Proofreading is a high-paying skill that you can learn very quickly and at-home proofreading can be profitable, flexible work to make extra money in your free time.
Where would we be without proofreaders and others checking our work? Well, we would be in a tough spot, especially since Kelan isn’t always the best speller!
I’m sure you’ve felt relieved having a friend double-check your long text to check your meaning or a coworker review your work email for every detail needed.
If you enjoy reading and have an eagle eye for spotting spelling or grammar mistakes, becoming an online proofreader could easily be the perfect online job for you!
In this article, I’ll go over the best online proofreading jobs for beginners, places to find jobs as a freelance proofreader, and how you can get started today.
Get a jump start by signing up and watching the FREE Online Proofreading Workshop below.
What Is Proofreading?
In this day and age, there is so much that is done online and so much content for people to digest.
With that in mind, there are lots of opportunities for work, especially for stay at home moms, or teachers looking to make money over the summer break, and one such opportunity is that of proofreading.
Proofreading is one of the final steps in the process of content creation – so for example, this article that you are reading now will have a proofreader work on it before it is published.
It is where a critical eye is cast over a piece of writing to check for spelling and grammatical errors.
This is an important step because when you are writing you can accidentally make small mistakes that you don’t notice even if you read it back.
How to Become a Proofreader
It kind of goes without saying, but in order to become a proofreader and to be hired as one, you need to be good at editing and spot mistakes easily.
You don’t need a Ph.D. in English to be an effective freelance proofreader!
When you have applied to work for a company, you will probably have to do a test for them that you will need to pass in order to be hired.
Pros vs. Cons of Proofreading
- You can work from home
- You can manage your own time and fit proofreading around other things that you want to do
- You are in charge of your own pace and control your working environment- no micromanaging boss or loud coworkers to get in the way!
- If you are naturally good at spotting mistakes, this will come easily to you
- The start-up costs for a proofreading business are very low compared to other businesses
- You can sign up for as many proofreading sites as you want
- There are plenty of proofreading jobs for beginners out there
- You can start proofreading on the side and scale-up
- Some sites aren’t easy to navigate and you may spend more time searching for good opportunities
- Further education/experience may be necessary for some jobs, or if you want to obtain the higher paying proofreading jobs
- If you have one or more years experience, you’re more likely to find freelance proofreading jobs- and sometimes quicker
- There can be very strict, tight deadlines to adhere to
- Some people may bite off more than they can chew, taking on too many clients and projects- you have to manage your time strictly if work overlaps or you have an overflowing plate
- If you need someone to remind you of deadlines or supervise your work more closely, online proofreading may not be for you
- If you get distracted while working on your computer, editing work will be difficult to complete
How Much Do Online Proofreaders Make Per Hour?
As with anything, it depends on your experience, who you are working for, and how they are paying you.
You can be paid hourly, per word, or per project.
It’s most likely that you will be paid per project and typically on a freelance or contractual basis.
A good starting fee for proofreading is $20 an hour, but you can increase this as you gain experience and impress your clients.
Taking a free workshop with Proofread Anywherewill help you get started as a proofreader making $30+ an hour.
According to Salary.com the average salary of a proofreader is right around $53,000 per year.
How to Find Proofreading Jobs
Think about what kind of proofreading work you want to do before you search for clients. There are so many different options out there for you, so it’s in your interest to find the best fit.
When it comes to searching for proofreading jobs, there are other search terms that you can use to bring up the jobs, such as:
- Freelance proofreading jobs
- Editing jobs
- Copy editing
- Book editor/editing
- Academic editor
- Proofreading jobs
- Beginner proofreading jobs
- Proofreading positions
A great place to find clients is within relevant Facebook groups. You’ll be surprised what proofreading jobs may be posted on social media.
Plus on social media, you can grow your own presence as a proofreader and gain more clients that way!
I know lots of people who have found work within these groups by adding value and letting people know that they are available to help.
There are a lot of sites out there that are great places to look for work because hiring companies will generally head to these to find someone for the job.
Copy Editing Work Versus A Proofreading Job
One question we often hear is what different tasks would copy editors have compared to proofreading jobs. Both are easily viable online jobs for you if you like editing, but know that copy editing can entail more and require more hours.
Copy editors work the steps before proofreading where papers tend to be less polished- like a rough draft. Copy editing looks at everything to make bigger changes to content.
Once large-scale editing had been completed, the text is handed over to a proofreader for any small edits, likely grammar and spelling mistakes that can get missed during the big content reviews.
Proofreading is the final checkpoint before everything is finalized for publishing.
31 Best Online Proofreading Jobs
Here we have compiled a list of the 25 best places to help you find freelance proofreading jobs online, and this wide variety of sites will have what you’re looking for.
You could easily use any one of these to do freelance proofreading, stay at home, and enjoy an online job- as we do!
Each could be exactly what you’re looking for, and you may be interested in signing up for more than one freelance site to find more jobs.
Remember, the better you present yourself and the more you put yourself out there, the more chances come your way!
Steady is quickly becoming one of our favorite apps, not just for proofreading jobs, but for many other profitable side hustles.
You can sign up for free and answer some questions so Steady can recommend some job opportunities geared toward your job history and interests.
Not only that, but the Steady app can help you track your income and get Income Boosters so that you can make more.
We really recommend signing up with Steady and checking out what freelance proofreading jobs you can find- plus many others!
FlexJobs is a job site, and you can search for various keywords such as “proofreading jobs,” which will bring up everything available.
You’re most likely to find long-term projects or full-time job opportunities on FlexJobs, but there is a lot of potential for side hustles as well.
This is a paid site, but they have a research team check the validity of each job posting so you don’t deal with scams as you do on some free job platforms.
Upwork is a great proofreading job site for freelancers because you can choose your own clients and projects from what is available there.
It will highlight relevant jobs for you to apply for, but your profile affects what opportunities you get.
It’s up to you to ensure that you create an excellent profile and pitch to the client.
Have you heard of Fiverr before?
You can use Fiverr to create a freelance proofreading profile, and as a top-rated company, you are sure to find online proofreading jobs in no time if you make a striking profile!
It’s a great site that we have used before, and are happy to use again because it’s great value for money from a buyer’s point of view!
But many people also have the opportunity to make a lot of money as a seller.
As the name suggests, the lowest offering is for $5, but you can upsell your services to get more than $5.
You can offer to proofread for clients for different price points depending on document length, complexity, etc.
You need to complete your profile and skill set so that you can be matched to jobs.
6. Polished Paper
Polished Paper (which, by the way, has an amazing-looking website!) says that it has opportunities for exceptional editors.
You will need to sign up, upload your resume, and then complete its 35-question test.
Proofreading Services is a helpful proofreading job website to find full and part-time remote proofreading positions, with pay ranging from $19—$46 per hour.
To sign up, you will need to complete a 20-minute test on this site.
At Wordvice there are remote, online proofreading jobs available on this site, mostly catered towards people looking for remote part-time work.
Wordvice will ask your expected pay rate in your application, so prepare what services you’ll offer and what payment you want to receive.
You will need to submit your application and resume, complete an editing sample, and then you will be notified of your results via email.
It does ask if you are enrolled in or have completed a graduate degree program.
9. CACTUS Communications
There are opportunities to work from home full-time or to freelance.
CACTUS is currently recruiting for
- Freelance specialist editors
- Freelance pharma/regulatory editor
- Freelance alt text editors
- Scientific reviewers: physical sciences and pharma
It does ask that you have a relevant Bachelor’s degree in the subject that you would be editing.
Gramlee says that it is always looking for exceptional editors and you’ll be proofreading work right from home if you are selected to work for this company.
To apply, you will need to submit its Employee Application form and wait to hear back if you have been approved.
11. Scribe Media
Scribe Media (previously called Book in a Box) is a company that takes on freelance editors for book editing.
The great thing about this site is that if it doesn’t currently have any open vacancies, you can set up email alerts for when it does.
You will need to complete the registration process and pass the EditFast review, but whether or not you get work depends on clients choosing you for the project.
Payments to editors will be made through PayPal. EditFast gets 40% of the final total project price.
To join Scribbr’s team, there is a bit of a lengthy process for applying but the company is a great one to join and worth the extra steps.
You will go through each of the following in order to be hired:
- Take a language quiz. If you pass, Scribbr will review your CV and your motivation statement to see if you will fit in well with the team.
- Complete a language editing assignment.
- If you have passed the test assessment, you will be invited to join the Scribbr Academy and be part of the team.
- You will need to complete two simulation orders as a training program, and then you will be ready for real orders.
14. Writer’s Relief
Writer’s Relief is an author submission service that helps creative writers to get published.
To apply, fill in its application form, but please note that it only accepts 2% of the people who apply.
Domainite is a site that’s not very well paid, but if you are brand new to proofreading, it can be a good place to get started.
They have lots of job opportunities for new proofreaders and are a perfect entry-level company for newbies or people looking for a few hours as a side hustle.
16. Wordfirm Inc.
Wordfirm Inc. provides editorial services and publication production.
You will have to fill out a lengthy application, so be sure to give yourself plenty of time to sit down and go through it.
17. click worker
click worker is a great platform that offers clients the ability to outsource microtasks such as proofreading, translation, editing, and more.
They are looking for proofreaders to check and correct the text. This can include descriptions of cities, hotels, products, services, and software.
Since the range of topics always depends on the current job situation, their proofreading tasks promise to be interesting and exciting.
The fee per word depends on the experience and the quality that the individual that is outsourcing is looking for.
We all know LinkedIn is a great place to connect with others on a professional level.
Whether you are looking for a full-time online proofreading job, LinkedIn should be one of your go-to places to start your search.
Start connecting with others, and you never know what opportunity might come up.
19. Get Editing Jobs
Get Editing Jobs is a less-known job board for individuals looking to find freelance work in the editing and proofreading field.
Keep an eye on this job board as there seem to always be plenty of opportunities that you can take advantage of.
20. Lion Bridge
Lion Bridge is a large communication company that is often looking to hire remote online proofreaders.
These jobs are not always available to add to your list, so come back from time to time if you are looking for a full-time proofreading position.
21. American Journal Experts
All of the positions from American Journal Experts are remote and can be done from anywhere in the world.
You can find a list of its job openings and apply for whichever is best for you.
OneSpace (previously known as CrowdSource) is a company that hires workers to do short tasks such as editing or writing jobs.
The qualifications that are required to apply for Edit911 are as followed:
- A Ph.D. in English or another writing-intensive discipline;
- A published scholar, with demonstrable talent and skills as a writer;
- A teacher and/or book editor with verifiable experience;
- A master copy editor and experts in various documentation styles, such as MLA, APA, and Turabian;
- Proficient in MS Word and at least one other software application, such as InDesign or Publisher;
- Dedicated to providing their clients with the world’s finest, most professional editing.
If you meet these requirements, you can send Edit911 a sample of your writing and your resume, to which it will respond within 48 hours.
24. Kirkus Media
Various job openings are available on Kirkus Media, and there are frequently jobs for work-at-home editors and book reviewers.
Keep an eye on this one, SmartBrief occasionally has openings for work-at-home copy editors. The pay is $15 per hour.
26. Writer’s Job Shop
Writer’s Job Shop has job postings for copy editing and freelance proofreading with new online jobs always available.
They require proofreaders to have a high-level understanding and usage of English and any type of degree, which makes them an easy application!
Now we often forget we can find more than vintage treasures or cheap gadgets on Craigslist- you can find freelance proofreading jobs! There’s always something new on their site and you could find a wide variety of proofreader jobs- especially as a newbie looking to gain experience.
The variety can mean all sorts of payment options, so make sure you check the details and ask questions- don’t undersell yourself!
Craigslist has a section for “writing and editing” in their job center, which has grown a lot over the years and is worth looking into for any type of job you may be interested in.
28. Proofreading Pal
Would you like to make $500 or more a month from proofreading jobs? Proofreading Pal has a huge spread of clientele with editing work for business and academic paperwork to manuscripts and personal documents.
One notable thing, you can work as a student if you’ve got a 3.5 and higher GPA, which is a great way to make passive income as a college kid! Otherwise, they’re interested in employees who have a Bachelor’s degree and 5 or more years of experience- not great if you’re a newbie, but a seasoned proofreader could find plenty of work on Proofreading Pal.
Check out editing and writing jobs, plus more freelance jobs, on MediaBistro. You can search specifically for proofreading jobs and set up alerts to stay up to date with new opportunities.
This site takes a bit more navigating into finding proofreading jobs specifically, but applying for other editing positions may not be so bad for you to increase your income!
Guru.com is one of the platforms that’s been around longer and has potential for new and experienced proofreaders alike.
You can join Guru and browse job listings, similarly to how Fiverr works- they even have other job opportunities you may want to check out too.
31. Start Your Own Proofreading Business
If you are already looking for an online job then chances are you are the type of person that wants a little more control over your time and money in life.
So why not start your own proofreading service business?
Doing this will not only give you the freedom to charge what you want but also have the ability to scale your business to something really special eventually hiring other proofreaders to work with you.
The best thing to do when starting an online business is to create a plan of action and starting to network.
Join a few blogging Facebook groups and get your name out there by getting involved. Feel free to join our free blogging Facebook group Blogging With Purpose to get started.
What Proofreading Tools Do I Need?
Many companies rely on Google Docs to share documents and edit them together as a team. If you have a Gmail account, you’ll likely already have access to your own Google Drive.
It’s an effective program for collaborating on a document- or for the client to follow along with any changes you’ve made.
Docs is almost like a free version of Word, though it doesn’t have all of the same functions or capabilities. But it is easy and has most everything you need as a proofreader!
Even proofreaders make mistakes. Grammarly is a tool we use on our team to look for small mistakes- like writing “si” instead of “is” or something simple that we may overlook.
Not only that, but Grammarly also can suggest more concise ways of writing things- it will straight up tell you when something is confusing or is a run-on sentence, which you’ll never want!
It makes some proofreading work easier since it will search and pinpoint quick fixes for you that you can do first before digging into the whole document. But don’t rely on it to make all your small changes- it isn’t always right 100% either!
Who didn’t have to use Word on a daily basis in school?
Many clients will stick with this tried and true program, so don’t be surprised if you need a subscription to edit their documents.
If you’ve been out of the Microsoft game while and aren’t sure about some of the newer functions of Word, check the Microsoft website for tutorials. They make it easy to get caught up on how to use the latest versions.
DropBox is another popular document-sharing method, similar to Google Docs in how it runs but without the calendar and email all rolled up into one.
You may want to sign up and get familiar with how it works- watch YouTube videos to get the layout before using it for a client.
Never knock pulling out the old thesaurus- or use an online one like we do!
You may find many repeated phrases or words used when proofreading- this article clearly uses “proofreading” a lot, but you can only describe something as “good” or “great” so many times without losing meaning.
Try Cntrl F on our article for descriptive words- did I use “good” too many times? Or “a lot” too often? These are the types of things our proofreader looks for.
What Proofreading Skills Do I Need?
To be a proofreader, you will need to know English, have excellent spelling and grammar skills, and be able to spot a mistake quickly.
You will need to be patient and not rush through your work as you need to pick up on mistakes that have not been spotted by whoever has written it (sounds obvious, but there are things that you may not notice that you think you would!).
You can take online proofreading tests to see how you could do as a proofreader, and see if you could be successful in starting your own proofreading business.
For some clients, you will be required to have an English or Journalism Bachelor’s degree, but there are many jobs where you just need to have some relevant work experience.
Sign up for this FREE beginner proofreading workshop and see if proofreading is right for you!
Training to Become an At-Home Proofreader
There are various training courses for proofreading that you can take if you are serious about becoming a proofreader and working from home.
Caitlin Pyle runs the popular course Proofread Anywhere, which offers a FREE workshop that will prepare you for a successful career as a proofreader.
The General Proofreading course will give you 40+ lessons in 8 modules, 10 grammar and punctuation-specific worksheets, bonus resource guides for all kinds of markets, and 40+ real-life example jobs.
Not only will it teach you how proofreading and editing skills, but it will also teach you how to set up, run, and market your business to get clients!
Is Proofreading a Legitimate Career?
Proofreading has been around for a long time, but even more so nowadays since there is so much content that is readily available at our fingertips. There are plenty of ways that you can now make money fast online.
As with anything though, it depends on how much effort you are willing to put into it. You can’t just expect clients to flock to you, so you will need to have a plan for marketing your business and getting clients.
Proofreading is definitely a viable career, and there are many people who are incredibly successful. It is also safe to say that there are legitimate proofreading jobs for beginners that will allow you to work from home.
Finding online proofreading jobs opens you up to amazing opportunities where you can easily increase your income.
Plus, who doesn’t want to work from home and be their own boss?
If you’re serious about making some extra money as a proofreader or even turning it into a full-time job, we recommend you take Proofread Anywhere’s General Proofreading course.
You got this! Now go get your first client!