Looking for a new way to make money from home? If you have an eye for grammar, solid writing skills, and an internet connection, online proofreading could be the perfect job for you.
Proofreaders get paid to check novels, stories, articles, and other content for spelling and grammatical errors. They can work on their own time and make a decent salary without ever setting foot in an office.
Sound like the right gig for you? Just read on. This article will tell you everything you need to know about proofreading for beginners, including 30 of the best online proofreading opportunities available right now.
Table of Contents
What is proofreading?
Let’s start with the basics: what is proofreading, and why is it necessary?
In the publishing world, proofreading is the final step that takes a story or article from good to perfect. A professional proofreader’s job is to carefully read content and fix any mistakes. Those mistakes might be simple spelling errors, clarity, or readability issues. In short, proofreading is the act of polishing up a text and making sure it shines.
At first glance, proofreading might seem like one of those jobs that is becoming obsolete with modern technology. After all, no one is using a typewriter to create content anymore – right?
Believe it or not, the demand for competent proofreaders is actually higher now than ever before. That’s because there is so much content being produced online today, and all that content needs to be carefully edited. And there is no replacement for the human eye – word processing software can’t catch all the spelling and grammar errors a live reader will notice.
So, if you’re interested in proofreading, now is the best time to get started. There is no shortage of easy online work for an experienced professional.
How is it different from copy editing?
When you’re searching for online proofreading jobs (especially if you’re using a freelance platform – we’ll get into that later), you will see plenty of ads for copy editing positions.
While these two terms are often used interchangeably, proofreading is not the same thing as copy editing. They require different skills sets and take place at different stages in the publishing process.
A copy editor works with the actual content of a text. They help to re-write first drafts, edit storylines, and communicate with writers back-and-forth. The editing process can sometimes take months, depending on the length of the text.
Proofreading, on the other hand, is generally a one-and-done process. A proofreader’s job is not to change any content or main points, but just to make sure the text is clean and readable.
How much do proofreaders make?
Like any freelance or remote job, it’s hard to pinpoint an exact salary range for proofreaders. It all depends on their experience, where they are working, and the kinds of texts they are proofreading.
It’s common practice to pay a proofreader – especially a freelancer – based on the length of the text they’re working on. For example: if you are getting paid 3 cents per word, you’ll make $150 for proofreading a 5,000-word article. That comes out to around $20-$25 per hour, depending on how fast you can read and edit.
Experienced proofreaders are able to set their own rates and hours for each job they take on. It is totally possible to make proofreading your full-time job once you have steady work coming in.
Different types of proofreading jobs
If you want to become a proofreader, there are tons of online platforms where you can get started. However, not all proofreading jobs are the same. It’s important to differentiate the types of employment you can find as a proofreader.
To help you get a better idea of the kind of work you want to do, here are a few common types of proofreading jobs.
If you’ve never heard the term “freelancing” before, it’s essentially a type of employment that allows people to “lease” their creative skills to various clients. Writers, designers, web developers, and artists often seek freelance work when they want a flexible schedule.
Freelance proofreading is a great way to build experience. You’ll be able to find your own clients, work from home in your spare time, and have the freedom to start or stop a job whenever you feel like it.
That said, there are also some downsides to freelance employment. It can be unpredictable, which is challenging for anyone who wants to make proofreading their full-time job. Freelance proofreaders also have to put in some effort to find clients and make sure they’re getting paid fairly.
On the list of the 30 best proofreading jobs below, you’ll see a few online freelancing platforms that are perfect for beginners.
Another option is to work as a contracted proofreader for a publication, company, or publishing house.
Contracted proofreaders often get paid by the hour and are assigned work on a weekly or monthly basis. That means they don’t have the opportunity to take on as much work as possible, like a freelancer does.
But there are tons of benefits to working for a single company instead of freelancing. You’ll have a regular workload, steady employment, and great experience for a resume.
An online proofreading agency is a great place to start as a beginner. These organizations hire proofreaders and distribute work from other companies. You will still be able to choose how much work you want to take on, but you won’t have to bid for jobs like on a freelance platform.
The downside to working for a proofreading agency is that pay can be pretty limited – you don’t get to set your own rates. The upside is that there is plenty of work available and you can get started without any experience.
These agencies are awesome for gaining some proofreading skills and making fast, easy cash online while you’re at it.
The 30 best online proofreading jobs
Convinced that proofreading is the right online job for you? All you have to do now is get started.
This list is an honest review of the top 30 places to find proofreading work online. While they all have their pros and cons, each of these opportunities is a good option for a beginner.
If you’re interested in finding freelance proofreading jobs, check out UpWork. This is one of the most popular freelance platforms for people in all industries – it’s a great place for a beginner or an expert to find work.
After setting up your UpWork profile, you can browse through posted jobs and bid on the gigs you want. Payment and communication all happen through the platform, so it’s a safe way to find new clients.
It’s free to sign up with UpWork, but the site will take 20% of your payment on each job as a commission. However, consistently working with clients will bring that fee down to 10%.
Like the name suggests, ProofreadingServices.com is an online agency that provides proofreading services to companies and individuals.
If you’re a beginner with no proofreading experience, this is a great place to start. They offer a fair pay scale, flexible hours, and opportunities to grow and learn. You’ll have access to a steady stream of proofreading jobs without having to bid.
This is one of the best proofreading agencies out there, so the application process isn’t instant – but there is still a good chance that you will be hired without any proofreading experience under your belt.
Freelancer is another popular online platform for freelancers in every industry. While this might not be the best place to get your start, it’s a good platform to find more freelance work after you’ve gained some experience.
To get started, just create a profile on the site showcasing your work experience. Then you can browse and bid on jobs that will be a good fit for you. The market can be competitive, so don’t be afraid to put in tons of bids if you want to land a solid client!
The concept behind Fiverr is simple: if you have a skill that you can charge more than $5 for, you can sell your services online.
Like other freelance platforms, Fiverr is a good place for a proofreader to gain experience and find clients. You might have to set your prices fairly low in the beginning – but as you grow your skills and resume, you’ll be able to charge higher and earn a decent salary from home.
Fiverr is a little less competitive than some other platforms, so it’s a great place to start if you’re thinking of testing the waters of freelancing.
If you like the idea of working for an online agency, consider applying to LionBridge. This is an agency that provides multiple services to small businesses, including testing, editing, proofreading, and more.
As an employer, they offer remote work in several industries. Landing your first steady proofreading job with LionBridge means competitive pay and a constant stream of available work.
Reedsy provides editorial, proofreading, and ghostwriting services to authors and publishers. It’s an awesome agency to find steady work and high-paying jobs.
Once you’re signed up with Reedsy, the algorithm links you up with jobs and clients that will be a good fit for you. That way, you don’t have to waste your time searching and bidding for jobs. You’ll have the chance to work with some of the best publishing houses in the country, as well as famous authors – it’s awesome experience for a proofreading resume.
If you’re sick of fishing though job sites for proofreading postings, try MediaBistro. This is a job platform specifically for media-related gigs, from writing and editing to marketing and branding.
When you browse through listings, you’ll find freelance opportunities, as well as contract jobs and agencies. It’s the best place to get a feel for the job market and find an employment opportunity that works for you.
8. OneSpace Freelancers
OneSpace Freelancers isn’t specifically meant for proofreaders, but it’s an easy freelance marketplace where you can browse for proofreading jobs.
A cool feature of this platform is that you don’t have to manually search for clients. You can send in your resume and the site will notify you whenever jobs that would be a good fit for you become available.
You might have heard of Guru already – it’s an ultra-popular freelance platform for media professionals.
This site is used by web designers and engineers, but it’s also a great place to find freelance proofreading work. You’ll be able to browse jobs and bid your own prices.
Guru has been around forever – it’s well-established, safe, and reputable. So, if you’re looking for a risk-free and stable freelance platform, this is definitely the way to go.
Working for a publication is the best way to guarantee steady employment and gain experience as a proofreader. SmartBrief is one company that frequently hires beginners for their proofreading position.
As a proofreader for SmartBrief, you’ll review and edit articles, news stories, and more. Payment starts at $15 per hour – pretty good for an entry-level proofreader. They aren’t always hiring, so check the website regularly to see if there are any open postings!
Scribbr is a proofreading and editing agency with a unique hiring process. It takes some time to get started, but once you’re all set up, you’ll have steady work with competitive pay.
To apply for Scribbr, you’ll first have to pass an initial language test. After that, you can submit a resume to be considered for a place with the agency. If you are approved, you will be put through a training program to edit 2-3 sample orders – then you can start taking on paid jobs.
All those steps might seem annoying, but they allow brand-new proofreaders to get hired without any previous experience. If you want to get your foot in the door with proofreading, Scribbr is the perfect place to start.
12. Polished Paper
For proofreaders who have some experience already, Polished Paper offers regular high-paying jobs. It’s a helpful site to supplement freelance work or earn some extra money in your spare time.
The application process for Polished Paper is a little more rigorous than for some other agencies and freelance platforms. You will have to pass a 35-question test and edit a few sample texts to show off your skills.
13. Managed Editing
Managed Editing is a remote agency that hires proofreaders as independent contractors to work from home. They’re looking for freelancers with a college degree and some experience on their resume.
To get hired with Managed Editing, you should have some examples of proofreading projects you’ve worked on. You will be asked about your preferred subjects and industries, and might have to complete a few sample projects before you get started.
14. American Journal Experts
For freelancers who know exactly what they’re looking for, American Journal Experts is an awesome platform.
You can use this site to browse for proofreading jobs by topic. Love working on novels? Want to help out a reporter with their articles or op eds? Whatever you’re looking for, you can find it by checking the AJE page frequently.
Although most of the jobs posted on this site are for experienced proofreaders, there is a good chance that you can find an opportunity as a beginner. Jobs are updated all the time, so check the page regularly to help your chances of landing the best clients.
15. Proofreading Pal
For beginners or experts, Proofreading Pal offers flexible proofreading and editing jobs with competitive pay. It’s a great opportunity to support yourself while you’re in college, supplement a part-time job, or get started as a freelance proofreader.
Salaries with Proofreading Pal can range from $500 to over $3,000 per month. They offer all kinds of topics and plenty of work to fill your schedule.
16. Scribe Media
For proofreaders looking for full-time or freelance work, Scribe Media offers tons of opportunities.
Unlike most other proofreading and editing agencies, Scribe Media offers benefits to their full-time employees, including insurance, 401K access, and paid time off. All that for never setting foot in an office!
If full-time employment isn’t your thing, they also offer freelance and contract positions. You can sign up for Scribe Media’s emailing list anytime to get notified about job openings.
17. Get Editing Jobs
Get Editing Jobs is exactly what it sounds like: a place to find the best editing and proofreading jobs.
This is a job search platform dedicated exclusively to freelance editors and proofreaders. You can browse through local companies, search for open positions in your skill set, and get notified whenever something you would be a good fit for opens up.
Whether you’re just starting out or have years of proofreading experience, Get Editing Jobs is an awesome place to land the perfect job.
According to Gramlee’s website, they’re always on the hunt for “exceptional editors.” That could be you!
As a remote editing and proofreading agency, they connect their contracted workers with various online publications, companies, journals, etc. You will have plenty of work throughout the week. Although they don’t hire year-round, Gramlee is always open to taking applications – this would be a great opportunity for someone with an established proofreading resume.
`19. Kirkus Media
Kirkus Media hires professional proofreaders and editors to work on their editorial team. This is the perfect opportunity for someone who wants to work with novels.
As a proofreader for Kirkus, you will be able to connect with authors (in fiction and non-fiction) to help them out with their novels. Pay rates can vary depending on your experience. If you love to read, this is an awesome job. Why not get paid for your favorite hobby?
Plus, you might be able to brag about seeing some published works you have worked on in bookstores.
FlexJobs is a job search website that’s particularly popular with freelancers. Instead of finding traditional 9-5 opportunities, you can browse through tons of postings looking for freelance writers, editors, and other creatives.
To find a job with FlexJobs, just head to the site and search for “proofreading.” You will see postings for agencies, contract positions, and much more. This is a great way to search for that first high-paying gig as a beginner.
If you have never done any proofreading before and want to learn the ropes, check out Domainite. This is an editorial agency that offers work for freelance writers, editors, and proofreaders of all skill sets and levels of experience.
Getting hired with Domainite is pretty easy – all you have to do is fill out the application form online and show off some of your grammar skills. After that, you can start taking on easy proofreading jobs.
Be warned: this agency does not pay as much as other options. It won’t be a great replacement for your full-time job, but it is an awesome way to develop some proofreading skills and build up your resume.
This is a tricky one, because it isn’t exactly proofreading – but it’s a good way to get your foot in the door if you’re interested in that type of work.
ClickWorker hires remote employees to complete simple online tasks for various companies. Those tasks include data input, drafting emails, editing, and anything else an office worker might not have time to handle themselves.
Most people who get started with ClickWorker begin by taking on content creation tasks. As you continue to provide excellent work, you’ll be moved up in the pay scale and eventually be able to take on editing and proofreading jobs.
If you have a PhD, you can apply to become a proofreader with Edit911.
This is one of the most difficult freelance proofreading agencies to apply for, but if you meet the qualifications, it’s a spectacular job. PhD proofreaders are connected with some of the world’s top publishing houses and journals. The pay is on par with high eligibility requirements – meaning this could be a full-time job, or solid additional income.
24. Cactus Communications
Cactus Communications is a freelancing site for anyone who wants to put their college degree to use.
They offer proofreading and editing jobs (either as a freelancer or full-time) for a variety of industries. The only requirement is that you have a degree in the topic you want to write about. So, someone with a degree in Political Science can proofread for political journals, a med student can work on medical texts, and so on.
Cactus Communications offers competitive pay and flexible hours, even if you choose to work for them full-time. Just head to their website and answer a few basic questions to apply.
Wordvice offers freelance jobs in multiple industries, including writing, proofreading and editing, tutoring, and video editing.
This is one of the most advanced proofreading agencies out there, so all their proofreaders are highly vetted – it’s a huge help if you have a graduate degree. Most of their clients are overseas companies. That means you will be mainly proofreading texts for English grammar and spelling.
To get hired, you will have to complete an editing sample. You don’t necessarily need proofreading experience, but it will be helpful.
If you like the idea of working for a company as a professional proofreader, OneSpace could be the perfect opportunity.
This is the parent company of another platform on this list, OneSpace Freelancers, which offers slightly different opportunities. They are a remote agency that helps businesses with their digital marketing.
OneSpace doesn’t only hire proofreaders – they post jobs for all kinds of marketing professionals, including writers and editors. You should check their site regularly to see when new jobs are posted. Landing the right position could mean a stable full-time job with great pay and benefits.
Think you’re a fast editor? You can find a job on EditFast.
This job search platform is designed specifically for editors and proofreaders, so you don’t have to waste your time browsing through postings that don’t apply to you. In fact, you don’t have to browse at all – just upload your resume and clients will find you.
The only downside to using EditFast is that the platform keeps 40% of the total price for each project you complete. With that in mind, it might not be enough for a full-time job – but it’s a great place to find your first few clients as a proofreader.
28. Writer’s Job Shop
Writer’s Job Shop isn’t just for writers – it’s also a place for editors and proofreaders to shop for their next job. According to their website, they’re always on the lookout for skilled proofreaders to join their team.
To apply, all you have to do is head to the website and fill out an online application. You don’t need to have proofreading experience, but they do prefer applicants with a college degree. You can start taking on orders as soon as you are accepted, and eventually move up their pay scale.
Scribendi is a professional proofreading and editing agency that helps writers and businesses around the world. They offer flexible, remote work to proofreaders with a college degree.
To join the Scribendi team, you will have to apply through their website. They post freelance and in-house positions on a regular basis. It’s best if you have some proofreading experience, but an English degree (or other writing-related degree) might be enough to get started.
30. Your own business
There’s one more proofreading job opportunity that we can’t ignore: starting your own business!
Owning your own business provides tons of freedom and flexibility. You can take on clients whenever you have the time, market your services through your website and social media, and even hire other proofreaders to help you out.
The best thing about starting an online proofreading business is that there is practically no overhead – you don’t need a brick-and-mortar location or any fancy equipment. That said, you should be prepared to invest a significant amount of time into your new business.
All things considered, I recommend testing the waters with freelance proofreading before you launch into your own business. With the right experience, you could really take off!
What do you need to start proofreading?
Now that you’ve had a look at some of the best proofreading jobs available, let’s talk about what it takes to get started.
Do you need an English degree to become a proofreader? No. A college degree can help with your application to some agencies, but it’s definitely not an industry requirement. All you really need is a laptop, an internet connection, and some free time you can dedicate to building your skills.
There are also a few helpful tools you’ll want to invest in before you start searching for clients. A spellcheck or grammar checking software like Grammarly is a huge help. It will catch noticeable grammar errors in the text that you or the author might have missed.
In addition, you’ll also want an account to a word processor, and a Google account to easily share and collaborate on documents with your clients.
The most important asset, though, is your experience. The more proofreading jobs you take on, the better your resume will look – and the easier it will be to find high-paying remote work.
The bottom line: Now is the best time to get started
Want to make proofreading your full-time remote job? There has never been a better time to give it a shot.
With so many businesses and publications producing online content today, there is a huge demand for proofreaders and editors. You can get paid to work from anywhere in the world with nothing but an internet connection!
The sooner you get started and gain some experience, the sooner you’ll land that dream job as a proofreader. Now is the perfect time to get started – so what are you waiting for?