10 {Qualifications} You Must Be a Proofreader in 2023

For those who’re interested by changing into a digital nomad, making good cash on-line whereas lazing on a seashore by the Mediterranean, or tenting on the hovering Canadian Rockies, I like to recommend that you just attempt proofreading on-line. Earlier than you begin, nonetheless, you’ll want to think about the {qualifications} to be a proofreader.

With a lot written content material being launched in right this moment’s digital world, proofreading is in demand. And by chance, this job could be labored from anyplace.

I started freelance proofreading after I began dwelling overseas in Japan, and the additional money allowed me to backpack across the whole nation; from exploring Tokyo to trekking round Iriomote Island. Proofreading can be considered one of my favourite on-line jobs; it’s a lot enjoyable to learn all kinds of written work, from pupil sociology essays to media information articles and neuroscience analysis papers.

However, if you happen to’re interested by proofreading on-line, you’ll first have to think about the numerous necessities to safe proofreading jobs. So, that will help you out, I listed out the ten {qualifications} that it’s good to be a contract proofreader.

With out additional ado, let’s start.

☞ SEE ALSO: Learn how to Grow to be a Proofreader

{Qualifications} to Be a Proofreader

Earlier than we dive proper in, I simply wish to make clear that whereas having these 10 {qualifications} to grow to be a proofreader is very really useful earlier than beginning your proofreading profession, not all of them are required. Many of those abilities could be realized or developed whereas working as a proofreader, and there are lots of proofreaders which might be simply as profitable with out a few of these traits.

Nevertheless, it’s a lot tougher to do properly as a proofreader with out these abilities, so I undoubtedly advocate engaged on them. With that being mentioned, let’s get began with the ten final {qualifications} to be a proofreader:

1. Take a Proofreading Course

First, one of many key {qualifications} for changing into a contract proofreader is the completion of a proofreading course. Not solely will this assist you to acquire beneficial perception into the basics of grammar and proofreading, however you’ll even be extra marketable to potential shoppers. The fitting course may also expose you to the terminology, guidelines, and finest practices for locating errors, recognizing inconsistencies, and bettering the writing of others.

Among the best proofreading programs accessible is the Knowadays Becoming a Proofreader course, because it comes with assured work with their accomplice firm, Proofed.

Hand working on editing blurry text with a pen and computer on the desk

Whereas I by no means personally took a course particular to proofreading, I did take a grammar and punctuation refresher previous to beginning my first proofreading job, and it was instrumental in offering me with the instruments, assets, and confidence to begin proofreading professionally. So, I undoubtedly advocate taking some sort of course earlier than you begin to proofread on-line.

2. Robust Grammar and Punctuation Expertise

Subsequent, one of many greatest necessities to be a proofreader is to have distinctive grammar and punctuation abilities.

Now, I do know that this level is perhaps somewhat apparent to you nevertheless it should be mentioned. Understanding the ins and outs of grammar and punctuation is crucial for figuring out errors in written content material, akin to misplaced commas, misused phrases, inaccurate verb tenses, incorrect pronoun utilization, sentence fragments, and extra. It’s no doubt probably the most essential abilities a proofreader should have.

For those who’re not completely snug together with your present English abilities, you’ll be able to all the time take a category on English grammar. Doing this helped me tremendously after I first began out; I by no means appreciated what number of guidelines there are within the English language till I took a category on it!

3. Publish-Secondary Expertise

I wish to preface this by saying that having post-secondary expertise is certainly not a requirement for working as a web-based proofreader. Nevertheless, having some type of school diploma or diploma can actually allow you to thrive as knowledgeable proofreader.

This doesn’t must be an English diploma; any post-secondary expertise can offer you a bonus over opponents because it makes you extra marketable to potential shoppers. It could actually additionally make you stand out for being extra specialised in your proofreading area of interest.

Example of proofreading qualifications on a laptop.

For example, whereas I’ve a bachelor’s diploma, it isn’t in English, it’s in neuroscience. And having this diploma offers me an enormous benefit when proofreading tutorial articles, analysis papers, grants, and theses in STEM. So, having some school expertise has personally helped me acquire extra shoppers than I’d have been capable of in any other case.

4. Pc Expertise

Having some expertise, or information, working with computer systems is vital for working as a web-based proofreader. And don’t fear, it doesn’t must be intensive; you don’t have to know methods to construct programming or something like that. However you’ll undoubtedly profit from being snug with the fundamentals and fundamentals.

As skilled proofreaders should be capable to use digital instruments like PDF editors, grammar-checking packages, text-comparing software program, and different functions with ease, figuring out methods to navigate a pc is crucial. Moreover, to be able to be environment friendly (and subsequently, make more cash) as a proofreader, you’ll additionally want quick and correct typing abilities.

My laptop information is fairly fundamental; I understand how to make use of Microsoft Workplace, Adobe Acrobat, WordPress, and Google Docs. And that is sufficient for many proofreaders, so don’t fear in case your laptop information is considerably restricted too.

5. Familiarity with One or Extra Fashion Guides

One other important qualification to be a proofreader is to be educated with a number of model guides, akin to MLA, APA, and Chicago model. That is particularly essential if you happen to’re hoping to proofread pupil papers and tutorial writing.

Why is that this the case? Nicely, a key element of proofreading includes checking the formatting of the written content material, and every model information has totally different formatting guidelines. For example, the citations in MLA require the creator’s final title and web page quantity, whereas the citations in APA require the creator’s final title and publication 12 months.

A young man is proofreading and editing on his computer.

Fortunately, I gained familiarity with model guides by means of my school diploma (one more reason why having some post-secondary expertise may help). For those who’re interested by reviewing the model guides, I like to recommend trying out the Purdue Online Writing Lab.

6. Element-Oriented

Presumably probably the most essential qualities it’s good to be a proofreader is to be detail-oriented.

That is one other apparent level, nevertheless it should be mentioned regardless. As a proofreader, you want to have the ability to choose up on even the subtlest of errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation, and syntax. And if you happen to’re required to nit-pick an article, being meticulous is crucial.

I discover that one of the simplest ways to hone this talent is to begin studying by means of an article a number of instances and pay shut consideration to the usage of language, grammar, punctuation, and extra. I generally get sidetracked by how fascinating the written content material is (and sometimes, how boring), so re-reading the writing a number of instances is certainly needed. With sufficient apply and dedication, you’ll grow to be more proficient at recognizing errors and inconsistencies in written content material.

7. Self-Disciplined and Nice with Deadlines

Subsequent, two of essentially the most essential abilities that you just’ll have to have to be able to achieve success as a contract proofreader are self-discipline and assembly deadlines.

Assembly deadlines early and promptly reveals shoppers that you just’re knowledgeable and reliable proofreader. This makes it extra doubtless that the shoppers will return to you many times, and so they’ll even be extra prone to advocate your providers to different potential shoppers.

pros of being a proofreader

For those who’re nervous that you could be not be self-disciplined sufficient to be a proofreader, don’t fret; there are lots of methods so that you can keep up to the mark. One of many greatest hacks that I exploit is to present myself an earlier deadline than the one offered. That approach, I can be sure that I meet my deadlines on time, and infrequently even earlier than anticipated.

General, as a proofreader, you need to be capable to keep organized and on prime of your tasks. So, construct good habits to make sure that you all the time stay dependable and constant in your work.

8. Time Administration Expertise

For those who’re nonetheless questioning what {qualifications} it’s good to be a proofreader, probably the most essential abilities that you just’ll want is time administration abilities.

That is much like being self-disciplined, nevertheless it does differ in some methods. Sure, you want time administration abilities to be able to meet your deadlines, however excelling at time administration additionally includes being organized, prioritizing crucial or most arduous duties, setting objectives, and making a schedule.

For example, after I’m planning to spend an entire day proofreading, I set short-term objectives for the way a lot of the written content material I wish to get by means of by (for instance) 12 o’clock. I additionally wish to give attention to one activity at a time; as an illustration, I’ll begin by specializing in proofreading the formatting and citations, then I’ll test to see in the event that they use the Oxford comma or not, and so forth.

9. Able to Working Independently

Having the ability to work independently is a necessary qualification for changing into a contract proofreader.

Proofreading is a job with little to no collaboration. This is without doubt one of the best cons to proofreading; it might probably generally get isolating. Whereas there are methods to mitigate these emotions of seclusion (akin to utilizing co-working areas or bonding together with your roommates at a hostel), working independently with out co-workers or supervisors requires quite a lot of self-motivation and group abilities.

Moreover, you should be able to effectively perfecting an article with out a lot (if any) assist or steerage from others. This sort of self-reliance requires the event of excellent habits akin to setting life like objectives and studying to handle distractions.

I discovered that these abilities got here with time, however belief me, it all the time helps to have them earlier than you grow to be a web-based proofreader and start taking in your first jobs.

10. Stellar Communication Expertise

Final however not least, probably the most very important {qualifications} to grow to be a proofreader is having stellar communication abilities.

As a proofreader, you’ll typically want to speak with shoppers, editors, and others to be able to be sure that your work (and the ultimate product) is ideal and meets the shopper’s expectations. So, having sturdy communication abilities will assist you to successfully clarify any modifications that you just made and reply any questions that the shoppers may need.

example of proofreading communication skills

Being a powerful communicator can be essential so that you can ask any pertinent inquiries to your shoppers, inform them of any points that will come up, and maintain them up to date in your progress (particularly if it’s a big job).

General, this helps construct a way of belief and rapport between you and your clientele, which makes them extra prone to request your proofreading providers once more sooner or later.

{Qualifications} for Proofreaders: FAQs

Listed below are some solutions to generally requested questions in regards to the required {qualifications} of a proofreader:

What {qualifications} do it’s good to be a proofreader?

Whilst you don’t want any official certifications or levels to grow to be knowledgeable proofreader, having some school expertise may help. Further traits and abilities {that a} proofreader wants are an inherent ability within the English language, familiarity with a number of model guides, time administration abilities, and powerful consideration to element.

Do I would like a certification to be a proofreader?

No, you don’t want any certification to be a proofreader. You’re not even required to have a level! All you really want is a powerful grasp of the English language.

What abilities do I have to be a proofreader?

Some abilities which might be required to be a profitable on-line proofreader embrace being detail-oriented, self-disciplined, and arranged, and having distinctive communication, time administration, and English abilities.

Can I be a proofreader with none expertise?

Sure, you’ll be able to undoubtedly be a proofreader with none expertise. Whereas it might probably take a while to construct a gradual shopper base, so long as you’re affected person and have a powerful resume, you’ll be thriving as a digital nomad very quickly. It’s also possible to expedite the method by taking a proofreading course.

How a lot do proofreaders make?

On-line proofreaders could make round $25 to $45 USD per hour, relying on their velocity, expertise stage, and specialty. Nevertheless, as a newbie proofreader with low expertise, you’ll be able to anticipate to make $12 to $15 USD per hour.

In Conclusion

I hope this text helped you identify whether or not or not you will have the talents and traits essential to work as a web-based freelance proofreader.

And keep in mind, you don’t essentially want all of those {qualifications} to grow to be a profitable proofreader; many of those abilities could be realized. From taking a proofreading or grammar course, changing into acquainted with a pc, reviewing the model guides, or working in your time administration abilities, I consider that anybody can grow to be knowledgeable proofreader in the event that they put within the work and energy required.

So, open up your laptops and polish up your resumes, it’s time to begin your proofreading profession.

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