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Online proofreading jobs come with many perks — especially for all you grammar snobs out there.
You can work:
✔️ Wherever you want (one of the best jobs for digital nomads)
✔️ Whenever you want
✔️ As much (or as little) as you want.
And the pay isn’t too shabby either.
There’s just one problem:
Many work-from-home proofreading jobs ask for loads of it, which begs the question…
Is it possible to find proofreading jobs online with no experience?
You bet it is.
Here’s exactly how to do it.
Table of Contents
- What is a proofreader?
- Who uses proofreaders?
- Is it hard to get proofreading jobs from home with no experience?
- How much do proofreaders make an hour?
- How to find proofreading jobs online (no experience)
- Companies that hire proofreaders
- “Recommended” proofreading companies that do NOT actually hire proofreaders without experience
- Job boards to find proofreading jobs from home (no experience)
- Facebook Groups to find proofreading jobs online without experience
- How to become a proofreader online, step-by-step
- Frequently asked questions
What is a proofreader?
A proofreader is an expert at correcting written language. They’re the ones tearing apart documents in red pen, hunting for mistakes, grammar mishaps, and formatting issues.
Proofreaders are often confused with copy editors. Proofreaders focus on grammar, spelling, and formatting — the objective stuff. Editors, on the other hand, also scrutinize the structure, flow, and accuracy of the writing.
As a proofreader, you can work as a generalist or specialize in certain niches.
You might feel like niching down will limit your number of potential clients. But specializing in one area — like medical, legal, or academic papers — can often make it easier to land work.
Becoming an expert in certain proofreading niches can also lead to higher-paying jobs.
Who uses proofreaders?
Proofreading is a big deal for companies. If they publish content with errors, they instantly lose credibility with potential customers.
Because of this, many do not trust software to catch mistakes for them. They want a second set of human eyeballs.
Some examples of people who hire proofreaders include:
- Authors (books, magazines, newspapers, etc.)
- Businesses (brand content, manuals, reports, etc.)
- Brands on social media
- Bloggers and content writers
- Marketing companies
- Entrepreneurs writing website copy
- Job seekers writing resumes and cover letters
- Academics publishing studies and research papers
Is it hard to get proofreading jobs from home with no experience?
Work-from-home proofreading jobs are flexible and low-stress, but is it really possible to start with no experience?
Of course it is. Every successful proofreader had no experience at one point.
The trick is finding ways to build that experience. The more you have, the easier it gets to find work.
That said, there is a difference between no experience and no skills.
To get proofreading jobs, you need to actually know how to proofread.
That means memorizing spelling and grammar rules like the back of your hand. This is the hardest part.
But if you learned it once upon a time in elementary school, you can learn it again.
Just grab an English proofreading book, start studying, and — when you’ve mastered the skills — search for freelance proofreading jobs from home using the strategies below.
If you want to cut down on the learning curve and start earning faster, you can also take an online proofreading course.
That said, before paying for anything, it’s a good idea to take this free proofreading class. It’ll help you decide if proofreading is really for you, then show you tricks for attracting your first clients.
If you decide it’s not for you, don’t fret. There are plenty of awesome freelance job options for beginners.
If it is for you, here’s everything you need to know.
How much do proofreaders make an hour?
According to salary data collected by Indeed, the average proofreader in the United States earns roughly $25 per hour (or almost $60,000 per year).
As a proofreading beginner, your rates depend on the quality of your clients and your work speed.
You’ll likely have to work up to that $25-per-hour rate, but it’s doable.
Freelance proofreading vs. freelancing writing: Which is better?
The maximum pay for freelance proofreaders is generally less than for freelance writers.
This is because a good freelance writer is much harder to replace than a good proofreader.
In a way, proofreading is easier than writing because you don’t have to “create” anything. All you have to do is modify what someone else already created.
If you’re number one priority is a high income, look into freelance writing.
I’ve personally made as much as $100/hour (after years of experience), so I can attest to the income potential.
I even made a free course to help you earn your first $1,000 as a freelance writer.
That said, if the idea of staring at a blank page sounds daunting to you, then writing might not be your jam.
In that case, proofreading is an awesome option — here’s how to find proofreading jobs online.
How to find proofreading jobs online (no experience)
There’s more than one way to find proofreading jobs online with no experience.
You can either work for a proofreading agency that sends you work and acts as a “middleman” between you and clients. Or you can use job boards and other resources to find and work with clients directly.
Both options are viable ways to get proofreading jobs from home fast, but let’s start with proofreading agencies.
Companies that hire proofreaders
If you don’t want to do the grunt work of finding clients on your own, you can join a proofreading company that finds work for you.
Since you’re essentially working with a middleman, your rates won’t be quite as high. But if you consider the time you save searching for clients (time you’re not paid for), then it may work out in your favor.
There’s a handful of companies that hire proofreaders with no experience, which makes it a great place to find entry-level proofreading jobs online.
But wait — do you need qualifications to be a proofreader online?
Some companies may not require previous experience, but they do require a college degree of some sort. (Those are usually the academic proofreading jobs.)
Here’s a list of companies to find proofreading jobs for beginners.
Polished Paper is an awesome company for work-at-home proofreading jobs. They offer proofreading and editing services to clients who need a second set of eyes on:
✔️ Blog entries
✔️ Journal articles
✔️ Application essays
✔️ Personal statements
✔️ Business documents
✔️ Resumes/cover letters
Their website doesn’t say anything requiring prior experience. But you will need to pass a 35-question test that shows you know your stuff.
Edit My English is another online proofreader job that doesn’t require experience.
To proofread for Edit My English, you must be a U.S. citizen and have a degree from a U.S.-based university.
All editors set their own hours, typically from 10 to 40 hours per week. You earn per page and receive 60% of the client payment. The faster you work, the higher your hourly rate.
3. Other companies to find entry-level proofreading jobs online (no experience)
There’s a whole slew of proofreading companies that don’t require experience.
To start your job search, check out:
- Kibin. A proofreading company that specializes in academic editing. Kibin needs freelance proofreaders who can offer fast, overnight turnaround times. You must pass a grammar/editing test to be approved. (Note: Kibin mentions that they hire “experienced editors” on their editor’s page, but experience is not mentioned as a requirement on their application page).
- Gramlee. A proofreading company for editing dissertations, copywriting, and other documents. Prior experience is not specified as a requirement.
“Recommended” proofreading companies that do NOT actually hire proofreaders without experience
Many articles online recommend proofreading companies to new proofreaders looking for jobs without experience.
The problem is, most of the companies they recommend actually DO require experience. Some don’t even offer proofreading services at all!
That’s annoying. And it can end up wasting loads of your time.
To avoid that, here’s a list of recommended proofreading companies that require experience.
Most of them do not specify how much proofreading experience you need, so feel free to check them out anyway if you have a little experience.
Note: You can save these as potential companies to work for in the future. Just not as your very first job.
- Sibia Proofreading. Proofreading company for fiction manuscripts, job applications, business memos, and doctoral dissertations.
- Proofreading Pal. Proofreading services for authors, students, businesses, resumes, cover letters, etc.
- Proofreading Services. Proofreading company with 10K+ clients in over 100 countries.
- Edit Fast. Proofreading company for any type of document.
- Words RU. Proofreading company for any type of document.
- Reedsy. Proofreading for fiction and non-fiction books.
- Wordvice. Proofreading for academic documents written by students, researchers, and business professionals.
- Proofreading.org/Cambridge Proofreading. UK-based company that hires US and UK editors. Purely academic proofreading. Several years of experience is required, plus a college degree and subject matter expertise.
- Scribbr. Proofreading services for essays, theses, dissertations, etc. Must be a native English speaker with at least a bachelor’s degree, work a minimum of 10 hours a week, and have previous experience proofreading academic texts.
- Scribendi. Proofreading services for academics/students, authors, businesses, and individuals (resumes, cover letters, etc.). 3+ years of experience required in editing, writing, document production, or language-teaching, and an average proofreading speed of 1,000-1,500 words per hour to apply.
- Quality Proofreading. Proofreading services for students, businesses, and individuals (resumes, cover letters, etc.). Must have an advanced degree from a UK/US institution and 3+ years of proofreading experience.
- Proofread Now. Offers proofreading services in both English and Spanish. “Rigorous” testing is required.
- Wordy. Hires both editors and proofreaders, but the hiring process is temporarily paused.
Finally, these companies are commonly recommended to new proofreaders, but in reality, they’re not actually proofreading companies:
- Lifetips. A site where you can share tips and knowledge on various topics.
- Kirkus. A book review company.
- Scribe Media (AKA Book in a Box). A publisher and coach for novelists.
- Babbletype. A translation and transcription service
- Domainite. An editing company (different skill set than proofreading).
- Cactus Global. An editing company (different skill set than proofreading).
- Jobsforeditors.com. An editing company (different skill set than proofreading).
Alrighty, now that we have those time-wasters out of the way, let’s dive into some job boards for proofreaders.
Job boards to find proofreading jobs from home (no experience)
Some of these job boards are specific for proofreaders. But most of them are general freelance marketplaces where you can search for proofreading gigs.
On these marketplaces, each job listing has its own specific experience requirements. Some require it; others don’t. Before applying, read each description carefully.
Upwork is one of the most popular job boards to find online proofreading jobs – or any freelance jobs, for that matter.
Upwork was originally formed in 2015 after Elance and O-Desk merged.
Upwork has job postings for nearly every type of freelancing service, including graphic designers, IT specialists, writers, and you guessed it — proofreaders.
Clients post jobs in the marketplace, then freelancers compete against each other to win the job.
The platform is known to be a bit oversaturated, so you’ll have to decide if Upwork is worth it to you or not.
It’s full of opportunity, but also competition. Some people have made $10K/mo and even six-figure salaries on Upwork alone.
Upwork takes a 20% cut of your pay until you make $500. After that, the fee lowers to 10%.
Flexjobs is a curated job board specifically for remote and flexible online jobs — including proofreading jobs for beginners.
The nice thing about Flexjobs is that all the job postings on Flexjobs are reviewed by editors to catch scams and sketchy-looking ads.
Flexjobs charges a small monthly fee to use the platform, but you can request a refund if you’re not satisfied (like if you don’t find a job).
That said, you can see all the proofreading job listings for free. Just type it into the search bar.
3. Other job boards to find proofreading jobs for beginners
Many listings on these job boards require no experience, but some opportunities do require experience.
- Problogger. Writing and editing jobs.
- Fiverr. Freelance opportunities, including proofreading and editing.
- Freelancer. Freelance opportunities, including proofreading and editing.
- LinkedIn. World’s largest business social site where you can connect with potential employers in your industry.
- Remote.co. Remote job listings in many different fields, including proofreading and editing.
- Indeed.com. Job board for all types of jobs, including remote proofreading and editing opportunities.
- Guru. Freelance opportunities, including proofreading and editing.
- People Per Hour. Freelance opportunities, including proofreading and editing.
- MediaBistro. Editing, proofreading, copywriting, graphic design, and other creative jobs.
- WritingJobz. Writing-related job opportunities, including editing and proofreading.
- The Editorial Freelancers Association. Matches businesses with proofreaders, editors, and writers.
- Kelly Services. Job board for a variety of industries, including proofreading and editing positions.
- Virtual Vocations. Job board for specific remote work niches, including editing and proofreading.
Recommended job boards that do not offer proofreading jobs online
Just like with the “proofreading companies” we covered that aren’t actually proofreading companies, there are also job boards that some sites recommend that don’t actually have proofreading jobs.
- Lionbridge. Translation and interpretation services only.
- Toogit. Job board that does not have proofreading or editing job postings.
Facebook Groups to find proofreading jobs online without experience
Facebook groups are always a great place to find legitimate proofreading jobs online.
You can either post your offer and wait for opportunities to come your way, or you can search for clients searching for help.
It’s worth hanging around the following groups to see if you attract some clients:
- Proofreaders Group. Proofreaders trading tips and news, as well as a place where clients come to find proofreading services.
- Beta Reading/Editing/Proofreading. Independent authors, blog writers, and artists post job opportunities for proofreading services.
- Proofreader Needed Today (general proofreaders and editors). For proofreaders/editors to post their services and writers to post proofreading job opportunities.
- Binders Full of Remote Proofreading and Editing Jobs. A group where members can share proofreading and editing job opportunities.
- Freelance Content Writers, Content Editor, Proofreader & Digital Marketers. Group to offer job opportunities to content writers, digital marketers, editors, and proofreaders.
- Proofreading and Editing Services. Members can either post job opportunities or request them.
- Transcribing, Editing & Proofreading Services. Find or post job opportunities for transcribing, editing, and proofreading.
Remember, the goal isn’t to spam these groups with your services — that won’t fly.
Instead, interact with the group, help people, build relationships, and mention that you are a freelance proofreader.
How to become a proofreader online, step-by-step
Alrighty, now that I’ve firehosed you with information. Let’s revamp how to become a proofreader online, step by step.
- Commit. Take this free course to be 100% sure proofreading is right for you (and learn how to grab your first clients).
- Master your grammar. Pick up some proofreading books on Amazon or sign up for an online course.
- Build a minimal portfolio. Do a couple free or cheap projects for people in your network, or create sample projects of your own. You can showcase these in a nicely formatted Google doc, or create a simple website.
- Cast your lines. Treat finding your first clients like a full-time job. Cast your line in all the places mentioned in this guide.
Once you find your first proofreading clients, give them amazing service, then ask for testimonials and referrals.
The bigger you build your portfolio, reputation, and network, the easier it gets to fill your pipeline with work.
Frequently asked questions
Proofreading is a perfect job for students, especially because the rules of grammar are fresh in your mind. Freelance proofreading is also flexible, so you can work around your school schedule. When freelancing, there is no need to share how young you are unless a client asks.
Proofreading doesn’t require experience, but the more experience you have, the easier it is to find work. Everyone starts somewhere, and the most important thing is having the skills to be a proofreader. Your main goal is to prove to clients that you can complete the job.
You do not need any special qualifications to be a proofreader, but if you are specialized in certain areas, it may help you find jobs. A proofreading portfolio showcasing your skills can be more convincing to clients than qualifications that they probably have never heard of.
The key to becoming a skilled proofreader is practice. The more you proofread, the easier it is to spot mistakes. The easier it is to spot mistakes, the faster you finish projects. And the faster you finish projects, the more you can earn per hour.
Mitch is your typical nomadic backpacker. Or at least, he was. But after stopping in Colombia to take “one week” of salsa lessons, his life took a sharp left turn. He met a cute Colombian girl in dance class, fell in love, and got married. Over half a decade has passed since he left his career to travel the world as a digital nomad, and he’s never looked back.
Nowadays, he’s the blogger behind Project Untethered—where he runs an awesome email newsletter and Youtube channel teaching adventure-craved wanderlusters how to escape the rat race, earn money from anywhere, and build an “untethered life”.
His advice has been featured in Forbes, USA Today, Yahoo, Reader’s Digest, Condé Nast Traveler, and more.
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Safetywing Insurance - This cheap travel insurance has saved me over $15,000 in medical bills.
Booking.com - Book accommodation without adding your credit card (in case you need to cancel).
Skyscanner - Find cheap flights.
Trusted House Sitters - Take care of pets in exchange for free (sometimes luxury) accommodation.
Flexjobs - Find remote jobs without having to sift through crappy ones.
Skillshare - Free trial to take unlimited classes that teach digital nomad skills.
Anytime Mailbox - Virtual mail service that can handle your mail while you’re away.
Wise - Send and receive money abroad cheaply (great for freelancers).