Proofreader Qualifications

Proofreaders The educational-level of proofreaders in general is on par with that of their coworkers. Typesetters, graphic artists, and word processors are rarely required to have a college degree, and a perusal of online job-listings for proofreaders will show that although some specify a degree for proofreaders, as many do not.


Those same listings will also show a tendency for degree-only positions to be in firms in commercial fields such as retail, medicine, or insurance, where the data to be read is internal documentation not intended for public consumption per se. Such listings, specifying a single proofreader to fill a single position, are more likely to require a degree as a way of reducing the candidate-pool, but also because the degree is perceived as a requirement for any potentially promotable white collar applicant. Experience is discounted at the outset in preference to a credential, indicating a relatively low starting wage appropriate for younger applicants. In these kinds of multitasking desktop-publishing environments, Human Resources may even classify proofreading as a clerical skill generic to literacy itself. Where this is the case, it isn't unusual for proofreaders to find themselves guaranteeing the accuracy of higher-paid coworkers.

By contrast, printers, publishers, advertising agencies and law firms tend not to specifically require a degree. In these professionally demanding single-tasking environments, the educational divide surrounds the production department instead of the company itself. Promotion is rare for these proofreaders because they tend to be valued more for their present skill-set than for any potential leadership ability. They are often supervised by a typesetter also without a degree, or an administrative manager with little or no production experience who delegates day-to-day responsibilities to a typesetter. It follows that such listings tend to stress experience, offer commensurately higher rates of pay, and include mention of a proofreading test.

Proofreaders, Proofreading Services, Qualifications