Proofreader Career Profile

Do you want to work as a proofreader?

READ: This page helps you read about the career and the information you need to decide whether this is indeed the career you want to follow.
RESEARCH: ​Learn about the skills required and minimum subjects to enter this career, as well as the places where you can study further after school.
PREPARE: If you want to plan and prepare for your career, then join the OZT community! Members have access to tools while chatting with other students and experts from around the world. Prepare to be amazed!


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29 April 2024


What is a proofreader?

A proofreader is a professional who reviews written content for errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax, and formatting before it is published or finalized. Their primary responsibility is to ensure that written materials are accurate, clear, consistent, and free of errors or inconsistencies.

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Alternative Names

Alternative names for a proofreader could include:

  • Copy Editor
  • Text Editor
  • Manuscript Editor
  • Language Editor
  • Editorial Assistant
  • Quality Assurance Specialist
  • Grammar Guru
  • Syntax Checker
  • Error Detector
  • Language Polishing Expert

Types of Proofreaders

There are many kinds of proofreading, depending on the material. Here are some where you might be able to work with animals:

  • Manuscript Proofreader – Novels or even children’s books with animal characters
  • Scientific Proofreader – Those who are experts in a scientific field can also assist to make sure scientific publications are correct.
  • Online Article Proofreader – Proofreading material contained in online articles, such as blogs on animals and nature.
  • Marketing Proofreader – Any material used in marketing or sales need to be error free, as marketing animal welfare issues, for example, just don’t look good when they contain obvious errors.


There are on average 17 different techniques to proofread a document


The earliest mention of proofreading occurred in 1499 in a contract between two parties

What does a Proofreader do?


Business / Media / Education / Law & Enforcement / Marine Conservation / Wildlife Conservation / Zoos, Aquariums, Museums & Theme Parks


The primary focus of proofreaders is to meticulously read through a document to find spelling and grammar mistakes. Special proofreaders can use their knowledge of certain kinds of animals to proofread research documents.

Daily Tasks:

  • Discuss brief with clients
  • Proofread document
  • Do additional research of difficult terminology
  • Present to clients
  • Add new work to a portfolio
  • Administration and filing

Where they work:

Environment –

Proofreaders work primarily indoors, but can make time to research animals while outdoors.

Places of Employment –

Most proofreaders are self employed, and work as freelance proofreaders for clients, based on a contract. Those who are employed, normally work for publishing houses, or large institutions, such as an university, research facility or government.

Average Salary:

As most proofreaders are self employed, their income is based on obtaining contracts. They normally charge per hour, or per page, but on average the income per year is around $55,000. This will differ from country to country.


The most difficult part is always to get your work seen by future clients. They may work long hours and over weekends and holidays to finish work within tight deadlines.

​Future growth and Possibilities:

With new content being created every second of the day, there will always be a demand for professional proofreaders. As online publications increase, so will the niche market for the proofreaders with specific knowledge of scientific terminology.

3. Which Skills are required?

The skills required for a career as a proofreader can be divided into two very important groups. The first is the group containing life skills, which are the core skills that are necessary or desirable for full participation in everyday life. The second group is career skills, or the specific skills required to allow a person to enter and operate effectively within a specific career. Some or maybe even all of the life skills can assist in strengthening the career skills, and they might even be the same for specific careers.

Life Skills:

  • Self-awareness
  • Empathy
  • Critical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Decision making
  • Problem Solving
  • Effective communication
  • Interpersonal relationship

Career Skills:

  • ​Good business knowledge
  • Good writing skills
  • Basic customer service skills
  • Good health and physical fitness
  • Excellent computer literacy (language software)
Life Skills
Career Skills

4. Which Subjects must I have at School?

The subjects you choose at school are important as they lay the foundation for further studies at college or university. While still at school, it’s also important to learn more about the animals you will work with, as well as gain some experience.

OZT has a list of various tertiary institutions where you can study further, after school. Each of these institutions also have their own Group page on OZT where you will find the exact subjects they require of you to have passed in school. Keep these requirements in mind, and discuss it with your school, guidance counselor and parents to ensure that you are prepared!

5. What will I need to Study?

Minimum Requirements:

In most countries the minimum requirement to become a good proofreader is a High School certificate, but the best do have a qualification from a recognized College.


Major –

Subjects in language, editing or communications.

Short Courses –

Especially in editing software and copywriting techniques.


The duration of College and Bachelor’s Degrees can be up to 3 or 4 years. Short Courses are usually between a few weeks and a year.

Possible Career Preparation Paths:

If this is your dream career that you want to pursue, then it’s important to plan the way forward.

Why is planning important?

​To ensure that you understand the requirements for your career, and that you are always prepared for the next step on the road towards your dream. A Preparation Path is like your road map to where you want to be.

Possible Paths:

Possible Combined Career Paths:

It is possible to sometimes combine two or more related careers. This normally happens when you study and practice a specific main career, but the knowledge and experience gained also help you to have a paying hobby or secondary income career.

Possible Alternatives (there are a lot more):

Stepping Stone Career:

Being a proofreader can also be used as a stepping stone career. A stepping stone career is one which is used to help you get to another career, normally because the other career is too difficult to reach (sometimes due to things like high fees etc).

You can begin as an intern proofreader after basic short courses and expert guidance (maybe working under a mentor). The money made can then be used to pay for studies towards a promotion or another career, and the experience helps in gaining knowledge. One paying to help get to the other.

Some of the possible paths:

Training and apprenticeship:

Even though it is important to study to get into some of the animal careers, most of the skills you will need as a proofreader will be acquired through practice. This means that you will learn how to perform some of the daily tasks by actually doing it a few times and learning the steps.

In some cases entry level positions require training sessions even before you are allowed to actually perform your job duties. These sessions are offered by the place of employment, after you have successfully applied.

Apprenticeship is also possible where you need to learn skills from a more senior proofreader or expert.

Join the Proofreader Group in STEP 8 to learn more and even interact with the educational institutions that will help you secure your dream career!

Average level of education of all the people who enter the career:

High School Certificate 0%
Diploma or Short Courses 0%
Degree or Higher Studies 0%

6. Licenses, Certificate, Registration and Professional Associations

Certain animal careers require some form of legal certification to prove that you can indeed do the work, and work with the necessary equipment.

Although not required by law, certifications may help workers establish their credentials and enhance their skills.

Learn more about requirements by joining OZT in STEP 8.

Professional Associations:

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7. Where can I study further?

All of the above information will help you understand more about the Career, including the fact that there are different paths to take to reach it. But if you are almost done with High School (Grades 11 or 12), you also need to start thinking about further studies, and WHERE you will study.

See the List of Universities, Colleges and Online Training Academies who offer courses towards proofreading.

Proofreader Career

8. Join the OZT community

Join us as a special member and learn more about becoming a proofreader.

Members of the Platform have special access to:

  • Info on the best places where you can study (colleges, universities and online)
  • Expertly designed advice to prepare you for the career, and links to places where you can gain valuable experience. For some career experience is necessary, otherwise you wont get the job!
  • Top notch info on each of the different species you will work with
  • Make friends around the world and share knowledge
  • Compete and win points, badges, games, prizes and certificates. Be the best of the best, while you learn and prepare!

If you have decided on being a Proofreader, please click on the JOIN GROUP button. If this career is NOT the career for you, then you may return to the MAIN CAREER menu, and search for something different.

Other interesting Careers

Career Profiles and Resources

Career Mentors are Members who assist by volunteering to keep each Career Page factual and current, while mentoring Students in the related Career Group.

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Contributions by expert members are always appreciated to allow the Students to make informed decisions. Please add your contribution through the attached Form:

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List of Career Mentors/Educators who have contributed to this Career info:


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