A copy editor/proofreader is responsible for ensuring that a text is readable, accurate, and ready for publication. They correct grammar and spelling, ensure the text is in line with the publisher's style, check facts, and raise queries with the author when necessary. They also communicate and work with the production team to ensure that content is published on time. An average copy editor/proofreader earns $65,000 annually or $31 per hour.

Copy editors/proofreaders primarily ensure that the final draft of a publication is free of errors, easy to read, and fits its editorial style. They are mainly employed in magazines, newspapers, and online publications, while others work on a freelance basis and take on multiple assignments for various companies. Their duties include writing headlines and subheads for articles and creating page layouts consisting of articles, photographs, and advertisements.

Copy editors/proofreaders typically hold a bachelor's degree in journalism, communications, English, or other related fields. They are expected to have on-the-job training by enrolling in an internship program. Some employers prefer candidates with excellent writing skills and general knowledge of publishing concepts.

What Does a Copy Editor/Proofreader Do

There are certain skills that many copy editor/proofreaders have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed teamwork, technical skills and detail oriented.

How To Become a Copy Editor/Proofreader

If you're interested in becoming a copy editor/proofreader, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 78.4% of copy editor/proofreaders have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 12.1% of copy editor/proofreaders have master's degrees. Even though most copy editor/proofreaders have a college degree, it's impossible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Copy Editor/Proofreader Career Paths

Average Salary for a Copy Editor/Proofreader

Copy Editor/Proofreaders in America make an average salary of $72,246 per year or $35 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $117,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $44,000 per year.
Average Copy Editor/Proofreader Salary
$72,246 Yearly
$34.73 hourly
10 %
90 %

What Am I Worth?


Copy Editor/Proofreader Education

Copy Editor/Proofreader Majors

37.2 %

Copy Editor/Proofreader Degrees


78.4 %


12.1 %


6.2 %

Top Colleges for Copy Editor/Proofreaders

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition

2. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition

3. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition

4. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition

5. University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

6. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Private

In-State Tuition

7. Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA • Private

In-State Tuition

8. University of Houston

Houston, TX • Private

In-State Tuition

9. Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA • Private

In-State Tuition

10. California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo, CA • Private

In-State Tuition

Top Skills For a Copy Editor/Proofreader

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 19.2% of copy editor/proofreaders listed web content on their resume, but soft skills such as teamwork and technical skills are important as well.

Choose From 10+ Customizable Copy Editor/Proofreader Resume templates

Zippia allows you to choose from different easy-to-use Copy Editor/Proofreader templates, and provides you with expert advice. Using the templates, you can rest assured that the structure and format of your Copy Editor/Proofreader resume is top notch. Choose a template with the colors, fonts & text sizes that are appropriate for your industry.

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Copy Editor/Proofreader Demographics

Copy Editor/Proofreader Gender Distribution


After extensive research and analysis, Zippia's data science team found that:

  • Among copy editor/proofreaders, 66.8% of them are women, while 33.2% are men.

  • The most common race/ethnicity among copy editor/proofreaders is White, which makes up 75.8% of all copy editor/proofreaders.

  • The most common foreign language among copy editor/proofreaders is Spanish at 47.9%.

Online Courses For Copy Editor/Proofreader That You May Like

Advertising Disclosure  The courses listed below are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the course, we may receive a commission.
Editing and Proofreading Course: Proofread Errors Like a Pro

Proofread Writing & Translation Like a Pro Be a Freelance Proofreader on Upwork Grasp Punctuation & Grammar...

The Complete Proofreading Course: Editing and Proofreading

Learn All Aspects of Proofreading Writing Editing Punctuation and Other Communication Strategies...

Proofreading Power Basics

Learn to proofread from an experienced educator and subject matter expert...

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Top Copy Editor/Proofreader Employers

Most Common Employers For Copy Editor/Proofreader

Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
2Oxford University Press$98,355$47.294
3John Wiley & Sons$96,972$46.624
4Peter A. Mayer Advertising, Inc.$88,948$42.765
5Euro Rscg$87,783$42.204
7Independent Contractor$86,280$41.484
8McGraw Hill$83,441$40.124
10Deutsch LA$74,880$36.003

Copy Editor/Proofreader Videos