If you have always wanted to work from home and have an incredible attention to detail, online proofreading jobs may be the perfect fit.
You can work for a company (usually as an independent contractor), or run your own freelance gig using one of the many freelance marketplaces. Finding online proofreading jobs is easier than ever and provides flexible hours for those on the go. You can even start your own business if you’re feeling courageous.
The sky’s the limit to make a decent living proofreading. Are you ready to learn more?
What Is Proofreading?
Proofreaders get paid to review blogs, articles, web content and more, looking for spelling and grammatical errors. It’s an important task for a company to outsource because sending out communications with bad grammar or spelling is embarrassing and could hurt their business.
To be clear, proofreaders aren’t editors. Proofreaders work as an evaluator – looking for mistakes – they aren’t checking the document for proper flow – that’s an editor’s job. Proofreaders are often the last step before the design team hits ‘publish’ on the post.
How Much Do Proofreaders Earn?
Since most freelance proofreading jobs mean freelancers set their own rates, the sky’s the limit. Think about how you want to charge and how much you want to make per hour.
Some proofreaders charge per word, others charge per document, or even per hour. No matter how you charge, work it out to an hourly wage so you can determine if it’s worth your time. On average, online proofreaders make $10 an hour, but some earn much more, especially if they work fast. This is one of the best online jobs that allows you to earn extra income and work remotely.
Online Proofreading Jobs: Pros and Cons
Like any job, there are pros and cons to online proofreading work. Understanding the good and the bad can help you decide if it’s right for you.
- Most proofreader jobs are from the comfort of your own home. You can earn good money working when you want and where you want. No one tells you want to do.
- If you love proofreading, the job should be easy for you. Some people even do it on the side to make a little extra money because they enjoy it.
- There are very few startup costs. Starting a new business can get expensive when you look at all the startup costs, but if you have a computer and internet connection, you’re all set to do proofreading jobs online.
- There is plenty of room for beginners. You don’t need many years of experience to get paid for proofreading and it’s not hard to build a great reputation fast if you do a good job.
- You can work an online proofreading job in your free time. If you’re looking to quit your 9 to 5, you can start side hustling the proofreading job until you get enough clients that allows you to quit the rat race.
- You’ll have to meet strict deadlines, especially if you proofread for a large company. If they send you time sensitive documents, you must have them done on time. This can make it hard to juggle if proofreading is a side hustle.
- You may need to spend money (and time) furthering your education. Legitimate proofreading jobs online requires continuing education so you’re always up on the latest rules.
How to Find Work as an Online Proofreader
Before you look for online proofreading jobs, decide what you want to proofread and how often.
- Is this a side job or your main gig?
- Do you want to proofread in your free time or more often?
- Is there a specific niche you’d like to work with?
Once you’ve narrowed down what you want and how often you’ll work, you can start your job search.
A few great places to look include:
- Facebook groups
You can work for someone or start your own home-based business and find online proofreading jobs through Facebook groups, Indeed.com, and even Craigslist.
Skills and Training Needed for at Home Proofreading
Proofreading jobs online require extensive skills, after all, you’re providing a special service. Besides the obvious grammar skills, you’ll need:
- A great attention to detail
- Solid understand of all grammar rules
- A great vocabulary
- Strong command of the language you’ll proofread
Some companies prefer an individual with a degree in English or journalism. Some companies allow degrees in a specific field that pertains to the industry you will proofread too. A solid understanding of how the industry works, the jargon they use, and their overall requirements ensure you have the skills necessary to succeed.
Tools Proofreaders Use
While proofreaders need quality skills to succeed in proofreading jobs, they use plenty of tools to help keep them organized and make their jobs easier. A few of the most popular tools online proofreaders use include:
Google Docs is user-friendly and universal. Everyone has free access to it and it is easy to use Google Docs. You can collaborate using comments that anyone can respond to, and store the documents in the cloud.
Everyone is updated in real-time and can access the document as needed. By using Google Docs, you can resolve comments, share ideas, and complete projects.
Dropbox is the next most common file-sharing tools companies use. You may come across a few companies who prefer not to use Google. Set up a Dropbox account so you’re ready should a client want to use Dropbox. It doesn’t have the same useful features as Google, but you get the cloud storage and updates in real-time when someone adds documents or changes something.
It seems strange that a proofreader would use an editing tool, but you can’t have too many eyes on a document. Some proofreaders use Grammarly before they edit a document, reviewing the areas it highlights and determining what changes are necessary.
Others use it as a backup tool. Once they proofread the document, they run it through Grammarly to make sure they didn’t miss anything. Grammarly has both a free and paid version. You get more features with the paid version, but the free version is useful too.
Maybe not a conventional tool… but one of my favorite purchases since starting my online businesses has been a standing desk to use while working from home! My posture has improved and my back doesn’t hurt from sitting all day long.
Is Proofreading A Career?
Can proofreading be a career? Absolutely. You get out of it what you put into it. If you work hard, hustle for clients, and do a great job, you can make a full-time living (and a good one) as an online proofreader.
It’s also one of the best side hustles if you’d rather have something more concrete for your ‘regular’ money. Starting a proofreading side hustle isn’t a bad idea, though. It brings in more money, helping you get out of debt, save for a financial milestone, or stocks up your savings so you can make it a full-time career someday.
Can You Be a Proofreader Without a Degree?
A degree is nice, but not required to be successful at remote proofreading jobs. Companies give preference to those with an English or Journalism degree, but any degree works. What they really look for is testimonials and/or experience in proofreading.
Best Online Proofreading Jobs
FlexJobs is another great job board. Narrow down your search by typing in ‘proofreader’ or ‘proofreading’ in the search bar and see what options you have. Don’t limit yourself on location, though, since you’re an online proofreader, you can work with people all over the world.
If you want to start your career with freelance work, Fiverr is one of the best ways to make extra money at home. You can choose your niche, advertise your services and try your hand at a variety of proofreading tasks to see what you like.
You set your own rates on Fiverr, but Fiverr handles all administrative and payments. They deduct a 20% fee from your earnings to cover their services and you keep the rest, with funds available 14 days after the client accepts the work.
LinkedIn is multi-faceted. Use it to advertise that you are an online proofreader and then network as much as possible. Just like personal social media pages, the word gets out fast when you connect with as many people as possible. If you have a public profile, anyone can view your profile too, which may bring in more opportunities for proofreading jobs from home. Just make sure you make it clear that you are a remote proofreader.
LinkedIn also has job ads. You’ll have more competition as you need to apply for the jobs alongside many other qualified candidates, so find a way to make yourself stand out. The combination of networking and applying for proofreading jobs online is a great way to increase your chances of success as a proofreader.
4. Get Editing Jobs
Get Editing Jobs is a job board for online freelancers, including writers and proofreaders. If you want to narrow down your options, search specifically for proofreader or editor to get the targeted job ads.
Have your resume and cover letter ready, because you’ll need to apply for these jobs like you would any other job.
5. Click Worker
Click Worker outsources what they call micro-tasks to freelancers, some of which is a job for an online proofreader. If you want to be on the list, you must prove you have the skills for proofreading and editing.
Click Worker requires that you pass a test to start taking tasks. Once you pass, you can accept jobs, but make sure you pay attention to the rate Click Worker pays to make sure it’s worth your time.
MediaBistro is a job board with many freelancing opportunities. While you may not find a ton of proofreading jobs, if you dig hard enough you might. Use it as a backup if you have some downtime and need to fill in the gaps. Just search ‘proofreading’ or ‘proofreader’ to find applicable jobs.
UpWork is another freelance marketplace, but you bid for your jobs by creating a proposal for each job that interests you.
To make the most of your time on Upwork, create a killer profile that shows your skills and includes samples of your work. Consider creating custom proposals for each job too, rather than using a template for each one. It makes it more personal for each job and increases your chance of winning.
Like Fiverr, UpWork holds the funds and handles all administrative work. They hold onto your funds for 14 days or until the buyer accepts the job, whichever comes first. To make money working from home as a proofreader with UpWork, keep an eye out for legitimate work from home opportunities with positive review history. Avoid scams by sticking to UpWorks pay and communication guidelines.
8. Proof Reading Services
Proof Reading Services hires online proofreaders to work from home. They hire on a part-time and full-time basis. They pay well, sometimes up to $45 an hour, but beginner proofreading jobs may start on a much lower scale, with the pay ranging from $9 – $10 an hour. While it is not the highest pay, it is a good start if you’re just learning how to start your side business.
Like most proofreading jobs, you must pass a test to prove your skills before you start.
Lionbridge works like Click Worker. They outsource a variety of micro-tasks to complete jobs for clients. One of those jobs is proofreading. You must sign up for an account and pass their skills test to get tasks from Lionbridge.
10. Proofreading Pal
Proofreading Pal is the perfect gig for college students. They hire students with a GPA of at least 3.5 or graduates. All the proofreading jobs on Proofreading Pal are remote, and are perfect for those just starting out and trying to gain experience.
R3Ciprocity doesn’t pay in cash, but it’s a great way to gain experience. It works on credits. You proof other writer’s work and earn credits. You in turn, can use your credits to have your work proofed. Like I said, you don’t earn cash, but if you want to get your feet wet in proofreading, it’s a good opportunity.
Reedsy is another marketplace for online proofreaders and writers. It serves as the go-between for both parties, bringing those together who Reedsy feels would be a good match.
All conversations go through Reedsy between you and the freelance writer and you set your own rates. If the writer agrees, you collaborate and make money from home proofreading.
13. OneSpace Freelancers
OneSpace is a freelancer’s marketplace that’s great for proofreading jobs. You’ll go through an application process and once approved, can bid on jobs. Buyers can leave feedback on your work. OneSpace provides daily payments too, which is nice.
14. Polished Paper
Polished Paper is for ‘exceptional proofreaders.’ If you have plenty of experience and want to try your hand at some challenging jobs, you’ll first need to pass a difficult Polished Paper test. Make sure your skills are up to par and don’t be afraid to use outside resources to ace the test.
15. Writing Jobz
Writing Jobz has a large selection of online proofreading jobs available for a beginner or expert. Choose the jobs that suit your abilities and do a spectacular job. Buyers will come back for more and you’ll build up your experience.
You choose your hours and what you want to work on whether it’s simple web content or a complex academic paper.
EditFast is a freelance marketplace for many types of freelancers including online proofreaders. You’ll need to create a profile and upload a professional resume to start working. Keep in mind, EditFast keeps 40% of your earnings, which is a little steep compared to the other job boards for work-at-home proofreading jobs.
Guru is another online marketplace for freelancers. Create a profile and find a way to make yourself stand out in your niche. You can then search for jobs in your niche. Guru also matches you with jobs and sends you ‘Top Matches’ if they think you’ll be a good fit for a specific job.
18. Writer’s Job Shop
If you just want a straight up job board for proofreader jobs, along with freelance writing jobs and editing, you’ll find it on Writer’s Job Shop. You don’t need to do much to make money online with Writer’s Job Shop. Just search for a job and apply for those that interest you.
19. Writer’s Relief
If you love proofreading creative writing, check out Writer’s Relief. They only accept a few applicants, so make sure your skills and resume are up to par.
20. Scribe Media
Scribe Media hires online proofreaders as full-time employees or on a freelance basis. If you’re looking for a new career, this could be a good first step for work from home proofreading jobs. If you’d prefer something more temporary to test the waters, try freelancing.
If you’re looking to proofread for big names and prestigious institutions, check out Wordvice. It’s a platform not just for proofreaders, but writers and translators too. You may just get picked up by the likes of Stanford University or a major research firm.
Gramlee hires freelance proofreaders to join their team often. Just complete an online application with Gramlee and if they like what they see, they’ll contact you. It’s that simple.
If you’re looking for your first proofreading job, look no further than Domainite. While you won’t make a lot of money, as their pay is low, you’ll be able to earn extra money and gain valuable experience. Once you build up your portfolio, you’ll be better poised for some higher paying gigs out there, but remember, everyone must start somewhere.
Freelancer is a job board for many jobs including proofreader jobs. I like it because you can pick up work when you’re slow in other areas. Sometimes those last minute jobs land you a long-term project or relationship with a great client.
Did you love academic writing when you were in school? Scribbr gives you the chance to bring that joy back by proofreading academic papers. To qualify, you must have a college degree and meet Scribbr’s specific requirements for each job. But if academic writing is your thing, then Scribbr is a great platform. Find freelance proofreading jobs on Scribbr and you can earn extra cash in no time.
26. Wordfirm Inc.
WordFirm hires online proofreaders to work as independent contractors on publication projects. They have an in-depth application process, but once you go through it once, you’re in and can select projects that they offer. Wordfirm offers competitive pay. The total project price varies between the different projects that WordFirm has available.
27. American Journal Experts
American Journal Experts hires independent contractor proofreaders for their work from home jobs. They have an ongoing list of available positions which list the requirements to qualify. Proofread anywhere and start making money online with their full and part time work from home jobs.
SmartBrief is a digital media publisher that often looks for proofreaders. Their pay is often low, so keep that in mind as you look at your parttime remote opportunities.
29. Kirkus Media
Kirkus Media hires freelancers to write book reviews often, but sometimes they look for online proofreaders too. Like most other companies, they hire you as an independent contractor.
30. Start Your Own Business
If you want to do your own thing and forget trying to win freelance opportunities from job boards, start your own home based proofreading business.
All you need is a computer, a website (you can pay someone to create it), and a great portfolio that shows your skills to begin your work from home business. Of course, then you have to market your proofreading services but today it’s easier than ever before thanks to social media, LinkedIn, and even cold pitching emails.
If you feel comfortable handling all aspects of taking on a job, handling payment, and marketing yourself, it can be a great way to earn decent money looking for online proofreading jobs.
Are Online Proofreading Jobs Legit?
Online proofreading jobs are legit, especially if you stick to the tried-and-true platforms. This just scratches the surface of the best work from home proofreading jobs though. You can also find proofreading jobs by doing additional research online. Look up remote positions available online and the money-making opportunities are endless. The key is to be consistent, get testimonials as you do the work, and network as much as you can to get the word out there about your proofreading skills. Put your skills to use and start earning money working at home.
Do you love reading? Check out this list of 35 legit sites that pay you to read in your freetime!
Samantha uses her BS in Finance and MBA to help others control their finances through budgeting, saving, investing, side hustles, and travel hacking. Due to following the FIRE Movement’s principles, she was able to quit her high-stress job in the financial services industry in July 2019 to pursue her side hustles. She is now a full-time entrepreneur, freelancing coach, and blogger.