10 Professional Copy Editing Courses (Highly Effective)

By: Rafal Reyzer
Updated: Sep 27th, 2023

10 Professional Copy Editing Courses (Highly Effective)- featured image

On the surface, editing seems like a simple and relatively timeless process – and a natural one, too.

However, editing is hard work that requires a lot of time, effort, and discipline. While it is often viewed as a kind of afterthought to writing, there’s a lot that goes into editing. Truth be told, every editing job is as unique as the writer who created it. If you want to be a proofreader or editor, learning how to take apart and improve a piece of text makes all the difference. That being said, I’ve carefully gathered a list of the best professional editing courses, both online and offline.

10 Great Professional Copy Editing Courses

Before we dive into the list, let me stress at this point that the order they appeared here was random. They are not ranked from best to worst or the other way around. Each one has its own merits and perhaps flaws, so it’s best to read about all of them before you decide to enroll in one.

1. Proofreading and Copyediting 101 (Universal Class)

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Proofreading and Copyediting 101 by Universal Class is a budget-friendly, entry-level course designed for everyone, regardless of education, background, or experience. This online course provides a step-by-step guide on how to proofread or edit different forms of writing. You get a certificate upon successful completion of the course. Their assessment-based course comprises 14 lessons that cover everything from the basics of proofreading and copyediting to different style guides and sheets, common writing mistakes, and everything in between. Your performance is evaluated based on an exam conducted after the completion of each chapter. Course Fee: $80 Course Duration: Roughly 11 hours.

2. Essential Proofreading: Editorial Skills One (The Publishing Training Centre)

the publishing training centre landing page

Anyone who wants to work as a freelance editor or seeks a flexible career can take The Publishing Training Centre’s intensive proofreading (or editing) course. This course takes you through how publishing works and where you, as a proofreader, fit in. The course sheds light on the technical and collaborative elements of a proofreading job. After completing this course, you will be able to mark up on paper and on-screen in Adobe Reader and MS Word and understand the differences between the two. The center is based in the UK, but the knowledge you gain from this course can be applied almost anywhere. Course Fee: £405 (Roughly $550) Course Duration: Flexible, up to 12 months.

3. Writing Editing Masterclass (Skillshare)

skillshare landing page

No matter if you’re just starting up as an editor or someone who wants to take his editing skills to the next level, you can take Skillshare’s Writing Editing Masterclass course. This is an all-round editing course that dives deeper into the larger context of the entire editing process. This is roughly a 3-hour-long course that teaches you all the ins and outs of proofreading. Starting from the very basics, this course goes beyond the realm of proofreading. You’ll get to know the three major types of editing: content editing, copyediting, and proofreading – and how to apply each technique accordingly. Course Fee: Access is free with the Skillshare free trial Course Duration: Roughly 3 hours.

4. General Proofreading: Theory and Practice (Proofread Anywhere)

proofread anywhere landing page

If you want to take a professional editing course before setting up your proofreading or editing business for good, you should take this amazing course. The General Proofreading: Theory and Practice course teaches you how to leverage your attention to detail. It will also teach you how to set up your online editing business, and how to identify potential clients. This is a well-rounded proofreading course designed with beginners in mind, but it’s also suitable for experienced editors who want to brush up on their editing skills and establish their own editing business. This is one of the best proofreading courses available online. Course Fee: $397 – $497 Course Duration: Roughly under a month.

5. Efficient Editing: Strategies and Tactics (The Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading)

CIEP landing page

This comprehensive editing course is suitable for experienced copyeditors on top of their game but would like to refine their methods further. It enables them to take better control of their work by learning sensible writing and editing tactics. It likewise teaches how to align one’s work with excellent content strategy. This course is run by The Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading as a series of four live webinar sessions, with each meeting lasting a maximum of 2 hours. One session is conducted each week, with a maximum of 16 participants per course. Course Fee: £216 (for members) and £360 (for non-members) Course Duration: Four weeks.

6. Good with Words: Writing and Editing (University of Michigan)

university of michigan landing page

This is a series of courses created by Professor Patrick Barry to teach students and professionals of all levels the art of writing and editing. This course instructs how to use written words persuasively to convince readers to agree with a certain opinion or idea. The course is free for anyone who is simply auditing. Patrick Barry is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan Law School. He works with law firms, state governments, and non-profits to help improve their written and spoken advocacy. He also suggests many good books to read in his class. Course Fee: Paid (7-day free trial) Course Duration: 16 weeks.

7. Becoming a Proofreader (Knowadays)

knowadays landing page

If you wish to gain a comprehensive understanding of proofreading, regardless of your age or career level, then this course is for you. It guides you to the path of success in this field. It is an expertly devised 15-module course that covers everything from working style guides to academic proofreading and everything in between. This course is a step-by-step guide to how to build your proofreading skills through practical tasks. After completing this course, you’ll have a solid understanding of the nuances of proofreading — all of which are worth investing in. Course Fee: $399 (7-day free trial) Course Duration: Roughly 60 hours or more.

8. Grammar and Punctuation (University of California, Irvine)

coursera's landing page

Have you forgotten the rudiments of grammar and punctuation? Do you need to brush up on your knowledge of English grammar rules? If so, you can take the Grammar and Punctuation course provided by the University of California, Irvine (UCI). It will help you gain a broader understanding of English, particularly grammar and punctuation procedures. Upon completion of this course, you’ll have a solid grasp of how to write more effectively in English, including the use of correct verb tenses and conjunctions, commas, parallel structure, and sentence varieties. Tamy Chapman will be your instructor for this course. Course Fee: Free Course Duration: 4 weeks (roughly 17 hours of material).

9. Kickstart a Freelance Editor & Proofreader Career on Upwork (Udemy)

udemy landing page

Anyone interested in doing freelance work can take this wonderful course to fast-track their online editing and proofreading career. This is one of the highest-rated freelance courses online. Duncan Koerber, a professor at Brock University, shares his valuable insights into becoming a successful freelance editor and proofreader on Upwork. This course is perfect for freelancers who either have zero knowledge of Upwork or have tried it but have had no luck getting more clients on the platform. After completing this course, you’ll learn how to impress clients through simple editing approaches. Course Fee: $129.99 Course Duration: 2 hours of on-demand video.

10. Certificate IV in Professional Writing & Editing (Swinburne)

swinburne landing page

Unlock your potential as a writer and editor with a Certificate IV in Professional Writing & Editing at the Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia. This is a professional-level course that focuses on the nuances of writing and editing. You get to know various forms of writing, from fiction and non-fiction to business writing, journalism, vocational writing, copyediting, and public relations. Swinburne is a world-class university that welcomes students from all over the world, both on-campus and online. Taught for roughly a year, this course will help you take your love of writing to the next level. Note: This course requires a high level of language and literacy. Course Fee: $10,980 (full course) Course Duration: 1 year.

How much do freelance editors (proofreaders) make?

According to Glassdoor, proofreaders earn $49,949 per year on average, in the United States. Clients would pay per word, per page, or per-project basis. Some editors would also charge hourly. If you’re a beginner, you can probably make around $10 per hour. Again, this depends on how much effort you put into finding clients and the time you invested in building your business.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this guide to the best professional editing courses will help you improve your skills or even land that next dream job of yours. You can go through the list to learn about what these courses offer and pick the one that best fits your needs. To learn more about these professional courses, you can visit their official website. So, go on and pick your preferred editing course. Happy learning!

Rafal Reyzer

Rafal Reyzer

Hey there, welcome to my blog! I'm a full-time entrepreneur building two companies, a digital marketer, and a content creator with 10+ years of experience. I started RafalReyzer.com to provide you with great tools and strategies you can use to become a proficient digital marketer and achieve freedom through online creativity. My site is a one-stop shop for digital marketers, and content enthusiasts who want to be independent, earn more money, and create beautiful things. Explore my journey here, and don't miss out on my AI Marketing Mastery online course.