How Much Do Freelance Proofreaders Make?

The biggest worry for anyone looking to get into proofreading is always the financial end of the job. Questions arise with the uncertainty of how constant the money gets paid out. Now the biggest question for anyone is the mode to charge for the services they have offered.

We have two modes that you can use to charge clients. The choice depends on your preference, and they all have their good and bad sides. They are:

  • Per hour – this is a simple way of working out your rates. It, however, requires you to give your clients an accurate estimate of the duration of each job. If you underquote the job and it ends up taking longer than you had agreed with the client, you can either undercharge for the extra time or renegotiate halfway through the job.
  • Per word – this means you can give a reliable estimate of how much you charge a client. When starting, most freelancers either quote per word or 1000 words for a flat rate.

Your capability to make money proofreading will depend on how much and where you work. A freelance proofreader’s salary is based on his output and work ethic. While there are set guidelines on the amount to be paid, you can also charge the assigned task. You can either charge depending on the technicality of the work or with the amount of time estimated to take. We shall visit the internationally set rates later on. But for the new freelance proofreaders, it is hard for them to be trusted at the set rate.

While we explore how to make money as a proofreader, some of the new freelance proofreaders are proactive by going out to get the available jobs. With freelance proofreaders seeking to get employed to go through the available jobs available, they try to get paid to edit essays. These vary from college admission essays to any school work that the students may need proofread before submitting their grades.

Average hourly rates

The rates charged can vary depending on:

  • Your experience as a copy editor and proofreader
  • The complexity of your job
  • The specialty subject area you are working on – technical writing
  • Clientele – Corporates tend to pay more than individuals

Proofreading organizations have recommended rates depending on the level of work to be done. The following are some of the international organizations and their set rates:

EFA (US) – $30 – 40 per hour

SFEP (UK) – £25 – 30 per hour (approx. $32 – 38 per hour)

AFEPI (IRE) – €25 – €35 per hour (approx. $27 – 38 per hour)

As such, most of the new proofreaders end up charging lower rates than those listed. They charge as low as $12 per hour, making it difficult to break into the freelance proofreading industry.

After establishing your resume and your name during the times of low pay and making it through with an impressive track record, it is now time for you as a freelance proofreader to start setting your rates regarding the work you produce. It is easier to set your rates without making it too hard for clients to believe what you are offering.

On the other hand, you can use the competitive rates set by international freelance proofreaders’ organizations.

Final take

There is money in this and most careers, but hard work is required to ensure success and a continuation of work supply. Determination, passion, and a never below-perfect work rate will ensure your success or failure in the industry. While money is what we all seek, the level of work you produce will determine how much you make at the end of the day.

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