Proofreading Rates – How Much Money Can You Ask For?

13.05.23 Academic writing tips Time to read: 4min

How do you like this article?

0 Reviews


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.

Proofreading Rates – In a Nutshell

  • Proofreading rates are the sums you ask for from clients for providing them with proofreading services.1
  • The rates differ significantly depending on various factors, like experience, difficulty, the quantity of work, and the subject.2
  • These rates also differ depending on whether you are working with a platform or as an independent freelancer.2
  • Independent freelancers charge more for proofreading services than those working with a platform.1

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
Tips for the final format revision of your thesis

Adjusting the format according to your university’s requirements is typically the final step. After several times of proofreading, many become blinkered to their own work and miss formatting mistakes. A 3D Look inside function representing the real-life version that can be edited virtually creates a fresh eye for formatting mistakes and helps you to detect them again.

Open your eyes with this function for free!

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.

Rating style Advantages Disadvantages
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
  • Invoicing
  • 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.

Client expectations

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

How to avoid point deductions

Point deductions can also be caused when citing passages that are not written in your own words. Don’t take a risk and run your paper through our online plagiarism checker. You will receive the results in only 10 minutes and submit your paper with confidence.

To the plagiarism checker


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.

2 Osmond, Candace. “Proofreading Rates – Per Word and Hourly With Charts.” Grammarist. Accessed on May 6, 2023.

3 Babcock, Lindsay. “How to Set Your Proofreading Rates: A Helpful Guide.” Omproofreading. April 28, 2023.

4 Scribendi. “Value Proofreading: How Much Does Proofreading Cost? August 2022.” Accessed on May 6, 2023.