Over the years I’ve found that editing can vastly improve one’s writing skills. it’s a great way to sharpen your writing skills and develop a keen sense of how to make your writing flow. In my time as an editor, I’ve become much more adept at improving sentence structure, paragraph structure, and prose (writing like a human, not a robot).
So if your ultimate goal is to elevate your writing skills, then getting some professional editing experience is certainly going to be worth the time. Becoming a freelance editor can be rewarding and lucrative, whether it helps you improve your writing skills or simply allows you to earn money to fund your lifestyle.
One of the best perks of freelance editing is that you get to completely avoid the tedious process of finding clients. So how do you score one of these freelance editor jobs that pay upwards of $30 an hour?
By working for editing companies that find the clients for you. So instead of reaching out to potential clients and pitching your skills, the editing company assigns you projects for clients that they already have established relationships with.
What Is The Commitment For These Freelance Editing Jobs
For the five companies listed below, you can either make your editing work a side hustle or, if you hustle, your main source of income. For most of these companies, you can work anywhere from 5 hours per week up to more than 40 hours per week, depending on the work they have available each week.
As is common in the writing industry, you will be paid by the word rather than by the hour. That means that as your editing speed improves, your pay will increase as well. You may start by making around $20 an hour, but as your editing skills progress, you can expect to make upwards of $30 an hour.
For each editing task, you are shown the topic, word count, total pay, and deadline before accepting or rejecting the assignment. Once you’ve accepted the task, you can make your own hours as long as you submit it by the deadline. You will generally be paid more for editing assignments with tighter deadlines (one day as opposed to one week).
All five companies below are actively looking for freelance editors. You’ll be editing documents ranging from student essays, dissertations, academic journal articles, cover letters, and business documents.
Scribendi requires an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in any “relevant” field and at least three years of experience in editing, writing, or language teaching. These three years of experience don’t have to be “professional” experience. For example, two years doing unpaid language tutoring plus one year writing for your school newspaper would count as three years of experience. So if you’re a recent college graduate, chances are you’re already qualified and can start working your own hours while making a higher than normal salary compared to traditional jobs straight out of college.
Application process: First, you’ll have to submit a resume. If that’s approved, you’ll be invited to take an editing test. The test will simulate an actual editing task assigned to you. You’ll be given a sample document riddled with errors, which you’ll have to remove using Microsoft Word’s “tracked changes” feature. Your performance will be based on how many errors you overlook. If you pass the editing test, you’ll be invited to join the editing team. The pay rate ranges from $25 to $30 per hour.
Proofed requires basic editing skills and a bachelor’s degree in any field. If you lack any professional editing experience, Proofed offers a quick editing course to get your skills to where they need to be to get hired.
Application process: Proofed has one of the most approachable application processes for beginners. They give you the option of taking an editing crash course called Proofreading Academy. You have to pay for it, but it’s worth it in the long run. Once you’ve completed the course, which takes about a week, you’re guaranteed to be hired by them if you pass the final test at the end of the course. If you fail the exam, don’t worry, you’re permitted three more attempts. After each attempt, you’ll receive feedback to help you succeed in the next attempt. Pay rate: Around $25 to $30 per hour on average.
Scribbr doesn’t require you to have any professional editing experience, so it’s more easily attainable for freelance editors just starting out. The only credential required is a bachelor’s degree.
Application process: First, you’ll have to take a challenging quiz that tests your grammar and language abilities. Before attempting the quiz it’s recommended to study and review grammar rules.
If you fail the first time, you’ll have the option to try again when a new version of the quiz is created, usually several months later. That is why it’s recommended to study beforehand.
After passing the quiz, you’ll be given a sample document that you’ll have to edit and return within several days. If you pass the sample edit, you’ll be invited to begin their renowned training program, Scribbr Academy. Once you’ve completed the academy, you’re now ready to take on freelance editing jobs. The pay rate is 20 to 25 euros per hour. If you prefer to be paid in a different currency, such as USD, they will convert it for free.
Wordvice requires a minimum of two years of prior editing experience. They also expect that you have a bachelor’s degree and a graduate degree or are currently enrolled in a graduate program. If you’re currently enrolled in a graduate program, then this would make a great side hustle for some extra cash until you finish out your graduate degree.
Application process: The process begins with taking a grammar test. If you pass the grammar test, you’ll be invited to edit several sample documents for them to evaluate your editing skills. If you meet their editing standards, they will determine your pay rate based on the level of skill you exhibited through the editing test. That pay rate will be somewhere around $25 per hour.
Kibin requires that you have some basic proofreading and editing skills, in addition to in-depth knowledge of style guides such as AP style and Chicago style. No formal editing experience is necessary though.
Application process: First off you’ll have to take a difficult language quiz. What makes this quiz different from other editing companies is that this one will test your knowledge of style guides such as MLA, APA, Chicago, etc. So study up on your style guides.
Their pay scale isn’t made public on their website anywhere, but Glassdoor reviews by other freelance editors suggest that it’s around $20 to $25 per hour.
If you’re an editor and interested in flexible work that pays well while also improving your skill sets as a writer and editor, then these five companies are a great start.
In the current economy, good-paying writing opportunities are becoming scarce as more and more people are seeking work from home opportunities. Editing skills however are on a different level, so I expect that freelance editor jobs will continue to be in demand for years to come.
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