Proofreading jobs used to be difficult to find, but these days, there are plenty of online jobs for proofreaders. Trust me! I’ve been an online proofreader for over 2 years and have found many proofreading jobs in that time.
I recommend proofreading if you’re looking for a great way to make money online, either to earn a little extra cash from home or transition into the digital nomad lifestyle.
I’ve been proofreading part-time to supplement my income, but there are many online freelancers that make a full-time living from this career.
In this guide to online proofreading jobs, I’ll show you how to get paid to proofread, plus the 10 best proofreading jobs online, where to find them, and how to get guaranteed proofreading work.
What is Proofreading?
Proofreading is when you thoroughly and carefully check a written text for any errors, whether that be issues with spelling, punctuation, grammar, consistency, or formatting.
People with proper proofreading skills will be able to easily identify these errors and fix them.
This is the final stage of the writing process and is extremely important.
Since proofreading is an essential step for all important pieces of writing, you can find a wide variety of proofreading job postings, including admissions essays, academic papers up for publication, résumés, business documents, and emails.
10 Best Proofreading Jobs Online
While it can be tough finding proofreading job postings that will hire you with no experience, there are many ways to find work, from applying to websites that specialize in proofreading to joining huge platforms and marketplaces that offer freelance proofreading services.
If you take (and pass) the Knowadays proofreading course, you’ll get guaranteed work, which is great when you’re looking for beginner proofreading jobs.
Use promo code GOATS10 at check out for 10% off the course.
Get paid to proofread with these 10 legitimate proofreading jobs online:
Upwork is not only one of the best websites to find entry-level proofreading jobs, but it’s one of the largest websites for freelancers in general and a good place to find the best online proofreading jobs.
With an abundance of freelance job listings, editing jobs, and businesses looking for editing and proofreading services, Upwork is a great way to find work from home.
The platform is also very easy to navigate and user-friendly, and it’ll be fairly easy to find proofreading jobs you can do from home with no experience.
However, there are disadvantages to using Upwork.
Primarily, it’ll be hard to get decent pay, as there are endless amounts of freelancers willing to be paid pennies for their work.
So, you’ll probably have to undersell yourself to outbid other proofreaders.
Additionally, Upwork charges a 20% service charge.
Overall, Upwork is perfect for beginner proofreaders looking to gain experience, but the pay will be on the lower end.
Nevertheless, it’s a great place to launch your career in online proofreading, and if you pitch yourself right, you can find clients willing to pay you fairly (so there are options for more experienced proofreaders as well). Click here to learn more and sign up.
☞ SEE ALSO: how to make money on Upwork – a guide for freelancers
Similar to Upwork, FlexJobs is a huge online platform that lists job opportunities for entry-level and experienced freelancers. However, in contrast to Upwork, it costs money to join FlexJobs: $14.95 per month.
But this can be an advantage, as there’s less competition for jobs, even though there are still plenty of opportunities to sell your editing and proofreading services.
Additionally, FlexJobs has a user-friendly platform, offers tons of support, and ensures that only legitimate proofreading jobs are listed, so you can be sure to find the absolute best online proofreading jobs.
Overall, FlexJobs is another online freelance job board perfect for finding new remote proofreading jobs and clients.
Sign up using promo code NOMAD at checkout and receive 30% off the membership fee.
Another website similar to Upwork and FlexJobs, Fiverr is an online job portal offering tons of work for beginner proofreaders, along with an abundance of other freelance jobs.
While it’s easy to get started and find work (as long as you have a killer profile), Fiverr comes with the same disadvantages as Upwork: lots of low-paying jobs, with the lowest offer being $5.
However, it’s a great way to gain experience as an entry level proofreader, and with this experience, you can move to higher-paying sites and charge more for your services.
☞ SEE ALSO: How To Make Money on Fiverr
While the previous three websites were huge platforms for all freelance work, Scribendi is a company that specifically offers proofreading and editing services.
A Canadian company that hires remote editors around the world, there are many advantages to working with Scribendi.
They offer consistent and reliable payments in USD via PayPal, and they offer total flexibility in the jobs you pick up; as long as you do one project every three months, your account stays active.
They also offer editing and proofreading courses, and a forum where you can discuss various topics with other proofreaders.
However, there are certain qualifications you have to meet in order to sign up for Scribendi.
They want native English speakers with a university degree, who have at least three years of previous experience and the ability to proofread at a minimum speed of 1,000 words per hour.
Some of the best online proofreading jobs are available on Scribendi.
I was pretty lucky that I got accepted with minimal experience, and it took me a while to hit the speed of 1,000 words per hour.
So, I recommend applying even if you’re not sure you meet their requirements.
Overall, if you qualify, Scribendi is a great website to join as a freelance proofreader.
Scribbr is a proofreading and editing company that focuses on helping students perfect their theses and dissertations. It’s great for entry-level and experienced proofreaders.
While the application process is rigorous and lengthy, involving a language quiz, a résumé and motivation statement, a language editing assignment, and a Scribbr Academy training program, upon acceptance as a proofreader and editor, you can expect to make around $22-$27 per hour.
As far as finding the best proofreading jobs, Scribbr is one of the highest-paid for sure.
6. Proofreading Services
Proofreading Services is a great company that offers both part-time and full-time remote proofreading jobs.
Like Scribendi, the hours are completely flexible, meaning you can choose how much or how little you work.
And, with the average pay being between $19-$46 per hour, Proofreading Services is a great way to make extra cash while working from home, or living a location-independent lifestyle.
The best proofreading jobs that you’ll find will be at the upper level of that income rate, which is a pretty awesome hourly rate.
7. Proofreading Pal
For proofreading jobs for students, look no further than Proofreading Pal.
Perfect for college and university students, Proofreading Pal offers flexible work with an average pay of $500 to $3,000 a month.
However, they prefer to hire current graduate students with an average GPA of 3.5 and above, or those with a graduate degree and a minimum of 5 years of editing experience.
So, while their qualifications are strict, Proofreading Pal is worth applying to if you qualify.
For some great work from home proofreading jobs with smaller word counts, I recommend Gramlee.
A company specialized in providing proofreading and editing services, Gramlee is a great website for beginner proofreaders.
They charge $0.03 per word, for a maximum of 3,000 words (so, a maximum of $90 per order).
Beyond 3,000 words, they start to charge more, but only senior editors are able to access those larger, better-paid orders.
The initial application process is also quite easy; simply fill out a short questionnaire about your previous experience (the more experience you have, the more likely they’ll contact you).
Overall, Gramlee is a great place to find some online proofreading work.
9. Polished Paper
For proofreaders with a little bit of experience, Polished Paper is a great website to check out.
Polished Paper is a proofreading and editing company that wants the best editors with solid proofreading experience, but they pay for these qualifications accordingly.
The application process is consequently quite difficult; you’ll have to register for an account, upload your résumé, and fill out a 35-question test, followed by an interview.
But you’ll need to pass the test for the interview, and it isn’t easy.
So, if you want to work with Polished Paper, take your time filling out the test. In the end, it’ll be worth it, as Polished Paper is a great place to work as a freelance proofreader.
10. Edit Fast
Finally, the last proofreading and editing company on this list is Edit Fast.
An online job portal filled with postings for freelance proofreaders and editors, Edit Fast is a great place to find some work.
The application process is also quite easy; you register online, upload your résumé, take an editing test, sign a non-disclosure agreement, then build your profile.
Once approved, you simply have to apply for the jobs on the listings.
All communication with clients goes through the Edit Fast portal, and you will be paid via PayPal.
However, the biggest disadvantage with using Edit Fast is that they keep 40% of your final cut.
So, Edit Fast is better for proofreaders looking to gain experience.
Don’t forget, if you sign up for the Knowadays (Proofreading Academy) course, they provide guaranteed work! Learn more here.
Proofreading vs. Editing
Now, you may be wondering what the difference between proofreading and editing is.
While proofreading skills are similar to those needed for editing, there is a significant difference between the two.
While proofreading solely focuses on the grammatical errors and spelling mistakes in the writing, editors look at the big picture, and make major changes to the structure of the writing and analyze the content, clarity, and tone, on top of looking for grammatical errors.
In the end, both editing and proofreading are important steps in finalizing a written text for submission.
However, proofreaders are the final defenders; the last to review the text, looking for those minor grammatical issues and typos that slipped through the cracks.
If you’re considering becoming an editor, have a look at this review of the Knowadays editing course online to see if it’s a good fit for you.
How Much Money Can You Make as a Proofreader?
On average, online proofreading jobs pay around $25-$45 per hour. However, there are some additional factors to consider.
First, you’ll have to decide whether you want to charge your clients by the hour or by word count. Next, your rates will be impacted by your experience level, the difficulty of the job, and whether or not you’re a specialist in the subject area.
So, as a beginner proofreader, you can expect to make around $12-$15 per hour on the average online proofreading job.
But, as you gain more experience, your hourly salary will grow; not only can you charge more from your clients, but your proofreading will also get a lot faster and more efficient with time.
When I got my first proofreading job, it was under $15 per hour, but my pay has gone up considerably since then.
What Skills and Degrees Are Required to Make Money as a Proofreader?
Fortunately, you don’t need a degree to find freelance proofreading jobs, and you can become a proofreader in just a few simple steps, without too many proofreader skills.
While some clients prefer that their proofreader has a bachelor’s degree, or even a graduate degree, there are many clients that only care about the results.
This means even college students without experience can make money proofreading, which makes for great extra cash while traveling as a student!
In regards to proofreading skills, proofreaders obviously need to have excellent grammar and spelling skills.
Time management skills are also an asset, and for certain jobs, knowledge of the common style guides (like MLA, APA, and the Chicago Manual of Style) is invaluable.
If you decide to start your own proofreading business, you may want to learn some business skills like how to hire and manage teams.
Take a Proofreading Course
If you want to get paid more to proofread, and to guarantee yourself work, you may want to consider investing a bit in yourself and taking a proofreading course online that will help you get more jobs.
Knowadays (formerly The Proofreading Academy) offers their Becoming A Proofreader course, which provides students with everything they need to start a new career working remotely from anywhere as a professional proofreader.
The course includes 15 content-packed modules, including quizzes and real-life practice proofreading exercises to maximise learning.
Unlike other proofreading courses, they offer guaranteed work as a freelance proofreader through their marketplace of freelance proofreading services.
This is available to everyone who passes the course with a distinction grade. Plus, there’s a free trial so you can decide if it’s right for you.
Learn more here. Read our full review of the Knowadays Proofreading Course here.
If you’re looking for proofreading jobs you can do at home and you have no experience, I suggest taking a proofreading course to give you a leg up when applying for jobs.
5 Must-Have Tools for Proofreading Jobs
There are many essential tools that you’ll need to efficiently complete proofreading jobs from home, including:
- Spellchecker: First, a must-have tool is a spellchecker, which will comb through your written text and find the big typos and grammatical errors. While this simple tool may seem obvious, it’s undeniably a necessity for proofreading.
- Grammarly: Next, Grammarly is the best tool for freelance proofreaders, as it’s one of the most accurate tools for finding grammatical errors. Not only that, but it also provides explanations and suggestions for each grammatical mistake, and a plagiarism checker.
- Ginger: If you’re not keen on using Grammarly, Ginger is one of the best software for checking grammar. This is because, compared to other spell checkers, it’s fabulous for proofreading more complicated texts, as it’s able to find and correct the more difficult grammatical problems. It’s also invaluable for refining and perfecting your own writing.
- Google Docs: Another essential tool for online proofreading is Google Docs, as it’s easy to receive, send, and share files with clients. It’s also a free service that offers many editing tools and add-ons, and the ability to save files offline.
- Avast Antivirus: Last but not least, antivirus and security software are an often-overlooked tool for online proofreading, but are necessary nonetheless. They’re not only essential for the protection and confidentiality of client documents, but also for your own internet security. I personally use Avast Antivirus and Nord VPN is good as well, but there are many other software programs available.
Starting Your Own Proofreading Business
A great way to earn more money as a proofreader is to start your own proofreading business.
With your own business, you can hire a team of proofreaders and scale the proofreading jobs you can take on.
This will also come with the tax benefit of being able to write off a lot of your expenses as a professional proofreader, like a laptop, office space, app subscriptions, and more.
If you’re thinking of starting your own proofreading business, I can share some valuable insights from my journey to help you establish your venture successfully.
First Determine Your Niche
Choosing a niche can help you to set your business apart from the thousands of other proofreading businesses available online.
Perhaps you are looking to focus on a specific type of proofreading job (more on these below), or maybe you’ll serve a certain type of client, like small local businesses, or those in the pet industry.
Whatever you do, picking a specific niche in any business can help you relate better to your clientel.
Hire a Team
If you’re familiar with scaling small businesses, then you can hire a team right away. Otherwise this may be something you’ll look into doing further down the road.
By hiring a team of proofreaders, you can ensure that your new business will cover a variety of different types of proofreading jobs.
Be sure to hire proofreaders in specific industries with ample experience in their respective niches.
Assess Your Skills & Knowledge
Before launching your own proofreading business, take a long, honest look at yourself and your team and decide which specific skills and knowledge you have that set you apart.
Do you have experience proofreading many different types of documents, do you or your team also have a law or medical degree? Are there any gaps in you or your teams’ skills that may benefit from further proofreading education and certification?
Identify areas you can improve, and where you currently shine, and use that to your advantage.
Setting Up Your Business
To officially start your business, you’ll first have to decide on a business name and register it with the appropriate goverment body.
Depending on where you will be opening your business, you may need specific business licenses or permits. Be sure to check the current legal requirements in your state, province, or area to ensure you’re compliant with local laws.
Decide On Your Rates
Every business, no matter how big or small, will need to have rates to quote their clients. Make sure you spend some time to get these rates right. You don’t want to undersell yourself, but you also don’t want to price yourself out of the market.
Have a look at 10-20 other online proofreading businesses in your niche and try to price yourself in the middle. If you feel that your team has more experience or clout in the industry you’re in, then perhaps you can charge even more.
Build a Website For Your Business
Every business should have a website. Luckily you can start one, design it, and have it up and running within a day. I have a free website design course that you can access when you buy your domain and hosting through this page.
You can choose from a bunch of website templates that are already build, change the text and photos on the home page and sales pages and voila, you have a business website that’s ready to go live to the world.
My course even shows you the basics of blogging, content marketing, and social media management for small businesses.
Market Your Services
In today’s online world, marketing your services is imperative to any new online business success. An online proofreading business is no different.
You should find unique ways to share your skills and services on as many platforms as you can. That includes your blog, an email newsletter, LinkedIn, TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat… all of them.
Different Types of Proofreading Jobs
In my many years as a professional proofreader, I’ve done my fair share of different proofreading jobs. No two jobs are the same, and there are plenty of different types of work that you may run into as a proofreader.
Here’s a list of a few of the different types of jobs you might expect as a professional freelance proofreader, or the owner of your own proofreading business.
Academic proofreading is a very common area in the field and it involves proofreading acedemic articles, dessertations, theses, research papers, etc.
As an academic proofreader, your primary role will be the same as in any other proofreading job; to ensure these documents are properly structured, error-free, and adhere to specific academic writing styles like MLA, or APA.
For those who enjoy exploring new academic topics and have a skill for the nuance and detail of academic writing, this is the perfect job.
Not surprisingly, book proofreaders work directly with authors and publishers to find errors and correct them before the book, magazine, or publication is pushed live.
This type of proofreading can be well-paid and rewarding, particularly if you love literature as you’ll essentially be getting paid to read novels and other books before they’re even seen by the public.
Business Document Proofreading
Pretty much all businesses, no matter how big or small they are, need proofreaders to help ensure their documents are in order, professional, clear to read, and free of errors.
This can include anything from internal reports, memos, customer service documents, marketing materials, manuals, and website and blog content.
To become a business proofreader, you’ll likely require a solid understanding of business jargon, grammar, and punctuation.
Additional skills may be the ability to maintain a professional tone, a basic understanding of marketing, and knowing how to adhere to brand guidelines.
Proofreading of legal documents is probably the most specialized type of proofreading and it requires knowledge of legal format, law, and legal terminology.
Your job as a legal proofreader would be to check agreements, contracts, briefs, bills, and other legal documents for formatting, the accuracy of the information, and errors.
Another highly specialized field of proofreading, medical proofreaders will be expected to correct any errors in patient information documents, pharmaceutical guides, health articles, research papers, and more.
Website Content Proofreading
This is a form of proofreading that I personally have the most experience with.
Typically I edit content like blog posts, social media posts, product descriptions, and other content found on my client’s web-pages to make sure they’re accurate, SEO-friendly, clear, and concise.
Remote vs In-Person Proofreading Jobs
I’ve mostly talked about remote proofreading jobs so far in this post because online proofreading jobs are the easiest to find thanks to online job boards like Upwork and Fiverr.
But there are also in-person jobs that can be quite lucrative.
Remote Proofreading Jobs
Remote proofreading jobs are my favorite because they give me the freedom to work from anywhere, choose my own hours (for the most part), and work at my own pace.
Remote proofreading jobs are ideal for people who are highly disciplined. When you work for yourself, you’ll have to follow your own deadlines and be sure that you’re on the computer enough to get the work done.
In-Person Proofreading Jobs
In-person proofreading jobs don’t come with the same freedom as their remote counterparts, but there are still advantages to working in an office.
Many people enjoy the comradery and accountability that comes with working around others.
If you’re not a person who’s looking to travel a lot and prefer to have a comfortable routine at home, then in-person proofreading jobs may be the way to go.
Part-Time vs Full-Time Proofreading Jobs
As I mentioned earlier in this post, I’ve personally always worked as a part-time proofreader online, but there are still many full-time proofreading positions available through the 10 online job boards that I listed above.
I’ve been offered full-time work in the past, but I enjoy mixing my proofreading work with other jobs like blogging and freelance writing.
But if you’re looking for the stability of consistent income and the possibility of benefits like health care and paid holidays, then a full-time proofreading job might be right up your alley.
Alternatively, students, people with other part-time jobs, families, or those who just want to earn a little extra income with an at-home side hustle may want to stick to part-time proofreading jobs.
Building a Portfolio for Proofreading Jobs
After more than 2 years of working as a proofreader, I can say with confidence that one of the most important aspects of landing the best proofreading jobs is having a comprehensive and compelling portfolio.
A strong portfolio can help you to showcase your proofreading skills, demonstrate your expertise, and show potential clients the value of having you on as a proofreader.
Here are a few tips for building a professional proofreading portfolio:
Understand Your Portfolio’s Purpose
Before you start building your portfolio, you should take some time to decide what the purpose of your particular portfolio is.
In most cases, this will simply be to give your potential clients a concise and clear outline of your abilities, skills, certifications, and experience as a proofreader.
Take time to highlight your proofreading skills like the command of the language, your attention to detail (tell them you’re a perfectionist. They will love that), and your ability to improve the overall voice and flow of any piece of content.
Select Your Best Work
Now it’s time to give some examples. This will be the “meat” of your portfolio. Remember, you’re not creating the content, you’re improving it and correcting errors.
To showcase this, it’s important to include snapshots of the work before you edited it, and afterward. Consider keeping the old content in the document and use red to highlight any changes you may have made.
Remember to always get permission from all of your clients before using any of their documents in your portfolio.
Showcase a Variety of Work
Another important part of your portfolio will be to include a variety of proofreading work inside. This will allow you to attract a wider range of clients and proofreading jobs.
This will help you to showcase your versatility and adaptability as a proofreader, and will also show a wider breadth of experience in the field.
Keep It Organized and Professional
As organization and professionalism is an important aspect in any proofreading job, you’ll need to ensure your portfolio is well organized and put together in a professional way.
Ensure each project is labeled clearly with the client, the nature of the project, and the type of document in question, as well as any other relevant details about the work you completed.
Just like with a resume, you’ll want your portfolio to be up to date. Employers care less about what you did 10 years ago and more about what your last job was, so make sure you update your portfolio every time you finish another job or gain more experience, accreditation, or skills.
Sometimes you’ll naturally get testimonials from your clients via email or text.
Add any positive comments your previous employers have made so that your new potential employers can feel comfortable knowing that other people have recommended you.
Where to Host Your Portfolio
There are plenty of places where you can host your proofreading portfolio online. Consider sites like ProFinder, LinkedIn, Behnace, or Journo Portfolio.
You can also just keep your portfolio on your computer, in a drop box, or in Google Drive and then link to it from emails and communication with prospective employers.
Pros and Cons of Freelance Proofreading Jobs
Freelancing as a career isn’t right for everyone, and there are many advantages and disadvantages to doing freelance proofreading jobs from home. These include:
Pros of Being a Freelance Proofreader
- There is a large demand for proofreaders, even for beginners. So, it won’t be too difficult to find work.
- The start-up costs for starting a freelance proofreading career are very low; all you need is a computer and an internet connection.
- There is a ton of flexibility with your schedule. So, you can work around your other tasks and plans for the day.
- You won’t have a supervisor and you can be your own boss.
- You can sign up for numerous proofreading and freelancing sites, so you’ll always be able to find work.
- If you can start your own proofreading business, you can earn an even better income, scale the company with a team, and have more freedom.
Cons of Being a Freelance Proofreader
- There are tight deadlines you have to follow, and if you mistakenly take on too many projects at once, it can be extremely stressful.
- Online proofreading, and freelancing in general, is not suited for people who need to be supervised to meet deadlines (or who procrastinate a lot).
- Some proofreading jobs prefer those with higher education.
- It can be time-consuming looking for clients and work at times.
FAQs About Online Proofreading Jobs
To become an online proofreader you can take a proofreading course, or simply browse the web for marketplaces that have online proofreader job postings. Upwork, Flexjobs, & Fiverr are a great place to start.
Online proofreading jobs pay anywhere from $15-$45 per hour. Typically when you’re just starting out and don’t have many proofreading skills, you’ll get paid on the lower end of this, but as you get more proofreading experience, you can up your rates.
Absolutely! There are plenty of proofreading jobs online for those without a degree. You can also take a proofreading course to help you find a job if you don’t have a degree.
To become a certified proofreader, you can take an online proofreading course like Knowadays Proofreading Course. Typically it takes 3-5 days to complete the course and once you’re done, you will get a Proofreader Certificate and guaranteed work as a proofreader.
Yes. Proofreaders are currently in high demand with a growing number of jobs appearing on job boards every single day. There is more content being published online every day, as well as more legal, medical, and professional documents being published in need of proofreading!
Yes. You can easily find work as a proofreader with no prior experience, although it helps to have some kind of proofreading certificate. Many proofreading courses, like Knowadays, will guarantee you work when you get certified through their program.
While some legal and medical proofreading jobs will require 3-5 years of training, many online proofreading jobs for websites will hire proofreaders little or know experience. Alternatively, you can take a proofreading course like Knowadays, which guarantees you work upon completion.
Absolutely. Proofreaders earn $15-$45 per hour and freelance proofreaders can work from home and choose their own hours. As a part-time proofreader myself, I can honestly say it’s one of the best side-hustles you can find.
Now You Know the Best Online Proofreading Jobs
Overall, there are many entry level proofreading jobs available, as long as you pitch yourself right and keep trying.
Don’t feel discouraged by rejection or by the initial low pay; as you gain more experience, you’ll be able to negotiate larger fees and get more efficient with proofreading.