30 Best Online Proofreading Jobs in 2021 (Earn up to $50/Hour)
Do you have a knack for grammar and spelling? If so, you can make a lucrative side gig working as a professional proofreader. Proofreaders do the tough work of scouring documents to make sure that everything is spelled correctly and that grammar is in proper form.
The best part is that you do not need any special education to work as a proofreader. As long as you have a computer, a working internet connection, and a knowledge of the English language you can find gigs proofreading.
That said, it can be hard to know where to find the best online proofreading jobs. This is why we put together this guide on the 30 best proofreading gigs you can find right now on the internet.
It’s time to unleash your inner grammar snob and get to work!
What Do Proofreaders Do?
Proofreaders check written documents for mechanical consistency; e.g. spelling, punctuation, grammar, formatting, omitted words, etc. Proofreading is usually the final step before a written piece is published.
Proofreading is different from editing. Editing involves revising documents for content, tone consistency, and style. Many proofreaders also offer editing services in tandem with their proofreading work, but they are fundamentally different enterprises.
Copyediting involves aspects of both editing and proofreading, but copy editors are usually focused on a specific subject matter. As such, they also need subject-specific knowledge.
How Can I Find Proofreading Jobs Online?
There are several platforms where clients will post proofreading jobs that you can apply for. These gigs can be one-off projects or be for regular part-time work. You can search the job boards and apply for gigs.
Many platforms will also facilitate communication with clients and payment options. The best part about job boards is that there are normally no requirements to make an account and start looking for work.
You can also apply to work for a proofreading agency. These kinds of organizations hire freelancers and bring jobs to them. In general, you will have to fill out an application and possibly pass a competency test before you can start getting work.
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Do I Need a Degree to Be a Proofreader?
No, you do not need a college degree to work as a proofreader. While some clients may prefer proofreaders who have a degree in English, Communications, or Journalism they are not required for the job.
All you need to be a proofreader is a solid grasp of English grammar, spelling, and syntax, as well as professional skills like the ability to meet deadlines and manage your time.
Some agencies will require applicants to have either a general college degree or a degree specifically in a writing-intensive discipline.
How Much Do Proofreaders Make?
Proofreaders are generally paid on a word-per-hour basis. Exact payment depends on experience level, content type, and the specific client. Proofreaders can also be paid on a per project or hourly basis.
According to Glassdoor, the average proofreader makes about $45,000 per year. Top-rated proofreaders can be paid up to $50 an hour.
It is unlikely that you will be making this much right out of the gate though and beginner proofreaders usually start at a rate of around $0.002-$0.005 per word.
As you get more experience, you can build up a clientele and ask for more money.
Proofreading Certification & Courses
While not required for the job, several organizations offer proofreader certification and courses so you can improve your professional skills.
Services such as Proofread Anywhere provide courses and provide certification you can show to clients to get better jobs. The point of certifications is to show clients that you excel at basic proofreading skills or specialized topics.
Get started with the Proofread Anywhere Course.
Pros and Cons of Proofreading
- Flexible work. As a freelancer, you get to choose when and how much you work. You can try to get a full-time load of work or just work a few hours per week.
- Work from home. The vast majority of proofreading jobs are remote so you can do them from the comfort of your home. That means you can work in comfortable clothes, take a nap when you want to, and go for a stroll with your dog when you take breaks from working.
- Low cost. Aside from the cost of buying a computer, it does not cost anything to be a freelance proofreader. It is also something that can develop into a full-time gig.
- Inconsistent work. You will no doubt go through periods where finding work will be hard. That is just an unavoidable part of being a freelancer.
- Deadlines. Freelance proofreaders have to deal with tight deadlines and quick turnarounds.
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Best Proofreading Jobs Online
Upwork is one of the best platforms for proofreaders and writers.
You can choose your own projects and millions of jobs are posted daily. Upwork also offers incentives for successful freelancers by offering better contracts and search results.
Upwork also has some great features for freelance professionals like payment protection, a time tracking app, and automatic scheduled bank transfers. There is a good reason why Upwork is probably the most well-known and best freelance marketplace in the world.
FlexJobs is another general-purpose gig site that has listings for a wide type of odd jobs.
Proofreading is one of the most popular categories on the site and also has several “specialty” categories for various proofreader specialists. All jobs offered are purely remote as well.
Freelancer is another freelance platform similar to Upwork. You can create a profile and the platform will match you with clients and jobs that fit your skillset.
Lionbridge offers a wide variety of work-at-home jobs but one of the most popular services on the platform is proofreading.
You need some experience to get started but Lionbridge can connect you with excellent opportunities.
Craigslist is an excellent platform to find all kinds of odd jobs, proofreading gigs included. You can search for gigs in your geographical area and skill level.
Craigslist is also a great platform for finding private, repeat clients, and it’s 100% free to use.
Guru is another great platform to find proofreading jobs, whether you are a complete newbie or already have some experience.
This site has been around for a long time and has crafted a good reputation among freelancers and clients. Simply fill out a profile and you can get started looking for jobs.
Scribbr is a site where you can find both editing and proofreading jobs. You have to take an initial screening test and if you pass, Scribbr will take your CV to match you with clients they feel are a good fit.
Before being able to get jobs, you will have to complete a few “simulation” gigs. If you pass you can then accept gigs.
EditFast lets you create a profile and then will match you with clients based on your experience and expertise. Clients can browse your samples then make a decision.
One thing to keep in mind is that EditFAst will take a 40% cut of the final project commission for their services.
9. Book Editing Associates
Book Editing Associates offers proofreading gigs focused on traditional self-published. You need to pass a short copyediting and proofreading test before you can browse gigs and they only hire 100% freelancers (you cannot have another day job).
You also need to have at least 5+ years of experience, but they pay excellent rates for proofreading work.
ProofreadNow is another premium proofreading agency that puts its proofreaders through a vigorous vetting process before hiring. They also require that you have up-to-date software tools like Adobe Acrobat and Microsoft Office.
This site is not always hiring either, but they offer very high paying gigs for proofreading professionals.
Caitlyn from ProofreadAnywhere made $43,000 per year working about 20 hours every week. She shows you how you can do the same in this ultimate course.
Gramlee is a freelancer site that offers work for both entry-level and experienced proofreaders and editors. Clients must pay at least $0.03 a word and have 3,000 words but some projects will net you more money.
You can apply very easily, but they receive hundreds of applications per week so you might not hear back immediately. They offer very consistent work though.
Wordy offers proofreading services to clients for a fixed fee and proofreaders must pass a series of proofreading tests and assessments to determine proficiency in spelling, grammar, and syntactical command of the English language.
Workers are hired as independent contractors, meaning that you won’t actually be employed by the service.
13. Cambridge Proofreading and Editing
Cambridge Proofreading and Editing employs a network of more than 150 proofreading professionals from all around the country that focus on virtually every academic subject you can think of.
They offer high-level work meaning you have to have experienced to land a gig with them. You will need to have at least a bachelor’s degree to get hired and commit to at least 10,000 words of proofreading a week.
They pay their proofreaders an average of $20-$30 per hour.
Domainite is a site focused mainly toward proofreading beginners. The gigs do not pay very well, but it is a good place to pick up jobs when you are just starting out and there are no requirements to apply and look for jobs.
15. Wordfirm Inc.
Wordfirm Inc. provides editorial and proofreading services for a wide range of industries. You have to fill out a fairly lengthy application when applying so make sure you have enough time to sit down and fill everything out.
They are fairly selective but offer decent rates for proofreading gigs.
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16. Click Worker
Click Worker offers services to clients by outsourcing micro-tasks to editors, writers, proofreaders, translators, and more.
The amount you make is determined on a per-job basis and there are a handful of gigs that pay extremely well, though you will have to be thoroughly qualified to get them.
You also have to take a proofreading test before you can start working but they offer a wide variety of jobs.
MediaBistro is another job-board style site where you can search and apply for gigs. There are no special requirements to make an account but the platform will not match you with clients, you will have to find them on your own through the job board.
You can also set preferences for gigs and receive alerts when new offers pop up that match your criteria.
18. Proofreading Pal
Proofreading Pal offers short one-off proofreading gigs and they are perfectly fine hiring people in college, provided they have a decent GPA.
It’s a great platform for students to pick up some extra cash on the side while honing their writing, editing, and proofreading skills.
Reedsy is another marketplace-type freelancer site that connects authors with proofreaders and editors. You make a profile and the “magic algorithm” will match you with jobs tailored to your experience level and skill set.
You can also send and receive quotes to and from clients directly through the platform.
20. Get Editing Jobs
Get Editing Jobs provides a large community hub that people can search for freelancing jobs related to writing, proofreading, and editing.
It is a directory site, so you won’t get any help with applying but it can be a place to find private clients. Most opportunities are remote work gigs but every now and then they feature some in-person gigs and full-time jobs as well.
Want to start earning money as a Proofreader? Check out this FREE 76 minutes Workshop on what it takes. You can build your proofreading business within 30 days!
21. Writer’s Job Shop
Writer’s Job Shop features a marketplace full of proofreading and editing jobs. You need to have a native-level grasp of the English language and have a degree in any field before you can get hired to write.
Once hired, you can apply for jobs on the board and will be directly connected with clients.
22. Writing Jobz
Writing Jobz is a great marketplace for freelance proofreaders because that is the only kind of job that they feature. Writing Jobz has gigs for academic pieces, blog articles, news sources, books, and more.
You also do not need any degree or specialized training to make an account and start looking for gigs. Proofreaders on the site can earn up to $11 per page of work and they offer smaller “micro-tasks.”
R3ciprocity is a proofreading service that uses a unique credit system to pay writers. You complete proofreading jobs and get credits which you can then use to get proofreading service for your own work.
It’s a good way for writers to find proofreading services for their pieces through a transactional nature. You can also cash out these credits to get paid money
24. Polished Paper
Polished Paper is an excellent platform that offers high-paying freelancing gigs, but they are pretty selective about who they hire.
When you apply, you will first have to complete a 35-question competency test. There is no time limit for the test and you are allowed (and even encouraged) to use outside sources like formatting or style manuals.
Edit911 is a premium proofreading agency that offers very high paying jobs and chances to pick up long-term private clients. It has some very strict application requirements though.
In order to apply, you must have a Ph.D. in English or another writing-intensive subject and have published samples to show. You also have to provide proof of experience working as a proofreader or editor.
The good thing is that they respond to any application/resume within 48 hours so you won’t have to wait long to hear an answer.
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26. CACTUS Communications
CACTUS Communications is a specialty proofreading firm that offers proofreading jobs in specific topics. They offer both part-time and full-time work.
When you apply, you will pick a specialty topic and have to show you hold a degree in the specific field you will be editing. Examples of fields they cover include biology, medicine, sociology, and more.
They are not always accepting applications though so make sure you check back regularly to see when spots open up.
27. Kirkus Media
Kirkus Media is a proofreading firm that focuses specifically on proofreading books and magazines. The majority of work they offer are remote projects but there are a few opportunities for full-time in-person work as well.
SmartBrief is a proofreading agency that targets business news and industry sectors. They get new job offerings every day and proofreaders can expect to make around $15 an hour. You will have to fill out an application and take a short test before applying though.
Once you get approved you can start picking up jobs.
ProBlogger is a job board-style site that mostly offers gigs for writing, but also has a substantial number of posts for editing and proofreading services.
You do not have to have any qualifications before making a profile and you do not have to pass any certification tests. They do not standardize pay so it will be on a case-by-case basis. You can negotiate with clients to establish an acceptable rate.
30. Build Your Own Business
If none of these options are working out for you, then there is always the option to go at it alone and start your own proofreading business. All you need to get started is a computer, a working internet connection, and a lot of determination and diligence.
It definitely takes some hard work if you want to get into the proofreading business on your own and you will need to know how to approach and market yourself to clients.
It is often a good idea to get started on one of these mentioned platforms before branching off on your own and starting an independent business.
The best part of making your own business is that you have complete freedom and flexibility about the jobs that you take on and you can set your own rates.
We have found Caitlyn’s Proofreading Course to be one of the best out there. It includes 40+ lessons in 8 modules, several worksheets, and real-life example jobs. You also get tons of resources on where to find gigs plus a certificate of completion to show prospective clients.
You can start off with the free introductory workshop to learn more.
Useful Proofreading Software
Some of the best tools and applications for proofreaders include:
- Hemingway App
In our opinion, the most useful proofreading tool is Grammarly. This free browser extension will check documents for grammar mistakes, misspellings, repetitive words and phrases, formatting issues like spacing and punctuation, and other typographical errors.
In fact, Grammarly was used to write this very article that you are reading right now!
Proofreaders check written documents to correct any spelling or grammar mistakes. In other words, proofreading involves checking the mechanical aspects of documents such as spelling, grammar, missing/omitted words, misplaced punctuation, and formatting issues. Proofreading, along with editing, is one of the most important aspects of the writing process.
Editing involves revising and changing parts of the document for content, style, and tone. Proofreading involves checking spelling and grammar. Both are important parts of the writing process but they are fundamentally different.
No, you do not need any special degree to be a proofreader. Clients may prefer a proofreader that has a degree, but you do not need one to find work as a proofreader. You just need to have a firm grasp of English grammar and spelling. Completing a course like ProofreadAnywhere can give you credibility.
It depends on the kind of documents you proofread. Technical documents with specialized language might be hard to proofread but simple pieces like blog posts are very easy and can be completed in a few hours max.
It depends on your experience level and the kind of documents you are checking. Entry-level jobs tend to pay around $0.005 per word while the most lucrative gigs will pay up to $0.06-$0.08 per word. Top-rated experienced proofreaders can make up to $40-$50 an hour.
Pretty much every business and organization requires proofreading services at some point. Whenever a company has written documents, they will likely hire a proofreader to check it. As a proofreader, you can correct books, marketing copy, blog articles, technical articles, and more. Anything that is written requires proofreading.