Suggested minimum rates

What are the CIEP’s suggested minimum rates?

These rates are an indication of the fees that a freelance editorial professional, with training in the core skills and some experience, could charge for their work.

They take into consideration the costs that a freelance editorial professional must pay, including:

  • holidays and sickness absence
  • National Insurance (or equivalent)
  • pension provision
  • continuing professional development (CPD)
  • office space and utility bills
  • software and subscriptions
  • business equipment and supplies.

This means they are not directly comparable with employee remuneration.

What are the limitations of the CIEP’s suggested minimum rates?

The CIEP does not have the authority to recommend or tell people what they should charge or pay. There will be a range of factors that affect an editorial professional’s rates, including:

  • what needs to be done with the text, with a greater level of intervention attracting a higher fee
  • how quickly the job needs to be done, with a quick turnaround attracting a higher fee
  • the specialism of the editor or proofreader, with professionals with a relevant specialism being able to command a higher fee
  • the experience of the editor or proofreader, with more experienced professionals being able to command a higher fee
  • the format of the text and therefore how easy or difficult it will be to work with
  • market forces.

Every job is different, every editorial professional has different skills and knowledge, and ultimately price is a business negotiation between the parties.

Some editorial professionals charge more, sometimes considerably more, than the rates below – always, or in certain conditions. Some charge less – always, or in certain conditions.

Suggested minimum rates from 1 March 2024

Type of work Suggested minimum hourly rate
Proofreading £29.85
Copyediting £34.70
Substantial editing, rewriting, development editing £39.90
Project management £43.20
Indexing £31.60

Society of Indexers' suggested minimum from 1 January 2024

For details of suggested minimum rates in other areas of freelance work related to publishing, we recommend the online NUJ freelance fees guide.