Job Description for Proofreader
Proofreaders check the quality and consistency of a written work. They monitor the accuracy in both the text and images, such as with grammar, spelling, page numbers, consistency in typeface, and the table of contents. Proofreaders receive the proofs of a publication just before they are to be published. There should be few errors in the final proof, so if a proofreader spots too many mistakes, they may refer back to the client and copyeditor.Read More...
Proofreaders may work with a variety of materials, such as books, legal documents, scripts, court transcripts, new stories, journal articles, and magazine articles.Books, magazines, and journals often have specific guidelines for their written products, and it is the proofreader’s job to ensure that these guidelines are met; for example, a book may need all chapters to start on a right-hand page and bibliographies to be included in the correct style. Proofreaders also make sure that pictures and visuals are included on the appropriate pages and have captions to match.
There are three general types of proofreading: format, comparison, and content work. It is up to the client and proofreader to determine which option is appropriate. Format proofreading focuses on the physical layout of the text, and proofreaders will check for consistency in paragraph size, spacing, margins, and image layout. Comparison proofreading is when a proofreader compares the proof of the text to the original to ensure that everything matches. Content proofreading is more in-depth than the other two forms. It involves reading the text and making edits to spelling and grammar. Proofreaders must also ensure that the language is consistent and ideas are cohesive. If it is an expository text, they must check that all of the information is accurate.
Proofreaders typically must have a degree in English or a related field. Employers may prefer prior experience as a proofreader or copy editor.
- Proof new and existing materials to ensure accurate use of grammar and correct spelling.
- Verify correct word breaks and that elements are set according to design specifications.
- Ensure that all editorial changes have been inputed properly.
- Assist in light copyediting.
Proofreader Job Listings
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Popular Skills for Proofreader
Typical Proofreaders report a focused set of job skills. Those who have experience with Editing, Copywriting, and Proofreading can expect to be compensated well for these skills. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Proofreading. Those proficient in Editing are, more often than not, also skilled in Copywriting.
Pay by Experience Level for Proofreader
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Proofreaders with more experience do not necessarily bring home bigger paychecks. In fact, experience in this field tends to impact compensation minimally. Those in the early stages of their career can expect to make around $34K; however, individuals with five to 10 years of experience bring in $41K on average — a distinctly larger sum. On average, Proofreaders make $46K following one to two decades on the job. More than 20 years of experience mean a somewhat bigger median paycheck of $50K, but it's not much more than what less experienced people make.
Pay Difference by Location
For Proofreaders, Richmond provides a pay rate that is 25 percent greater than the national average. Proofreaders can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Portland (+22 percent), Washington (+22 percent), Chicago (+18 percent), and Los Angeles (+18 percent). The lowest-paying market is Atlanta, which sits 33 percent below the national average, proving that location is a significant contributor to overall pay. Two other places where employers offer below-median salaries are Buffalo (30 percent less) and Pittsburgh (9 percent less).