5 Steps How To Become A Proofreader (With No Degree!)
Do you have a knack for grammar and punctuation? Do you want to make money from home?
Proofreading may be the perfect job for you. It’s a great way to use your high-income skills while working from home.
You can set your own hours, and there’s no need to commute. Plus, you can earn a good income by proofreading from anywhere in the world.
Learn more about how to become a proofreader today!
What Are Proofreaders?
Proofreaders are essential to the writing process before anything gets published.
Proofreading involves reading a text for mistakes in grammar, punctuation, and spelling. Then, they make the appropriate changes during the editing process so that the text is error-free.
Although there is a growing demand for freelance proofreaders, they are typically employed by publishing companies. The work of a proofreader is essential because it ensures that the text meets the highest standards for accuracy and readability.
There are many opportunities for a freelance proofreader, and the pay is typically good money each month. So, if you are interested in pursuing this career, start by doing some research on the internet. There are many resources available that can help you get started.
Requirements For Proofreaders
If you are interested in becoming a proofreader, there are a few things that you should know.
First, you do not need a formal education like a Bachelor’s degree or an English degree, but you need a command of the English language and written word to start proofreading.
Second, proofreaders need to be detail-oriented. They must be able to spot even the most minor errors in a text. Attention to detail is essential for ensuring that the text meets the highest standards of accuracy.
Third, proofreaders need to be able to work independently. They should be able to follow instructions and make changes to a text without supervision.
Additionally, they should be familiar with the different style guides used in publishing. These style guides provide standards for grammar, punctuation, and formatting.
Finally, proofreaders should have good communication skills. They should be able to communicate effectively with authors and editors.
How Much Do Proofreaders Make?
Proofreaders are in demand. They are considered one of the recession-proof businesses, and the pay is typically good.
Proofreaders typically make between $20 – $33 per hour, which varies based on your experience, proofreading skills, and education.
We searched salaries on Salary.com and here’s what we found:
How To Become A Proofreader
If you can recognize key errors, know about proper sentence structure, and can pinpoint those things in everything you read, you could definitely make money as a proofreader!
To become a proofreader, there are some steps you need to take:
1. Know Grammar Rules & Writing Structures
The first step to become a proofreader is knowing grammar rules and writing structures.
Proofreaders are not only responsible for catching grammar mistakes and other errors in text, but they also have to be able to understand the structure of a sentence and how it is supposed to be written.
You can improve your grammar and proofreading skills by reading, writing, and practicing different grammar exercises.
Many online resources are available that can help you learn more about grammar rules. The more you know, the better equipped you will become a successful proofreader.
2. Test Your Skills
Earlier, we talked about some of the requirements/skills a proofreader needs. These skills are something that you can test for yourself.
Many online quizzes, proofreading tests, and exercises can help you test your attention to detail, grammar skills, and punctuation skills.
Some companies may even send you a proofreading test when you apply for a job, just as a little look-see at your skills! The more you practice, the better you will become at catching grammatical errors in the text and impress your clients with your accuracy.
3. Get Training & Equipment
Training For Proofreading Jobs
Proofreaders identify errors in text, and the best way to learn to do this is by getting training. Training will help you develop the skills and knowledge you need to be a successful proofreader.
There are many ways to get training, and one of the best ways is to take an online course. There are many online and in-person courses available that will teach you about grammar rules, writing structures, and identifying errors.
Our favorite proofreading course is Proofread Anywhere, which teaches you everything you need to know about proofreading- plus they have a FREE workshop to give you a feel for becoming a proofreader.
The course is self-paced, and you have access to various resources, including video tutorials, lessons, and quizzes. If you’re looking for more in-depth training, then this might be the course for you.
Equipment Proofreaders Need
The best part about being a proofreader is that you can work from anywhere in the world and you can start a business with little to no money in start-up costs!
For proofreading, you’ll need:
- A computer with internet access
- A good printer (if you’re like me and make changes by hand!)
- References guides for writing styles
- A Dictionary and thesaurus
- Writng programs like Microsoft Word or Google Docs
- A grammar checker like Grammarly (they automatically identify and correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors!)
4. Build Up Your Resume
If you want to become a proofreader, one of the best things you can do is build up your resume to get the perfect online proofreading job in the bag.
Experience is key when it comes to becoming a proofreader. The more experience you have, the better equipped you will be to do the job.
There are many ways to get proofreading experience. One way is to volunteer to proofread documents for friends or family members. You can also offer to proofread content for free on websites or blogs.
Reach out to students to give them free reviews on coursework, or even search the web for ads and marketing campaigns to see if you can spot errors- you can let them know what you found, and use that as an example of your worth to prospective clients.
5. Apply For Jobs
Once you have learned how to become a proofreader and have your skills ready to go, you can start the job search.
There are many ways job seekers can find proofreading work, and one of the best ways is to search online job boards. Many websites list online proofreading jobs, and it’s a good idea to check them regularly.
Another way to find jobs is by contacting local businesses and asking if they need any help with their proofreading work. Many online job boards list jobs for proofreaders. Or, you can contact local businesses and ask if they need any help with their proofreading needs.
Jobs For Proofreading Beginners
If you’re starting out as a professional proofreader, it can be daunting trying to find proofreading jobs and clients right off the bat.
But don’t worry, there are plenty of places to find your first proofreading job.
- Job boards and freelance marketplaces like Indeed, Fiverr, and FlexJobs for a freelance job
- Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter
- Contact businesses and individuals directly to inquire about proofreading services
- Talk to a fellow freelance writer to see if they need proofreading help
- Consider opening your own freelance business and becoming a profitable small business
- You’ll need a great website to open your proofreading business, so start a BlueHost website for only $2.95 per month!
Proofreading Niches For You
One of the best ways to find a job that’s perfect for you is to research the different proofreading niches.
A proofreading niche is a type of job that focuses on a specific area or industry, meaning you could tailor your business and training to a few of them rather than dabble in everything.
There are many different proofreading niches, and each one has its own set of publisher proofreading rules. It’s essential to do your research before looking for a job. This will help you find a job that’s the perfect fit for you.
The general proofreading niche includes jobs that don’t fit into any specific niche. This niche is perfect for people looking for a flexible online business.
Many different types of documents need to be proofread, and no two jobs are the same.
You could proofread freelance writing articles that are going to be submitted to a publishing house for magazines, and online publications. You could help course creator produce error-free instructions for students.
Your options are endless- because we all make mistakes and need someone to check out work!
Freelance proofreader jobs in this niche include:
- Course creators
- Freelance writers
Want to learn more about general proofreading? Take this FREE workshop to learn more about proofreading and if it is right for you!
A medical/science proofreader works to ensure the accuracy of manuscripts and publications in the field.
They are meticulous about making sure there are no errors or inconsistencies regarding medical/science terminology, grammar, punctuation, or spelling. It can be a bit more difficult than a general proofreading role, as it is so specific!
Medical science has many sub-fields like chemistry and anatomy, so a proofreader must be well versed in these areas. They must also keep up with the latest advancements and research to proofreading manuscripts accurately.
You’ll need to be comfortable working with sophisticated scientific material if you want to work in the medical/scientific field as a proofreader.
A proofreader in the financial field is responsible for reviewing and editing financial documents, such as invoices, bills, and bank statements.
They ensure that all information is accurate and legible and that the formatting is correct before the company passes them on to clients. Plus, some clients may be writing financial how-to books, and want to avoid any errors before publishing.
Proofreaders may also be responsible for correcting errors in mathematical formulas or calculating correct totals, so math skills are a must!
You’ll need strong editing and arithmetic abilities and be able to work on your own and meet deadlines to work as a financial proofreader. Accounting or bookkeeping experience may be beneficial, but it is not required.
Documents in the legal profession are often filed in the official court records, and it’s essential to have someone go through the documents before they are filed to make sure they are error-free.
A proofreader in the legal profession needs to have a strong understanding of legal terminology and formatting rules. They may be required to proofread legal documents, contracts, or court transcripts.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I start my own proofreading business?
Yes, you can start your own freelance business. Many resources are available to help you get started in a proofreading career, including online courses, books, and websites.
You’ll need to have a strong understanding of grammar and spelling and knowledge of the formatting rules for different types of text. You’ll also need to be able to work quickly and efficiently.
What is the best course to learn how to become a proofreader?
Proofread Anywhere is one of the best resources for learning how to become a proofreader.
Their free workshop offers a preview of their in-depth training, as well as tips and tricks for finding proofreading jobs.
Suggestions For Proofreading Training
Proofreaders should understand grammar and punctuation. They should be able to identify grammar, sentence structure, missing punctuation, and typographical errors such as spelling errors.
Think you may need some refreshers before jumping on the professional proofreaders’ bandwagon?
Looking for some more in-depth proofreading training!
Here are some great proofreading courses to check out, plus check out the in-depth article of our top proofreading courses:
Caitlin Pyle can tell you some of the best signs you could make money as a proofreader, plus how to get clients as a self-employed business.
She also has an amazing course, General Proofreading: Theory and Practice, where you can go more in-depth to train and practice your craft for a successful career.
General Proofreading: Theory and Practice
The one-time payment gives you lifetime access to the course (including course updates) and the Facebook group.
The course includes:
- Over 80 lessons with 8 module quizzes
- Practice grammar sheets
- A student workbook, case studies, and a training vocab quiz
- Bonuses like marketing tactics, a freelance tax guide, a nifty handbook, and more!
Ignite Plus: $497
It includes everything that is in the Ignite version plus:
- An exam that is hand-graded
- A certificate showing you completed the course
- Self-Publishing School (SPS) Preferred Outsourcer Rolodex listing
- A marketing mastermind group membership for PA General Proofreaders with verified skills
If you want a little preview into a successful proofreading business and learn how to attract clients, a free workshop from Proofread Anywhere is precisely what you need!
Writing Editing Masterclass
Writing Editing Masterclass is a masterclass on Skillshare designed for people who want to learn about content editing, copywriting, and proofreading.
This course will teach you how to edit and proofread your own writing and how to provide feedback to others accurately and efficiently. You’ll also learn how to find and correct common errors and spelling mistakes in writing.
Skillshare offers 7 days of unlimited access to the classes they offer so it’s free to get started with this course.
However, if you want to get the most out of it and keep it for reference, you’ll need to sign up for a premium membership.
According to Skillshare, to see the price for your region after the free 7 days, you will need to create an account and visit the payments page.
Proofreading is a profitable way to make a living from home whether working for someone or in your own business or as a side hustle. With the right skills and training, you can be a pro at finding and correcting writing errors.
The resources we’ve listed above should give you a good starting point for becoming a proofreader.
With the right tools in your toolkit, you’ll be able to find and correct writing errors like a pro. So what are you waiting for? Start learning today!