How to become a proofreader

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • specialist courses run by professional bodies and private training organisations


You may find it useful to have a degree in:

  • English
  • publishing
  • journalism
  • digital media

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English
  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree

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You could do a publishing assistant advanced apprenticeship, which may help you to find your first job.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship

More Information


You could start as an editorial assistant then move into proofreading.

If you have a degree or expertise in a particular subject, you could use it to develop a proofreading specialism. For example, if you have a technical or scientific degree you could proofread scientific textbooks or journals.


Volunteering will help you get a better understanding of the job and is a good way to make contacts in the publishing industry.

You could volunteer by:

  • proofreading documents for family or people you work or study with
  • writing or proofreading for student magazines or publications
  • proofreading for small businesses
  • working on charity publications, websites or social media

Other Routes

Doing professional courses can improve your skills and your chances of finding work. You can find short courses through the Society for Editors and Proofreaders and The Publishing Training Centre.

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Career tips

Experience working in publishing or journalism could help you to find jobs.

There's a lot of competition for work and many publishing companies do not advertise vacancies. Jobs are filled through word of mouth or recommendation.

You could develop a portfolio of paid or unpaid work you've done to show your skills to employers.

Further information

You can find out more about proofreading careers from the Society for Editors and Proofreaders.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • knowledge of English language
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • the ability to work well with others
  • excellent written communication skills
  • persistence and determination
  • to be flexible and open to change
  • to be able to use a computer and the main software packages competently

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

You'll read documents to make sure:

  • there are no errors
  • the text, illustrations and diagrams are positioned correctly
  • text is in the right order (including page numbers)
  • the text follows the agreed style
  • chapter titles match the list of contents
  • there are no confusing words or column or page breaks

Working environment

You could work in an office or from home.

Career path and progression

As an experienced proofreader, you could build up your reputation as a specialist in a particular field or approach publishing companies for work.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

Publishing Assistant Apprentice

  • Wage: £16,000.00 Annually
  • Location: LONDON

Courses In England

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Jobs In the United Kingdom

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