An engineer proofreader

Do you recall your careers advisor at school recommending a profession for you based on some computer program, or the prevailing trends or prejudices of the time?

I think I wanted to be a train driver and said I liked playing football. How many times do you think that technical document improver or engineer-turned-proofreader came up?

Well, after a bit of market research, I can say that you don't get many proofreaders who are engineers. The Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP) directory has only a handful of people who mention working on engineering documents and even fewer with experience in the engineering sector.

Why is this? Are the two jobs so different that for them to appear in one person's CV should be a freak occurrence in need of explanation?

Do you get a "type of person" that suits engineering versus proofreading? I'm not sure, but I think the lack of technical/scientific/engineering experience in the proofreading/editing profession has more to do with the large academic and training overhead and the job security of engineering than any inherent personality-type factors.

This is something that I am keen to explore further, so look out for future blogs on what it takes to be a proofreader. A starter for ten, kateproof blogs about what it takes to be a proofreader, and the Huffington Post discusses how to find out if you want to be an engineer, and if you do, to find out which type of engineer, you can do a fun quiz!

From the research above, I think that both career choices need a lot of patience, a love of learning and a fair dose of resilience. More on the similarities in my next blog…