The number of hours vs. income earned will fluctuate for beginners and people who’ve been proofreading for a while.
I read a maximum of 100 pages an hour, and that is only achievable when the work is very clean with very little stopping/starting. The work gets denser and harder, though, in which case my pages-per-hour drops to as low as 40-60. One of my first students, Victoria, is currently at 60-70 pages per hour for easier stuff, and beginners who’ve just completed the course tend to start at around 40-50, but it can vary based on the type of job, too. Hearings generally take longer than a super simple workers’ comp deposition. The speed comes only with practice — not overnight.
No one should expect to get to my earning level as a beginner. It took me several years to get there.
It’s really hard to say how many clients and how many transcripts will get you to a certain amount of income because all the transcripts are a different length, every proofreader is different, and each reporter will have a different workload from week to week. My advice is to start slowly at first — do NOT look for clients until you know what you’re doing, and do NOT just focus on getting as many clients as possible to make the most money as possible. This can and does backfire. Pour into your first few clients post-training. If you invest in your first few clients, you can earn referrals much easier that way.
Also, to make real money, you actually don’t always need a lot of clients — if you do excellent work, your clients are repeat customers so they will keep sending you work time and time again.