreader will depend on both your rate and how quickly you can finish your work, with some freelance proofreaders making up to $50 per hour.
The exact rate you can charge as a proofreader will definitely depend on how much experience you have and whether you’re looking to work in a more specialized area, like taking on academic proofreading jobs.
Simply checking Upwork shows just how much these rates can vary. There are over 100 people advertising their availability for proofreading jobs at the moment, with most charging a rate between around $35-$65 per hour. Some, however, are asking for up to $100 per hour.
Can you make money with proofreading jobs online for beginners?
You can definitely make money in this way as a beginner, although it will be important to look mainly for proofreading jobs online with no experience needed.
Unsurprisingly, your rates for these kinds of jobs won’t be as high as some of the other options out there. But this isn’t such an issue as, when you’re just starting out, it’s generally a good idea anyway to charge a rate at the lower end of the scale. This then gives you the chance to build your experience and, from there, you’ll be able to quickly raise your rate to match the others.
This is why this kind of work can be perfect as a part time job, with there even being proofreading jobs for students. The expectation with these is that you’ll come into this work from home job with no experience, although your ability to proofread your own work that you’ve probably developed while at college can also help you to get a job proofreading other people’s documents.
And if you’re a beginner, give yourself a boost by checking out Caitlin’s free workshop on how she makes $70,00++ from proofreading, with tips on how beginner proofreaders can make serious money as soon as they start.
How do I become a proofreader?
You can become a proofreader in several different ways, with many of them depending on whether you’re looking for remote or freelance proofreading jobs.
Whichever you prefer, the best options are going to be:
- Search on websites that advertise job vacancies, particularly those that advertise remote work
- Advertise your services on websites for freelancers
- Research companies that hire proofreaders and approach them to see if they have any opportunities, including any that are remote
- Check websites specifically dedicated to advertising freelance proofreading jobs and apply through there
Remember that not all proofreading jobs are going to be described like that when they’re advertised online. This is why it can be a good idea to widen your search to include terms like:
- Remote proofreader
- Freelance proofreader
- Proofreading independent contractor
- Proofreader position
- Beginner proofreading jobs or positions
- Online proofreading jobs or positions
- Copy editing jobs or positions
- Freelance or remote editor
- Academic editing
- Journal editing
- Book editing
Do you need a degree to get a proofreading job?
You don’t necessarily need a college degree to get a proofreading job as your experience and testimonials will be considered as being more important by potential clients. That said, in some cases, you will be asked to have an English, journalism or other similar type of degree.
At the same time, there are other proofreading jobs where you will be required to have other, non-college level qualifications.
For example, for some jobs where you’re required to review legal documents, some sort of legal training would help, such as paralegal training. Similarly, some proofreading jobs involve reviewing medical documents, so having some experience in this field, such as in administrative work, can make it more likely that you get one of these jobs.
Don’t forget to also consider some of the free training that’s out there, like Caitlin’s free 76 minute workshop on how to become a proofreader – including how to get clients!
Is it possible to get proofreading jobs online with no experience?
You can definitely get proofreading jobs online with no experience. Your options may be slightly more limited and you’ll likely have to charge a lower rate, at least at first, but as long as you clearly express your ability to meet a deadline (and actually follow through), it’s highly likely you’ll be able to find work in this area.
And of course, once you do get some experience, those testimonials from your satisfied clients will easily help you to raise your rate in a surprisingly short period of time.
How do you ace a proofreading test?
To ace a proofreading test, you’re going to need to prove you have the skills needed to be a good proofreader. These include showing your attention to detail, strong spelling and grammar knowledge and your ability to manage your time to finish your work before the test is over.
Proofreading tests are pretty common when applying for remote proofreading jobs, although you won’t see them as often if you decide to focus more on freelance proofreading jobs.
These tests essentially involve doing samples of the work you would do if you got the job. This means you’ll likely be given short documents to proofread, with the expectation that you’ll find all the mistakes before time is up.
One extra tip for acing these tests is that it can help to have a good knowledge of the AP Stylebook or the Chicago Manual of Style, as many clients are going to want their finished products to follow these. If you can prove your knowledge of and ability to apply these in your proofreading test, you’ll nail it.
How do I get proofreading clients?
To get proofreading clients when you’re first starting out, it’s important to make sure your resume really emphasizes your strengths in the ideal proofreading skills. In addition, if you have any qualifications that would help, it’s definitely a good idea to highlight these.
You should also be absolutely certain that there are no typing errors in your resume. For a job where your work involves finding these mistakes, having a typo in your own documents won’t end well.
From there, once you start to get some experience in this area, try to get all your clients to submit testimonials about how happy they are with your work. Especially as a freelancer, having proof of your ability to successfully work as a proofreader will go a long way to helping you to attract even more clients.
Are there proofreading jobs for students?
There are proofreading jobs for college students, especially on sites that advertise freelance proofreading jobs. For these, you’re mainly going to be limited to those that don’t require any experience or prior qualifications, given you’re still studying.
At the same time, don’t hesitate to use the experience you’ve gained as a student to your advantage. You’ve more than likely used proofreading skills when reviewing your own college essays, so make sure you highlight this point when advertising your services, as they’re just as useful to potential clients as they are to you in your studies.
How flexible are proofreading jobs?
Proofreading jobs are very flexible. In fact, their flexibility is one of the biggest benefits of taking a job like this. This is because your work depends on you meeting strict deadlines set by your clients, meaning that as long as you meet these deadlines, you can do your work whenever you want.
The one exception is if you’re a proofreader working specifically for a company on site. In those cases, you may have to work traditional office hours.
Otherwise, having the ability to do your proofreading work whenever you can is what makes proofreading one of the best jobs for anyone looking for a side hustle in addition to their main job, or who doesn’t have the ability at the moment to stick to a regular working schedule.
Is proofreading a legitimate job?
Proofreading is definitely a legitimate job, with the opportunity to earn an excellent hourly rate. It also has all the benefits of a good work from home job, particularly the ability to work essentially whenever you like as long as you meet your clients’ deadlines.
It’s also very clear that there’s a serious demand for proofreaders. With more and more content being produced every day, particularly online, companies are always going to have a need for proofreaders to take a final look at that content before it’s released to the public.
And with many jobs shifting to a more freelance-style arrangement, proofreaders are very well placed to fit into this “new normal” that’s evolving for a lot of jobs. In addition, as more positions shift to remote working arrangement, the fact that proofreading already allows for this means that companies will have no hesitation in hiring you on a work from home basis.
All this means that proofreading is very legitimate and continues to be in high demand, making it perfect for anyone looking for a well-paying work from home job who has the skills needed for this.
About the author
Anna is the founder of LogicalDollar and a personal finance expert, having been featured on Forbes, HuffPost, Reader’s Digest, MSN Money, Yahoo! Finance, CreditCards.com and many more. She’s committed to helping others get on the path to financial freedom using the experience gained from turning $60,000 in debt into a six-figure investment portfolio. Find out more.