Working from anywhere in the world, including the comfort of your own home, is all the rage these days. Why make the drive to an office when you can sit in your pajamas on the couch typing away and collecting a paycheck?
Better yet, you could leave the United States and travel around the world while checking emails from beaches, mountain tops, and poolside resorts. What’s not to love about that?
One way to make it in the world of remote work is to utilize your superb spelling and editing skills. If you have a keen eye for spelling and grammar, and enjoy helping writers improve their content, you may want to utilize your expertise in a remote proofreading job.
But the problem many people face is finding a job that allows them to work from wherever they please. You may have all the proofreading skills in the world, but if you’re not able to land a remote job, you’re still sitting at square one.
Today we’re going to talk about work-from-home freelance proofreading jobs, the qualifications you need to stand out from the competition, and where you can start applying for your next proofreading gig.
What Is Proofreading?
Proofreading is the last step in the editing process before any piece of writing is published. A proofreader’s responsibility is to ensure there aren’t any grammatical errors, misspellings, typos, or other styling issues.
Proofreaders are the last line of defense before copy is shown to the rest of the world. By giving writing a once-over before publishing it, proofreaders ensure the final copy is polished and free of any mistakes.
You may not realize just how often you encounter writing that required an editor like you. From articles you read on blogs like this one to copy you see on websites, social media posts, and digital newsletters, the digital world is powered by writing that has frequently been checked by a professional proofreader.
It doesn’t stop there though. More traditional writing — like books, advertisements, essays, academic papers, user manuals, and more — also requires the services of a proofreader.
If you haven’t noticed already, the opportunities are almost endless when it comes to different types of proofreading jobs. But you may be thinking, “I love writing, but am I qualified to be a proofreader?”
There’s a wide range of opportunities out there, some for the most experienced proofreaders and some for those who are beginning their journey in this new line of work.
Is Experience Required to Become a Proofreader?
Like with any job in life, the more years experience you have, the better luck you’ll have landing a higher paying job. However, this shouldn’t intimidate you. You can still apply for an online proofreading job. There are plenty of advanced and entry-level opportunities out there for experts and newbies alike.
The most basic requirements for a great proofreader is to be a native English speaker, have an eye for detail, and be extremely thorough. On top of that, you’ll need to have excellent vocabulary and good grammar.
While catching spelling errors is part of a proofreading job, it’s much more than that. Being an expert in writing style guides, like AP Style and Chicago Manual of Style, can help you land jobs.
Another helpful skill that will increase your chances of landing high-paying gigs is specializing in a certain writing area. A proofreader can specialize in academic essays, technical writing, court transcripts, fiction novels, and more. If you’re more specialized, it shows those customers that you’re an expert in their field.
Some job opportunities may also require additional years of experience and a bachelor’s degree in journalism or English. In some cases, you’ll even be required to have a graduate degree. The more advanced skills you can bring to the table, including previous proofreading experience or editing experience, the better chance you’ll have of landing a proofreading gig from home.
Benefits of Proofreading From Home
Proofreading jobs have low barriers of entry, allow employees to work remotely, and have flexible work hours.
You likely already own or have access to everything you’ll need to get started. Forget about a phone line, printer, or expensive software. A laptop and reliable internet connection are pretty much all you’ll need to get going.
Since most home proofreader jobs are driven by deadlines rather than specific work hours, you’ll be able to work whenever you want, as long as you hit your deadlines. In some cases, you’ll have a quick turnaround time, but for many jobs, you’ll be able to work when it’s most convenient for you.
How Much Do Proofreading Jobs Pay?
The majority of proofreading jobs are freelance positions, many of which are project based. So you can apply to as many gigs as you want to make money and bring in a higher annual income.
Glassdoor reports that proofreaders make just over $45,000 per year. This can be much more if you take a higher paying job or put in more hours. On the higher end of the scale, Glassdoor reports proofreaders making nearly $65,000 per year.
Since your income is largely dependent on which jobs you take, let’s get into some of the job opportunities that are out there for proofreaders.
Proofreading Job Opportunities
There are a few different ways you can go about starting your proofreading career. You could use a freelance website to find work on a project-to-project basis. You could also align yourself with a company who funnels you work as an independent contractor. Lastly, you could land a job directly with a company as their in-house proofreader.
To start, let’s take a look at some freelance websites you can use to find work on your own.
Freelance websites are an excellent way to get your feet wet in this line of work. Freelance sites allow you to search for available jobs, set your own pay rates, and showcase your portfolio for potential clients.
If you’re new to proofreading, they also enable you to bid low for jobs so you can get some experience under your belt. Then once you have a few gigs out of the way, you can increase your rates and start bidding on those higher paying jobs.
There are plenty of sites out there that give freelance proofreaders access to jobs, but these are some of the more popular and reliable options we’ve come across:
If finding your own work on a regular basis isn’t your cup of tea, you can align yourself with a proofreading company that funnels work your way instead.
In many ways, working for a proofreading company or editing service is much easier and less stressful. If you’re able to get one of these positions, then you don’t need to always worry about finding the next gig. The company will take care of that for you. Working as an independent contractor for a proofreading company allows for a steady stream of work and, for some, more peace of mind.
There are so many companies out there that will offer you roles like this, but here are a few excellent ones. Note that these companies may not always have available positions, so you may have to keep your eye on their job postings:
If these proofreading companies aren’t hiring, take a look at some job boards you can search to find a proofreader job.
General Job Boards
We’ve all scoured online job boards at some point in our lives, but what you may not have realized in your search is that these are also a great place to find remote work, including work-from-home proofreading positions.
When searching through these job boards, you can leverage additional search terms that will help you find jobs you’re looking for. For example, if you want to secure a proofreading position, you should also search for similar job titles like freelance editor, copywriter, copy editor, and academic editor.
In addition to these search terms, you should include terms like telecommute, remote, and home office to ensure that you can work from anywhere. For instance, a search term like “home office copy editing” might yield results you won’t find otherwise.
These are some of the most popular job boards you can use to find remote proofreading jobs:
Finding Your First Gig
A freelance proofreading position is an excellent first step into the world of work-at-home jobs. Whether you’re looking for part-time work or a full-time opportunity, there are plenty of options out there for you to get started. We recommend searching through some of the opportunities we provided to get a feel for what might work best for you.
If proofreading isn’t your thing and you consider yourself more of a freelancing writer, then you can also look into freelance writing jobs and other side hustles to get you started. We hope you’re able to find your first gig as soon as possible!