How to become a proofreader and work from home

We get commissions for purchases made through links in this post. Here's more on how we make money.

If you love reading but hate seeing errors in writing, then a career as a proofreader could be a great fit for you. 

Proofreading is an incredibly flexible work-at-home job for moms because you can set your schedule around your kids’ activities. 

But what do proofreaders really do and how do you get proofreader jobs online?

After reading this article, you’ll know exactly what proofreading is, how you can learn to do it, and what you need to do to find proofreader jobs.

How to become a proofreader

There are many potential paths that you can take to become a proofreader. Some are faster than others, but all of them can work. Below are three of the most common routes.

1. Learn on the job

This is a great option for anyone who already works at a company that produces content of any type, whether digital or print. Next time a piece of content is being finalized, volunteer to act as a proofreader, even if the project is outside of your department or outside your normal realm of duties.

So don’t be afraid to volunteer! It’s a great way to build up the experience and skills you’ll need if you want to turn proofreading into a career.

2. Teach yourself

This is probably the hardest route to take, simply because it depends on your own personal motivation and accountability, but just like any other skill, it’s totally possible to teach yourself to become a proofreader.

If you want to go this route, you should first make sure that you understand the various proofreader’s marks that you’ll need to use in marking up your pages—there are a lot of them! 

Beyond that, you should familiarize yourself with the various “styles” or “handbooks” that your employers or clients would expect you to know. These books outline specific rules of spelling and grammar, and truly form the bedrock of a proofreader’s expertise. The most widely used are:

  • Chicago Manual of Style
  • Associated Press Stylebook (AP Style) 
  • Modern Language Association (MLA) Handbook
  • American Psychological Association (APA) Publication Manual
  • American Medical Association (AMA) Manual of Style
  • Strunk & White’s Manual of Style

13 jobs that pay well and do not require a degree

3. Take an online course to learn to proofread

While learning on the job and teaching yourself can work, by far the quickest route to becoming a freelance proofreader is to take an online course from someone with personal success in the industry — who can teach you the skills you need, and how to land gigs and build a business.

While there are many potential courses to choose from, my favorite is Proofread Anywhere.

What is Proofread Anywhere?

Proofread Anywhere offers online training courses that teach people how to proofread from home (or anywhere they choose). It was started by proofreader Caitlin Pyle as a way to help more people break free from the self-doubt that plagues them by equipping them with skills they can use to generate their own income from anywhere.

Her General Proofreading: Theory and Practice course is a detailed training program where you’ll learn everything you need to know about proofreading general texts — think books, blogs, and the like. It’s got everything you need to help you on your proofreading journey from grammar lessons to practice essays to marketing tips. 

The General Proofreading course includes 40 lessons in 8 modules, including 10 grammar and punctuation worksheets and 40 practice essays so you can test and practice your skills. 

You also get membership to a private Facebook group for Proofread Anywhere students where you can ask questions if you get stuck or need an extra confidence boost. 

The course is available at two levels: Ignite and Ignite Plus. With Ignite, you get lifetime access to the course. 

With Ignite Plus, you get lifetime access to the course as well as: 

  • The opportunity to take a hand-graded exam to verify your skills, 
  • Access to an exclusive marketing mastermind group for graduates, and 
  • A listing on Self-Publishing School’s Preferred Outsourcer Rolodex.

With Ignite Plus, you also get a certificate of completion if you pass the exam, which you can display on your website/LinkedIn profile to show prospective clients that your skills are verified and of a high standard.

Stay to the end of the free workshop, and get $100 off the course!

Get Proofread Anywhere’s FREE Intro to Proofreading Workshop >>

Here’s what’s included inside the General Proofreading: Theory and Practice course:

7 business ideas for moms

Module 1: Introduction to General Proofreading

This overview will cover who needs a proofreader, the skills you need to be successful, and the

differences between proofreading and editing/copyediting.

Lessons include the following:

  • Why Proofread?
  • Skills Needed to Be an Excellent General Proofreader
  • Who Needs a Proofreader?
  • What a General Proofreader Does (and Doesn’t) Do
  • Terms Commonly (but Incorrectly!) Used as Proofreading
  • Editing at a Proofreading Rate

Module 2: Get into the Proofreading Mindset

You’ll learn about the different types of markets you can specialize in as a proofreader — plus learn some common terms used in the industry.

Lessons include the following: 

  • Proofreading Niches
  • Proofreader Lingo

Module 3: Proofreading Basics

This module covers the most common types of errors you will need to watch out for as a proofreader then put your skills to the test with practice worksheets. 

Lessons include the following:

  • Types of Errors
  • Capitalization
  • Apostrophes
  • Hyphens
  • Commas and Semicolons
  • Quotation Marks
  • Subject/Verb Agreement
  • Noun/Pronoun Agreement
  • Numbers
  • Commonly Misused Words
  • American and British Spelling Variations

Module 4: Proofreading Methods + Practice

You’ll see four different types of proofreading methods with thorough lessons on how to make them work best for you. Then you’ll put them to work with sample practice texts.

Lessons include the following:

  • Proofreading Methods
  • Proofreading Practice

Get Proofread Anywhere’s FREE Intro to Proofreading Workshop >>

Module 5: Turning Proofreading into a Business

Learn how to create your website and résumé, set your rates, and what to do about self-employed taxes.

Lessons include the following:

  • Creating a Website
  • A Step-by-Step Guide to Setting up Your Business Website
  • Writing Your Résumé
  • Setting Your Rates
  • Taxes and Incorporating Your Proofreading Business
  • Building on Your Proofreading Experience

Module 6: Looking for Jobs

This module is GOLD. You’ll learn the different ways you can get proofreading clients.

Lessons include the following:

  • Proofreading and Freelance Associations
  • Social Media
  • Social Media Dos and Don’ts
  • Blogging
  • Online Marketplaces
  • Online Profiles
  • Writing a Proposal
  • Avoiding Scammers
  • Don’t Expect Clients to Just Come to You

Module 7: Once You Get the Job

Learn how to work with your client’s preferences, define your relationship with other editors, and the best way to bill your clients.

Lessons include the following:

  • Starting Off on the Right Foot
  • Working with Client Preferences
  • A Proofreader’s Relationship with Other Editors on the Project
  • How to Bill Your Clients
  • Your Reputation
  • Asking for Testimonials

Module 8: Getting the Most Out of the Freelancing Life

Learn how a typical proofreader structures their day, plus how to build the confidence you need to succeed.

Lessons include the following:

  • Organizing Your Time to Avoid Burnout
  • A Day in the Life of a Proofreader
  • Gaining Confidence

Module 9: Ignite Plus Exam (accessible to Ignite Plus students only)

The hand-graded exam evaluates students for aptitude and competence in the practice of

general proofreading.

Bonus Module: The Money Mindset Transformation

In the Money Mindset Transformation workshop and workbook, you’ll learn seven life-changing concepts that will transform the way you think about money forever. 

Is Proofread Anywhere legit?

Yes, Proofread Anywhere is a legit company.

People often get suspicious when it comes to making money online. And it’s totally understandable…

These kinds of opportunities frequently sound like they’re too good to be true, which makes you wonder if you should take the risk. 

And you’re right to be wary of online opportunities. There are a lot of scams out there, but you can learn how to avoid them. Caitlin recommends that you do your due diligence when researching courses and reach out to the course creator to ask them any questions you have. If it’s a legitimate opportunity, they won’t mind you asking as many questions as you need to to feel comfortable making your decision. 

The General Proofreading course isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. If you put the work into learning how to proofread properly, proactively market your business, and commit to providing an excellent proofreading service, you will be successful as a proofreader. 

Proofread Anywhere is the real deal, and it’s a great option for anyone who wants to work from home as a proofreader.

Proofread anywhere reviews

Proofread Anywhere testimonial review
Proofread Anywhere testimonial review
Proofread Anywhere testimonial review
Proofread Anywhere testimonial review
Proofread Anywhere testimonial review

Is Proofread Anywhere worth it?

In my opinion, Proofread Anywhere’s General Proofreading course is worth it. It’s an in-depth training course that will help you not only learn how to proofread but also how to start your proofreading business and how to find clients.

A word of warning though: Proofreading is not as easy as it may seem. It may not suit people who tend to skim when they read or who aren’t bothered by the little details. It also requires training in order to provide a high-quality service, which the Proofread Anywhere course provides.

If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, taking the General Proofreading: Theory and Practice™ course by Proofread Anywhere is a great way to learn how to be a successful proofreader.

Free online courses to learn to proofread

SkillShare’s free trial applies to its popular proofreading courses. 

Coursesity offers 10 free proofreading tutorials 

Do you need a degree to become a proofreader?

The good news is you don’t need a degree in English (or any other kind of degree) to be a proofreader! And you don’t need years of experience. All you need is a pair of eagle eyes, excellent attention to detail, ability to meet deadlines, and good communication skills. 

If you’re the kind of person who spots errors on restaurant menus, social media, and billboards from a mile off, then proofreading could be the perfect work-from-home opportunity for you.

In the US, there is currently no official proofreading certification. That being said, it’s hugely important that you make sure you know how to do the job before you start looking for clients.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you’re an excellent proofreader just because you were good at English in school. Language changes over time, and it’s easy to pick up bad grammar habits, especially considering how much time we spend on social media these days. 

You only get one opportunity to impress a client. For obvious reasons, clients expect a high level of accuracy from a proofreader, so taking on clients before you’ve verified your skills is a huge risk.

There are training courses like Proofread Anywhere you can take that will teach you how to proofread properly and how to find the most common mistakes in writing. This way you get lots of practice and you can hone your skills without risking your reputation.  

13 jobs that pay well and do not require a degree

What do proofreaders do?

Proofreaders are the final set of eyes on a piece of written content. After content has been written and edited, a proofreader will look over the piece and fix any remaining errors in spelling, punctuation, and grammar. 

It’s perfect for anyone who wants to:

  • Earn money doing something they love — reading!
  • Proofreaders tend to passionately love the hunt of finding errors and mistakes
  • Work from home
  • Stay home with their kids but still contribute to their family’s income
  • Do interesting work
  • Start a low-cost business from home 

Proofreading services your business could offer:

  • Proofreading advertising and marketing copy 
  • Proofreading emails 
  • Proofreading website copy 
  • Proofreading grant proposals 
  • Proofreading academic papers 
  • Proofreading and fact-checking op-eds 
  • Proofreading and researching blog posts 
  • Proofreading business plans 
  • Proofreading speeches and presentations 
  • Proofreading press releases

Are proofreaders in demand?

Thanks to the digital world we live in today, there is a huge demand for proofreaders. 

The rise of self-publishing means that anyone can write a book. They don’t need to wait until they get picked up by a book agent and have their book sold to a publishing house. They can publish their own book on Amazon or on their own website. 

But that also means they have to look after every aspect of the book publishing process themselves — everything from proofreading and editing to cover design and marketing. 

Now, since they’re not likely to be professional proofreaders themselves, they need to hire a professional. 

There is also a huge amount of content being published online every day. Every single second, in fact! Bloggers and other content creators also provide work to proofreaders because they want their audience to trust them. 

Nothing screams “I don’t know what I’m doing” more than poor grammar does!

How do I get paid to proofread? How much could I make?

As a general proofreader, you can work with a wide variety of clients. Any person or business who creates written content needs a proofreader to remove errors from their writing before it gets published. 

Reputation is everything. A proofreader can save an author or business a lot of embarrassment and negative reviews by ensuring that their content is error-free. 

The types of clients you can work with include self-publishing authors, publishing houses, businesses, government organizations, bloggers, course creators, etc. 

Here’s the part I know you’ve all been waiting for…

How much do proofreaders make per hour?

How much you can earn as a proofreader depends on your experience level and how long it takes you to proofread a document. As you gain more experience, you will be able to charge more for your services and increase your hourly rate by becoming more efficient.

It also depends on how proactive you are with marketing your business. 

It’s possible to make a very good living as a proofreader.

“It’s possible to make a very good living as a proofreader. According to ZipRecruiter, as of September 2019 freelance proofreaders earn an average of $56,762 a year in the United States or an average of $27/hour.”

That’s not bad considering you’re making money reading and doing something you love!

To give you a real-life example, Caitlin Pyle made $43,000 a year proofreading part-time — working 20–25 hours a week! Now she runs her own company from home teaching people just like you how to become proofreaders! Check it out here, and get Caitlin’s FREE on-demand workshop. 

Stay to the end of the free workshop, and get $100 off the course!

Proofreading can be very flexible — you can work as a full-time proofreader or just keep it as a side hustle. You can increase your working hours if you want to earn more money, or you can work part-time hours if you just want a little extra money to cover bills or something fun!

11 ways to get your single-mom money act in 2022 and beyond!

How do you find proofreading jobs?

Proofreaders are tasked with the final edit of a piece of content — a website, book, magazine, newspaper, marketing materials, or even a menu — to ensure that the grammar, spelling layout and other details of the copy are correct, as well as within the style of the publisher. 

In the world of book publishing, a proofreader is someone who “proofs” a book, by comparing the final version against prior rounds of edits. Their job is to ensure that all edits have been put in place as indicated in the prior rounds. 

If you’re looking for proofreading jobs, it helps to know that many companies also use slightly different terminology and titles to describe the same exact thing. Other titles you should keep an eye out for include:

  • Edit/editor
  • Copyedit/copyeditor
  • Cold read/cold reader
  • Line editor  

If you’re looking for proofreading jobs online, then online jobs boards are a good place to start, but don’t rely on these alone. Indeed, Monster, CareerBuilder, and LinkedIn allow you to search through thousands of job postings by specific keywords, making it really easy to find a job that appeals to you. 

So how do you find online proofreading jobs?

One of my favorite online job boards in general is ZipRecruiter:

That being said, there are lots of companies hiring freelance proofreaders. Each company will have different requirements and offer different levels of pay. Below is a list of some of the most popular.


This company advertises full- and part-time remote proofreading positions. You’ll need to complete an application form and a timed quiz before they will hire you. 


Cactus hires proofreaders who specialize in the academic and medical fields, so you’ll need a graduate degree in a specialized area to be hired. 

You can also set up profiles on some freelancer websites like the ones below to find freelance proofreading jobs. 


Prospective clients will post an ad detailing what they need, and you pitch for the job, telling them exactly why you’re the best candidate for the job.


This paid job board is exclusively filled with career-level postings for jobs that allow moms to work from home, telecommute, work part-time, or otherwise flexible positions.


This is very similar to Upwork in that clients will post an ad, and you pitch to them. It’s important to fill out your profile properly so that these sites match you to proofreader jobs that you’re suitable for. 


Fiverr is a little different. You create “gigs” for different price points depending on how long the document is, the turnaround time, and the level of editing you will provide, for example. Clients will search through these gigs and choose the freelance proofreader that they feel will do the best job. 

Starting a proofreading business

Not interested in finding a job? You could set up a business on the side.

How to get  clients for your proofreading business

You can also attract clients by being active on social media. Posting on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn and engaging with potential clients in a natural, helpful way is a great way to attract clients. 

Take advantage of any opportunities to be included on online directories, such as Self-Publishing School’s Preferred Outsourcer Rolodex. (Listing on this rolodex is an exclusive benefit of the Proofread Anywhere training course I talk about below.)

As I mentioned above though, make sure you know what you’re doing before you take on clients!

More careers related to proofreading:

If you have a knack for spelling, grammar, and punctuation, a career in proofreading might be an excellent fit for you.

You might also consider freelance writing or grant writing, both of which are in-demand services that typically offer flexible work-at-home schedules and a high hourly fee. Learn more about grant writing in this post.  

Coding, UX and being a developer are also creative, intuitive careers that are in-demand, high-paying and increasingly offer at-home work opportunities.

You could also apply your skills to other kinds of books. Bookkeepers can earn a salary, or build a business earning $60+/ hour, which can be more than $100,000 per year. Bookkeeper Launch is the top-rated online video course to help you start and run a successful, 6-figure bookkeeping business.

We give more details on Bookkeeper Launch in our review.

Related: Find even more work-at-home careers

Do you need a degree to become a proofreader?

The good news is you don’t need a degree in English (or any other kind of degree) to be a proofreader! And you don't need years of experience.

What qualifications do you need to become a proofreader?

In the US, there is currently no official proofreading certification. That being said, it’s hugely important that you make sure you know how to do the job before you start looking for clients. founder Emma Johnson is an award-winning business journalist, activist, author and expert. A former Associated Press reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has appeared on CNBC, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, TIME, The Doctors, Elle, O, The Oprah Magazine. Winner of Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web” and a New York Observer “Most Eligible New Yorker," her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was a New York Post Must Read. As an expert on divorce and gender, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality and multiple state legislature hearings. More about Emma's credentials.


I enjoyed reading your review of Proofread Anywhere. I took the Transcript Proofing course and was very satisfied. I looked at other programs, but chose this one because of the in-depth information on setting up and running your own business. It’s great to have the skill to do the job, but finding clients and then understanding how to keep them makes the cost of the course a real bargain.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.