Searching for ways to work from home and considering online proofreading jobs?
It could be a perfect fit if you have an eye for detail and enjoy polishing other writers’ prose.
But how do you get started?
This post has all the answers you need to become a professional proofreader, whether you want to work online, remotely, be an employee, or freelancer — it’s your choice.
Since proofreading is a major part of the writing process, proofreaders are always in demand.
Ready to learn how to become a proofreader, how much proofreading jobs pay, and the top 20 sites for finding legitimate online proofreading jobs?
Great, let’s go!
What is Proofreading?
Proofreading is the process of reading and examining a piece of written work to find errors and mark them for correction. A proofreader is generally the last person to read through a document before publication. Proofreaders scour text for errors missed during the editing process.
They look for:
- Improper grammar
- Misspelled words
- Incorrect punctuation
- Inconsistent spellings of words
- Formatting errors
- Incorrect capitalization
- Typesetting issues
Proofreaders work on all kinds of documents for:
- Academic and student clients
- Business and professional clients
- Creative writers, authors, and publishers
- English as a second language (ESL) writers
Now that we have a better understanding of what proofreading entails, let’s see how it compares to editing.
Proofreading vs. Copyediting
It’s easy to confuse proofreading and editing, as the lines between the two are sometimes blurry. However, they are different.
Copy editing involves correcting grammar, spelling, punctuation, word choice, inconsistencies, and syntax (the arrangement of words and phrases to create well-formed sentences).
Overall, a copyeditor’s main concern is to ensure their documents are clear, coherent, consistent, and correct. Copy editors often have the responsibility of proofreading, as well.
Proofreading and copyediting do involve some of the same tasks; however, a copy editor is more likely to change the phrasing or structure of a document, while a proofreader is less likely to significantly alter text before it’s published.
In addition, proofreading is considered the final stage of the editing process, so the proofreader can pick up any errors the copy editor may have missed.
The Top 20 Sites for Finding Proofreading Jobs
Before searching for proofreading jobs, consider your interests and what type of documents you’d enjoy proofreading. This will narrow your options and ensure you find suitable jobs.
Some sites listed below include job boards with search bars. Here’s a short list of search terms to start with:
- Remote proofreading jobs
- Freelance proofreading jobs
- Editing jobs
Related Reading: How to Become an Editor: Free Beginner’s Guide 
Fiverr is a freelance marketplace that connects buyers and sellers while offering high-quality services at every price point, including proofreading services.
It’s different from other marketplaces in this post because buyers seek you out, instead of you bidding or applying for jobs.
Fiverr is a great place to make money as a beginner because it’s totally acceptable to only charge $5 for your services. And as you gain experience, you can increase your prices.
Simply sign up, set up your “Gig,” and offer your services to a worldwide audience.
FlexJobs is a job site that offers high-quality remote proofreading jobs (amongst others) for freelancers and employees.
You can easily search jobs by keyword, category, or title.
Rest assured, all job listings are legitimate since FlexJobs takes extra precautions to protect job seekers from scams. That’s why, in order to view full job details, FlexJobs charges a small (satisfaction guaranteed) membership fee.
Don’t hesitate to check their listings first — it may be well worth it!
Gramlee is a copyediting site that also provides proofreading services done by independent contractors who work from home.
Their website says they are always looking for exceptional editors, which could mean you!
Applying is simple: fill out the Gramlee Employment Application, and if they like your application, they’ll contact you.
Upwork is one of the largest online job marketplaces.
Clients post projects and jobs, ranging from entry-level to expert, for freelancers to choose from. This is beneficial for beginners looking to get started.
Sign up for a free account, create your profile, and search for proofreading jobs via the search bar or by selecting the Editing & Proofreading category. Once you find a fun project or remote job, submit a proposal and bid for the job.
Just know that Upwork can be highly competitive, so you may initially need to accept low wages and submit multiple proposals before getting hired.
ProofreadingPal is a proofreading website that offers a variety of professional proofreading services and utilizes a unique two-editor approach, wherein every document is proofread by two skilled proofreaders. This is a benefit for job seekers since it means a higher demand for proofreaders.
ProofreadingPal editors can earn between $500 and $3,000 per month, but you must be enrolled as a graduate or postgraduate student (with at least a 3.5 GPA) in an accredited US college/university OR have a graduate degree and five years of experience as a proofreader.
Wordvice is a global leader in providing editing and proofreading services to academic, admissions, and business customers.
They offer remote part-time editing and proofreading jobs to freelancers who are enrolled in or have completed a graduate degree program and have some previous editing experience.
To apply, submit an application (include expected pay rate) and resume, complete an editing sample, and then wait for notification of results.
7. American Journal Experts
American Journal Experts is a team of former academics and publishing professionals who provide manuscript preparation services.
Current proofreader job openings and available freelance job opportunities are listed on the Careers page (scroll down to view contractor opportunities).
American Journal Experts is currently looking to hire independent contractors who are affiliated with specific US research institutions.
Domainite is a platform that provides marketing services to business owners, including website design, social media marketing, and reputation management.
Before applying to proofread for Domainite, be aware that they may offer low pay. However, if you’re brand new to proofreading, this could be a good opportunity to gain some experience.
The application process is simple: Fill out the short Freelance Editing Job Hire Form and edit the sample text provided.
EditFast is a platform where freelancers and clients connect to provide and receive services, including editing and proofreading.
Freelancers create their own Web pages (profiles) to promote their skills and talents for clients to view. Clients can either select a freelancer or submit their documents for EditFast to assign an appropriate freelancer for their project.
Complete the registration process to get started, and once EditFast approves your information, your Web page will be activated.
To be hired, EditFast requires a degree from a recognized university and past proofreading experience.
EditFast receives 40% of the project price.
ProofreadingServices.com provides proofreading, translation, publishing, and professional services.
When you work with them, you’ll proofread “just about everything under the sun” and have access to part-time and full-time online proofreading jobs that pay between $19 and $46 per hour, depending on turnaround time.
To be considered for hire, you’ll need to successfully complete a 20-question proofreading test within 20 minutes and score 95% or above on it.
Scribbr provides academic proofreading and editing services to help students earn their degrees.
They look for editors with a passion for language and a bachelor’s degree.
For an editor role, you’ll need to pass Scribbr’s quiz and have your resume reviewed to determine if you’re a good fit. Next, complete an editing assignment, and if you pass, you’ll be invited to join Scribbr Academy to receive training.
After successfully completing two to five simulation orders, you’ll be officially welcomed to the Scribbr editor team.
12. Scribe Media
Scribe Media helps authors write, publish, and market their own books, which includes proofreading services. Scribe Media offers full-time careers as well as freelance and part-time roles.
Full-time employees enjoy plenty of time off, flexible hours, the option to work from home, as well as health and financial benefits.
Check Scribe Media’s “Careers” page for a list of available full-time and freelance opportunities. If there are no open proofreading jobs, simply join the Careers List to receive notification of new roles.
Scribendi provides editing and proofreading services to a variety of clients, including those in business, academia, and publishing fields.
They hire both freelancers and in-house employees for editor/proofreader positions.
Freelancers make their own schedules, choose interesting assignments, and interact with in-house staff and other freelancers via an online forum.
Scribendi looks for experienced proofreaders and editors with a bachelor’s degree or higher who are also native-level English speakers (since much of their work is from ESL students and clients).
Simply click on the “Apply Now” button on Scribendi’s Jobs page.
LinkedIn is an online business platform for professional networking where you can connect with other professionals to either market your services or find employment.
Open an account, create your profile, and start connecting with everyone you know.
Search for online proofreading jobs by clicking on the “Jobs” icon. When using the search bar, click on the “City, state, or zip code” bar and select “Remote” from the dropdown menu.
If you plan to offer freelance proofreading services to those in your network, be sure to indicate on your profile that you’re providing these services.
15. Polished Paper
Polished Paper offers “world-class” proofreading and editing services to business, academic, personal, author, and ESL clients.
They look for exceptional editors with diverse educational backgrounds, experiences, and skills.
To apply, register for a user account, upload your resume, and take a 35-question editor test. The good news is that Polished Paper encourages the use of outside resources to help you complete this test.
Freelancer is an online marketplace that connects employers and freelancers worldwide.
Employers post projects, receive bids from freelancers, and select the best freelancer to complete the job.
Set up your profile and browse proofreading jobs (you can save job searches and get notified when relevant new jobs are posted).
Once you find a job opportunity, write your best pitch, get hired, and deliver high-quality work.
Guru is a platform where freelancers and employers work together.
Employers post a variety of jobs for freelancers to browse and to submit quotes for.
You can easily find proofreading jobs by either selecting the Editing & Proofreading subcategory (under the Writing & Translation category) or by simply entering relevant terms into the search bar.
Sign up on the website, build your profile, view job listings, and submit quotes for proofreading jobs.
Employers evaluate all quotes and choose the best freelancer for the job.
Clickworker is an online platform that hires independent contractors called Clickworkers to perform small tasks for clients.
Clickworker takes large, complex jobs and breaks them down into microtasks that include proofreading and copyediting. These tiny tasks are then completed by Clickworkers on a piece-rate basis.
To become a freelance Clickworker, simply sign up on the website, create a user profile, complete some assessments, and then get to work.
19. Get Editing Jobs
Get Editing Jobs is an online community of job seekers and employers that includes a job directory with writing, editing, and proofreading positions.
To find a list of proofreading jobs, start with search terms like “proofreader,” “proofreading,” and “editor.”
It may also be beneficial to create a job seeker account so you can manage your resume, create custom alerts, and receive job notifications.
Lionbridge is a global communications platform with a community of talented, remote workers who help customers with their content.
They outsource various tasks to their workers and often have online proofreading jobs available.
If no proofreading jobs are listed, be sure to join the community, register for proofreading tasks, and take the relevant evaluation tests. Lionbridge will then contact you when proofreading work is available.
How Much Do Proofreading Jobs Pay?
Can you make decent money proofreading?
Salary.com reports that, as of March 29, 2021, the average proofreader salary in the United States was $53,226, with ranges typically falling between $46,709 and $60,779, depending on education, certifications, skills, and number of years in the profession.
For hourly rates, as of April 4, 2021, Payscale.com reports the average proofreader hourly pay to be $18.53, with individual pay ranging from $11.84 to $30.17.
These numbers are likely for full-time proofreading jobs.
When it comes to freelance work, it’s possible to be paid per word, per page, per project, or by the hour. And, as a freelancer, you have the ability to set your own rates.
According to the Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA), freelance proofreaders can charge between $31 and $45 per hour, OR between $0.02 and $0.039 per word, depending on experience level and type of proofreading job.
This gives you an idea of what to expect, but ultimately your pay depends on your experience and skills, who you’re working for, and how you’re being paid.
Let’s look at the skills and qualifications needed to be a proofreader.
Proofreader Skills & Qualifications
A bachelor’s degree in English or a related field is sometimes required, but it’s not necessary to find proofreading work.
Prior proofreading experience may also be required.
If you’re a beginner proofreader, think about your schooling or past employment. For example, did you do any academic editing while attending college?
Or, how about friends and family? Did you ever proofread correspondence, resumes, or creative writing for them?
Include these experiences in your application or resume.
You’ll also need these proofreading skills:
- Strong language skills to correct spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
- Attention to detail to spot small errors and inconsistencies, which also requires patience and concentration.
- Communication skills to work directly with clients and be able to understand and follow instructions.
- Ability to meet deadlines to submit completed work within specific turnaround times.
- Computer skills to learn formatting, use software, and utilize the Internet.
You should also become familiar with style guides, like The Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS) and The Associated Press Stylebook (AP).
How to Become a Proofreader
If you have a natural tendency for finding errors and noticing inconsistencies while reading, this is a great start. And if you enjoyed English class and scored well, this is good too.
But if you have no prior proofreading experience, it would serve you well to get some training before applying for jobs.
While you don’t necessarily need a college degree, it’d be wise to brush up on those skills you learned in English class.
A multitude of online training courses are available, and most are reasonably priced. A simple Google search for “online proofreading courses” will provide a list of high-quality options.
Two popular courses are Proofread Anywhere’s General Proofreading and Proofreading Academy’s Becoming a Proofreader.
Another option is Udemy.com, which offers many inexpensive editing and proofreading courses-some as little as $11.99 during sales.
Once you take a course or two, start updating your resume.
As you find jobs, create a portfolio to show prospective employers or clients your work.
Next, let’s find out what tools you’ll need to do proofreading work from home.
What Tools Do You Need for Remote Proofreading Jobs?
Besides a computer and internet access, some other tools are useful for completing remote proofreading jobs.
Microsoft Word may be the most common word processing program used for online proofreading jobs. Newer versions of Word include a “Review” menu with useful features for proofreading and editing, such as Editor, New Comment, Track Changes, and Compare.
Google Docs works with Google Drive. Drive is like a filing cabinet that stores files, while Docs is the word processing program where you open and work on your files/documents. Drive and Docs allow you to share files (and your work) with your employer or client.
Dropbox is similar to Google Drive and can also be used to share files with your employer or client.
Spell-check is a feature included with your word processing program. Use it! However, don’t fully rely on this as it’s incapable of picking up every error due to homophones and context, etc.
Grammarly (affiliate link) scans your work, points out spelling and grammatical errors, and offers options for correction. ProWritingAid (affiliate link) is another great option, and it comes with a 20% discount. But don’t fully depend on Grammarly or other tools — they’ll miss some errors, depending on context, type of document, etc.
Ready to Do Proofreading Jobs from Home?
So you’ve found a way to work from home AND make money doing what you love.
You’ve also learned how to finally go after and get your dream job.
If you’re new to the idea of proofreading, don’t hesitate. Get some training to build your confidence.
Then, update your resume and search the sites above for interesting proofreading jobs.
If you already have education and experience proofreading, then begin by examining which new skills you can either acquire or improve.
Now, get out there and be the best dang proofreader you can be!