Online Course: Proofreading and Copyediting 101 – CEU Certificate

Course Description

Become a Skilled Proofreader or Copyeditor


If you’re looking for a new career path or if you’re a writer who wants to improve your writing skills, learning how to proofread and copyedit with our easy to follow, in-depth course, may be just what you need.  Learning these specialized skills will help improve your overall writing ability and may provide a career path that is both lucrative and in high demand.  In today’s world, proofreaders and copyeditors are sought after not only in the corporate environment and Internet-related ventures, but also by start-up companies, small businesses, and entrepreneurs. Freelance proofreading jobs are bountiful, and many companies offer work-from-home opportunities as an additional benefit.


This online course will cover:

  • Exactly what proofreading and copyediting will entail.

  • The tools you need to be an efficient proofreader or copyeditor.

  • The basic skills you need to learn, taught to you in an easy-to-understand manner.

  • Step-by-step instruction on how to proofread or copyedit.

  • How to apply your newly learned skills. 

  • Tips to make you a professional proofreader or copyeditor with just a little practice.

  • How to proofread and copyedit different kinds of writing such as fiction, blogs and articles.

  • How to proofread and copyedit your own work.

  • How to secure employment as a proofreader or copyeditor.

  • How to start your own proofreading or copyediting business upon completion of the course.

  • Current salary information.

  • Practice exercises to implement your new skills.

This course is designed for everyone, regardless of education, experience, or background.  No matter who you are or what you want to achieve in life, gaining proofreading and copyediting skills will improve your written communications, help you think more clearly, and perhaps start you on the road to a brand new career.


How much can I earn as an online proofreader?

While the amount can vary drastically depending on the type of writing you proofread (for example: personal blogs vs. scientific articles), full-time online proofreaders can make anywhere from $50,000 – $75,000 annually. As a freelancer, you can make anywhere from $20.00 / hour to $60.00 / hour, depending on the content, your accuracy/experience, and speed of delivery. The more experience you have professionally as a proofreader with a track record of providing quality editing services, the more money you will make. Keep in mind that most proofreading jobs now are fully remote, so you will be doing this work in the comfort of your home, on your own time with no commuting costs.

Do I need a college degree to pursue a career in proofreading?

No, technically you do not need a college degree to be a proofreader. If you have years of writing and editing experience already, for example, that would have more weight than an English degree (with little experience). Some full-time, salaried proofreading positions may require a college degree, that is up to the company’s hiring policies. But to become a freelance proofreader or copyeditor doesn’t require any degree. If you have a college degree already but not in the field of Language Arts, that’s fine as well. You don’t need to return to college to get a degree in writing and editing in order to become an effective and successful proofreader. You do need to know (or learn) everything a proofreader does and you must have above average proofreading and editing skills to be a successful professional proofreader in the long-term, and this course will show you everything the job entails and all the required skills employers will expect of you.

Who should take this proofreading course?

This proofreading course is for anyone interested in proofreading and copyediting as a career or as a freelancing gig. This course is a practical and comprehensive guide to becoming a professional proofreader. It reviews specific job requirements and provides exercises to build understanding and mastery of proofreading requirements. While this course does include proofreading exercises as well as what proofreading and grammar skills proofreaders will really need to know, it is not specifically a grammar and punctuation course. In other words, your motive to take this course should be because you want to become a proofreader (one that gets paid), and that you already have great grammar/writing/editing skills or you have a love for writing and editing already and want to earn a living using these skills. If you are looking to improve your writing, grammar, and punctuation skills, UniversalClass offers several grammar courses that will help you build and refine those skills.

What are the benefits of taking this course?

There are many benefits to taking this course. Besides the obvious benefits of learning what a proofreader does, what a copyeditor does, and all the editing rules and guidelines you must know and follow, you’ll also learn what specific editing skills you need to work on and refine, as well as how to advertise your services and how to find (and land) freelancing gigs. If you are planning to pursue proofreading and copyediting professionally, you’ll want to register for the CEU Certificate version of the course so that you can list formal training on your resume. Upon successful completion of the certificate course, you can add the CEU credential to the “Professional Development” section of your resume. This will alert potential clients that you actually know how to follow proofreading standards and that you can create and adhere to the client’s style sheets and style guides.

Course Motivation

Whether or not you want to take a new career path and become a copyeditor or proofreader is irrelevant at this point. This course will teach you all you need to know about proofreading and copyediting, and we’ll discuss career paths after we learn these fields. For now, however, let’s concentrate on you and your writing. Let’s focus on how improving your proofreading and copyediting skills will improve the way you present yourself on paper, no matter what you write. Truthfully, even if you do want to become a professional proofreader or copyeditor, presenting yourself well on paper is something you must be able to do just to be considered for a job.

Think about it for a minute.  Copyediting and proofreading are two skills you cannot afford to be without because they will help to increase your communication skills so that you can get what you want out of your words and your life. 

Here are some ways you can utilize proofreading and copyediting skills in your career and life:

  • In e-mails.  If you’ve ever sent out an e-mail that is work-related (most of us have), then you know how important it is that those e-mails sound professional at all times.  Professionalism is more than in the wording, however.  It extends to grammar and punctuation.  Being able to proofread or copyedit important e-mails will improve your image to customers, coworkers, and most importantly, bosses who may be considering you for the next big promotion.
  • Web pages and other Internet documents.  Have you ever visited a site that was worded very poorly or filled with typos?  Before you blame it on the laziness of the author, think again.  Proofreading and editing your own work can be the most challenging task to do if you don’t know how to do it properly.  The truth is that when we write something, it’s in our heads just as much as it’s on paper.  It’s easy to read something as you see it in your mind and not on the screen in front of you.
  • At work.  If you’ve ever been asked to write a report, create a newsletter, memo, or any other form of communication in the workplace, learning how to proofread and edit your own work will make whatever you write more professional and earn you even more respect. It’s just like with e-mails. 
  • Correspondence.  Do you write a lot of letters? Whether they are personal or professional, the last thing you want is to have unclear thoughts or misspelled words.  Learning how to proofread and copyedit your letters will help you present your thoughts  more clearly and eliminate misconceptions. 
  • For creative writing endeavors.  Maybe you want to be a writer and publish creative works.  Let me tell you something, “Don’t fool yourself into believing that if you have a great story or novel, the editor won’t care if it needs a lot of cleaning up.”  It’s just like getting dressed in the morning.  If your outfit doesn’t match, you don’t look good.  If a great story is mismatched with unclear thoughts and other errors, the story itself does not look good.  That’s the bottom line.  You need to sharpen your proofreading and copyediting skills before you even think of trying to publish a body of work.
  • For a new career or career advancement.  If you want to be a professional proofreader or copyeditor, you need to learn how to do the job correctly.  This course will provide you with enough instruction to start your career and give you the skills you need to adequately proofread or copyedit any body of work.  The more you apply these skills, the better you’re going to be.

 Proofreading and Copyediting Defined  

Now that we’ve established how many ways that proofreading and editing skills can be applied to your everyday life, let’s define what they actually are.

The biggest misconception that most people have is in believing that proofreading and copyediting are basically the same thing.  While they are similar in nature, they are not the same by any means.  There is a big difference between the tasks of a proofreader as compared to the tasks of a copyeditor.  It’s why, if you go through job listings, you will see some positions open for copyeditors and some for proofreaders, but never just one single position for a “proofreader and copyeditor.” 

Proofreading is done after a body of work is completed, but before it goes to press or is distributed.  To put it simply, it’s the last step taken in the completion of the work.  A proofreader’s job is to scan text for grammar, syntax, and punctuation errors. The meanings of words and terminology are not important to proofreaders.  Their job focuses on the accurateness of the text and the layout in a body of work that is otherwise finished and ready to be published or distributed. 

While proofreaders concentrate on the form of the complete text, copyeditors concentrate on the details and terminology in a manuscript or draft. Copyeditors check for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors in text that hasn’t yet been formatted.  Although the text they check is never just a rough draft, it’s considered a less-than-final version until it’s been edited.

The copyeditor is expected to ensure that the text flows, that it is sensible, fair, and accurate, and that it will provoke no legal problems for the publisher. 

Copyeditors do fact checking and they question terms that raise doubts or that aren’t familiar to them.  Although copyeditors don’t always implement the changes, they always note the changes for the author to make.  They also look for consistency in a body of work.  If a maid is referred to as a maid in one chapter, the copyeditor makes sure that the author does not switch to servant when making references to the same person in subsequent chapters. 

We will delve into the details of copyediting and proofreading later in this course, but for now you need to know that a copyeditor’s task is in the individual details.  A proofreader’s task, on the other hand, is in the final and overall presentation of the body of work.

In Conclusion

Copyediting and proofreading skills are two things that will advance your communication skills and make everything you write more professional and effective.  Now that you understand the definitions of both jobs, throughout the rest of this course, we’ll delve into the details and teach you how to copyedit and proofread your own work or that of others.  No matter if you want to just improve your skills or start a new career, you’re going to learn all you need to know in this course.  Good luck!