A Closer Look at a Career as a...

A Closer Look at a Career as a Proofreader

by Rochelle C. Pangilinan
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

If you know of anyone who likes to read, they are probably one of those who are hyperaware of grammar and spelling. Some people automatically refer to them as grammar sticklers. However, anyone should know that one small mistake in spelling or punctuation can change the whole meaning of the sentence. In some cases, it not only results to outright embarrassment, but also loss of costs or profit.

Take for example in 2007 where a car dealership in order to drum up their sales came up with a plan to mail out 50,000 scratch tickets of which one will reveal a $1,000 cash prize. However, the marketing company instead printed all 50,000 scratch tickets revealing a $1,000 cash prize, leaving the dealership with egg on its face. They could only offer the “winners” a $5 Walmart gift card (which lead to $250,000 in loss).

Proofreaders – What You Need to Know

Writers and editors are usually the people who gain accolades for their output, but their work would not be successful without proofreaders checking every letter, every sentence, every paragraph, and every page, ensuring the overall work has its quality and consistency.

Proofreaders can work with a variety of materials depending on the nature of business they are employed with.  These materials can range from manuscripts, news articles, magazine articles, transcripts, advertising or marketing materials like brochures and pamphlets, and even legal or medical documents. There are also proofreaders who mainly work independently and they work with types of materials, including academic documents like dissertations and term papers. Their primary goal is to ensure that these documents are 100 per cent error-free and according to the organization’s guidelines and standards. In cases where documents have visual accompaniments, proofreaders are also required to ensure these come with the accurate captions or descriptions.


According to PayScale.com, a proofreader can earn as much as $26,488 – $68,148 a year.


If you are thinking of joining the workforce as a proofreader, completing a degree in English or any related field will get your foot in the door. Acquiring certificates in editing in universities that offer continuing studies education can also be a huge help.

To be a successful proofreader, you need to have an acute sense of grammar and spelling, as well as attention to detail and dedication to accuracy. You also need the skills and knowledge to retain information as every organization has their own specific guidelines with regards with how to proofread a copy or text. In other companies, proofreaders do more than verify grammar and spelling, they are also responsible for checking if language is consistent and the ideas are presented in a cohesive manner. Thus, it’s often the case that proofreaders are voracious readers themselves.

To enhance your proofreading skills, you can get in touch with associations like Editors.ca which constantly offers seminars in proofreading.

Pros and Cons

A great benefit of being a proofreader is you get easy access to written work that are not yet released in public. Although you are bound to confidentiality agreements, of course, you get to enjoy news articles or magazine articles before the world lays eyes on them and so there is a feeling of prestige.

A disadvantage of the job is that you often have to meet tight deadlines. Publications, whether print or digital, all have their timelines and so you have to get the work done efficiently and as timely as possible.




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