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10 Qualifications You Need to Be a Proofreader in 2023

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When you’re eager about becoming a digital nomad, making good cash on-line whereas lazing on a seaside by the Mediterranean, or tenting on the hovering Canadian Rockies, I like to recommend that you simply strive 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 wherever.

I started freelance proofreading once 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 one in all 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, for those who’re eager about proofreading on-line, you’ll first have to think about the various necessities to safe proofreading jobs. So, that will help you out, I listed out the ten {qualifications} that you’ll want to be a contract proofreader.

With out additional ado, let’s start.

☞ SEE ALSO: How to Become a Proofreader

{Qualifications} to Be a Proofreader

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

Nonetheless, it’s a lot more durable to do properly as a proofreader with out these expertise, so I undoubtedly suggest engaged on them. With that being stated, 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 turning into a contract proofreader is the completion of a proofreading course. Not solely will this permit you to achieve worthwhile perception into the basics of grammar and proofreading, however you’ll even be extra marketable to potential shoppers. The best course may also expose you to the terminology, guidelines, and greatest practices for locating errors, recognizing inconsistencies, and enhancing the writing of others.

One of many best proofreading courses out there is the Knowadays Becoming a Proofreader course, because it comes with assured work with their companion 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, sources, and confidence to begin proofreading professionally. So, I undoubtedly suggest taking some type 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 expertise.

Now, I do know that this level may be slightly apparent to you however it should be stated. Realizing the ins and outs of grammar and punctuation is crucial for figuring out errors in written content material, corresponding to misplaced commas, misused phrases, inaccurate verb tenses, incorrect pronoun utilization, sentence fragments, and extra. It’s unquestionably one of the crucial essential expertise a proofreader should have.

When you’re not totally snug along with your present English expertise, you may at all times take a category on English grammar. Doing this helped me tremendously once 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 need to preface this by saying that having post-secondary expertise is certainly not a requirement for working as a web-based proofreader. Nonetheless, having some kind of college diploma or diploma can actually make it easier to thrive as knowledgeable proofreader.

This doesn’t should 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 may additionally make you stand out for being extra specialised in your proofreading area of interest.

Example of proofreading qualifications on a laptop.

As an illustration, 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 achieve extra shoppers than I might have been capable of in any other case.

4. Pc Expertise

Having some expertise, or data, working with computer systems is vital for working as a web-based proofreader. And don’t fear, it doesn’t should be in depth; you don’t must know tips on how 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 of use digital instruments like PDF editors, grammar-checking packages, text-comparing software program, and different purposes with ease, realizing tips on how to navigate a pc is crucial. Moreover, with a purpose to be environment friendly (and subsequently, make more cash) as a proofreader, you’ll additionally want quick and correct typing expertise.

My laptop data 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 data is considerably restricted too.

5. Familiarity with One or Extra Model Guides

One other important qualification to be a proofreader is to be educated with a number of model guides, corresponding to MLA, APA, and Chicago model. That is particularly necessary for those who’re hoping to proofread pupil papers and tutorial writing.

Why is that this the case? Nicely, a key element of proofreading entails checking the formatting of the written content material, and every model information has totally different formatting guidelines. As an illustration, the citations in MLA require the writer’s final title and web page quantity, whereas the citations in APA require the writer’s final title and publication yr.

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 might help). When you’re eager about reviewing the model guides, I like to recommend testing the Purdue Online Writing Lab.

6. Element-Oriented

Presumably one of the crucial necessary qualities you’ll want to be a proofreader is to be detail-oriented.

That is one other apparent level, however it should be stated 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 for those who’re required to nit-pick an article, being meticulous is crucial.

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

7. Self-Disciplined and Nice with Deadlines

Subsequent, two of essentially the most vital expertise that you simply’ll must have with a purpose to achieve success as a contract proofreader are self-discipline and assembly deadlines.

Assembly deadlines early and promptly exhibits shoppers that you simply’re knowledgeable and reliable proofreader. This makes it extra possible that the shoppers will return to you repeatedly, they usually’ll even be extra more likely to suggest your providers to different potential shoppers.

pros of being a proofreader

When you’re anxious 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 offer myself an earlier deadline than the one supplied. That means, I can make sure that I meet my deadlines on time, and sometimes even earlier than anticipated.

General, as a proofreader, you should be capable of keep organized and on high of your initiatives. So, construct good habits to make sure that you at all times stay dependable and constant in your work.

8. Time Administration Expertise

When you’re nonetheless questioning what {qualifications} you’ll want to be a proofreader, one of the crucial essential expertise that you simply’ll want is time administration expertise.

That is much like being self-disciplined, however it does differ in some methods. Sure, you want time administration expertise with a purpose to meet your deadlines, however excelling at time administration additionally entails being organized, prioritizing crucial or most arduous duties, setting targets, and making a schedule.

As an illustration, once I’m planning to spend an entire day proofreading, I set short-term targets for the way a lot of the written content material I need to get by means of by (for instance) 12 o’clock. I additionally wish to give attention to one process at a time; for example, I’ll begin by specializing in proofreading the formatting and citations, then I’ll examine to see in the event that they use the Oxford comma or not, and many others.

9. Able to Working Independently

With the ability to work independently is an important qualification for turning into a freelance proofreader.

Proofreading is a job with little to no collaboration. This is likely one of the biggest cons to proofreading; it could actually typically get isolating. Whereas there are methods to mitigate these emotions of seclusion (corresponding to utilizing co-working areas or bonding along with your roommates at a hostel), working independently with out co-workers or supervisors requires plenty of self-motivation and group expertise.

Moreover, you should be able to effectively perfecting an article with out a lot (if any) assist or steering from others. This type of self-reliance requires the event of fine habits corresponding to setting real looking targets and studying to handle distractions.

I discovered that these expertise got here with time, however belief me, it at all times helps to have them earlier than you change into a web-based proofreader and start taking in your first jobs.

10. Stellar Communication Expertise

Final however not least, one of the crucial important {qualifications} to change into a proofreader is having stellar communication expertise.

As a proofreader, you’ll usually want to speak with shoppers, editors, and others with a purpose to make sure that your work (and the ultimate product) is ideal and meets the consumer’s expectations. So, having robust communication expertise will permit you to successfully clarify any adjustments that you simply made and reply any questions that the shoppers may need.

example of proofreading communication skills

Being a robust communicator can be necessary so that you can ask any pertinent inquiries to your shoppers, inform them of any points that will come up, and preserve 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 more likely to request your proofreading providers once more sooner or later.

{Qualifications} for Proofreaders: FAQs

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

What {qualifications} do you’ll want to be a proofreader?

Whilst you don’t want any official certifications or levels to change into knowledgeable proofreader, having some school expertise might help. Further traits and expertise {that a} proofreader wants are a flair within the English language, familiarity with a number of model guides, time administration expertise, and robust 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 actually need is a robust grasp of the English language.

What expertise do I must be a proofreader?

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

Can I be a proofreader with none expertise?

Sure, you may undoubtedly be a proofreader with none expertise. Whereas it could actually take a while to construct a gentle consumer base, so long as you’re affected person and have a robust resume, you’ll be thriving as a digital nomad very quickly. You can too 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 pace, expertise degree, and specialty. Nonetheless, as a newbie proofreader with low expertise, you may anticipate to make $12 to $15 USD per hour.

In Conclusion

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

And bear in mind, you don’t essentially want all of those {qualifications} to change into a profitable proofreader; many of those expertise could be realized. From taking a proofreading or grammar course, turning into acquainted with a pc, reviewing the model guides, or working in your time administration expertise, I imagine that anybody can change into 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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