Proofreaders check text before it's printed or published to make sure it's correct and complete.

Average salary (a year)

£18,000 Starter


£30,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

38 to 40 a week

You could work

freelance / self-employed managing your own hours

How to become a Proofreader

You can get into this job through:

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


You may find it useful to have a degree in a relevant subject like:

  • English
  • publishing
  • media or digital media

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels for a degree

More information


You could start out as an editorial assistant and work your way up to a proofreader role.

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

Volunteering and experience

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

You could volunteer by:

  • proofreading documents for friends, family or people you work or study with
  • writing or proofreading for student magazines or publications
  • proofreading for small businesses or university students
  • 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:

More information

Career tips

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

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

You could develop a portfolio showing work you've done, paid or unpaid. You can then use this to show your skills to employers.

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
  • you will be expected to use a computer confidently as part of this job.

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.

You could improve your prospects by becoming a member of a professional body like the SfEP, Women in Publishing or the Publishers Association.

Training opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a Proofreader right now.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

BTEC Level 3 Award in Applied Contracted Braille for Touch Readers (or Sight Readers)

  • Start date: 01 September 2019
  • Location: Hereford

Creative Writing for All

  • Start date: 01 May 2019
  • Location: Broadstairs

Get help using this service

Call 0800 100 900

8am to 10pm, 7 days a week

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