How much to charge for proofreading

How Much To Charge For Proofreading? A 2023 Guide

The question of how much to charge for proofreading must have crossed your mind if you are new to the world of proofreading. 

You may have come across videos and blog posts on how proofreading makes a great side hustle source. You may even see people claiming to proofread full-time! 

However, it can be overwhelming with all the information on how much do proofreaders charge. Do you do it per page, per hour, or per word?

When I first started my journey in the freelancing world, I had NO idea how to charge my clients. Best believe I made some mistakes and I hope this article will give you a clear picture of how much to charge for proofreading.

An example of a mistake I made was, I didn’t specify the font size and spacing when pricing. It should be Times New Roman, double spaced. Instead, I priced it per page and clients would send me documents with really tiny font, single spaced to try and squeeze more work for less pay -_-

A proofreader gives the document a new, impartial perspective that allows them to identify ambiguities and hazy concepts that a client might miss.

A proofreader’s perspective has a better representation of how the target audience might respond to a text, and when combined with linguistic expertise, it greatly enhances the output. 

Before you can showcase your talent, you will need to answer this question – how much should I charge for proofreading?

Read on to find out everything about how much to charge for proofreading!

Affiliate Link Disclosure

This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no extra cost to you.

If you want to know how to become a proofreader online but need some training, the Proofread Anywhere course helps you transition into a full-time proofreader/editor and run it as a well-paid business.

The Proofread Anywhere course begins with proofreading basics and then goes on to share advanced proofreading methods, how and where to find jobs, what rate to set, and common mistakes to avoid.

Caitlin is the lady who runs the course and she has been a proofreader since 2007. She turned her love for proofreading into a full-time job and now helps others do the same.

The Proofread Anywhere course is packed with 40+ lessons in 8 modules, grammar-specific worksheets, and real-life example jobs.

After passing with 90% or higher on the final exam you will receive a Certificate of Completion and access to the Self-Publishing School Preferred Outsourcer Rolodex.

Ps; Caitlin is offering a FREE Proofreading workshop that will help you learn the basic skills and decide on whether freelance proofreading is for you. Perfect if you want to know how to become a proofreader with no experience and if you are looking for proofreading courses online for free.

How Much To Charge For Proofreading

The cost of proofreading each word ranges from $0.014 to $0.018 That comes out to roughly $14–$18 for every 1000 words. The return time, level of skill of the proofreader, and type of writing may all affect the rates.

Here is a brief guide on how proofreaders across different expertise charge for their work.

ExpertiseRate per 1000 words
Literary fiction$15
Mystery and crime$14
Young Adult Fiction$13
Admission Document$20
Business Document$45

You might come across freelance proofreaders who charge significantly less for their services. However, you’ll never be able to tell if they’re an expert or not.

Numerous organizations and businesses charge low fees for sub-par proofreading services.

Factors Affecting Proofreading Rates

  • Workload
  • Qualifications And Experiences
  • Deadline
  • Type Of Document
  • Knowing Your Worth

1. Workload

First things first: request the exact document to be proofread by the client. Since certain documents are harder to check than others, this will affect the rates you set.

Try not to offer your rates upfront. You may come across texts with more errors, which will take up more of your time, and you can charge more. 

Refrain from assuming your workload will not be heavy because if you charge too low, the client might give you more work to complete. 

If the client is not willing to give you the complete document, request a copy of the content to review and proofread.

To offer your client a sense of your abilities, try proofreading the brief paragraph and submitting it.

The proofreader and the customer both profit from this tactic. Sign the agreement, go over the payment and deadline, then begin working. 

2. Qualifications And Experiences

The price of proofreading is based on experience, just like other services.

This is why you’ll find experienced freelance writers, editors, transcribers, or even teachers charging a high rate when they have more experience and knowledge in hand. 

If you’ve worked in a specific niche for a while, you should be able to charge more. 

That’s because, during your years of employment, you have run into the same kinds of paperwork and mistakes, giving you an added advantage with proofreading.

However, being familiar with the task is insufficient. The need for ongoing professional growth is also essential if you want to defend charging more.

Despite years of experience in the field, some proofreaders still possess the same level of expertise because they do not strive to improve their work.

If you would like to enhance your skills, here are some resources to help you.

Additionally, you can begin obtaining specialization training. A corporation or individual who specializes in proofreading translated texts exists. Others charge various prices for proofreading in British and American English. 

3. Deadline

Some proofreaders have rigid guidelines for how they will be paid in relation to the due date.

For instance, a short turnaround time has a different rate than a longer turnaround time. Factor in looming deadlines when pricing your services. 

A 2500-word essay should ideally be proofread within a day. So unless you are paid extra, avoid agreeing to a 15,000-word assignment due in three days.

The extra cost is justified because you will be completing tasks on your own time. 

Additionally, it’s crucial to let your client know if they have unreasonable expectations. Inform them that it’s impossible to complete a research piece in under a day, especially if the topic is outside your area of expertise.

Negotiations can go more smoothly with effective communication.

They’ll comprehend what you’re going through when proofreading a long document in a short period, and you can safeguard against burnout. 

4. Type Of Document

The type of writing is another factor to take into account when determining your proofreading fees.

Set your prices in accordance with the genre’s level of difficulty. Alternatively, you can limit your writing to one or two categories and ask more for them.

For instance, you might be a proficient proofreader with a focus on theses, research reports, and academic publications. 

Even if all you’re accountable for are mechanical mistakes, the method varies depending on the genre.

Jargon-filled materials, for instance, are harder to correct than writing that is more informal.

If you’re not yet an authority in your field, you can set lesser prices. Once you’ve had enough training and experience, you’ll finally be able to proofread at a high level in your specialty. 

5. Knowing Your Worth

Sometimes customers have inflated expectations and demand a lower price.

Consider a scenario in which a client objects to a freelancer’s rates Some freelance proofreaders cut prices in the conviction that having one client is better than none. 

However, if you want to be an excellent freelancer, do not implement this strategy.

Be firm about your rates.

It is beneficial to be open about how you charge them. Inform them that your rates are fair and take into account the genre, your level of experience, and the deadline.

You have put in the effort to learn this skill, be it by investing in a proofreading course, or you simply have spent hours mastering this skill. Your price should reflect the value you can offer. 

You can even evaluate other agencies’ prices to see how competitive yours are. 

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FAQs on How Much to Charge for Proofreading

What Is The Average Fee For Proofreading?

Wondering what is the average fee for proofreading? The typical rate for freelance proofreading services ranges from $0.014 to $0.018 per word, or $14 to $18 per 1000 words. Now you’ve got your answer to how much do proofreaders charge per word.

More money is offered to proofreaders who also provide copy editing work. 

You can make as much money as you would with certain 9 to 5 careers if you handle freelance proofreading like a full-time career. 

Try not to charge by the hour if possible. Certain employers will set you a tight deadline so they can make a smaller payment.

If a proofreading job typically takes 4 hours to finish, a potential client may ask for a 3-hour turnaround time just to save on the payment. 

The amount of time you spend editing doesn’t always determine how good your work will be.

You’ll need more time to complete it if you’re just starting out or if English isn’t your first language.

Meanwhile, professionals do their work faster as they have more experience on hand. 

When you bill by word count, payments will be both simpler and more reasonable.  Just keep in mind that each service has different editing requirements and a different level of editing available.

How Much Should I Charge As A Beginner Freelance Proofreader?

So, how much should I charge as a beginner freelance proofreader? As a beginner freelance proofreader, start with $14 to $18 for every 1000 words. 

It is entirely up to you how much you are going to bill your clients, and if you prefer not to publish your rates online, you can determine which one best suits the project on an individual basis. 

I personally like to bill by word for books or documents that are longer than 1500 words. 

For really brief documents, I find that a per-hour payment works better. Otherwise, you might not get paid adequately for your efforts. 

One drawback of charging this way is that you must be quite accurate in anticipating how long it will take you to complete a task so that the client has a ballpark figure of how much to pay.

How Much Should I Charge For Proofreading On Upwork?

So, how much should I charge for proofreading per hour on Upwork? The table below is the typical rates on the platform.

Beginner$20 per hour
Intermediate$30 per hour
Advanced$60 per hour

There are many factors that come to play in terms of freelance proofreading rates, such as skill and experience, geographic location, and economic circumstances might affect rates.

Although a high proofreading fee is often charged by an experienced freelancer, they also work more quickly, have more focused areas of expertise, and produce quality work.

How Much Do Proofreaders Charge Per Page?

So, how much do proofreaders charge per page? Proofreaders usually do not charge per page. 

An ineffective method of pricing proofreading is via the page. The number of pages you have depends on the document’s structure.

If there are wide margins and distance, a 500-word essay may take more than a page to print. The page count may also be impacted by the font size used.

How Much Do Proofreaders Charge Per Hour?

So, how much do proofreaders charge per hour? Only experienced proofreaders who are searching for full-time work and have a history in the field should use hourly fees.

Why? Experienced proofreaders usually have a set rate of their work. They are confident in how many documents they can prove read in an hour and know they can deliver the task. 

Beginner proofreaders are often still trying to test the waters as they are new to the field. 

If you’re a novice working a multiple-page document, hourly prices may not be accepted by your potential clients who know you will take some time to complete it.

For beginning and experienced proofreaders, charging by the word makes more sense than charging by the hour. While hourly rates are difficult to predict before the project is completed, word rates are set. Clients will instantly and risk-free sign a deal with you. 

The next time you’re thinking how much should I charge for proofreading or about proofreading rates in general, charge per word? 

Setting the price according to your level of skill is also simpler. If you’re just starting out, and you are wondering what to charge for proofreading, perhaps start below the average fee. 

Start with $0.013 per word and as your experience grows, you can increase your fee accordingly. 

So, now you know how much to charge for proofreading!

All you need to know about how much to charge for proofreading is answered in one concise article for you. 

You must be considering if proofreading can be done with a low startup cost. The first thing you think of when an individual suggests you use proofreading solutions is – is it worthwhile?

From my personal experience, let me just say that it is worthwhile. I hope you now have a clear idea about proofreading rates and are excited to get started!

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