If you've been looking for work at home jobs, you have likely come across proofreading as an opportunity.
If you have strong grammar skills and you're a good speller, it may be the perfect way to make some extra money.
Even better if you know what AP, APA, and MLA stand for.
That would be Associated Press (AP), American Psychological Association (APA), and Modern Language Association (MLA) if you didn't.
Those organizations, among others, publish writing style guides. These guides help ensure consistency in writing throughout an organization or publication.
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Style Guides Used by Proofreaders
The following are among the most popular style guides and references for writers, and proofreaders, to use based on discipline.
- American Chemical Society (ACA) Style Guide – for chemists
- American Medical Association (AMA) Manual of Style – for biology and medicine
- AP Stylebook – for journalists
- APA Style – for social sciences
- Chicago Manual of Style – for social sciences and humanities
- MLA Handbook – for academic writing
- The Elements of Style – overall writing reference
Many companies have their own standards for writing. Corporate guides are typically based on one of the style guides mentioned above with some modifications.
Another excellent resource is McGraw-Hill's Proofreading Handbook.
It is helpful to know what standard is used to write a document when proofreading it to ensure consistency.
However, knowledge of one of those guides isn't required.
If you have good attention to detail and can find errors in everyday writing, you can perform most proofreading jobs.
Frequently Asked Questions about Proofreading
If you are thinking about proofreading, here are some answers to the most popular questions about it.
What is Proofreading?
Proofreading is simply reading text and marking any errors.
It is a check of spelling, grammar, punctuation, and formatting.
Do You Need Qualifications To be a Proofreader?
Qualification requirements vary based on the job.
Some jobs require an English degree, while others require several years of related experience or familiarity with a particular style of writing.
Why Would You Want To be a Proofreader?
• Beginner jobs are available.
• You set your own hours as long as you meet your deadlines.
• It is easy to start small and scale-up.
• You can work from virtually anywhere.
How Much Money Does a Proofreader Make?
According to Salary.com, the median wage for proofreaders is $25 per hour, depending on experience and qualifications.
The number of clients you can manage, your proficiency, and how much time you have affects your earning potential.
Additionally, proofreaders may be paid by the project, or by the number of pages or words.
What Tools are Useful for Proofreaders?
In addition to the standard tools you need for working from home, and the style guides listed above, here are a few tools that make a proofreader's job easier.
Grammarly is an AI-powered, virtual proofreader. While it can't replace a pair of human eyes, it is extremely helpful in finding errors you may miss.
Read our review of Grammarly to learn more about it.
Google Docs lets you edit, share, and comment on documents.
This versatility makes it ideal for working with clients on your documents.
If you are interested in proofreading jobs but don't have any experience, the Proofread Anywhere course is a great option.
General proofreading training and transcript proofreading training are two options for training.
The transcript proofreading course is more technical, which can lead to higher pay and more repeat clients.
Additionally, you can take a free workshop or intro course before investing in a whole course to see if it is right for you.
Finding Online Proofreading Jobs
While there are occasionally remote proofreading jobs with specific companies, because of the nature of proofreading, most of the jobs are of an independent contractor or freelancer type.
Besides searching for online proofreading jobs, you can find similar positions by searching for editing jobs.
Also, be sure to use variations of the terms (i.e., proofreading, proof reader, proof reading, editing) in your searches.
With both terms, you can specify types you want to search for as well, including:
Additionally, depending on what you are looking for, don't forget to include terms like remote, telecommute, work from home, or contractor in your search.
Below are several companies and resources to help you find proofreading jobs.
Freelance Sites and Job Boards
Fiverr is a marketplace for freelancers. If you are just starting out, it is a great place to find beginner proofreading jobs to gain some experience to include in your portfolio of work.
While pay can start low, you can raise your rates with more experience and for different types of jobs.
For any type of remote work, FlexJobs is a great job board to start your search.
You'll find all kinds of positions on FlexJobs, from temporary, to part-time, to full-time.
Some jobs require a high school education, while others require a degree or several years of experience.
Freelancer is another site that is similar to Fiverr.
Employers post projects, and freelancers bid on them. Occasionally, employers will search for freelancers and make them offers directly.
Another freelancing marketplace, PeoplePerHour has projects with pay-by-the-hour, as well as fixed-price jobs.
When you find a job you are interested in, you submit a proposal for consideration.
As the price goes up, so will the number of competing proposals.
Upwork has jobs ranging from entry-level to expert. Most jobs are listed with an hourly rate or fixed price listed, as well as the duration of the job.
Proofreading Specific Job Sites
American Journal Experts
American Journal Experts (AJE) focuses on the publication of research papers.
AJE is part of Research Square and has independent contractor and freelance editor positions.
Due to the nature of publications that are worked on, education requirements typically include being enrolled in a graduate program or having a graduate degree.
CACTUS offers both work from home and freelance positions.
Publications created by CACTUS are focused on academia and life sciences, so qualifications include college degrees in a specialized subject area.
Cambridge Proofreading provides proofreading services covering academic subjects.
Editors working for Cambridge have a minimum of a bachelor's degree, while most have a master's or Ph.D.
The average pay is between $20 and $30 per hour, which is paid twice a month via PayPal. And you need to commit to at least 10,000 words per week.
Edit911 only hires employees with a Ph.D. in English or another writing-intensive discipline.
They provide book, dissertation, thesis, manuscript, academic, and business editing, among others.
Additionally, they look for published scholars, teachers, book editors, and master copy editors.
Gramlee offers online editing and proofreading services with a quick turnaround.
They hire independent and professional editors.
Polished Paper provides services for essays, business documents, dissertations, resumes, blog posts, novels, screenplays, and more.
To register for potential proofreading opportunities, you upload your resume and then take a 35 question editor test.
Problogger has a job board that is primarily focused on content writers for blogs.
However, occasionally proofreading and editing jobs are posted for blogs as well.
While Prompt isn't a proofreading service, they hire writing coaches to help students improve their writing.
A bachelor's degree is required to apply at Prompt. An hourly rate of $25 to $30 per hour is typical, along with bonuses based on editing volume.
ProofreadNOW hires people with a minimum of five years of professional proofreading experience.
Additionally, applicants undergo difficult editing tests.
ProofreadingPal uses two proofreaders for every document they review.
Editors typically earn between $500 and $3,000 per month.
Requirements include being enrolled as a graduate student with a minimum 3.5 GPA or having a graduate degree with five years of proofreading and editing experience.
ProofreadingServices hire for online proofreader jobs.
Services provided include documents for businesses, academics, authors, job applicants, and others, using any style guide indicated.
Pay ranges between $10 and $46 per hour based on turnaround time.
When you apply, the first step is a 20 preliminary applicant test.
Scribe Media has both full-time and freelance opportunities.
There were not any at the time of writing this article. However, you can set up alerts to be notified of new opportunities.
Scribe is highly rated on Glassdoor.
Scribbr focuses on thesis and dissertation proofreading and editing.
To work for Scribbr, you need a bachelor's degree, need to be a native English speaker, and need to be available at least 10 hours a week.
During busy periods, you can have full-time work if you choose.
You are paid a fixed rate based on word count, selected services, and the turnaround time.
Scribendi offers both employee and freelance opportunities for proofreading jobs.
They provide services to businesses, academia, and publishing companies. Document types include technical, scientific, medical, and others.
A bachelor's degree is required, and you need to be able to proofread at a rate of 1,000 to 1,500 words per hour.
Wordvice editors work on research articles, dissertations, theses, admissions essays, and more.
Roles are freelance positions. Document word count and turnaround time determine compensation.
Qualifications include being enrolled in or having completed a graduate degree program, two years of professional experience, and knowledge of formatting styles.
Additional Proofreader Resources
For bonus points on your resume, as well as networking and professional development opportunities, join a professional association.
As mentioned earlier, Grammarly is a powerful tool to assist you with proofreading. Just be aware, it is a computer and doesn't always understand how a human speaks, so review each recommendation.
And if you become a freelance proofreader, QuickBooks is an excellent bookkeeping tool for tracking expenses, managing taxes, and sending invoices for your work.
Proofreading jobs are plentiful. Using the resources above, you should be able to make money simply by correcting other's mistakes.
Remember, if you are new to proofreading, you can take a course at Proofread Anywhere to prepare you for a proofreading job.
Do you have any experience with a proofreading job? Or have you been looking for one? Please share in the comments below.