Freelance Jobs for Editors and Proofreaders
Here is a curated list of freelance job opportunities for proofreaders and editors. You can work from home part-time or full-time. There is something here for everyone, regardless of experience level and field of expertise.
- At Scribendi, a company founded in 1997, the pay varies by project, though most editors earn USD 10–25 per hour. Scribendi requires at least three years of relevant experience and a university degree, and prefers candidates with expert knowledge of one or more style manuals (such as the Chicago Manual of Style, the Publication Manual of the APA, the MLA Handbook, and the AP Stylebook).
- Scribbr, which provides academic editing services to students around the globe, has an open, friendly, but professional work environment. Assignments are sent to you instead of your having to pick them off a job board (though you can always return an order that is too poor to edit). You can also choose to edit orders with a 1-day, 3-day, or 7-day turnaround, and set preferences related to word count. Editors earn about EUR 10–25 an hour, depending on editing speed and turnaround time. One of the main advantages with editing for Scribbr is that you don’t have to do any “non-language stuff,” such as checking references or layout or following a specific journal’s guidelines. Scribbr requires candidates to have a bachelor’s degree and experience in editing, preferably academic.
- ProofreadingPal follows an interesting model in which every document is proofread and edited by two editors. The company seeks graduates with at least five years of proofreading experience. It prefers candidates who are familiar with the popular writing styles (such as Chicago, APA, MLA, AP, and CSE). Freelancers usually start as Level 1 proofreaders and can apply to become Level 2 proofreaders (who earn a higher rate per hour) after editing a specific number of documents and words. Turnaround times on documents range from 30 minutes to 7 days, and pay varies likewise. Most Level 1 proofreaders can earn USD 7–13 per hour depending on editing speed and turnaround time.
- Cactus is a useful place for novice freelancers to begin a career in editing, since it does not require applicants to have prior experience. You receive feedback from experienced reviewers on each assignment and also gain access to useful resources. Pay ranges from INR 0.45 to 0.90 per word depending on the type of document, field of editing, and your internal rating. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field.
- Polished Paper provides editing services across the spectrum: corporate, academic, personal, author, and ESL. To be considered for an editing opportunity, you must register on the website, upload your résumé, and complete a 35-question editor test, with free access to outside resources (such as the major style guides), some of which are available on Polished Paper’s own website. Although pay varies based on turnaround time, which ranges from 3 hours to 5 days, the work here is known to be relatively well-paying, with editors earning 1.6 to 3.2 cents (USD) per word.
- Enago is well known in the world of academic editing. Candidates with experience—specifically, in academic editing—may be preferred. Pay is known to be reasonable: USD 15 or more per hour.
- Gramlee editors check for structure, grammar, spelling, punctuation, brevity, and overall readability. To work as a contractor, submit an application through the website. Be prepared to answer questions such as why you are an outstanding candidate and if you could teach the world one thing, what it would be. Pay varies, but is generally about USD 0.02 per word, which means you can earn about USD 20–28 by editing 1,000–1,400 words per hour—a good gig by most standards.
- Kibin may be an interesting option for you if you have experience in academic editing. Freelance positions open periodically; keep an eye on the website. Earnings range from USD 10 to 25 per hour.
- ProofreadNow, a company that provides business editing services, does not always have positions open; however, you can bookmark the page and sign up for the employment letter. To edit for ProofreadNow, you must have at least five years of professional proofreading experience and perform well on some difficult editing tests, though you can expect to earn professional rates if you do get through.
- ProofreadingServices.com offers competitive pay starting from USD 19 per hour. To apply, complete a 20-minute proofreading test, after which, if interested, the company will contact you to proceed further with your application.
- English Trackers is another company that provides academic editing services and is looking for freelance editors. It requires candidates to have at least two years of professional academic-editing experience and prefers editors with experience editing documents written by non-native English speakers. Applicants should also be familiar with style manuals such as Chicago, APA, and MLA.
- Wordfirm, or Managed Editing, works with skilled editors who work from home as freelancers. Editors should have a college degree and at least five years of practical editing experience. Candidates familiar with the major style manuals are preferred. You can apply by filling a form online. It can take several months for this agency to contact you, depending on its requirements and your suitability.
- Wordvice provides academic and business editing services. It is looking for editors with at least two years of editing experience and knowledge of various formatting styles (such as Chicago, MLA, APA, and AMA). Reviews and feedback from freelancers suggest that the pay is reasonable.
- EditorLive needs editors to edit academic and business writing. Editors have deadlines ranging from 3 to 72 hours, and must be proficient in Chicago, APA, AP, MLA, CSE, and other style manuals. Work is available in 4-hour shifts. On average, editors earn USD 750 to 1,800 every two weeks, depending on time of year and other factors. Candidates must have a bachelor’s degree and at least five years of professional editing experience.
- WordsRU, which provides services to students, businesses, and writers, is seeking editors with at least two years of relevant experience and a master’s degree. Editors must also be familiar with at least two of the following: academic documentation and citation styles (such as Chicago, APA, Harvard, MLA, and Turabian); business documents; manuscripts of novels, screenplays, short stories, etc.; and website editing. On its website, WordsRU states that payment rates will be discussed personally with successful candidates.
- Edit 911 hires only PhDs in English or another writing-intensive discipline who have relevant experience, to provide book editing, business editing, and academic editing services to clients. To apply, submit your résumé and a sample of your writing. Expect to earn professional rates.
- Wordy provides proofreading, editing, and rewriting services to clients around the globe. Positions are not always open, but you can check the company website periodically. Pay varies based on turnaround time and whether the client is a business or an individual.
- EditFast sends work to editors based on their profile and relevant skills, keeping 40% of the total project price as its platform fee. Candidates are required to have a university degree and past experience.
- Scribe Media, formerly called Book in a Box, provides services to writers, and requires “scribes” who can work as editor and ghostwriter combined. You must have at least a decade of writing and editing experience and good interviewing skills. The pay is about USD 60–70 per hour.
- Supaproofread prefers editors with a postgraduate degree but accepts people with relevant editing experience. Pay is based on document length and turnaround time. Editing experience is not a must; thus, this may be a good place for novice editors with excellent proofreading skills. Applications are not always open; keep an eye on the website.
- Kirkus Media periodically lists opportunities for freelance editors who have experience in book editing.
- American Journal Experts hires freelance editors for editing manuscripts in various fields, such as business, earth sciences, and engineering. It requires candidates to have a graduate degree and some form of affiliation with a US school. Editing experience is preferred though not required. Editors tend to typically earn USD 10–15 per hour.
- Book Editing Associates requires US-based proofreaders with traditional and self-publishing experience. Clients select editors based on profiles displayed on the website.
- Editor World provides proofreading services for academic, business, personal, and other writing. To register as an editor, you must have a bachelor’s degree and editing experience. Although you don’t have to bid on jobs or pitch to clients, clients themselves select editors for projects, based on the editors’ profiles. While it is not clear how much the company pays its freelancers, the prices it charges its clients are displayed on the website, which may provide some indication.
- Edit 24/7 offers academic, business, and book editing services. If you would like to join their proofreading and editing team, send them an email with your résumé. Pay varies based on document length and turnaround time, but the prices charged to clients are displayed on the website. (Keep in mind that most agencies keep 40% of the payment.)
- Reedsy provides a platform for freelancers to bid on book editing jobs. You set your own rates, but this post on the company’s website indicates how much you can expect to earn for proofreading, copy editing, and developmental editing.
- OneSpace, which provides business solutions to its clients, often has freelancing opportunities for editors.
- Babbletype has jobs for proofreaders who can work from home. The pay is supposedly low, but this may be a place to gain some experience if you are just starting out.
- EditMyEnglish needs freelance editors who can work 10 to 40 hours a week. Editors must be US citizens and have a degree from a US-based university. The company offers business, academic, and book editing services to clients. Rates charged to clients are displayed on the website, and you keep 60% of the earnings.
In addition to the companies listed above, freelancing platforms such as Freelancer, Upwork, and Flexjobs list editing jobs, though the competition can be fierce, resulting in a low hourly rate for most editors. Moreover, you will have to spend time searching for projects, preparing proposals, and bidding on jobs. Nevertheless, such sites are useful places to gain freelancing experience and earn additional income.
Job boards versus assignment
Some companies allow you the freedom to pick a project yourself from a list of available jobs, while others send you an assignment that you can accept or reject. I have learned to prefer the latter, as long as the agency allows me to set preferences related to order size and deadline. Being sent work instead of looking for it helps save valuable time that can be spent editing and earning money. With job boards, you often spend hours trawling through documents trying to find one that suits, only to discover it has been picked up by another proofreader.
Beware Hiring Scams
Be wary of companies that ask you to invest money or “buy” a membership—in other words, to spend money to earn any. Even if the setup is not a complete scam, there are plenty of perfectly legit jobs out there that don’t charge a fee. Furthermore, although companies have every right to ask you to complete a test assignment before they add you to their list of approved freelancers, the longest a test should take is a few hours. You should not be doing days’ worth of work for free.
I hope this list helps you get started working as a freelance editor and earning on a schedule that best suits your lifestyle. Happy editing!