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Working as a Proofreader

A Proofreader bears an important role in any project to do with written content, like social media copy, novels, essays, or even films. This role may differ from one job to another, as different content needs different treatment. Still, it generally requires a person to examine the document for any signs of grammatical or formatting errors.

More often, though, the Proofreader will be asked to make sure that the document's style is consistent and to see whether it lines up with the company's style guide. They may also be asked to check the work of other proofreaders. In terms of creative works, the Proofreader may even act a bit like an editor, noting what could and should be changed to make the work easier and more enjoyable to read.

A good grasp of the English language and an eye for details are important for this position, though there is no one set of requirements that a candidate must have. Some employers may ask for a college degree, while others will not. Either way, to begin one's career as a Proofreader, there's really no right way.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a proofreader. For example, did you know that they make an average of $21.23 an hour? That's $44,168 a year!

What Does a Proofreader Do

There are certain skills that many 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 creativity, good judgment and detail oriented.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a proofreader, we found that a lot of resumes listed 9.3% of proofreaders included legal documents, while 9.2% of resumes included powerpoint, and 6.8% of resumes included style guides. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the proofreader job title. But what industry to start with? Most proofreaders actually find jobs in the professional and media industries.

How To Become a Proofreader

If you're interested in becoming a proofreader, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 55.3% of proofreaders have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 20.5% of proofreaders have master's degrees. Even though most proofreaders have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a proofreader. When we researched the most common majors for a proofreader, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or master's degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on proofreader resumes include associate degree degrees or high school diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a proofreader. In fact, many proofreader jobs require experience in a role such as editor. Meanwhile, many proofreaders also have previous career experience in roles such as copy editor or administrative assistant.

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Average Salary$44,168
Job Growth Rate-3%

Proofreader Career Paths

Top Careers Before Proofreader

Editor
12.0 %

Top Careers After Proofreader

Editor
12.9 %

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Proofreader

Proofreaders in America make an average salary of $44,168 per year or $21 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $65,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $29,000 per year.
Average Salary
$44,168

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary
Baltimore, MD
Salary Range47k - 89k$65k$65,429
Washington, DC
Salary Range46k - 87k$64k$64,067
Des Moines, IA
Salary Range46k - 82k$62k$62,154
Los Angeles, CA
Salary Range45k - 83k$61k$61,208
Akron, OH
Salary Range44k - 82k$61k$60,948
Brentwood, NY
Salary Range42k - 79k$58k$57,668
$31k
$89k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Proofreader (L)
Proofreader (L)
Avispa Technology
Avispa Technology
01/29/2021
01/29/2021
$58,43601/29/2021
$58,436
AMA Proofreader
AMA Proofreader
Robert Half
Robert Half
01/26/2021
01/26/2021
$49,56601/26/2021
$49,566
Proofreader 1
Proofreader 1
State of Washington
State of Washington
01/24/2021
01/24/2021
$36,85201/24/2021
$36,852
Proofreader
Proofreader
Robert Half
Robert Half
01/21/2021
01/21/2021
$45,91401/21/2021
$45,914
Proofreader CV: Claire.Dehoet@Creativegroup.com
Proofreader CV: Claire.Dehoet@Creativegroup.com
Robert Half
Robert Half
01/21/2021
01/21/2021
$41,74001/21/2021
$41,740
See More Recent Salaries

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Proofreader Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Proofreader. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Proofreader Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Proofreader resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

Proofreader Demographics

Gender

female

64.3 %

male

31.3 %

unknown

4.4 %

Ethnicity

White

80.5 %

Black or African American

6.4 %

Asian

6.3 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

38.6 %

French

22.1 %

Japanese

7.0 %
See More Demographics

Proofreader Education

Majors

English
29.3 %
Writing
11.9 %

Degrees

Bachelors

55.3 %

Masters

20.5 %

Certificate

7.8 %

Top Colleges for Proofreaders

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$51,832
Enrollment
4,550

2. Harvard University

Cambridge, MA • Private

In-State Tuition
$50,420
Enrollment
7,582

3. Northwestern University

Evanston, IL • Private

In-State Tuition
$54,568
Enrollment
8,451

4. Columbia University in the City of New York

New York, NY • Private

In-State Tuition
$59,430
Enrollment
8,216

5. University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$14,184
Enrollment
30,845

6. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Chapel Hill, NC • Public

In-State Tuition
$8,987
Enrollment
18,946

7. Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA • Private

In-State Tuition
$55,465
Enrollment
6,483

8. University of Houston

Houston, TX • Public

In-State Tuition
$8,913
Enrollment
37,291

9. Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA • Public

In-State Tuition
$18,454
Enrollment
40,108

10. California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo, CA • Public

In-State Tuition
$9,816
Enrollment
21,047
See More Education Info
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a 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, 9.3% of proofreaders listed legal documents on their resume, but soft skills such as creativity and good judgment are important as well.

  • Legal Documents, 9.3%
  • Powerpoint, 9.2%
  • Style Guides, 6.8%
  • Financial Documents, 5.3%
  • Adobe Acrobat, 4.0%
  • Other Skills, 65.4%
  • See All Proofreader Skills

Best States For a Proofreader

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a proofreader. The best states for people in this position are New Jersey, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Delaware. Proofreaders make the most in New Jersey with an average salary of $79,560. Whereas in Rhode Island and Connecticut, they would average $68,571 and $68,497, respectively. While proofreaders would only make an average of $67,155 in Delaware, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. New Jersey

Total Proofreader Jobs:
9
Highest 10% Earn:
$142,000
Location Quotient:
3.63
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. Illinois

Total Proofreader Jobs:
6
Highest 10% Earn:
$110,000
Location Quotient:
1.55
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Massachusetts

Total Proofreader Jobs:
4
Highest 10% Earn:
$115,000
Location Quotient:
1.49
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Proofreader Employers

We've made finding a great employer to work for easy by doing the hard work for you. We looked into employers that employ proofreaders and discovered their number of proofreader opportunities and average salary. Through our research, we concluded that RR Donnelley & Sons Company was the best, especially with an average salary of $46,492. Bowne & Co follows up with an average salary of $46,131, and then comes Robert Half International with an average of $41,927. In addition, we know most people would rather work from home. So instead of having to change careers, we identified the best employers for remote work as a proofreader. The employers include Integreon Managed Solutions, Quad, and Integreon

1. RR Donnelley & Sons Company
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$46,492
Proofreaders Hired: 
43+
2. Bowne & Co
4.0
Avg. Salary: 
$46,131
Proofreaders Hired: 
25+
3. Robert Half International
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$41,927
Proofreaders Hired: 
25+
4. Kelly Services
4.5
Avg. Salary: 
$37,838
Proofreaders Hired: 
19+
5. Aquent
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$47,406
Proofreaders Hired: 
18+
6. Educational Testing Service
4.9
Avg. Salary: 
$43,944
Proofreaders Hired: 
16+

Proofreader Videos

Updated October 2, 2020