Proofreaders do final checks on written work before it goes to print or becomes live on a website. Proofreaders work for newspapers, magazines, websites and publishing companies. They may specialise in specific fields or publications, such as business reports and academic works.

Duties and tasks

  • Check for correct grammar/spelling and makes edits as necessary
  • Check that all photos/illustrations are correctly captioned
  • Check that text is correct and matches the original, with consistent and correct styles
  • Make sure page numbers, captions, headings are all correct
  • Make sure the style is appealing/setup as its intended to be
  • Mark corrections to be made and revise as necessary

Skills required

  • A degree in English or a related field is helpful
  • A keen eye for detail
  • Ability to concentrate for long periods of time
  • Excellent communicators
  • Excellent spelling/grammar skills
  • Interest in publishing/writing/editing preferred
  • Scrupulous about detailed work

Working conditions

Many Proofreaders are self-employed and work from home on a part-time basis, but others work full-time for the agencies/organizations listed above. In either case, their working environments are quite comfortable, though they may experience eye-strain from excessive reading/computer use. Proofreaders should generally bring excellent qualifications and experience to the table, as on-the-job training is not often provided.

Professional associations / Industry information

Canberra Society of Editors

Media Entertainment & Arts Alliance

Society of Editors (NSW)

Society of Editors (Queensland) Inc

Society of Editors (Tasmania)

Society of Editors (Victoria)

The Institute of Professional Editors Limited (IPEd)

The Society of Editors (SA)

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