Proofreader Job Description, Duties, and Responsibilities

By | November 7, 2023
Proofreader Job Description
Proofreaders ensure written documents are completely free of errors.

This post presents detailed information on the proofreader job description, including the key duties, tasks, and responsibilities they commonly perform.

It also highlights the major requirements that you may be expected to fulfill to be hired for the proofreader role by most recruiters/employers.

What Does a Proofreader Do?

Proofreaders are responsible for detecting and correcting errors in written documents.

The proofreader job description entails checking written text for misspellings and inaccuracies prior to publishing.

Proofreaders read manuscripts before they are typeset to find and correct mistakes; they read through typescripts to detect and highlight typographical or grammatical error.

They also read original copies of a manuscript against typeset proof to catch typing mistakes.

As part of their responsibilities, proofreaders check typeset documents to ensure the publisher used the font style, size, and text spacing specified on the original copy by a page designer.

Their role also involves making corrections on written text using special marks which are standard and recognized in the printing and publishing industry.

They also make copies of proofs which are given to editors, authors, and others for revision.

Proofreaders usually mark corrections by editors or authors on a master set of proofs which are returned to typesetters for correction.

After correction by typesetters, proofreaders check typeset proof against reviewed copies one final time before printing.

In performing their duties, proofreaders check images, tables, and charts contained in a document to ensure they are precise and properly aligned.

Their work description also entails verifying accuracy of page numbers, headings, and captions, as well as consistency of spelling and grammar.

Proofreaders, as part of their duties, perform copyediting functions – depending on the project – they may be required to reword or rewrite a text.

They put up missing or misplaced punctuation to make an article coherent and comprehensible.

They also use specialized software to make corrections on printed proofs.

In fulfilling their role, proofreaders maintain up-to-date knowledge of new terminologies, as well as changes in language standards.

They usually report and present articles to Chief Editor for approval, and also analyze documents for consistency in capitalization, hyphenation, and formatting.

To get into the proofreader career requires a Bachelor’s degree preferably in English or Journalism, or in a related degree.

The qualities you need to succeed in this job include attention to details, teamwork, skills, and grammar/spelling skills.

Proofreader Job Description Example/Template

Proofreaders perform various functions in keeping written documents free of errors.

Below is a job description example that highlights major tasks, duties, and responsibilities commonly assigned to proofreaders in most firms:

  • Read and evaluate written text for grammatical and typographical error
  • Liaise with writers and editors to determine the composition of specific texts in a document
  • Compare typeset proofs against original copy to identify errors or omission
  • Use word processors and other specialized software to make changes on typeset documents
  • Evaluate the dimensions of page elements such as images, text spacing and positioning to ensure they conform to set specifications
  • Ensure page numbers are in the right order and not repeated or omitted
  • Analyze documents to ensure chapter titles match list of contents
  • Use symbols which are standard and recognized by printing and publishing companies
  • Mark corrections highlighted by editors/authors and ensure they reflect on the master set proof
  • Rephrase written text to ensure document structure and content are consistent
  • Stay abreast with grammatical development as well as new terminologies in a language
  • Ensure illustrations are suitably captioned and referenced
  • Contact authors directly to clarify grammatical inconsistencies related to style and text choice
  • Forward proofread materials for approval and publication
  • Ensure project is completed within set time constraints.

Requirements – Skills, Abilities, and Knowledge – for Proofreader Role

If you are seeking to work as a proofreader, the following are important qualities and attributes you may be required to have to qualify for an interview with most firms:

  • Education and Training: To become a proofreader, you require a Bachelor’s degree most preferably in English, journalism, or mass communication, or in a related field. Employers usually require proofreaders to have about 2 years of experience proofreading or editing written content. Knowledge of standard proofreading practices, procedures, and concept is also required
  • Attention to details: Proofreaders are able to identify and rephrase grammatical errors to ensure an error-free text
  • Teamwork skill: They are adept at working with authors, editors, and typesetters to publish comprehensible write-ups
  • Spelling/Grammar Skill: They are able to correctly assemble words and apply them in writing.


If you are an employer needing to make a proofreader job description for use in hiring for the position, the sample work description and information about the duties and responsibilities of proofreaders contained in this post can be of great use to you in preparing it.

You will be able to attract the best candidates for the role to your company by creating a detailed description for the position.

This post is also beneficial to aspiring proofreaders for them to improve their knowledge of proofreading career, including the kind of tasks they may be assigned when hired for the role. This helps them to prepare adequately to become the best proofreaders in the industry.