Proofreader jobs UK – how to become a proofreader at home

Do typos and incorrect grammar jump out at you the minute you start reading something? If you’ve arrived here looking for the best online proofreading jobs in the UK, you’re in the right place!

online proof reading jobs uk


Online proofreading jobs in the UK have grown over recent years due to increased traffic of websites, social media, online marketing, blogs and also the increased popularity of self publishing, meaning more people than ever before are sourcing their own proofreaders.

This is great news if you’re looking for an online proofreading job as there is no shortage of text needing to be checked for errors before publishing.
More often than not, there’s no need for formal degrees or qualifications in most proofreading jobs, although some companies do require a degree, most have a test you need to sit and pass before you can take on proofreading work.

✅ What is proofreading?

In it’s simplest form, proofreading is getting content ready for publishing. In practice, this means that you’ll be checking a specific piece of text for any grammar, punctuation, spelling, passive wording, phrasing or syntax mistakes.

It is one of the most important parts to content creation as it is the final barrier before being published. It needs to positively represent a company, individual, brand or message.

proofreader uk

There are a vast array of people who use proofreaders to polish content before publication. Who might they be?

✅ Proofreading jobs UK

Proofreading jobs from home with no experience are very common in an online world, especially for freelancers or stay-at-home mums requiring the flexibility proofreading work can give you. Proofreading provides extra income without impeding too much on daily life because you’ll be your own boss and can usually choose when and where you get the work done.

There are some agencies offering this type of work that will have very short deadlines and so might be a little more restrictive in terms of time, but this is rare, and you’ll usually be able to either turn down work you won’t be able to get done in the required time frame. Don’t turn down too many though, or they’ll offer you less work.

✅ Proofreading jobs from home with no experience

If you’ve never done any proofreading jobs before, you’ve likely got some questions about it.

We’ll do our best to answer any questions you’ve got and if you’re still unsure about something, feel free to drop us an email!

  • What is proofreading?
  • What kinds of work could I proofread?
  • What are the benefits to working as a proofreader?
  • How much do proofreaders earn in the UK?
  • What are the skills I need to succeed as a proofreader?
  • What are the tools and software I might need?
  • Are there any online courses I can take to qualify as a proofreader?
  • Where can I find a job as a proofreader?
  • Can proofreading become my career?

✅ What kind of work would I proofread?

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (source), the demand for proofreaders is rising, with an increasing number of businesses operating online and enlisting the help of remote freelancers.

What kind of work would I proofread?

With a similar economy in the UK, the list of proofreading jobs UK is also seeing a surge.

  • Authors – the popularity of self publishing means more and more authors need to find their own proofreaders
  • Legal transcripts – always in demand, there’s rarely a shortage of work proofreading legal transcripts
  • Student dissertations
  • Bloggers – bigger bloggers often use freelance proofreaders before they publish any work on their sites
  • Press releases/newspaper articles – although many newspapers have their own on-site proofreaders, there is still work around for freelance proofreaders in this field

✅ Benefits of proofreading

The benefits of working as a proofreader are many. Remote proofreading jobs offer, you guessed it, the perfect remote working opportunities for anyone looking to work part-time or on a freelance basis.

Being able to choose your own hours provides a high level of flexibility.
This means as long as work is completed by client deadlines, you can write morning, noon or night. So, even with a 9-5 or child at home, you can choose to take-on some proofreading work.

Proofreading work tends to be well paid, although this does depend on your level of experience and how good you are. For some people, proofreading comes easier than others. Some people just tend to ‘see’ the mistakes and others take a bit longer. There are processes you can learn to make sure you don’t miss anything though, and it does become easier the more you do it.

There are very few pieces of equipment you need to get started with this as well, making it perfect for someone keen to get some extra money in without much outlay at all.

✅ How much do proofreaders earn UK?

In the UK, there’s a few places we can search for this information. Please be aware these pay scales range with both the North/South divide and Beginner/Advanced
experiences.
According to Indeed (source), the average UK proofreader earns £23,405, while the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP) suggests a minimum hourly wage of approximately £25. So you’ll see, proofreading can be a serious income, whether you choose to do it for extra cash or as a replacement for your usual income.

how much do proofreaders earn uk

There are other factor to take into account when looking at proofreading income.
From hourly rates, to tax bands, to the lack of a commute, there’s so much to consider on a personal level that determine your take-home pay when you become a
proofreader at home. We hope the above ‘average’ figures help you get an idea of the sort of money you might be able to earn.

✅ Proofreader skills

Other than having a keen eye for the errors in a text, you’ll need to be a self-motivated individual who can organise and work to deadlines efficiently.
While many Americans tailor their proofreading skillset to the Associated Press Stylebook, us Brits have a different reference. We have the Chartered Institute of
Editing and Proofreading (CIEP).

The company was established in 1988 as the Society of Freelance Copy-Editors and Proofreaders. It was a space for editors and proofreaders to come together for mutual
support and networking. Since then, they’ve changed their name and started offering proofreading courses and promote high standards in writing.

Proofreader skills

There are some basic skills you really need to have in order to become successful at proofreading, with perhaps the most important being a solid understanding of correct grammar, spelling and the syntax of English. There is more to proofreading than simply checking for spelling mistakes!

✅ Proofreading tools

If you’re going into proofreading jobs from home with no experience, there may be some software packages you should install and familiarise yourself with.

While some of the below applications are online, others need desktop space for you to access and edit the document provided. Here’s some examples of the types of software you may need:

Microsoft Office
This is probably the most common software package proofreaders and copyeditors will see. Most proofreading requires editing long pieces of text in a Word document, including this very article. This allows file sizes to remain
small and allows both parties free-reign of the editing process.
While Microsoft’s Office 365 can be downloaded onto your desktop it can also be accessed online, allowing multiple people to access a document at the same
time.

GSuite
Google’s G-Suite is a saving grace to proofreaders starting-off in the industry, who either can’t or don’t want to pay for the Microsoft Office package.
Within G-Suite, each user can access all applications online for free. There is also 15GB of free storage, too.
While G-Suite’s Google Docs doesn’t have quite as many ‘bells and whistles’ as Microsoft’s Word, it provides everything any proofreading jobs demand.

Adobe
Don’t be fooled into thinking that clients will only send you documents full of text, especially if you’re freelancing or self-employed. There are plenty of clients with materials that need printing and distributing with imagery and branding.
Therefore, you’ll need to prepare to receive something out-of-the-ordinary such as an Adobe photoshop file. For example, you may be asked to proofread the copy on a poster to ensure its suitability for target audiences.

Hemingway Editor App
Again, this is a free online application anyone can use because it is an interactive website.
If you copy and paste some text into the Hemingway Editor App, you’ll find your overall readability score alongside colour co-ordinated text faults. Such
as; adverbs, passive voice, phrases with simpler alternatives, hard to read sentences and difficult to read sentences.
The online application is best used for tight-deadlines and clients who have specified a Flesch-Kincaid (readability) score.

Grammarly
Unlike Hemingway Editor App, Grammarly is a Google add-on that goes to work every time you type online. The free version offers users simple grammar and spelling crawls as well as ‘word-correction’ and a ‘tone of voice’ calculator.
The one thing to look out for is the language. Grammarly will often try to correct words to American English (even when British English is specified), resulting in a lot of “Z’s” and some missing “U’s”.

Dropbox
With Dropbox Basic, there’s an endless number of files that can be shared between two people such as videos, documents or pictures.
It’s a free service and fantastic to have access to depending on your client or business needs.

Be sure to enable Dropbox on your phone/tablet to ensure access to files and folders no matter where you decide to do your remote proofreading work.

✅ Proofreading courses UK

There are plenty of courses available to anyone looking to get started in proofreading.

Some proofreading courses target British English proofreading, but that doesn’t mean the more world-wide proofreading courses are not relevant.
While there is no real need to have qualifications or to complete a proofreading course since many companies have their own competency tests anyway, they might allow you to stand-out when finding new clients or applying for full-time proofreading positions.

Below are some of the top proofreading courses in the UK currently on offer. The Chartered Institute of Editing and proofreading is highly recognised within the industry so can offer the most relevant course qualifications.

✅ Proofreading courses

✅ Remote proofreading jobs UK

There are a number of places in the UK you can find remote proofreading jobs. We’ve listed the top ten places to look here if you’re looking to start proofreading.

Fiverr

Fiverr is an online platform where you can offer ‘gigs’, meaning that you set a price for your work. Many sellers on Fiverr offer different levels of work on a sliding pricing scale. If you’re unfamiliar with this way of working, it’s worth having a look at what other people are doing and see how you could offer your skills.

UpWork
Much like Fiverr, you can create a profile with this platform in order to offer proofreading to individuals across the world. And again like Fiverr, there’s
no fee to having a profile and finding clients, but a commission is taken after payment from the client, meaning no work, no fees to pay.

Indeed
As one of the most popular online job boards in the UK, they have plenty of proofreading jobs on offer as well as remote proofreading jobs you can do from home. The style of work will be slightly different as being a recruitment company, Indeed will likely feature full-time roles within a
company rather than freelance jobs. That doesn’t mean it’s not a good place to look, but just be aware, you’ll likely find more traditional jobs than you might on other sites.

LinkedIn
As the working social media forum, LinkedIn provides a modern search tool for new clients while offering free self-marketing space. This is especially popular
among individuals who have become proofreaders at home by starting their own business.

If you’re looking for clients, LinkedIn is a great place to be on and not having a profile means you could potentially miss out on work.

Proofreading Services
This website offers the chance for full-time and part-time positions within this company. And while you don’t need any qualifications to edit with them, they
request you complete a 20-minute preliminary test.
The company welcomes proofreaders and editors from anywhere across the globe and offers a pay of $19 to $46 USD depending on turn around time, atop flexible working hours.

Polished Paper
Polished Paper is a high-standard editing company who ensure that the proofreaders who work for them have top-notch English skills for their clients. And, again while there is no need for a qualification, they do
request all applicants complete a 35-question test, before being accepted onto their books.

The test will give you the chance to showcase your skills and let this company know you’re up to the job. Should you fail their test, you can resit after a certain timeframe has passed, but it might be a good idea to brush up on your written English skills before doing so.
For flexible proofreading jobs it may be a little exclusive, but they guarantee quality and reliability to their clients. If
you’re confident with your impeccable English skills, sign-up to become a proofreader at home!

Freelancer
Just like Fiverr and Upwork, you create a profile to obtain freelancing work with external clients. However, unlike Fiverr and UpWork, Freelancer will pair you
with jobs they believe are relevant. You must create a compelling bid for the client to choose your work.
This method works for some, just like the other method of Fiverr will work for others.

As with all the online job sites, your reputation goes before you. It’s usually worth completing a few pieces of work at a discounted rate to a) get some initial work and b) so you can start to get some good reviews. These platforms can be very hard to get going without reviews.

CACTUS Communications
CACTUS Communications might not be what you expect: they’re actually a science, technology and innovation company with global impact solutions.
However, their main export is their articles on technology. This means that they’re always looking for freelance editors and proofreaders. Check out their site to see if a contract, freelance role or permanent position is on the cards for you while doing remote proofreading.

Twinkl

British-based educational learning materials company Twinkl always needs proofreaders. Just like CACTUS, they provide many articles, reading materials,
teaching aids and blogs to teachers across the globe. With this, they’re always in needs of teaching materials to be edited and proofread before they are used in the classroom.

FlexJobs

FlexJobs offers remote working jobs and so often has proofreading work available on their site. Although not UK based, being remote work, you can mostly do it from anywhere in the world.

You can narrow the jobs you’re looking for down by location, but this is often unnecessary. Try searching both ways and see if there’s any work that appeals to you.

Wordvice

Wordvice is an international company offering remote work to proofreaders who fit their criteria. They have offices all around the world, are are considered to be a market leader in their field. Wordvice say they can offer consistant well paid work for proofreaders.

Scribbr

Scribbr aims their proofreading services towards student dissertations and those in the academic world. They have an online test you need to complete before they allow you to start editing, but once you do, there’s a fair amount of work to be had.

Babbletype

Babbletype are selective about who they offer proofreading work to, but they’re definitely worth applying to. This company proofread for market research projects and also specialise in foreign language proofreading, so if you have a second language, this might be a good place to start looking for remote work.

N/B Babbletype are not currently taking on new proofreaders, but bookmark their site and check back frequently.

Start your own business
The most flexible of all remote proofreading jobs would be to create your own business. Start with a name and you’re one step closer to your own brand.


Pay a ‘fiver’ to someone on Fiverr to draw a logo and you’re nearly there. Then, decide what work you’ll offer at what prices and in which timeframes (don’t forget your t&c’s).. and, now it’s time for the website, social media and rapport building. Try signing up to freelancing sites as your brand and go from there.


There’s nothing to stop you joining up with as many of these companies as you can under your own company, and then once you’ve got a good name for yourself, you could choose to be pickier about where you get the work from.

You might even find you have a selection of clients that give you enough work to keep you busy.

✅ Proofreading as a career

Can proofreading become a career? In short: yes.

With time, effort and maintenance towards building industry relationships, there’s nothing to stop you.
While remote working jobs such as being a freelance proofreader may begin small, if you keep your channels open, you can grow. You may find yourself either in a full-time position with a company or bringing in the clientele that keep you a busy-bee for all the hours you need. It’s often the case that you’ll start with one channel such as Fiverr, building rapport and portfolios, until you are comfortable to move onto making your own brand and social media to keep the business running full-time.
If you feel you want to do a practice run, there’s tools for that, too!

Websites such as Pro Edit, CIEP and Writing English all have free online tests to help you understand if your English is up to scratch or if you many need to look a little more into the proofreading courses UK, first.

If proofreading is something that appeals to you,
then feel free to look at some of the places where freelancing roles are available for you to
become a proofreader at home.

Make sure you’re familiar with the current writing styles, especially for formal texts as you’ll need to know the APA formatting style.
Or, if after all of this, you feel that remote proofreading just isn’t for you, check out how you can make money working from home as a freelance transcriber!
Don’t forget to tell us your thoughts in the comments below and keep checking in for new
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✅ Do you need qualifications to be a proofreader?

Most companies that offer proofreading remote work do not require formal qualifications, but some might. Check with the specific company before you apply, this information is often in the FAQ’s for proofreading applications.

✅ How much do proofreaders earn UK?

The average annual wage is approximately £24,000, however, this varies depending on experience.

✅ What does a proofreader do?

In it’s simplest form, proofreading is getting content ready for publishing. In practice, this means that you’ll be checking a specific piece of text for any grammar,
punctuation, spelling, passive wording, phrasing or syntax mistakes.

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