Proofreading is one of the most popular freelancing jobs. However, it has its challenges, one is figuring out the right amount to ask for from clients. This article will provide some insight into proofreading rates and help you decide the right amount to charge.
Definition: Proofreading rates
Proofreading rates are the prices that proofreaders charge for their services. They may differ based on factors like experience, subject, difficulty of the work, and style of work.2
|Style of work||Hourly proofreading rate|
|Working with a platform||$20 to $28|
|Independent freelancing||$36 to $40|
Independent freelancers make more money because they handle their clients directly. As a dependent freelancer, you have to offer additional services that you do not include in the invoice, like marketing and finding clients.3
Proofreading rates per word
Most proofreaders prefer charging their clients per word. Proofreading rates per word usually reflect precisely the amount of work involved.3 It also encourages service providers to naturally improve their speed because their earnings depend on their speed.4 The median proofreading rates per hour are $0.015 to $0.10.
Proofreaders can work independently or with a platform. The table below explains the difference between working for a platform or as an independent freelancer in the proofreading business.
|Working with a platform||Working as an independent freelancer|
|Allows you to connect with clients without handling the outreach directly||Finding clients independently|
|Lower rates||Better rates|
|The platform handles finding and communicating with clients||Communicating and connecting with clients independently|
|The platform handles all administrative tasks||Additional administrative work that you do not get paid for|
Proofreading rates: Independent vs. Platform
Rates also differ depending on whether you work independently or with a platform.1 Let us dive into the elements of each style of work.
Independent freelancing means that you can set the rates as you wish. However, it also means that you must find clients independently and handle all the communications with them. It also means that you must handle all administrative tasks.4
While you are free to decide your proofreading rates, the first thing you must consider is the rating style. You can formulate the proofreading rates per word, page, or hour.
|Per word||• It effectively reflects the amount of work involved.
• Earnings improve with speed
|• Not easy for clients to understand unless you quote the price per a specific number or words (like $10 per 1000 words)|
|Per hour||• Easy for clients to understand and for you to explain||• Speed does not improve your earnings unless you update as you gain speed.
• Clients cannot predict how much they must pay until the work is done.
|Per page||• Easy for clients to understand
• Earnings improve with speed
|• You must format the document consistently.
• Word count varies per page
Other than the rating style, some other factors that may influence the proofreading rates for an independent freelancer are:
- Deadline length
- Text type and quality
- Client expectations
There are many proofreading platforms that you can consider. The platforms find the clients, handle all administrative duties, and create a community of clients. So, you have the privilege of connecting with clients without handling the heavy loading.2
Proofreading platforms also provide stability in your work approach. The platforms offer standard editing guidelines and payment terms.1
However, working with a platform means that you may earn lower rates as the company must take a cut.1 However, the company with handles:
- Finding clients
- Communications with clients
- Administrative tasks
Factors influencing the proofreading rates
Numerous factors can influence proofreading rates. These factors are:
Text type and quality
The content of the proofreading task will affect the amount and difficulty of the work involved. Some things that determine the text type and quality are:
- Academic level: The writing standards differ depending on the academic level. The higher the level, the higher the standards.4
- Document type: the type is usually determined by its purpose. For instance, the document types for academic journals follow specific rules that differ from university course papers.4
- Subject matter: the subject affects the editing and writing requirements. For instance, science papers are more complex than humanities papers.4
Length of the deadline
The amount of time you have to deliver the job will also influence the proofreading rates. A shorter deadline means more work, so the rates are typically higher.1 However, some proofreaders set fixed deadlines to avoid too much pressure.
What the clients expect from the work will also affect the proofreading rates. Clients with higher expectations naturally pay more. However, managing clients’ expectations would be wise.3
The hourly proofreading rates range between $30 to $45 per hour. The rates may differ depending on various factors.
Proofreading 100 words may cost between $10 to $15. However, this depends on the service provider and the rating system.
Proofreading rates are influenced by the style of work, the length of the deadline, the complexity of the work, and the client’s expectations.
Proofreading rates are calculated per hour, word, or page.
1 Reedsy Blog. “How to Choose Your Proofreading Rates: A Freelancer’s Guide.” May 5, 2022. https://blog.reedsy.com/freelancer/proofreading-rates/.
2 Osmond, Candace. “Proofreading Rates – Per Word and Hourly With Charts.” Grammarist. Accessed on May 6, 2023. https://grammarist.com/editing/proofreading-rates-costs/.
3 Babcock, Lindsay. “How to Set Your Proofreading Rates: A Helpful Guide.” Omproofreading. April 28, 2023. https://omproofreading.com/how-to-set-your-proofreading-rates/.
4 Scribendi. “Value Proofreading: How Much Does Proofreading Cost? August 2022.” Accessed on May 6, 2023. https://www.scribendi.com/academy/articles/how_much_does_proofreading_cost.en.html?.