What is a Copy Editor/Proofreader?

Similar Job Titles:

Content Quality Assurance Analyst

The purpose of a Copy Editor/Proofreader is to edit and proof the content in a document or digital file. While the two jobs are often combined, each role has distinct responsibilities: A Copy Editor focuses on style consistency, fact-checking, spelling, sentence structure, and clarity, and may also write headlines and subheads. A Proofreader examines the final draft—after it has been edited—for mistakes or inconsistencies in spelling, punctuation, and word usage, and any errors that may have happened between the original design and the final version.

What does a Copy Editor/Proofreader do, typically?

Focuses on both the details and the big picture

A Copy Editor or Proofreader is considerate of the overall intent and design of the content in a document or digital file, and, at the same time, is meticulous about the details, especially identifying inconsistencies and errors in grammar, spelling, syntax, and punctuation

Has intimate knowledge of style guides and use of language

This type of specialist is familiar with various style guides, and both formal and informal use of language

Collaborates with writers and designers

A Copy Editor/Proofreader provides direction and feedback to writers and designers to ensure final content is aligned with business goals

Copy Editors/Proofreaders are not:

Spell Checkers

Copy Editor/Proofreaders edit and proof copy to improve its readability by correcting errors and adding clarity. This often includes fixing spelling mistakes, but in a more sophisticated way than the spell checker on your computer.


Copy Editor/Proofreaders revise content to improve accuracy and clarity. A Writer creates content from scratch.

Important metrics for a Copy Editor/Proofreader

The most basic metric for measuring the work of a Copy Editor/Proofreader is finding an uncorrected error after something is published. Additional metrics are:

  • increased discovery
  • user engagement (how long did the reader stay on the page)
  • increased conversion
  • customer feedback
  • satisfied clients

Copy Editor/Proofreader Salary

US Based, employer-reported data for a Copy Editor/Proofreader:

  • 25th Percentile $46.6K
  • Average $53.5K
  • 75th Percentile $60.6K

Copy Editor/Proofreader Job Description

Bonus copy for your Copy Editor/Proofreader job description or job ad!

Copy the text below and paste it into your own job description, or, into our FREE downloadable template in the section that looks like this: <INSERT JOB DESCRIPTION COPY FROM BLOG POST HERE>

As a Copy Editor/Proofreader at <Company XXX>, you’ll get to showcase your expertise in elevating the written word. More specifically, you’ll get to:

  • improve the way we communicate the stories about our company through websites, white papers, presentations, newsletters, social media, and other channels
  • focus on both the details and the big picture—fixing the smallest of errors that have been overlooked while respecting the overall theme and intent of the content
  • use your expertise with style guides and language syntax to fix inconsistencies and errors in grammar, spelling, punctuation, and design
  • provide direction and feedback to writers and designers to ensure final content is aligned with our brand message
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