Working from home as a proofreader can provide a good income while also giving you the flexibility of making your own hours. However, these jobs aren't easy to come by. You'll need to know the right places to look online, along with having the right combination of experience and education.
To get jobs as a proofreader who works from home, you'll need to stand out from the competition. A good start is having an undergraduate degree in a relevant field, such as English or journalism. If you don't have the degree, take editing and proofreading courses from a reputable association, such as the Editorial Freelancers Association. If you don't have experience or references, offer to proofread for free for a few clients to build up your reputation. Make sure you're familiar with a variety of style manuals, including the Chicago Manual of Style, the Associated Press or AP Stylebook, and the style guide of the APA, the American Psychological Association.
Online job boards can provide a wealth of work-from-home proofreading opportunities. Many companies need help proofreading their websites, and they will use online job listings to find that help. For example, Upwork is a source you can use to find online proofreading gigs. You'll need to join the websites, create an account and include samples of your work or references. If you have a special niche, such as understanding a foreign language, you might have an easier time finding jobs at these sites.
Proofreading agencies do the hard work of finding jobs for you. If you pass their application process, they'll send you work that fits your credentials. For example, The Proofreading Agency is looking for proofreaders with bachelor's degrees and who can pass their online proofreading test. Cambridge Proofreading LLC is seeking proofreaders who have degrees and relevant work experience, along with specific expertise, such as business management. Scribendi seeks telecommuting proofreaders with at least three years of experience and an editing speed of 1,500 words per hour.
When you're searching for proofreading jobs online, don't forget to check with local employers, too. Local newspapers, especially in smaller towns, will often be interested in hiring a resident with proofreading experience or a relevant education to look over their articles before they're published. These opportunities typically won't be posted online. You might need to edit a recent newspaper publication and stop by the paper's office or cold call the publisher. You can also connect with your Chamber of Commerce to find local business owners who could benefit from a proofreader.
- Editorial Freelancers Association: Fall 2014 Education Catalog
- Scribendi: Career Opportunities
- WAHM: An Introduction to Freelance Proofreading Jobs
- WAHM: 4 Resources to Find Freelance Proofreading Jobs
- The Proofreading Agency: Proofreading
- Cambridge Proofreading LLC: Proofreading Careers and Jobs