Side Hustle Spotlight: Proofreader

Blog | December 27th, 2022

Are you the friend who always points out grammar mistakes or finds misprints in publications? If so, proofreading may be a fantastic option for earning extra cash.

Proofreaders spend their time checking written copy to make sure it's ready for the world to read. You can readily get it done in the comfort of your own home, during your time between your other daily tasks.

How To Get Started

In the world of proofreading, there are many different routes.

First, you can create your portfolio of work. A website or blog that showcases your skills is a significant draw in the writing world.

If you don't have any work yet, you can try to search for freelance positions. You can also search traditional job sites for listings of proofreading positions.

Finally, take the time to build a strong network. Writer friends may call on you to proofread their publication, or business owners could reach out for help with the newest pamphlets.

Stay motivated in your search, and you're likely to find somewhere you can proofread.

Training, Certification, and Permits

You'll likely benefit from having a bachelor's degree in English or a related field. This qualification isn't always necessary, but many proofreading jobs require it or prefer candidates with these credentials.

If you don't have a degree, you can make up for it with experience. Time spent working in journalism or writing can be a significant benefit.

There are a few certification courses you can take online for proofreading that help you sharpen your skills and ensure you can pass grammar tests.

Aside from paid courses, you can also try some beginner tips for proofreading that you might be familiar with from your time in school.

In addition to these qualifications, it can also help to have computer skills like familiarity with desktop publishing software or document management.

Job Opportunities

Understanding the job outlook for proofreaders can be slightly complicated. This complication is because proofreaders may work under the name editor, which the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) separates into two different occupations.

There are over 5,000 proofreaders in the nation. This number is extremely low because it doesn't include self-employed individuals, who are the majority of proofreaders.

Unfortunately, BLS doesn't list the growth for proofreaders.

For editors, BLS lists 108,400 current jobs, but it has an expected 5% decline.

While searching for proofreading positions, consider these options:
  • Reach out directly to small companies
  • Check publishing or news websites for job openings
  • Search job websites for proofreaders
  • Consider freelance websites where you can offer your services
  • Search for related terms like copyeditor, editorial assistant, or editor

Expected Returns

Finally, proofreaders have an average annual wage of $46,010, and you can easily make $17-$22 per hour. This rate is above minimum wage, and it can be a hefty bonus as a side gig.

Editors can make more, averaging $63,350 yearly and $30.46 per hour.

If you enjoy reading and writing, putting the time into finding a job as a proofreader can be well worth the effort.

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