Editing and Proofreading Rates

Last updated: January 29, 2024

We’re commonly asked about industry-standard editing and proofreading rates. The answer is that rates can vary widely and there is no standardization (until EditorNinja came along that is!).

That said, the EFA put together a survey in 2020 with averages and ranges of rates across various types of editing, including copy editing and proofreading.

PS: EditorNinja is a flat-rate on-demand copy editing and proofreading service. Schedule an Intro Call to see if we’re the right fit for you or get a quote for your document.

Copy editing rates

CopyeditingMedian Rate Per HourMedian Rate Per WordMedian Pace Of Work
Copyediting, fiction$36-40/hr$.02-.029/wd7-10 pages/hr
Copyediting, nonfiction$41–$45/hr$.03–$.039/wd4–6 pages/hr
Copyediting, business/sales$46–$50/hr$.04–$.049/wd4–6 pages/hr
Copyediting, medical/STEM$46–$50/hr$.04–$.049/wd4–6 pages/hr

Proofreading rates

ProofreadingMedian Rate Per HourMedian Rate Per WordMedian Pace of Work**
Proofreading, Fiction$31–$35/hr$.02–$.029/wd11–15 pages/hr
Proofreading, nonfiction$36–$40/hr$.02–$.029/wd7–10 pages/hr
Proofreading, business/sales$41–$45/hr$.04–$.049/wd7–10 pages/hr
Proofreading, medical/STEM$41–$45/hr$.03–$.039/wd4–6 pages/hr

How much does it cost to edit 1,000 words?

With a median per-hour rate of $35 per hour, and the average editor copy editing and proofreading 2,000 words per hour, it costs about $17 to have 1,000 words edited and proofread. This is the industry average, of course, with more senior editors (who can edit faster) charging more and less experienced editors taking longer, and so costs may vary by a few dollars per hour on either end.

For the purposes of the EFA survey and this chart, a page was defined as 250 words, the industry standard for a manuscript page.