25 Online Proofreading Jobs for Beginners (Legitimate Proofreader Jobs)

Is working from home finally becoming a real thing for you?

I’ve been a freelance writer for six years now and I’ve talked to many people about working online from home.

While I love freelance writing, there are many other opportunities and services you can offer from home.

25 Online Proofreading Jobs for Beginners (Legitimate Proofreader Jobs)

One hot service is proofreading jobs. These types of online jobs serve well for those wanting some side income.

If you have a knack for spelling and grammar, then proofreading may be the side hustle for you!

In my post I will dive into what is proofreading, how much proofreaders earn, the best sites for legitimate proofreading jobs and a case study from a student of mine.

What is Proofreading?

You may hear the term “proofreading” and “editing” thrown around synonymously, but these are in fact two very different things.

Proofreading focuses mainly on spelling and grammar mistakes. Proofreaders are not usually required to rephrase sentences or restructure sections of text.

So when you’re searching around the web for online proofreading jobs, it’s important to know the difference.

Oftentimes, job adverts will overlap the two terms – either looking for both services or misusing the terms.

Proofreaders cover a wide variety of content, including web content, eBooks, white papers, student thesis/essays and even user manuals.

How To Become A Proofreader

There are not many skills needed to become a proofreader but you do need excellent spelling and grammar skills as well as a strong command of the language you are proofreading in.

For beginner proofreaders, this is all you need. It’s enough to get you working and earning money online!

However, if proofreading is something you want to pursue as a significant source of income, you’re going to have to rack up a lot of experience or back your skills up with qualifications.

While you don’t need a degree to become a proofreader, many high-paying sites require one. They tend to look for a degree in a relevant field such as English and Journalism.

Worry not, though!

If you’re just starting out then this is not something you need to fret over. A lot of freelancing proofreader jobs tend to rely more heavily on experience and testimonials.

So even without formal education, it’s possible to work your way toward a lucrative life as a freelance proofreader.

The point is to market your services online and make sure to network with industry leaders to help you land your first proofreading job.

How Much Do Online Proofreaders Earn?

Well, like any online freelancing job, you can get out of it what you put into it.

Because proofreading takes less time and effort than other writing jobs, these jobs tend to pay less. However, you can earn good money proofreading from home.

Clients tend to charge per word, per page, per project or an hourly rate. As a beginner proofreader, you can probably stand to make about $10 per hour.

Again, this depends on how much leg-work you put into finding clients and how much time you can focus on building a business.

According to ZipRecruiter, proofreaders earn on average $51 305 per year!

For other proofreading jobs:

  • Freelance proofreading job salary: $51,991/yr
  • Content proofreading job salary: $59, 265/yr

That’s likely consider those who work on a full-time basis but, no matter how many hours you can spare to focus on online proofreading jobs, the earning potential is there.

25 Online Proofreading Jobs

With an impressive earning potential there is, of course, a demand for this service.

It’s not hard to convince content creators that they need a proofreader – anyone who is serious about their writing and having it published could benefit from one.

When it comes to finding online proofreading jobs, you have two options: Applying for jobs or cold-contacting for jobs.

The latter means that you reach out to companies with an unsolicited offer to proofread for them.

For beginners, however, it may be best to get some experience by drumming up business through job boards or proofreading services.

The following sites and job boards are perfect for beginner proofreaders – most require very little in terms of experience. They just want to know you have the skills.

Check out these 25 online proofreading jobs:

Note: many of these would not be good sources for freelance writing jobs.

If you want to land profitable writing jobs, check out my post on the best job boards for freelance writers.

1. Click Worker

Click Worker is an online service that offers project completion to clients by outsourcing micro-tasks to writers, translators, researchers, data processors and proofreaders.

When it comes to proofreading, they are looking for individuals with good language skills and editing abilities.

Once you sign up you will be required to take a test. After that, you can access available jobs.

The fee per word depends on the quality level expected for the particular job.

2. Fiverr

Fiverr is possibly one of the best places to begin looking for proofreading work. On their site, you can sell your proofreading services, or “gigs”, at whatever rate you choose.

Just keep in mind that people often turn to Fiverr for cheap services of all kinds, so you likely don’t stand to make a lot of money here.

However, it is a great place to get started and rack up some experience!

3. LinkedIn

I have personally found success in using LinkedIn to market my freelance services! It’s an awesome place to find freelance work including proofreading jobs.

Using LinkedIn to find jobs takes some time – you’ll need to keep trying and applying to different jobs.

But when you do start gaining clients on this platform, you may just find your proofreading career taking off!

4. Get Editing Jobs

Get Editing Jobs is a community of editing job seekers and employers. Here you can find and apply for various editing positions.

This is a big directory of freelancing jobs, so you’re going to see a lot of writing and editing work.

However, if you search for “proofreader” you’ll see a few available jobs pop up.

5. UpWork

UpWork is another great place to start for online proofreading jobs for beginners. Just like Get Editing Jobs, UpWork is a freelance marketplace full of job listings.

This work from home platform is a place for people of all levels of experiences and currently has 1455 job listings for proofreaders.

Note: I don’t recommend this for freelance writing jobs.

6. MediaBistro

MediaBistro is a media-related job board that allows you to browse a variety of freelance jobs.

This is another board where you’ll have to do some digging, but the platform allows you to sign up for job alerts if anything related to proofreading becomes available.

7. FlexJobs

FlexJobs is an online job marketplace for freelancers such as proofreaders. If you search “proofreading”, you can find many proofreading jobs looking to be filled.

Pro Tip for Job Boards: You don’t need to narrow down your job search by location since you can do them from home!

 

8. Proof Reading Services

Proof Reading Services offer part-time and full-time remote positions as well as a flexible schedule and competitive pay.

You can stand to earn between $19 – $46 per hour.

You do have to complete a test to begin the application process.

9. Lionbridge

Lionbridge works much like Click Worker does by outsourcing various parts of a client’s project to freelancers – especially proofreaders.

In order to get started, you have to sign up and take a skills test. You can then begin to receive proofreading tasks.

10. Proofreading Pal

ProofreadingPal hires individuals enrolled in college (with a minimum GPA of 3.5) or experienced graduates.

This is the perfect spot to find at home proofreading jobs if you’re looking to earn some extra money while you study!

11. R3Ciprocity

R3ciprocity is a neat little system based on credits. Contributors proof each other’s work and use earned credit to get their own work proofed.

May seem pointless if you’re looking to make some money, but you can also turn the credits into cash!

12. Reedsy

Reedsy is a marketplace that connects freelancers with authors and writers. Once you sign up, you can begin receiving requests from clients and responding with quotes.

Plus, with what they call a bit of “data-science-magic”, Reedsy’s system will pair you up with clients who are likely a good fit.

13. OneSpace Freelancers

OneSpace Freelancers is an online platform focused on helping freelancers submit work, receiving feedback and get paid.

This site will post jobs as they become available.

14. EditFast

EditFast connects freelancers, including proofreaders, with clients. Once you create a profile and resume, client can then check out your samples and choose whether or not to hire you.

There is a potential on this site to make money but EditFast does keep 40% of the total project price.

15. Polished Paper

Polished Paper looks for more experienced proofreaders but offer a higher pay-scale than most sites.

Once you sign up, they will send you a 35 question editor test. FYI, you are allowed (and encouraged) to use outside resources such as formatting guides to complete the test.

16. Guru

Guru is a platform much like Fiverr where you can find individuals looking for anything from proofreaders to translators to crochet patterns (true story!).

You’ll have to do some searching and browsing for proofreader jobs but you’re sure to find something that suits your schedule and level of experience.

17. Writing Jobz

On Writing Jobz, you can apply for online proofreading jobs based on your level of experience as well as your schedule.

They offer proofreading assignments from manuscript content to academic writing.

18. Writer’s Job Shop

Writer’s Job Shop is an online resource for all kinds of freelancers – editors, copy editors and online proofreaders.

They advertise a steady stream of work through their job board. All you have to do is apply for the job you are interested in.

19. Writer’s Relief

Writer’s Relief is a service that helps creative writers get published by proofreading their submissions.

Applying to be a proofreader for Writer’s Relief is easy but they only accept a small number of applicants. Still, it’s worth trying!

20. Domainite

Domainite is a low-paying online proofreader platform but it is a great place for a beginner to gain experience – especially if you are struggling to land clients.

To get started, simply fill out the application form and edit a sample they provide.

21. Wordvice

Wordvice is a platform for all types of content writers, translators and freelance editors. You can always find proofreading jobs here.

Many of their clients are prestigious university and institutions like Standford University and Columbia University.

22. Freelancer

Freelancer is yet another freelancing job board (noticing a trend here?) but they have many projects posted for proofreaders.

Job boards are a great way to drum up some one-off work for various clients, but you never know when one may turn into something long term!

23. Scribe Media

Scribe Media hires individuals as either full-time employees or freelancers.

They don’t always have jobs posted but you can sign up for job alerts when they do.

24. Gramlee

Gramlee states they are looking for editors but the job description seems to better describe proofreaders.

They offer quick turnaround time to clients which means there is always work available. All you have to do is fill out their application form to get started.

25. Start Your Own Business

If worse comes to worse, you can start your own proofreading business. All it takes is a website to get started.

I tend to write a lot about getting into the freelance writing biz – but the information I share is equally valuable if you are looking to start proofreading.

To get started, you’ll need a website that showcases your personality and samples of your work. You’ll also need to know how to market yourself to potential clients.

Taking this route means that you can be even more flexible about the type of clientele you accept the amount of work you take on.

Case Study: How to Find Your First Proofreading Job

Many of my freelance writing students also offer proofreading services and Wendy wanted to share her story of finding her first proofreading job.

If you are struggling to find proofreading jobs, check out how Wendy got started.

I took a proofreading course with Art of Proofreading online. But to be frank, the lessons were very basic and didn’t prepare me for what clients needed and wanted. Proofreading is more than catching errant commas and wrong spellings. It is very rules-based and if you want to make a career of it, you need expertise on publication style guides like Chicago or AP.
I found my first client from Upwork. A blogger who hires non-native English speakers to ghostwrite her posts. I was paid $5/1,000 words. Some articles were easy to proofread but some needed complete rewrite. She usually asks me to do the rewrites. That’s when I decided, I like writing more than proofreading.
I found Twitter and LinkedIn to be the best place to network with proofreaders and copy editors. There’s also a huge creative writing community on Twitter to engage with. 
Other services to offer:
  • Beta reading
  • If you’re a member of the LGBTQ+, BIPOC, people with disability community, you can also offer sensitivity reading 
There are several associations that proofreaders can join. They offer courses, seminars, meetups and free resources. They also host Twitter chats regularly.
Aces: The Society for Editors(@copyeditors)
EFA: Editorial Freelancers Association
CIEP: Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading
Editors Canada
As you can see, your first proofreading job may be low-paying but at least you are getting in the door.

Or, if you are a proofreader, share your wisdom and insight in the comments below.

While I suggest to freelance writers to stay away from content mills and freelance marketplaces like Upwork, it might prove to be a starting point for proofreading and editing jobs.

Ready to Get Started?

These are just 25 of the best places to find proofreading work for beginners. Once you have some experience under your belt, the possibilities are endless!

You don’t need an advanced education or fancy equipment to get started – just a strong grasp of the English language.

So what are you waiting for? Your side hustle awaits!

For more online jobs, check out these guides:

Over to you: Let me know why you’re interested in proofreading as a side gig!

Hi I'm Elna and I'm a freelance writer and mom blogger. I help people just like you become a profitable freelance writer. Within 6 months of starting my freelance writing business from scratch I was able to earn a full-time living as a part-time freelance writer while taking care of my twin toddlers. Check out my free email course Get Paid to Write Online and learn the steps you need to take to be a freelance writer.

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39 Comments

Hi Elna, I have been doing transcription at home with SpeakWrite since February 2013. It was my second job until I retired and now it’s my only job. I love to proofread and edit and thought I would like to get into some proofreading especially after reading your article. I suppose I will just choose one of the companies you suggested and see what I can find out and how to get started. Thank you for the information and have a wonderful day 💕Reply to Deborah
Hi Deborah, Thanks for sharing about SpeakWrite! Glad you enjoy working with them. Proofreading and editing work is a nice break for me since I do freelance writing! Enjoy exploring the companies on this list!Reply to Elna
Hello! I once had a co-worker who desparately needed to get an email written and submitted to ‘the big boss’ for action. (This complaint involved sexual harrassment! She wrote a lengthy email and sent it. She was totally ignored. Frustrated, she came to me for help with a re-write. I accepted the request, re-wrote and completely edited and formatted it, then hit ‘send’. The boss’s response was immediate, resulting in the termination of the offending party. I thought, ‘Hey, I wonder if I could do this as a side gig??’ So here I am. Any and all suggestions/advice for this beginner would be greatly appreciated ! BobReply to Bob
Hey Bob, Glad you enjoyed this post on proofreading jobs online! It can be a great side gig for sure 🙂 Thanks for sharing your story!Reply to Elna
Elna, Thank you for providing this informative article. I have not yet begun to work. I am researching the possibility of proofreading as a second career. I am not really sure what is required of a proofreader. Do I need a webinar or class just to see what is entailed with this position? If so what kind of class do you suggest? I looked up the different associations, but I did not find any help on where to start. I would appreciate to hear your advice. Thank you, in advanced.Reply to Valerie
Hi Valerie, Starting a proofreading service is similar to freelance writing. I do know that Caitlyn Pyle is the go-to for proofreading tips so I would check there for for classes and webinars! Good luck!Reply to Elna
Elna, thank you for the advice. I will look up Caitlyn Pyle .Reply to Valerie
I couldn’t help but notice a possible typo in a sentence that doesn’t make sense to me. In the paragraph after your pay scale from zip recruiter, it reads: “That’s likely ‘consider’ those who work on a full-time basis but, no matter how many hours you can spare to focus on online proofreading jobs, the earning potential is there.” Shouldn’t it say, “That’s likely ‘considering’ those who work on a full-time basis but, no matter how many hours you can spare to focus on online proofreading jobs, the earning potential is there” ? I’m interesting in proofreading because I often find typos, even on professional websites such as Vans.comReply to Nancy
Hi Nancy, Thanks for that eagle eye! I fixed that typo and I’m sure you would be a good proofreader and editor!Reply to Elna
Thank you for this article. When you proofread and edit work, such as an article or short story for a client, is it expected of you to format it as well for publication?Reply to Selby
It depends on the client! Make sure you iron that out before you take the job!Reply to Elna
Thank you so much for this information. I recently decided to get a second job to help supplement my income. Proofreading sounds like the perfect opportunity. I was curious if you knew of any practice websites that you can use to freshen up your skills? Thanks again for the help!Reply to Jessica
Hi Jessica, That’s awesome to hear! I don’t know of any practice sites to help with this! I’m sorry!Reply to Elna
Hi there I have just completed a diploma in proofreading and am keen to get started on my new career. Something that wasn’t covered on the course was editing software. Is there a course or software package that is standard to the industry? How are documents edited electronically? I have been taught to use margin symbols that are not on a keyboard. Many thanks BarbaraReply to Barbara
Hi Barbara, Not sure about what software is good for proofreading. I do know for editing Grammarly or Hemmingway are standard apps to use. As for edited electronically, usually the client will send over the document for MS Word or do a Google Doc where you can share the document and do editing. Then you send it back to the client.Reply to Elna
Hi! Thanks for writing this post. I found it very informative. As a former school teacher and current homeschool mom, it seems second nature for me to look for and correct spelling and grammar errors as I read. Would you be interested in a proofreader? 😉Reply to Brandie
Hi Brandie, That’s awesome to hear!Reply to Elna
I myself love to write and have been on here searching for ways to make money as I was laid off due to this virus. I was not able to get my highschool diploma so cannot get a college degree what route should I take to start a career proof reading or writing?Reply to Edward
Hi Edward, There is no requirement to having a degree to be a freelance writer. No job ad asks for that. They ask for a writing sample and experience writing in their niche topic or industry. So you’re okay!Reply to Elna
I am an avid reader & find myself proofreading automatically! I lost my job due to Covid-19. I have been searching for a job I can do from home & proofreading seems to be a perfect fit for me. Would it increase my chances if I were to take a course to become a certified proofreader? I don’t want to spend money unnecessarily, but I do want to put myself in a position that gives me greater opportunities.Reply to Kimberly
Hi Kimberly, So sorry you lost your job to COVID. It really is a struggle nowadays, but so happy that there is the online world and online jobs like proofreading jobs that can sustain us! As for taking a course, it can help you find proofreading jobs faster, connect you with other proofreaders and help you avoid mistakes. As least that is what my freelance writing course helps with! I have a proven roadmap that I go through and a private Facebook group for students 🙂 Good luck finding online proofreading jobs.Reply to Elna
*At least that is what my freelance writing course helps with….Reply to Wendy
Thank you for this blog, I have a lot of ideas where to apply but its really sad to say I’m not fluent in English and I don’t have a degree. Anyway,someone can recommend or offer me a job. I am a mom of two girls.Reply to Helen
Hi Helen, Thanks for stopping by and good luck with finding an online proofreading job!Reply to Elna
Dear Elna, Helpful article, thank you. I am interested in pursuing proofreading to supplement my retirement income. Ironically, I have discovered a few typos and/or grammatical errors in these comments and in your replies. My question is: did you include the errors on purpose to see if anyone else noticed them and, as a result, would tell you about the errors? This is not a “gotcha” comment. I appreciate the hard work, the research and the thoughtfulness that you have invested in this post and your blog. Frankly, I was wondering if my finding errors here would mean that taking your course would be the next right step for me to take. Please advise. Respectfully, J. FreemanReply to J.
Hi! Thanks for alerting me to my errors. I type my comments on “the fly” and in between tasks so I like to whip through them quickly. But I never re-read what I type and just am trigger happy and click submit! I went back and fixed my errors. As for my course, Write Your Way to Your First $1k I do no talk about proofreading or editing in depth. I may mention them as other services to offer along with your writing services! As, well you can market yourself as a writer and proofreader and that might get businesses to hire you over just a “writer.”Reply to Elna
Hello. My name is Francisca.I came across this write up while searching for an online proofreading job I could get to sustain my self during this closure of schools in Nigeria because of the Covid 19 Pandemic.My school has been closed since March 2020 and I have no other source of income.Since I am a graduate of English Language and I love proofreading, which I have always done as part of my job as a proprietress,I felt I could explore this option.I don’t really know how to go about getting such a job. Any help you can render will be greatly appreciated. Many thanks.Reply to FRANCISCA
Hi Francisca! So sorry about your closure but happy that you are staying healthy and safe during this pandemic! Proofreading jobs can really help supplement your income. Check out these proofreading job sites to help you get started!Reply to Elna
I just want to say that I’m thoroughly enjoying your Blog Traffic Growth class. I had no idea you can make board lists on Tailwinds. That will make things easier!Reply to April
Hi April, Thanks so much! Glad you are enjoying Ready Set Blog for Traffic! 🙂 I see you are interested in offering proofreading job services! Awesome!Reply to Elna
Great article, Elna! Of all the freelance writer sites I’ve visited the past year, yours is the first I’ve seen that will even discuss proofreading as a possibility. Most hype direct response copywriting, because it pays so well, but I’m slowing down in my old age and things like blogging and proofreading are looking more appealing. I was especially interested in Wendy’s dissatisfaction with the “Art of Proofreading” program because it was one of two I was considering, here in North America. British editor, Louise Harnby, also recommended “Publisher’s Training Centre” where she first learned proofreading. They offer a free 24-hour window to look over their program, and I found it to be excellent. The only reason I’ve not yet bought it is I’m not sure how its focus on the BSI system of symbols impacts working with US clients. The other US program I’m considering is “Proofread Anywhere,” with Caitlin Pyle, but I’ve yet to find anyone who has experience it and can give me an idea of how well it covers the subject. Any experts out there? 🙂Reply to Jim
I recently completed the “Proofread Anywhere” course. It is worth the money and is a very in-depth course with lots of practice essays and quizzes.Reply to Cheryll
Hi Jim, My name is Shel Mae. I took the proofread anywhere course and although I found it helpful, I also found that the course did not lay out steadfast rules and different editors edited differently, although it was supposedly based on the Chicago Manual of Style. The Proofread Anywhere course is a bit of a hard sell as well, which can feel a bit disingenuous. I liked the practice sheets, but honestly I’m not sure its worth the $$. Thats my 25 cents!Reply to Shel
Hi Jim, I am interested in your experience since this post, if you could share. I was considering the Proofread Anywhere course as well and will look up the other one you mentioned, even though there was Wendy’s negative review. Have you gone ahead with a program? If so, how is it going? All the best, AnnieReply to Annie
Hi Jim, Thank you so much! For many years, I ONLY wrote about freelance writing (not copywriting), and it’s just recently that I wanted to help people learn about other types of services like editing jobs, and proofreading jobs. Wendy is a course student of mine in Write Your Way to Your First $1k, so I think she just enjoyed writing more then proofreading! Out of all the programs you mentioned, I only have heard of Caitlin Pyle’s Proofread Anywhere. To find reviews of her program, type this into Google as you see it here: “proofread anywhere” review You can probably do that with the other programs you mentioned to see reviews. I hope this helps you!Reply to Elna
Comprehensive article, thank you. I have recently retired from the corporate world, and am a published author. While working, I often proofed resumes, presentations, email, etc for co-workers. Especially those for whom English is not their first language. I truly enjoy helping others make the best impression with the written word that I can. So I’m considering offering proofreading as a service to supplement my pension. Your article has provided an encouraging boost!Reply to Liz
Hi Liz, That’s great to hear! If proofreading is your thing, then offer it for sure! Good luck!Reply to Elna