Apparently, 69% of Brits would not use a company if its website featured prominent grammatical errors or spelling mistakes (source).
Businesses are cottoning on to this fact. And, with an ever-increasing amount of online content published every day, there’s a growing need for proofreaders throughout the UK.
If you’re the sort of person who always has your virtual red pen ready to correct any mistake, then an online proofreading job could be right up your street!
If you have the skills, working as a proofreader can be a great way to make money working from home. And if you’re looking for online proofreading jobs in the UK, you’ll be pleased to know there are plenty of places to find work.
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Online proofreading jobs UK
Freelance proofreading jobs are flexible and require little in the way of start-up costs or equipment. You work on your own computer, at your own pace, night or day. You can pick up as many or as few projects as you have time for.
This makes freelance proofreading an excellent option for anyone who needs a flexible online job to fit around their schedule – such as stay at home mums, students or full time workers looking for a side hustle.
It’s possible to find entry level proofreading jobs online even as a beginner with no experience – although of course, the more experienced or qualified you are, the more you can earn.
What do proofreaders do?
The role of a proofreader is to check content written by someone else and correct any errors that are found in the text.
When hired for a job you’ll be asked to check the text for grammar, spelling, phrasing and punctuation to ensure everything reads well and is perfectly written.
When a piece of content is put together to be published, proofreading is usually the final stage before it gets the sign off to be released, so it’s really important that the work carried out is accurate and efficient.
All kinds of people and businesses need proofreading services. You might be surprised at the variety of content you could get paid to proofread:
- Blog posts
- Business documents
- Student essays and dissertations
- Fiction and non-fiction books (huge demand due to the rise of self-publishing)
- Legal or medical transcription (specialised fields)
- Company websites and communications
How to become a proofreader UK
Proofreading is a relatively easy field to get into. Generally speaking, there are no required qualifications to start applying for freelance proofreading jobs.
Of course, it’s a given that you’d have excellent command of the English language, and an eagle eye for mistakes!
It’s generally helpful (though not essential) to have a degree.
There are also online proofreading courses you can take, which can give you a head start in the field. If you decide to take a course, make sure you check the curriculum carefully, as content can vary: some help you hone your language skills; others focus more on the business side (finding clients, setting rates, and so on).
Some companies will ask for a degree or other specifications. But equally, it’s possible to find proofreading jobs online with no experience, especially if you start advertising on a freelance site such as Fiverr.
Further down this page you’ll find a list of websites to find online proofreading jobs.
For many of them, it’s as simple as filling in an online application form. You may have to complete a short test.
As with any industry, you will likely start out on lower pay. But as you get more experienced, you will find more and more opportunities open up, with higher rates to boot.
Freelance proofreader salary UK
If you’ve read this far, you’re probably wondering how much proofreaders earn in the UK. Or perhaps you’re new to the field and wondering how to charge for proofreading services.
As a rough guide, the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading suggest that experienced proofreaders charge a minimum of £25.70 per hour.
Of course, if you’re brand new to proofreading, you should expect to earn less while you’re still building up your business.
In actual fact, rates vary hugely, depending on the company, type of work, your experience and qualifications, turnaround time of the project, and so on.
The popular freelance sites such as Fiverr, Upwork, People Per Hour can be an easy place to find entry level proofreading jobs, because no qualifications are required. But equally, there is a lot of competition, so fees tend to be low.
As you get more and more experienced, you’ll be able to apply to higher quality proofreading agencies that pay better rates.
What qualifications do you need to be a proofreader in the UK?
As mentioned above, there aren’t any essential qualifications to become a freelance proofreader. But here are some requirements and skills that can help you land a job:
- Impeccable command of English, specifically knowledge of spelling, grammar and punctuation
- A computer and internet connection
- Word processing software (Microsoft Office and Google Docs are both commonly used)
- A degree in any subject (English or a humanities subject may be preferable)
- Access to software such as Grammarly
- Familiarity with various style guides (this would depend on your niche and clients)
- Specialist knowledge (e.g. medical, legal, technical) – this allows you to niche down and command higher fees
Freelance proofreading jobs
Ok, by now you have an idea of whether proofreading is right for you. Let’s take a look at some websites to find remote proofreading jobs in the UK:
People Per Hour
People Per Hour is a site where people can sign up to look for freelancers, or offer work as a freelancer. It’s not specifically a site to find proofreading jobs – proofreading is one of many services you can advertise.
It’s a popular website so competition can be high, but it’s free to join so you have nothing to lose.
You can create your own profile on there and advertise the type of work you can offer, which gives clients looking for proofreaders the chance to find you.
You can also use the search option to see what jobs are being advertised and apply for any you think suitable. You get around 20 free credits each month to apply for work but sometimes they’ll gift you extra.
It is worth bearing in mind that if you do get accepted for a job that People Per Hour take a commission of around 20% for your first few jobs with each client. It is quite a hefty amount, but keep in mind that this is a great place to seek out entry-level proofreading work.
Remember to price yourself competitively in the beginning. As a new proofreader with no feedback or experience, you’ll have a better chance scoring work if you price yourself a little lower than the others.
But from there, you can work your way up, improving your skills and increasing your fee as you go.
Clients can leave you feedback on completed work which also increases your People Per Hour rating. This is useful for scoring future jobs.
Fiverr is another popular freelancing platform. There will be plenty of proofreaders on there already, but there is always room for one more.
Once you have joined the site and set up your profile, you set up Gigs, which showcase the work you’re offering. It’s worth having a look at what proofreading Gigs are already up – so you can see what people are offering and how much they are charging.
Much like People Per Hour, it is free to join but they do take a commission for any completed work.
Clients can leave you feedback, which is displayed on your profile. You can secure decent feedback by making sure you communicate with your buyer and deliver a top-quality job. This will be useful in helping to attract future clients.
Fiverr can be hard to get started with due to the amount of competition. Keep in mind that fees tend to be lower on this site. But there is plenty of work to be found there – especially once you have a few five star ratings to get the ball rolling.
You can join Fiverr at any level and don’t need any specific qualifications to offer work.
Proofreading Services is a global company, offering editing, proofreading and translation to clients in over 100 countries.
Although based in the US, the company work with US, UK, Australian and Canadian variants of English, and they welcome applicants from any country. They are hiring for both full and part time proofreading jobs.
Proofreading Services offer good rates of pay: between $19 and $46 per hour. To earn the higher rates, you need to be ready to accept projects with urgent deadlines.
Apply online by completing their 20 minute test.
Clickworker is a microtask website where you can earn money for completing all manner of small online jobs. One of the skills they are looking for is proofreading.
Anybody, from any country, can join Clickworker, and they don’t require any formal qualifications. This makes it a great option to find entry level proofreading work online with no experience.
However, you are required to complete some text creation tasks before moving on to proofreading work. This is because the texts you’ll be proofreading are generated by Clickworker’s own users, so they like you to develop an insight into both sides of the process.
Clickworker are not renowned for their high pay. It’s intended for those who are looking to earn some extra cash, and it won’t replace a full time job.
The pay varies by job, but you will be able to see the rate of pay for each job on the platform before you accept it. As you complete more tasks, you’ll be given access to higher paid jobs.
Although Scribbr is based in the Netherlands they offer work to anyone throughout the world and as you can work remotely, there is nothing to stop you from applying from the UK.
Scribbr are recruiting native English editors and proofreaders. They offer academic editing services, so a high level of English is required.
As well as proofreading students’ work, you may be asked to make small edits or provide them with feedback on what they have submitted, so that they can improve on this in the future.
Although they invite anyone to apply, you do need to complete an online test to a high standard before you’re approved to be on their books. The level of work they offer varies, but they’re often busy which means you can pick up proofreading work as and when suits you.
Scribbr estimate you can earn around €20 to €25 an hour, although this is dependent on the type of job you pick up.
It is probably worth accepting that you’ll earn a little less than this when you get started because you’ll need to learn the system and get used to how things work.
Generally, the more you do, the quicker you’ll get – so you should be earning near to their estimate in the not too distant future.
GWriters is another company providing academic freelance services such as proofreading, editing, writing and translation. They are always looking for new freelancers to join their team.
You’ll need to be experienced with working with academic texts. To apply, upload a CV here.
Polished Paper pride themselves on offering first-class editing services. They recruit freelance proofreaders and editors to check over any work before delivering any client content. Prospective freelancers are required to pass a 35 question exam before they’re accepted onto the books.
They advertise their current roles via the editing opportunities link on their page and require you to upload a CV as part of your application, before progressing to take part in their test.
As well as operating in the UK they offer services in China, South Africa, North America and Sydney, so you’re likely to be given a mixed bag of jobs if you are successful.
They keep it quite close to their chest how much you can expect to earn, but other online estimates say that you can earn between £8 and £40 an hour, depending on your speed and skill level, while choosing the days you work and the work that you pick up.
Interested in proofreading books? Reedsy is a website that helps bring books to life, by connecting prospective authors with the relevant partners and tools.
If you’re accepted as a freelance proofreader on Reedsy, you’ll create a profile highlighting your skills and experience, and you’ll be invited to submit quotes for interesting proofreading jobs.
You can control which and how many projects you accept. Reedsy take a 10% cut of your fee.
It can be hard to get accepted for Babbletype as they have a strict hiring process and criteria for who they take on.
Babbletype’s main offering is transcription and translation services – but they also need proofreaders and editors to tidy up the transcripts before they go to the client.
They state that they require a very high level of English skills in order to apply. They have lots of work on offer though, so if you feel that you’re a good fit, it is worthwhile applying. It can be a great place to source long-term proofreading work if that is your aim.
Quality Proofreading & Editing
Quality Proofreading & Editing are a UK based academic proofreading company. They are always interested in hiring experienced proofreaders and editors for remote proofreading jobs.
Due to the nature of the work, you’ll stand a better chance of getting work if you have a business, science or engineering background.
If that sounds like you, you can email your CV to the address on the site.
You might assume that Indeed is for more traditional jobs. However, it is possible to land freelancing roles too!
Indeed can be tailored towards searching for jobs per area, but there are plenty listed for remote working too – you just have to look.
Of course, you’ll need a well-written and up-to-date CV that you can upload to the site. Indeed asks you whether you are currently looking for work. If you tick ‘yes’, your CV will be displayed for others to see and contact you if they have anything suitable.
You can also set up alerts via the Indeed website, which means that if any new jobs get listed that match your criteria you get an email to let you know.
For job searchers, Indeed is free to use, so it is worthwhile signing up and waiting to see what opportunities come your way. It may just be the website you land your next big proofreading job on.
LinkedIn is an amazing social network site for business networking and no matter which industry you’re in, you should be taking advantage of it.
Online proofreaders can use LinkedIn in many different ways, with sourcing jobs and increasing their industry network among them.
You’ll see the some jobs advertised on LinkedIn which you can apply for, but you’ll get the most out of it by networking, sharing content and commenting on what other people are sharing.
LinkedIn has an algorithm system that means when you comment on things, you’re seen by more people so it is definitely a website that you’ll get more out of if you’re active.
Often people use the site to find recommendations and seek out people they think could do a good job, so it can be a great, natural way to source work.
Not only that, but you can talk to people in similar industries and pick up tips – which when you consider that LinkedIn is a free to use website is a bit of a no brainer.
FlexJobs is a job searching website purely for remote working. Once on their site, you can search by job title, keyword and/or location.
Although it isn’t purely for proofreading opportunities, you’ll find plenty of jobs in proofreading advertised on the site.
FlexJobs do charge to access their database of jobs, but since all opportunities have been vetted, you can save a lot of time compared to scrolling through misleading ads on some sites.
Much like other job searching websites you sign up, upload your CV and then you can apply for any jobs that you think will suit you. As they’re remote jobs, although you can search via location this isn’t always necessary, so don’t narrow down your choices by being too strict on location.
Anyone of any skill level and experience can sign up and search for work from home proofreading jobs. Each advertised job will tell you the criteria of what they’re looking for and you can decide if you’re a good match.
Pay will vary depending on the job and you’ll see a mixture of long term opportunities and one-off projects. It is a matter of browsing through what is on offer and applying for the ones that best suit you.
Go it alone
Of course, there is nothing to stop you from setting up your own website and trying to source your own work as a freelance proofreader.
Freelance proofreading sites are a great way to get started, but going it alone gives you lots more freedom when it comes to choosing clients, when to work and what to charge.
Lots of the freelance websites mentioned here will have people that you can pay to create a logo for you, set up a website and so on, so getting started should not be too costly.
Create yourself a Facebook page too and invite your friends and family – particularly useful if you’ve worked in an industry that needs proofreaders before and can use this to network out to suitable contacts.
You probably won’t find proofreading work comes piling in when you first set up your own website, but keep at it – working on SEO, creating blog posts and spreading the word and with a little bit of luck you’ll be able to start sourcing online proofreading jobs this way.
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