Average Proofreader Salaries: How Much Money Can You Make?

proofreader salaryIn any area, income depends on skills, expertise and effort. In addition, every particular sphere has its own fixed rates. This article aims to provide a simple calculation of the wage you can earn when working as a proofreader.

It also might help you understand if this job is right for you.

Main factors that influence a proofreader’s salary

When you start to assume how much you can earn as a proofreader, you are unlikely to come across one stated rate. Various factors influence your income, such as country, experience, skills, as well as full-time employment or freelancing.

According to the data, suggested at PayScale, the annual salary of a proofreader in the U.S. can vary between $26.233 – $63.520. Thus, the median salary will equal $49.352.

On the same website, we can find that the entry-level proofreader makes $11.93 per hour, whereas a more experienced specialist earns $29.84. The monthly wage can increase due to hourly tips (about $1.56) and overtime benefits ($17.50 – $38.40) too. On top of that, bonuses can make a proofreader’s salary much higher. The amount depends on the type of company you work for, but generally, it can vary from $26.233 to $63.520.

At the same time, there are different areas of expertise for proofreaders, as well as levels of text complexity. Thus, the salary of a technical proofreader and a business or academic proofreader may not be the same.

Which proofreader vacancy to choose – office work or freelance?

Both, working full-time or freelancing, has its own advantages. If you choose a full-time job, you will get quickly involved into the community of professional proofreaders. This will help your competence grow rapidly. On the other hand, you have to adjust to the working environment and spend time to get to the office.

As a freelance proofreader, you can complete as many orders as you consider to be appropriate, develop a unique working schedule, and keep the work-rest balance. Compared to working in an office, you can improve your knowledge with online courses. Yet, keep in mind that you take full responsibility for your income. So, if the number of your orders decreases, that will, consequently, affect your earnings.

What proofreading skills do you need to become a well-paid expert?

If you are making your first steps as a proofreader and want to earn more faster, then go and develop the skills that are essential for this position.

Here are some basic recommendations that will help boost your competence:

  1. Concentrate on the text you are working on. Avoid any distracting factors that can grab your attention. Turn off your mobile phone, TV, and radio. Focus on the article you are composing.
  2. Read the text aloud. This way you will easily correlate the ideas implied in the text with the word choices that express them. Also, learn to read the text slowly. It will help you notice more mistakes as compared to just looking through the content.
  3. Practice double checking the grammar. If you want to proofread the text well, it’s always better to check it twice. Content without mistakes will produce a better impression on the reader than one which contains grammatical inaccuracies.
  4. Use short sentences. Cut long sentences into shorter ones. Make the text easy to read.
  5. Avoid useless information. Leave out every unnecessary word that prevents the quick comprehension of the key idea of the text.
  6. Get rid of typical mistakes. When it comes clear that you make the same mistakes over and over again, it’s high time to take a grammar reference book and to review the necessary rules.
  7. Consult a dictionary. Even if you are a native speaker, sometimes you may doubt how to spell the word. Be sure to spend just a few seconds to do a spell check.

Bonus: list of online job tests to check your proofreading skills

Finally, you will want to define your competence in order to understand what salary you can expect. The ultimate way to check your skills is to do an online proofreading test. It won’t take much time, but you will know for sure how much money to ask for.

Consider completing a number of online proofreading tests:

  • UK English Proofreading Skills Test (Oxford Guide to Style) by Upwork;
  • Proofreading Challenge by Thomson Reuters;
  • Proofreading Chicago Style Test by ExpertRating;
  • Proofreading Test by SFEP

Checking your skills with the help of such tests is a simple way to find out your expertise level. Now that you have defined your competence, go ahead and start earning through proofreading right away.