Online Proofreading Jobs for Beginners in 2020 (How To Make $50/hr)

Online Proofreading Jobs for Beginners in 2020 (How To Make $50/hr)

Work-At-Home as a Proofreader

Making extra money from home each month can be possible with a job as a proofreader. This job can be a side hustle used to make money in your free time, or it can become a full-time career.

Online proofreading is flexible and easy to do. It’s the perfect job for a stay-at-home mom, college students, anyone looking for a second job, and even someone wanting to start their own business.

Now let’s discover what proofreading is, how you can become a proofreader, and where you can find a job as a proofreader.

Disclaimer: This post probably contains some affiliate links at no cost to you. See the affiliate disclaimer here.

proofreader on his laptop at home

What is Proofreading?

Proofreading is the act of finding and correcting grammar and spelling errors. It is the last step in the editing process.

Remember back in high school when you got your graded papers back with a bunch of red marks? Turns out you missed commas, punctuation, and spelling issues.

Well, after you wrote your paper’s first draft and submitted it, your teacher acted as a proofreader and gave it back to you.

As a proofreader, that is the same type of work you would be doing.

Proofreader vs. Editor

Proofreader jobs and Editor Jobs are often used somewhat interchangeably, but they are slightly different. I thought you should know the difference before you start looking for jobs.

As mentioned, proofreading involves finding grammar and spelling mistakes in a piece of work. These are the errors that can make you look like you never passed the 5th grade.

Editors, however, suggest edits for entire phrases and potentially reworking an entire section. An Editor may recommend condensing parts of the content, or even omitting sections altogether.

Essentially, proofreaders catch the smaller, but highly important details. Editors control the bigger picture.

Pros vs Cons of Working from Home as a Proofreading

Pros

  • An endless number of content creators are seeking proofreaders.
  • You don’t need any special equipment (e.g. headset, printer, dual screens, etc.)
  • Unlike most at home jobs, you won’t need a super-fast internet connection.
  • Proofreading can be done as a side hustle for extra money. You could also skip straight to working full-time or building a small business.
  • Minimal start-up costs for a proofreading business.
  • Work can be done from the comfort of your home on a flexible schedule to fit your life.

Cons

  • If you’re looking to become a remote employee, rather than a freelancer, then you may need prior education.
  • Some proofreading jobs can come with strict deadlines. (When possible, if you’re a freelancer you should check due dates and time before accepting a job).
  • That said, if you aren’t good at meeting deadlines, then this could quickly become problematic for you.

How much do proofreaders earn?

In the United States, the average Proofreader salary is $52,391, according to Salary.com. Top earners are topping $66k.

proofreading job salary

Keep in mind, though, you can start your own proofreading business and cut out the middle man between you and the client. Then you could keep all your earnings and make much more.

Additionally, if you do perhaps have a college degree and previous experience, your earnings could also be higher.

Some proofreaders can expect to make upwards of $25-$50 per hour or more. Work faster, make more money.

DataUSA suggests that the proofreading industry you choose can affect your earnings too.

Highest-Earning Proofreading Job Industries

  • Computer Systems Design
  • Legal services
  • Advertising & public relations

Lowest-Earning Proofreading Job Industries

  • Newspaper publishers
  • Business support services
  • Printing
  • Periodicals & books

Are Proofreaders in demand?

In the age of technology, businesses need something to expand their businesses by reaching consumers. Almost every company has something to write for customers to read.

Although there are tools out there like Grammarly to help proofread content, no software is perfect. The eye of a human is still essential.

This fact is perfect for you and me. Small businesses, brands, content creators, enthusiasts, authors, writers, and everyone in between need someone to proofread their work before releasing it to the public.

There is no better time than now to start a proofreading job.

For even more jobs in demand, I’ve made a free comprehensive resource for you to make money from home. Let me know below what email you want me to send it to now.

Can I become a Proofreader without a degree?

Having a college degree is not always required, but it certainly gives you an advantage over your competitors. As a proofreading remote worker (a W2 employee), it is possible that you may need a degree.

If freelancing (an independent contractor) is more your style, then whether or not you need a degree will be dependent upon your client. Just so you know, though, most clients don’t care if you have a degree or not—they care about results.

Finally, if you already have a college degree, you might wonder if yours will suffice. DataUSA suggests that the most common degree majors include Communications, Education, and English, respectively.

Regardless, having a degree in any field will still be a great asset for you to have.

What skills do I need to be an online proofreader?

Just like any job, certain skills can push you to higher levels of earning potential as a proofreader. Some of the key skill you want to have include:

  • Proficient in writing, grammar, and spelling
  • Exceptional reading comprehension
  • Communication skills
  • Fluency in the language of the documentation you’re working on
  • Great attention to detail
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Where Can I Get At-Home Proofreading Training?

Undoubtedly, proofreading is more than simply catching spelling errors. You also need to understand comma rules, subject-verb agreement, proper pronouns, and all the other pesky rules that we barely remember from high school.

All of that can be a lot to remember, so I recommend this completely FREE workshop conducted by Caitlyn Pyle of Proofread Anywhere. Hands down, it’s the best proofreading training course you can take online.

The workshop is jam-packed with GOLDEN information to help you get started as a proofreader. I will help you determine if proofreading is for you. You’ll also learn where to find clients and start scaling your income quickly.

What Are the Best Tools for Online Proofreading

Grammarly – This is the most essential tool you should have as a proofreader. It allows you to add your document so it can catch your errors for you.

If you prefer, you can download the browser extension instead. It will find your typing errors in almost anything you type.

Get the Grammarly browser extension so all your grammar and spelling mistakes don’t go unnoticed – even in your emails!

Spellchecker – We mustn’t forget our old faithful spellcheck that’s already integrated into our word processing software. Always run a quick spell check once you’ve completed your work.

Google Docs – This is the easiest and most used way for document sharing. You can create a free Google Drive account, then you and your client can exchange documents for proofreading.

Dropbox – This is another alternative for document sharing that you can start easily with a free account.

Adobe Acrobat – You can use this to edit PDF files.

Quickbooks – Use this to create invoices and bill your client, especially if you plan to own a proofreading business.

How to Land a Job As A Proofreader

When you’re attempting to look for jobs in proofreading, there are several things you can do to increase your chances of being successful.

  • First, you can look on sites like Fiverr. You’ll be able to create your profile and bid for thousands of jobs. The more jobs you complete, the more credibility you’ll build on the site. Your increased ratings will help you land even more proofreading jobs and allow you to charge more for your services.
  • It’s also in your best interest to refresh your skills if you’re serious about proofreading for money. I recommend this free proofreading training so you can start making money faster.
  • You can also find jobs in less obvious places like social media and Craigslist. Don’t leave any avenue untouched.
  • Keep a portfolio of your best work, or of examples of work you have done. Also, keep any testimonials from your clients to build credibility for the future.

When finding proofreading jobs online, you don’t want to just look for ‘proofreader’. That term alone will only reveal a limited number of results.

To maximize the number of jobs you find, here are the most common terms you can use:

  • Freelance proofreader
  • Jobs for proofreaders
  • Proofreading independent contractor
  • Proof reading job
  • Remote editor
  • Online proofreading
  • Proofreader jobs at home
  • Editor
  • Reviser
  • Editorial assistant
  • Copy editor
  • Academic editor
  • Book editing
man on laptop proofreading at home

Best Online Proofreading Jobs for Beginners in 2020

As we talked about earlier, some jobs require a college degree. There are many, though, that don’t. Now, let me give you a bunch of companies that hire for proofreading jobs from home.

Job Boards To Find Jobs As A Proofreader From Home

  1. Fiverr – a platform for freelancers to find work. You can get paid $5 for doing a small task.
  2. Flexjobs – job board specifically for remote jobs that have been verified for legitimacy
  3. Guru – a job board to find freelance jobs.
  4. Indeed – Job board for all kinds of jobs, including online proofreading jobs.
  5. Reedsy – create a freelancer profile and get connected with clients.
  6. Upwork – Platform for freelancers to find jobs.
  7. Freelancer.com – a job board for all freelancers.

15 Proofreading Jobs That Require A Degree

  1. American Journal Expert – hires editors that are enrolled in a graduate program or have a college degree.
  2. Cactus Communications – Must have a Ph.D., Master’s, or Bachelor’s degree or expertise in healthcare, medicine, life sciences, or surgery.
  3. Edit 911 – hires editors with a Ph.D. in English that is a master copy editor.
  4. EditFast – hires skilled proofreaders with a degree from a recognized university and editing/proofreading experience.
  5. Editor World – hiring editors with a Bachelor’s degree or higher (Ph.D. preferred).
  6. Enago – hires freelance editors with at least 5 years of relevant experience. Master’s or Ph.D. preferred.
  7. English Trackers – hires proofreaders with a Ph.D. and at least 2 years of professional academic experience.
  8. First Editing – hires experienced editors with at least a Bachelor’s degree. Make sure to read their guidelines so your application isn’t denied.
  9. Prompt – hires editors with at least a Bachelor’s degree to help students improve their essays. They show preference to applicants with a teaching, tutoring, and professional writing/editing background.
  10. ProofreadingPal – hires proofreaders that are currently enrolled in an accredited college or university with a minimum of a 3.5 GPA. Or, you can have graduated with a minimum of 5 years of professional proofreading experience.
  11. Scribbr – hires freelance academic editors with a Bachelor’s degree and experience editing academic work.
  12. Scribendi – hires proofreaders with a college degree in any field and at least 3 years of experience.
  13. ManagedEditing – occasionally hires skilled editors with a college degree in any field and at least 5 years of editing experience.
  14. WordsRU – hires editors with a Master’s degree or Ph.D. and at least 2 years of professional experience.
  15. Wordvice – hires freelance editors that are enrolled in or completed a college degree program. You must have at least 2 years of professional experience.

25 Proofreading Jobs That Don’t Require A Degree

  1. Appen – hires you to do various projects, including proofreading jobs.
  2. Babbletype – occasionally hires English-language editors, but they are extremely selective.
  3. Book Editing Associates – Must have at least 5 years of experience with a list of books you’ve published. Also, you must be 100% freelance with no day job and have very open availability.
  4. Domainite – Submit a writing sample with your application.
  5. Dotdash – hires editors for various types of content, such as brides, beauty, health & wellness, home, pets, crafts, news, and more. You need to be an expert in the field you’re applying for. Required experience levels vary per topic.
  6. eCorrector – is always interested in scientific proofreaders. Send them your CV and resume to be considered for employment.
  7. Edanz – hires editors as long as you can pass the editing test. If you don’t have a Ph.D., then you must have at least 3 years of experience as a scientific editor.
  8. Editor Live – hiring editors that can meet strict deadlines from 3 to 72 hours. You’ll need to pass an exam o get hired.
  9. Gramlee – always looking to hire exceptional proofreaders and editors.
  10. IXL Learning – hires proofreaders with copy editing experience and exceptional attention to detail.
  11. Kibin – occasionally hires freelance editors/proofreaders.
  12. Kirkus Media – sometimes hires editors.
  13. Lifetips – hires editors with knowledge in the search engine marketing industry. They also offer employee benefits.
  14. Lionbridge – has a plethora of jobs available including a content editor.
  15. OneSpace – hires for multiple jobs, including editing and writing
  16. Polished Paper – Will hire proofreaders/editors for blog entries, articles, resumes, essays, business documents, and more. You just need to pass the 35-question editor test first.
  17. ProofreadingServices.com – hires part-time and full-time proofreaders with superb proofreading and editing skills.
  18. ProofreadNow – occasionally hires professional proofreaders with at least 5 years of experience.
  19. R3ciprocity – sign up to receive feedback on your writing and get paid to edit others’ writing.
  20. Scribe Media – hires freelance ‘scribes’ or ghostwriters to write and edit nonfiction books.
  21. Sibia Proofreading – occasionally hire editors for professional writing, such as college essays, dissertations, books, and more.
  22. Smartbrief – occasionally hires editors/proofreaders
  23. Wordy – hires proofreaders/editors for over 56 different types of content. A set of guidelines is provided so you know what clients expect from you.
  24. Writer’s Relief – hires proofreaders to edit a client’s creative writing, such as poetry, stories, and books. They are very selective about who they hire.

Final Thoughts on Proofreading Jobs Online

As you can see, having a job as a proofreader from home is a great opportunity for anyone willing to use their skills to catch grammar and spelling issues. Even if you’re a proofreading beginner, you can still get a job if you produce quality results.

Jobs in proofreading are flexible and can be done from home. This makes it a great option for stay at home moms, college students, introverts, and anyone else that wants to work at home without talking on the phone.

Do you have an online proofreading job? Let me know in the comments how you like it. I would love to hear from you!

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Online Proofreading Jobs for Beginners

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This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. hari

    such a magnificent tips for people looking for proofreading jobs.
    I am planning to start a proofreading service, and your post will be of great help to me!
    thanks for sharing!

    1. The Comfy Coin

      I am so glad I could help! Let me know how your journey unfolds!

  2. Keena

    Love all of the information, will look into a few.

    1. The Comfy Coin

      Thank you! If there’s anything else you want covered, don’t hesitate to let me know.

  3. Kathleen Wonders

    These are very helpful! I’ve wanted to do this for a while to earn some extra cash. Will definitely look into this.

  4. Julianne

    This is so amazing and informative! I have been interested in proofreading for a long time but this encouraged me to actually take the leap and check out some of the sites you recommended. Thank you!

    1. The Comfy Coin

      Wow, that’s spectacular! I’m so glad this was helpful for you and even gave you the extra push to move forward! I wish you the best in your journey.

  5. Ming Qian

    Hey, thanks for these tips, I didn’t notice that there was a subtle difference between editor and proofreader before. That’s interesting to note!

    1. The Comfy Coin

      Hey, glad I could help! Yes, there is a slight overlap between the two. When you start looking for jobs, you’ll see the titles are typically put together like “proofreader/editor” so they can cover all the bases in one employee. Honestly, I didn’t know the difference either before researching.

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