How To Become A Proofreader (Now You Can Work From Anywhere)

Would you like to explore the path to becoming a proofreader? If you’re keen on boosting your income and having the flexibility to work from anywhere, embarking on a career as a proofreader is an wonderful choice.

Back in 2014, the original owner of Proofread Anywhere (Caitlin) managed to earn just over $43,000 as a freelance proofreader, all while travelling and living life as she pleased.

Proofreading offers the opportunity to have flexible job or side hustle. All you require to start your journey as a proofreader is a laptop or tablet, an internet connection, and an eye for identifying errors in content.

The demand for proofreaders is exceptionally high, and the beauty of it is that you can do it from the comfort of your home or while traveling. The most common type of proofreading work is for blog posts, print articles, academic papers, website copy, advertising materials, and more.

In this interview with Reyne, you’ll learn more about how to get started, how much money you can earn and what sort of qualifications you need (if any).

One of the perks that freelance proofreaders is the flexibility of the work. You can conveniently fit this side hustle around your regular working hours or use it as a full time job. It’s also an ideal way for stay-at-home parents to supplement their income.

So, if you’re eager to discover how to become a proofreader from the comfort of your home you’ll enjoy our interview today with the Renye.

How Did You Get Started as A Proofreader?

I heard about Proofread Anywhere from a Pinterest ad and I was immediately interested because I was always a bookish kid and I used to work as an ESL teacher in Taiwan. I wanted to be able to make money while traveling and proofreading seemed like the perfect fit for me! 

What Does a Proofreader Do?

A proofreader is the person who reads through a document, after the editing process is finished, to ensure that all grammatical, formatting, and wording issues are fixed before final publication. While some proofreaders do offer editing services, proofreading does not usually involve editing. 

Essentially, proofreaders read a document, mark any errors, and then return the document for corrections. 

What You Need to Become a Proofreader

Many people mistakenly believe that a degree in English or any undergraduate program is a prerequisite for pursuing a career as a professional proofreader. Fortunately, this is not the case.

Furthermore, there’s no official certification specifically for proofreading, making it possible to become a proofreader from the comfort of your home without the burden of an expensive formal education.

However, certain specific qualities can greatly enhance your prospects as a proofreader, including:

Eye for Detail: To perfect a written piece, you must first identify all the errors. That’s why being meticulous and detail-oriented is absolutely essential for effective proofreading.

Proficience in English: This one is a no-brainer, but it’s an absolute requirement. If you’re wondering how to enter the world of proofreading without any prior experience, the most critical prerequisite is outstanding English skills. The good news is that you can always enhance your English proficiency through courses and practice.

Ability to Manage Your Time: Since you’ll be working independently, the responsibility for managing your schedule and meeting deadlines falls squarely on your shoulders. Being well-organized and possessing strong time management skills is crucial.

Understanding Style Guides: A big portion of freelance proofreading jobs comes from students, so being well-versed in one or more style guides is essential. Some of the most commonly used style guides include APA, MLA, and Chicago. If you are not entirely familiar with any of these style guides (or need a refresher), there are excellent resources available to help you.

Post-Secondary Education: Yes, I did mention earlier that an undergraduate degree is not obligatory to become a professional proofreader. However, having a post-secondary qualification can be advantageous, especially if you aspire to specialize in fields like medical proofreading.

5 Simple Steps to Becoming a Proofreader

Step 1: Take a Proofreading Course

The first step would be to make sure that you have the training to actually do what you are advertising. If you market yourself as a proofreader, but cannot proofread documents well or within a reasonable timeframe, you won’t have a successful business. 

While an English degree isn’t necessary, taking an online proofreading course can greatly benefit your proofreading career. It can boost your confidence, improve your grammar, and enhance your efficiency. Consider courses like Knowadays’ proofreading course for comprehensive training.

Step 2: The Software and Tools You’ll Need

Invest in essential tools like a computer and software such as Microsoft Office, Google Docs, and Adobe Acrobat. Additionally, consider proofreading software like Grammarly, ProWritingAid, or LanguageTool to enhance efficiency.

Step 3: Decide What Your Proofreading Services You Want to Provide

Next, it’s important to take your time and market yourself and your business based on who you are and what you want. Forcing yourself to proofread scientific papers when you really want to proofread romance novels will lead to burn out and you won’t be able to truly give the career your best efforts. 

Decide which type of proofreading services you want to offer, whether it’s academic proofreading, business proofreading, print media proofreading, or translation proofreading. Choose based on your interests and expertise.

Step 4: Develop Your Resume

Craft a professional resume highlighting any related skills and experiences, even if you haven’t had formal proofreading roles. Mention any proofreading courses you’ve completed to bolster your credibility.

Step 5: Look for Proofreading Jobs

Begin your job search by looking for proofreading opportunities online on platforms like Upwork, FlexJobs, Fiverr, or with proofreading companies like Scribendi and Proofreading Pal. Networking with experienced proofreaders can also help you find opportunities. While initial earnings may be modest, your income can grow as you gain experience in the field.

Step 6: Manage The Ups and Downs

Last, it’s important to know that freelancing income can fluctuate depending on the month, how many clients you have, and how quickly you can finish a job. 

Because of this, it’s important to manage your finances and your expectations so you won’t be left penniless during a slow month. 

 Is Proofreading a Good Career or Side Hustle?

Proofreading is a great career for people who don’t want to, or cannot, work in traditional offices, but want to make a full-time income while travelling or working from home. If you love reading, grammar, or true crime, proofreading can be a great career for you! 

Proofreaders income all depends on how often they want to work, so you can put in full-time hours and make a full-time income, or just use it to supplement your income by working part-time. 

Ready to Try Proofreading?

If you want to join the course or learn more click the button below

Get ready to free yourself and work on your schedule!

Can Anyone Learn How To Become a Proofreader and Make Money?

Anyone can learn how to become a proofreader, but not everyone can make it in the proofreading industry. Just like all freelance jobs, proofreaders need to be able to keep a high standard of work, communicate with clients effectively, and stay on top of deadlines. 

Working from home can also be challenging and isolating, so proofreaders need to be able to manage their time and their work without letting it consume their lives. 

How Much Money Can a Proofreader Make?

Ill break down exactly how much proofreaders make depending on their niche and their hourly/word rates. Full-time proofreaders make an average salary of around $55,000 in the United States. However, if you are a beginner, you’ll need to charge less. If you work in a highly profitable niche like transcript proofreading, you’ll make much more. 

How Quickly Can a Person Start Making Money as A Proofreader

Wondering how long does it take to become a proofreader? Taking a proofreading course online can be as fast or as slow as you like. For example, our proofreading courses contain over 10 modules, each, and we recommend that students take their time to really understand the concepts before moving on to the next module. 

Once you are trained, some graduates of ours have reported getting their first client within days or weeks. The more you market yourself and network as a proofreader, the faster you can get clients and start getting paid. 

I would say that it takes at least a few months of training before you can start looking for clients. 

Ready to Try Proofreading?

If you want to join the course or learn more click the button below

Get ready to free yourself and work on your schedule!

How Do I Train to Be a Proofreader? 

I’m a bit biased because I took the Proofread Anywhere course and then got hired with the company, but I believe that the best way to train is to take an online course. 

Anyone can study up on grammar rules and formatting, but knowing how to work within the proofreading industry can be an entirely different ball game.

We have courses in general proofreading and transcript proofreading that prepare our students for their careers, but also teach how to set up their businesses and websites, how to market yourself, and how to find clients. 

What Qualifications Do You Need to Be a Proofreader? A Proofreader Certification?

So do you need a proofreader certification? Technically, there is no universally accepted certificate for proofreading and there are no requirements to market yourself as a proofreader. 

We do offer certificates on completion of each of our courses, but you need to be able to pass the final exam to become certified. 

Being certified can be a huge leg up when it comes to finding clients and proving that you are qualified to be a proofreader. 

Can Anyone Be a Proofreader?

Anyone who has the determination, work ethic, and soft skills to work with clients can become a proofreader, but simply taking a course or training does not ensure success. Success will always be determined by the work you put in. 

What’s the Difference Between Your General Proofreading and Transcript Proofreading Courses?

The primary difference between the courses is that transcript proofreading is specifically for working with court transcripts. Therefore, transcript proofreading requires an in-depth knowledge of legal terminology and practices, along with training in how to proofread spoken-word documents. 

General proofreading encompasses proofreading novels, courses, Youtube video scripts, academic papers, and any other written work that you can imagine (aside from medical documents and legal documents). 

How Much Does It Cost to Become a Proofreader and How Much on A Monthly Basis to Maintain It?

The cost of proofreading courses can range from $400–1,000 which can usually be made back in a month if you work as a proofreader full-time. There aren’t many other costs aside from buying an iPad or laptop to work on, internet access, and a co-working space membership if you don’t want to work from home. 

If you set up a website to market yourself as a proofreader, you’ll need to pay for hosting and a domain name. 

Can You Tell Me About the Proofreading Course You Offer? Why Should Someone Take It?

We currently offer two proofreading courses: General Proofreading Theory & Practice, and Transcript Proofreading Theory & Practice. 

General Proofreading includes 14 modules that cover everything from grammar rules to marketing and setting up your freelance website. 

Transcript Proofreading includes 13 modules with real transcripts and exams that will prepare students for what transcripts will look like and which errors will appear most often. 

With each course, students will also gain access to our exclusive proofreader Facebook groups where they can ask questions, share experiences, and, after graduation, get job recommendations from fellow graduates. 

Anyone who wants a truly comprehensive and time-tested course about proofreading should come to Proofread Anywhere. We offered the first online transcript proofreading course and we are still the leader in online proofreading courses. All of the members on our team have taken one or both of the proofreading courses, so we know exactly what students experience and we really believe in the courses. 

Ready to Try Proofreading?

If you want to join the course or learn more click the button below

Get ready to free yourself and work on your schedule!

Lastly, are there any other tips that you have for someone who wants to learn how to become a freelance proofreader?

I would suggest reading a few blog posts or watching our video workshop to see if proofreading is something that would work for you as a career. I fully believe that learning new skills is an investment in your future, but it’s important to analyze your abilities and schedule to see if this career would fit.

Many PA graduates started the course when they were in full-time office jobs and were able to quit after a few months to start proofreading full-time so we know that it can work! 

If you want to hear success stories from our graduates, you can see our student reviews or our student blog spotlight

Author: Britt

I am Britt. I have been house-sitting and pet-sitting for the past 7 years. I have cared for 25 dogs, 35 cats 1 turtle, and 1 rabbit over 80+ houses in 15 countries.

The opportunity to experience different homes, cultures, and communities has been extraordinary.

Through house-sitting platforms like Aussie House Sitters and Trusted House Sitters, I’ve connected with homeowners seeking reliable sitters. This unique way of living has allowed me to save money on accommodation, explore new cultures and meet new people.

Being a member of these platforms has broadened my horizons and opened doors to short- and long-term house-sitting jobs. I’ve found joy in providing excellent pet care and ensuring the home is well-maintained.

I get many questions about how to start as a housesitter, so if you have any questions, please reach out! I want everyone to enjoy this incredible lifestyle as well!

You can read more about Jay and me here!

Or connect with me on Facebook or in our house-sitting community on Facebook.

House Sitting in Salon-de-Provence
Me (Britt) House Sitting in Salon-de-Provence, France

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