There are a few different ways to become an online proofreader or an online copy editor; the terms are often used interchangeably. Plenty of larger websites and online magazines hire a staff of online proofreaders to check existing and new content to be sure it is grammatically correct, and that it conforms to the style guide the site is using. Generally, anyone who wants to become an online proofreader should either have relevant experience, education, or a combination of both; rarely will a web site choose to hire anyone without either of these. It can be difficult to find legitimate editing jobs online along with all the scams, but in general, if a company requires you to pay a fee to apply or look for assignments, it is likely a scam.
People who want to become an online proofreader often have a college degree in English, communications, journalism, or a related field. This helps to ensure that they have extensive experience writing and communicating, and have taken courses in grammar or media writing. Some web sites might require applicants to have a four year bachelor's degree, while others might be fine with applicants having a two year associate's degree. Increasing the amount of education you have will never hurt you when applying for a job; plenty of people work and go to school simultaneously in order to increase their future marketability. If you plan to do this, be sure to let potential employers know.
Another option for becoming an online proofreader is to highlight your experience rather than your education. For instance, if you have any proofreading experience in the past, such as for a newspaper or magazine, this might be sufficient to be hired to work in an online format. Even some time spent working on a school newspaper or website might suffice for experience.
In general, a person who wants to become an online proofreader will be working from home. Therefore, it is necessary to demonstrate that you have the ability to work independently, without the need for constant supervision. Be prepared to demonstrate that you are motivated enough to complete your work by the specified deadline.
As part of the application process to become an online proofreader, many companies will require applicants to complete an editing test. This might be a very simple test with a few pages of text to correct, or it might be more complex with complex grammar or usage questions. This typically functions as a final step for companies to verify that applicants actually know how to proofread documents correctly, even if they appear to have a great amount of education and experience.