How Much Can a Freelance Proofreader Earn?
A career as a freelance proofreader has many benefits. You get to be your own boss, which means you’re in complete control of how, when, and where you work. But with this freedom comes a big responsibility – deciding how much to charge clients for your work.
So how much can a freelance proofreader earn?
We know that lots of people worry about whether they’ll make enough money. As a new proofreader, it’s important to understand how to set your freelance proofreading rates and make sure you aren’t undercharging (or overcharging!) for your services.
In this post, we’ll explain how to set your freelance proofreading rates and look at the rates recommended by proofreading organizations. Plus we’ll show you how Knowadays can set you up to earn as a freelancer with our partner company Proofed.
How Do You Set Freelance Proofreading Rates?
There are three important steps you should take when setting your freelance proofreading rates:
- Decide whether to charge per hour, per word, or per page.
- Research the recommended rates in your country.
- Adapt your rates according to the nature of the project and your level of experience.
Charging Per Hour, Per Word, or Per Page
Let’s have a look at the three main ways to charge for freelance proofreading services:
- Per Hour – Charging per hour is a simple way of working out your rates. However, it does mean you need to give clients an accurate estimate of how long each job will take. If you misjudge this, you will need to either renegotiate part way through a job (which your client may not appreciate) or undercharge for the extra hours you work.
- Per Word – Charging per word means you can give a reliable estimate of how much you’ll charge a client for a job. Most freelancers either quote per word or per 1,000 words. The downside of this is that the word count is only one factor in how long a job may take, therefore you may need to adjust your rate depending on the complexity of the job.
- Per Page – Although this may seem a simple method, charging per page can be difficult; the pages of a document can vary widely depending on font size and type, spacing, and margin size. To avoid confusion, many proofreaders steer clear of charging per page.
Average Freelance Proofreading Rates
In this post, we’re going to focus on hourly rates, as there is more information available on those. However, if you prefer to charge per word or per page, we’d recommend looking at what other proofreaders are charging for similar work, then setting a rate that reflects your own level of experience.
The hourly rates recommended by proofreading organizations include:
|Organization||Location||Minimum Per Hour|
Estimates for annual proofreading salary vary depending on where you look. No one website has all the data. Here are some current proofreading salary estimates for the United States:
|U.S. Bureau Of Labor Statistics||$43,940|
Factors that Affect Proofreading Rates
The rates you charge can vary significantly based on factors such as:
- How experienced you are as a proofreader
- How complex the job is (e.g., you may charge more for ESL work)
- Whether you are working in a specialist subject area (e.g., technical writing)
- The type of client (e.g., corporate clients may pay more than individuals)
- The client’s desired turnaround time (some freelancers will charge a rush fee for work with a short deadline)
As a new proofreader, you may initially charge lower rates than those listed above.
Over time, as you gain experience, you’ll be able to provide a higher quality service to your clients – and can raise your rates to reflect that.
How to Explain Your Rates
Once you’ve set your rates, stick to them! It can be hard to stand firm in the face of opposition, but you deserve to be paid fairly for your work. If a potential client questions your rates, don’t be tempted to apologize or over explain. Briefly summarize the factors you took into consideration when setting your rates and highlight the value you will add to their project for that amount.
Once you’ve secured a client, always make sure to agree on a contract. This will set out the scope of the work you’re agreeing to deliver, how much you will be paid, when you will be paid, and how. This can help to avoid any disputes further down the line.
How Much Can You Earn with Proofed?
If you pass our Becoming A Proofreader course with distinction (80% or more), you’ll qualify for a trial period with our partner company, Proofed.
To start with, you’ll be paid to proofread up to 20 documents, with a maximum of 1,000 or 2,000 words apiece. If you successfully complete the trial, you’ll then be invited to work for Proofed as a full-fledged professional proofreader. You’ll get to proofread all sorts of different documents of varying lengths on a fantastic variety of subjects! As you continue to gain experience – and positive feedback – you’ll be able to tackle an increasing volume of work and more challenging assignments.
But how much will you earn?
- Proofed pays $9 per 1,000 words, so it’s tricky to establish an hourly rate. This will vary depending on the ease or difficulty of the document, as well as the editor’s level of experience.
- On average, freelancers earn around $12–16 per hour with Proofed once they have proofread enough documents to be able to work with confidence.
- This can rise to as much as $18–25 per hour as they gain more experience, take on add-on services, and work on a wider range of documents and projects.
As you can see, by working with Proofed, you can pay off the cost of training with Knowadays in less than a month, so this offers a great way to start earning as a freelance proofreader.
A freelance career with Proofed has many other advantages, too, such as:
- Being able to take on as much or as little work as you want
- Being able to work where you want and when you want
- Not having to worry about finding clients or doing your own admin
- Having the flexibility to pursue other interests alongside your paid work
- Developing skills that you can use with other clients
So while freelance proofreading may not make you a fortune in the short term, it can offer a brilliant balance between a reliable income and personal freedom. And there’s no better way to take your first steps in this career than with Knowadays!
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