The Ultimate Guide: How To Make Money Proofreading

The Ultimate Guide: How To Make Money Proofreading

If you have an eye for detail, proofreading can pay well. Learn the abilities required to make proofreading a lucrative career or side hustle.

By working as a full-time employee or a freelancer on websites like Upwork or Fiverr, you can earn money proofreading. 

The necessity for proofreading services is expanding as there is an increasing volume of written information that has to be edited and evaluated as a result of the continual growth of digital content. 

A keen eye for detail, familiarity with grammar and punctuation, and the capacity to detect faults in written work are prerequisites for proofreading. 

Let’s talk about developing these talents, earning money proofreading, and earning potential.

How does proofreading work? 

A written work is reviewed for errors during proofreading. 

Grammatical, punctuational, and formatting problems are all included in this. In some circumstances, a written piece’s proofreader is the last check before publication. 

An essay, an email, or a social media post can all be considered written works when we refer to them. 

Because writing has such a wide range, a proofreader frequently works on several different projects. 

Making ensuring there are no errors, however, is the primary responsibility of proofreaders in all written forms. A writing background and keen attention to detail are frequently needed for this. Skills can be picked up in the classroom, on the job, or via independent study. 

Proofreading vs. copyediting

Although they are somewhat similar, copyediting and proofreading are not the same things. 

The main distinction between the two is that proofreading is frequently the last stage of editing. 

If proofreading isn’t the last step, it usually comes right after copyediting. 

Here is an illustration of how a publishing or marketing firm might carry out its editing procedure: 

Developmental and structural editing: Improving the overall organization and flow. 

Fixing a piece’s style and tone through line editing. 

Correction of grammar, spelling, and punctuation during copyediting. 

Before publication, proofreading involves fixing any last-minute mistakes. 

It should be noted that as a writer, copyeditor, or proofreader, you are not required to adhere to this formal framework. Each stage might cross over with another stage.

How to make money proofreading

One approach to learning how to make money as a side business or even a career is through proofreading. 

Proofreading could begin as a part-time job but eventually grow into a full-time one. Let’s look at how to begin. 

1.Have the required skills 

There are various ways to learn the proofreading abilities you need. 

To become a proofreader, you don’t have to be an excellent writer or editor at first. But to increase your prospects for proofreading, you’ll need to acquire certain useful abilities. 

For instance, you frequently need to understand how to make anything simple to read, which calls for good attention to detail. 

Additionally, you should be able to be objective and possess a firm command of grammar and punctuation.


2. Obtain additional credentials 

If you already possess the prerequisite knowledge to become a proofreader, it is time to go to formal training. 

You can master the ins and outs of writing and editing rules to hone your proofreading abilities. 

You can earn extra certifications from online proofreading classes that can educate you more about proofreading and improve your skills in addition to writing and editing requirements. 

Since many of these courses are free, you can decide whether to pursue this career route without having to invest any money.

These instructional courses are available on websites like:

Coursera, LinkedIn Learning, and Skillshare.

3. Select a proofreading fee

In the United States, proofreaders typically make between $22 and $24 per hour. 

If you’re just starting, you might wish to start at a lower rate. 

You can raise your hourly rate as you accumulate more years of experience and add credentials to your résumé. 

By concentrating on a niche, you can also enhance your compensation. Various areas of proofreading include Legal transcripts, Marketing materials, Translations, Print media, and academic dissertations.

Other categories can be added to these niches. 

The notion is that by concentrating on particular disciplines, you might identify a region where your skills may be in great demand. If it’s something you’re personally interested in, like a pastime or a passion, it might be more enjoyable.

4. Acquire a first job

It’s time to look for work right now. The type of job you seek will determine where to look for proofreading work. 

The majority of online job boards and websites can assist with your search for full-time proofreading opportunities. 

Examine job listings for proofreading positions on LinkedIn,, FlexJobs, ZipRecruiter, Indeed, Monster, and other websites. 

Jobs for freelance proofreaders can be found on Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr. Online job boards often list freelancing jobs that you can complete anywhere. 

Keep in mind that not every company posts its open opportunities on job boards. 

To discover if any pertinent opportunities are open, you should also visit the career pages of the businesses you’re interested in. 

How much money can I make proofreading?

The amount of money you can earn proofreading varies significantly based on several variables, including your proofreading background, the type of content you edit, and the industry you operate in. 

As with other jobs, your salary should increase as you gain experience. 

But keep in mind that certain businesses or industries can merely offer larger salaries than others. 

For instance, a computer company might pay you more than a university. 

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that entry-level proofreaders make, on average, $14 per hour or $29,000 per year. 

According to, an experienced proofreader can earn an hourly wage of about $22. 

earning $22 to $24 per hour during a 40-hour workweek.

Essential tools for proofreaders

Without his or her tools, what would a builder be? The same argument also holds for proofreaders. 

The resources listed below can make your job as a proofreader much simpler. 

Google Docs

The purpose of Google Docs is to support authors. To make modifications apparent to anyone with access to the document, you may quickly add comments and use the editing mode. 

To discover what modifications have already been made or to go back to a previous version, you can also view earlier versions of the document.


Because so much of what we say out loud can be grammatically incorrect, grammar can be a difficult beast to tame. 

Even the rules of grammar themselves can be difficult. 

Grammarly is a fantastic tool for receiving rapid ideas on what you can modify to help make the written item you proofread more readable and correct. However, remember that Grammarly is only a tool and not a rule of thumb for how to write effectively. 

It’s crucial to comprehend this since there may be occasions when you disagree with Grammarly’s suggestions. 

And you might very well be correct, especially if Grammarly doesn’t match the style of the text.

The AP Stylebook 

Professional writing frequently adheres to style manuals so that everyone can agree on the appropriate form of writing. 

One of these style manuals is the AP Stylebook, which offers rules and recommendations for a wide range of words and expressions. This makes it a valuable tool for proofreaders who adhere to AP Style. 


ProWritingAid is comparable to Grammarly in that it is an app that provides users with writing improvement tips. 

This tool may be useful for proofreaders to identify locations in various writing pieces that need minor edits or revisions.

App Hemingway 

Being concise and clear in their writing is something that many authors strive for. 

To determine the readability of written documents, utilize the Hemingway App. 

The Hemingway App can be useful for proofreaders as well, especially if editing was done without it.

FAQs on proofreading 

Proofreading is simple. 

As you develop your talents and gain more experience, proofreading becomes easier. It also helps to have prior experience in editing or writing roles. 

However, if you get easily sidetracked or don’t have a strong command of the written language, proofreading might be difficult. 

And like any skill, mastering proofreading usually takes time and work. 

Do employers need proofreaders? 

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates for 2021 show a rising demand for proofreaders (BLS). 

10,500 proofreaders were employed in 2021, according to BLS data. A slower-than-average 2% growth rate is anticipated between 2021 and 2031, nevertheless.

How much do beginner proofreaders make?

On average, entry-level proofreaders make $14 per hour or about $29,000 per year. 

However, the typical hourly wage for proofreaders is between $22 and $24, or roughly $45,000 to $50,000 per year. 

Keep in mind that your income and hourly pay are based on your expertise, the company you work for, and the number of hours you put in. 

How can I learn proofreading for free?

The internet is a great place to learn stuff for free, including proofreading, quite frequently. 

You may check out a ton of free online publications and courses to determine if proofreading sounds like the perfect kind of employment for you. 

Consider other business ideas 

If proofreading doesn’t seem to be your thing, don’t worry. There are several ways to earn more income online in your free time. 

Get to be a virtual assistant 

You can support your clients remotely with administrative, technical, or creative tasks as a virtual assistant (VA). 

You can assist with things like setting up appointments, responding to emails, booking flights, using social media, conducting research, and more. 

You can work alone and contact clients online, including messaging, email, and phone. 

A remote position that can be flexible with your work schedule, location, and type of work is becoming a virtual assistant (VA). 

Being organized, practicing good time management, and using effective communication are essential to succeeding as a VA.

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