20 Best Online Proofreading Jobs For Beginners (Earn $40,000+ A Year)

Do you want to learn how to find online proofreading jobs for beginners? Not even the best writers are perfect. They still make grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors, and that’s why hiring a professional proofreader can be a huge help. Proofreaders are like an extra set of eyes that can help improve articles, a paper…

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Last Updated: March 12, 2024

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you decide to make a purchase via my links, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you. See my disclosure for more info.

Do you want to learn how to find online proofreading jobs for beginners?

Not even the best writers are perfect. They still make grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors, and that’s why hiring a professional proofreader can be a huge help.

Proofreaders are like an extra set of eyes that can help improve articles, a paper you may be writing, a book, advertising copy, and more.

It’s so easy to let an error slip through, and you may never notice it, despite the number of times you’ve read and re-read your writing.

This is where a proofreader comes in, and it’s why finding online proofreading jobs can be a great way to make extra money.

Companies, writers, and everyone else wants their work to be of high-quality, after all.

When was the last time you read a restaurant menu and noticed a misspelled word staring back at you?

Or, perhaps you were reading an article online and noticed a couple of misplaced commas.

These are exactly the kinds of things proofreaders look for, and it’s exactly why business owners need proofreaders. 

If you’re interested, proofreading can be a flexible side hustle or even a full-time business. You can find proofreading jobs from home, work on your own schedule, and grow your business at your own pace.

Some people actually enjoy catching mistakes, and some people have a great eye for spotting errors.

If that sounds like you, then you may want to learn how to become a proofreader and how to find the best online proofreading jobs.

There is a high demand for online proofreading jobs, and you can do it from home or while traveling. There are even entry-level proofreading jobs for people who are just starting out.

Proofreaders take virtually any kind of written content and go over it to make it perfect. You might be proofreading blog posts, print articles, academic articles, website copy, advertising copy, and more.

As a proofreader, you’re responsible for putting the finishing touches on content to make it look polished and professional.

This is a job that can earn you over $50,000 a year, with a lot of room for growth. So many people are looking for proofreaders, so this can be a great career option to get started with.

If you are interested in finding online proofreading jobs, I recommend signing up for this free 76-minute workshop all about proofreading. Here, you will learn how to start a freelance proofreading business. You can sign up for free here.

Content related to work-from-home proofreading jobs:

Here’s what you need to know about online proofreading jobs.


What is proofreading?

Before I explain where to find legitimate proofreading jobs online for beginners, I want to make sure you completely understand what proofreading is.

I interviewed a proofreading expert, Caitlin Pyle, on this topic, and she answers that question perfectly:

“Proofreading is not rewriting sentences, making comments about sentence structure or word choices, moving paragraphs around, or fact checking. In contrast, a proofreader is the last set of eyes to look at a draft before publication. They look for punctuation mistakes, misspelled words, lack of consistency, and formatting errors.”


What does an online proofreader do?

There are so many online proofreading jobs right now because this is a job you can do remotely. Basically, you can proofread any kind of online content. 

You might be proofreading books, articles, blog posts, student papers, emails, advertising content, medical documents, and more – anything that can be delivered electronically and be proofread on a computer or tablet.

Not too long ago, proofreaders needed physical copies of the documents they were working on and made corrections with a red pen. Not any more! Pretty much everything can be done online, making it easy to find online proofreading jobs.

There is a crazy amount of content that’s written each and every single day, and a lot of it needs to be proofread!


Best Online Proofreading Jobs

How much money can a proofreader make?

The amount of money that you can make as a proofreader varies. You may be paid per page, per hour, per project, and so on. 

For example, to proofread a nonfiction book that’s around 15,000 to 35,000 words, you may earn between $100 to $500 for the whole project.

Your pay also depends on your level of experience. More experienced proofreaders will naturally earn more, but many brand new proofreaders still earn around $20-$25 per hour.

Proofreading can be a great career path because you can typically find different jobs depending on your proofreading experience, even if you are brand new and are a beginner proofreader.

There are even specific proofreading niches that pay higher on average. The most profitable proofreading niches are science, medicine, and technology.

You may need experience or a degree in one of those fields to find online proofreading jobs in one of those niches, but you will see a much higher pay.

Another way to earn more as a proofreader is to work on documents such as resumes, court transcripts, or theses. 

Basically, the more know-how required or technical a document is, the more lucrative the pay.

What is a proofreader’s salary?

Most online proofreading jobs are freelance jobs, meaning you’re an independent contractor and not earning an annual salary. 

As a freelance proofreader, you might have busy months and slow months, so it’s hard to estimate exactly how much you can earn annually.

However, according to Salary.com, the average proofreader earns around $50,000 each year.

Source: Salary.com

Remember, most online proofreading jobs don’t pay a fixed salary – you’re paid by the project. The number above is based on proofreaders who do work full-time jobs for companies.

Proofreaders who work as freelancers and have their own business may earn anywhere from $25 to $50 per hour, and you can potentially make a little or more or less. It simply depends on what you are charging, your experience level, and the project you are working on.

You may be able to increase your rates as you gain more experience, attract more clients, work on more projects, and so on.

Some proofreading jobs do involve you being an employee instead of a freelancer, so your pay can vary there as well due to the different benefits that you may receive by being an employee instead of a contractor.


What are the pros and cons of proofreading?

Like any other job or business, there are pros and cons that you should consider before getting started. Below are the pros and cons of becoming a proofreader.


  • It’s very affordable to start a proofreading business because all you really need is a laptop or computer and an internet connection.
  • You can work from home or while traveling. You could even travel full-time while you work!
  • You can create your own schedule. This is a benefit if you’re a stay-at-home-parent or if you want to be in charge of your own hours.
  • People who are already good at finding mistakes may find this an easy and enjoyable job to start.
  • There is a huge demand for proofreaders, along with a good salary potential.


  • Although you may be able to create a flexible schedule, you will still have to stick to deadlines, and this is all dependent on your client.
  • There are tax implications of becoming a freelance proofreader. You’ll be responsible for reporting your income and paying self-employment taxes.
  • It is still a job 🙂

As you can see, there are many great positives of starting to work online proofreading jobs.

If this is something that you are interested in trying, I highly recommend doing so. There are many pros to finding work from home proofreading jobs.


What skills does a proofreader need?

Proofreading is a skill that you can learn, so you can start as a beginner. But, that doesn’t mean that just anyone can do it – you may need some training!

The basic skills you need are to be able to find spelling, grammar, and punctuation mistakes.

For most proofreading jobs, you won’t need a university degree, but some may require one as well.

Can anyone start a proofreading business?

There are proofreading jobs online with no experience required – so yes, pretty much anyone can start a proofreading business. 

You will need proofreading skills, like the ones I mentioned above. However, you will have to learn how to start your business.

Learning how to run a proofreading business includes:

  • Knowing how and where to find clients
  • Gather your tools – online proofreading jobs only require a computer or laptop and internet connection
  • Setting your proofreading rates
  • Understanding self-employment taxes
  • Setting up a website (not always necessary, but it can help). A platform such as WordPress make it very easy to start your own website, which you can use as an easy resume to display your work


Do I need a degree in order to become a proofreader?

There is no official proofreading certification or degree in the United States.

You do not need a college degree or a certification in order to become a proofreader. This is a business you can start without any formal education.

While you do not need a bachelor’s degree or graduate degree to become a proofreader, there may be some companies that are looking for people with a specific degree or academic background. This generally only happens if you are interested in proofreading scientific or research papers because it’s important that you understand the subject matter. 

Don’t let this stop you as most companies and proofreading jobs do not require a degree. 


Who hires proofreaders?

Proofreaders are in high demand and many, many people and businesses are hiring them.

Bloggers, companies, writers, students, businesses, authors, advertisers, podcast hosts, and more all hire proofreaders to improve their content.

Also, there are different types of proofreaders. There are court transcript proofreaders, general proofreaders, and more. You can learn about these two here:

  1. How To Become a Court Transcript Proofreader
  2. How To Become A General Proofreader And Work From Anywhere


What companies hire proofreaders?

There are many different online platforms, job boards, and freelancer marketplaces you can use to find companies and individuals who are hiring proofreaders.  Here are some of the best places to find proofreading jobs.

  1. Fiverr – For freelance proofreading jobs, Fiverr.com can be a place to start looking at entry-level proofreading jobs.
  2. UpWork – With UpWork, you can find online proofreading jobs online for beginners.
  3. If you take a proofreading course, they will typically help you connect with potential proofreading clients.
  4. Contact bloggers to see if they need any proofreading assistance.
  5. Create a personal proofreading website that displays your services, testimonials, and so on. Then, be sure to share this link so that people can find you. It’s a good idea to share a link to your website on your Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn profile.
  6. Craigslist – By searching available jobs and gigs, you may find proofreading jobs. Local businesses always need proofreaders as proofreading mistakes can cost them money and time.
  7. Scribendi – Scribendi is a website that provides editing and proofreading services, which means that they are pretty much always looking for proofreaders.
  8. Proofreading Services – Proofreading Services has a large team of part-time and full-time proofreaders. They pay from $19 to $46 per hour.
  9. Facebook groups – Many people look for proofreaders on Facebook, so this can be a great place to search and market your services. This may include joining blogging-related Facebook groups, sharing your proofreading website on your Facebook page, asking your friends to share your contact information with others, and more.
  10. Freelancer – Freelancer.com posts freelance proofreading jobs, similar to how UpWork does. I did a quick search and I found many proofreading jobs all over the world.
  11. Gramlee – Gramlee.com, right on their website it says that they are always looking for “exceptional editors!” They have an employment application on their homepage that you can fill out.
  12. Scribbr – Scribbr.com is always looking for proofreaders and editors, and they have an application process that tests your language and editing skills. Once you pass that, you will be able to fill out the Scribbr application, join the Scribbr Academy, and more.
  13. Flexjobs – Flexjobs.com lists online proofreading jobs. A simple search on their website showed 171 proofreading jobs that are available right now. These included remote proofreading jobs, full-time and part-time proofreading jobs, and more.
  14. Cactus Global – Cactus Global is a freelance website that hires editors and proofreaders for proofreader work.
  15. American Journal Experts – This site hires proofreaders who are experts in specific fields to help edit and prepare manuscripts for researchers, scientists, and scholars.
  16. Babbletype – Babbletype provides market research transcription and translation services, and they need proofreaders to go over the content. 
  17. Domainite – This is a content mill that is always looking for freelance proofreaders and writers to churn out inexpensive content.
  18. Edit 911 – You’ll need a Ph.D. to find proofreading and editing jobs on Edit 911 because they only offer premium editing services for books, dissertations, and other professional documents. 
  19. EditorLive – EditorLive sees a steady flow of academic and business papers, and they are looking for proofreaders and editors who can work on very short deadlines.
  20. Polished Paper – Polished Paper offers professional English language editing and proofreading services, and you’ll have to pass a 35 question test before getting hired.

Below is a screenshot of some online proofreading jobs that I found on UpWork.

What’s the difference between editing and proofreading?

Editors and proofreaders are two different career options. But, some people do both jobs as well. Proofreading is usually smaller changes, such as fixing grammar and correcting spelling errors.

It’s usually the last step before a piece of work is turned in and submitted.

My editor does do both copy editing and proofreading for me. Depending on your proofreading and editing experience, it may be a good option for you as well.

If you want to expand your services, then finding ways to get editing jobs may be another good and related service for you to offer depending on your skillset as it is a relevant field.

Which proofreading course is best?

If you want to get a head start on your proofreading business, you may want to take a proofreading course. The most popular online proofreading course that I know of is General Proofreading THEORY & PRACTICE.

This course teaches you everything you need to know about proofreading books, blogs, websites, and more. You’ll learn how to proofread, as well as how to start a proofreading business, how to find proofreading clients, and more.

This is a very detailed course that teaches you everything you need to know in order to start a proofreading career.

The General Proofreading THEORY & PRACTICE course includes:

  • 80+ lessons in 10+ modules
  • 40+ real-life example jobs 
  • 3 case studies
  • 8 grammar-specific worksheets 
  • Student workbook and syllabus

And much more.

Recommended reading: Proofread Anywhere Review: Is This Proofreading Course Worth It?


How much does Caitlin Pyle’s proofreading course cost?

You can sign up for her free 76-minute workshop for free. Here, you will learn how to start a freelance proofreading business. You can sign up for free here.

The full course, General Proofreading THEORY & PRACTICE, starts at $397 for lifetime access. They have a package for $497 that includes everything in the $397 and also comes with bonuses such as a mastermind for proofreaders, a certificate of completion, and more.


What will I learn in General Proofreading THEORY & PRACTICE?

In General Proofreading THEORY & PRACTICE, you will learn:

  • Module 1: Intro to General Proofreading. In this module, you will learn the basics of proofreading, learn what kind of companies need proofreaders, and more.
  • Module 2: Grammar Refresher. The lessons in this module will work you through all the principles of grammar, including common mistakes.
  • Module 3: Sentence Structure. The proofreading lessons here will teach you about sentence structure.
  • Module 4: Spelling and Word Use for Proofreaders. This module goes over common typos, misused words, American and British spelling variations, and more.
  • Module 5: Punctuation Principles. The lessons here will teach you about common punctuation mistakes.
  • Module 6: Proofreading Methods. This module includes tutorials so that you can learn different proofreading methods and practice with sample proofreading jobs.
  • Module 7: Proofreading Practice. Here, you’ll receive practice essays so that you can identify what you need to improve on.
  • Module 8: Types of Proofreading. The lessons in this module cover different types of proofreading, such as academic, blogging, business, and more.
  • Module 9: Turning Proofreading into a Business. This module is where you will learn how to turn your proofreading skills into a money-making business. You will learn how to create your own website, set your rates, build up experience as a new proofreader, and more.
  • Module 10: Finding Clients. The lessons here will teach you how to find clients and online proofreading jobs.
  • Module 11: Marketing Basics. Here, you will learn how to market your proofreading business so that clients can find you.
  • Module 12: Your Workflow. This is a valuable module that teaches you how to deliver your proofreading job to your client, how to bill for your proofreading services, and more.

You’ll also receive many different bonuses, such as Look Better in Writing™ Handbook of Commonly Misused (and Abused!) Words, The Ultimate Freelancer Tax Guide, The Mindset Mastery Guide, 5 Mindset Shifts for Goal-Crushing Confidence, Money Mindset Transformation Workshop & Workbook, Access to Level 1 of Transcript Proofreading: Theory and Practice™, Hand-graded Exam with Certificate of Completion, Marketing Mastermind for Proofreaders, and a Listing in the Self-Publishing School (SPS) Preferred Outsourcer Rolodex.

The course is self-paced and usually takes under a month to finish, but you can finish faster if you want, or you can take your time. 

This Proofread Anywhere proofreading course comes with lifetime access, so you can continually go back to the course and learn from it whenever you want.


Is it worth doing a proofreading course?

Yes, I believe that taking a proofreading course can be well worth it.

A course will help you get your online proofreading business off to the right start, and you’ll learn exactly what you need to do, including how to actually proofread and find clients! You’ll also learn how to proofread work, such as where to proofread documents (my proofreader uses Google Docs for my work), but there’s also Microsoft Word and others options.

This can help you make money proofreading much quicker than if you were trying to learn everything yourself.


How do I become a proofreader?

I recommend reading How To Become A General Proofreader in order to learn more about this.

To put it simply, to become a proofreader you will want to:

  1. Improve your proofreading skills. This may include taking a proofreading course, such as General Proofreading THEORY & PRACTICE.
  2. Find proofreading jobs. This can be done by reading the section above on how to find clients.
  3. Get paid!

Proofreading is a flexible and detail-oriented side hustle.

All you need to work as a proofreader is a laptop or tablet, an internet connection, and a good eye for pointing out mistakes.


Is there a market for proofreaders? Is proofreading a good side hustle?

Yes, there is a market for proofreaders, and this can be a great side hustle.

If you are looking for a flexible side hustle where you are your own boss, can determine your own hours, choose your clients, and work from home, this can be a great side hustle for you to look into.

Bonus points if you already enjoy proofreading and often find errors in books, articles, advertisements, menus, and more.

This is a growing gig that I think will just continue to increase in demand. Plus, the income is good and it can grow depending on your experience level and how many clients you take on.

Are you interested in finding online proofreading jobs? What else do you want to know about proofreading?

Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Author: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner

Hey! I’m Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and I am the founder of Making Sense of Cents. I’m passionate about all things personal finance, side hustles, making extra money, and online businesses. I have been featured in major publications such as Forbes, CNBC, Time, and Business Insider. Learn more here.

Like this article?

Join the Conversation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Proofreading online as a side hustle in my personal opinion I think is the easiest form of passive income earned.

    1. Law0912

      Sounds good! How do you get started? How do you find clients? If you are new to the side hustle, what do you need to show your client to prove you can handle the job?

  2. Since I’m a loyal supporter of your blog Michelle, I came up with a lucrative idea of promoting your blog posts on my website. In coming months, I’ll make a few forum posts on the website recommending about up to 10 articles to read on your blog. Keep up the good work in all you do. 🙂

  3. Dee

    Please…oriented, not orientated!! 🤣
    I enjoy your blog.

  4. Dee

    Please…oriented, not orientated!!
    I enjoy your blog.

  5. Cndy

    With Grammarly and other AI software, many people doing their own proofing.