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INSIDE: Voice over exhilaration is a funny and lucrative side hustle. Learn how it works, the pros and cons, how much money you can make, and how to get started best here!

I provided to joke the if I could get payment to simply talk every day I’d it is in one happy (and rich) person.

You are watching: How much do voice overs make

climate a friend someday told me yes a thing for that called “consulting,” and also a couple of months later I to be officially a blogging coach and soon after a money coach ;)

But the genuine opportunity, together I’m simply now finding, appears to be through voice over acting. And today my friend Carrie who killing it with voice exhilaration tells us just how she acquired started, and also how you have the right to jump right into it together well. Along with all the pros, cons, and also most excitingly – exactly how much the pays!

A an excellent way to hit our 60th next hustle, thanks Carrie!


In a issue of 4 months, I uncovered an industry, began a side hustle in it, replaced my day job income, and quit my project to go after my next hustle full time. Every this top top the nights and weekends through a newborn infant in the house. What to be my investment to get started in my brand-new occupation? around $300. I’ve because invested a lot more into mine business, but fortunately, my initial startup expenses were nice minimal.

The industry that ns dove into was voice over. I acquired paid $450 for the an initial job I ever before did. I was soon profitable. The job was to carry out the narration because that a two-minute video for a company in Denmark (I tape-recorded it native the closet of mine apartment in Kansas City). I made $10,000 end the food of 3 months top top the third job I ever before got. I easily learned that is incredibly rare to publication a nationwide radio project with a worldwide brand together a new voice actor, however hey, that’s my story.

In the rest of this short article I’ll tell girlfriend what voice exhilaration is and a small about how the industry works. I’ll likewise outline precisely how I obtained started, and carry out some steps you have the right to take if she interested in coming to be a voice actor.

What is voice acting?

You understand those voices you hear on the radio, TV, and also online do the efforts to offer you things? Those space done by experienced voice actors. Expert voice overs are additionally used because that narrating audiobooks, product/explainer videos, maintain videos, video games, animation, live announcing, jingles and also more. The voice informing you what stop is comes up following on the bus or subway is indigenous a voice actor. Announcements in ~ the airport and audio tours in museums. I’ve done pre-recorded announcements because that award shows. YouTube ads, Pandora commercials, toys… the not simply TV and radio. Video clip game voice actors space becoming very popular. The list goes on and on. As soon as you hear a voice yet don’t check out the human talking, it is voiceover. (Fun fact: It’s called seiyuu in Japan and it’s a vast industry end there!)

What Voice Over job-related Entails

I spend my days at residence in mine vocal booth, reading scripts, modifying audio, and delivering recordings to clients. However I didn’t begin out the way. My first “booth” to be a spare bedroom in mine old apartment with sheets held on the walls. Then ns “upgraded” come the closet that us treated through foam and also acoustic blankets. I’ve additionally recorded from mine car, hotel rooms, friends houses, and once in an airport. That didn’t job-related too well.

Of course, over there is the business side too that consists of invoicing, marketing, networking, branding, and getting coaching and vocal training. Together a voice actor, you’ll invest your time split in between doing the bureaucratic things you have to do to keep your organization running and also reading scripts because that commercials, narration, animation, or whatever varieties of work you book.

A most times, the voice acting work that you publication aren’t really things that she passionate around or interested in. However sometimes you get to work on jobs that are appropriate up your alley. Prefer in this Grammarly ad that got a lot of playtime top top YouTube. A friend of mine called me and said he obtained really confused when he heard it. He frequently reaches the end to me for aid editing papers, and he thought one of our conversations to be somehow gift played ago through his computer!

Pros the Voice Acting


You deserve to do that from anywhere! Well, everywhere with one internet link that is quiet enough. In 2015 my household went ~ above a cross-country roadway trip and also I recorded many spots from the bathroom… I typical ”studio” that our travel trailer. I would hang acoustic blankets up anytime I needed to document in there. I’ve taped from a parking garage, and also I discovered one of the best, quietest areas to document from as soon as traveling: cemeteries. Yes, ns look super suspiciously pulling up in my car and also then going into the backseat with a blanket over mine head and also a microphone. But you carry out what you need to do ;) my in-laws are awesome and set up a closet the I use as a studio when we come because that visits. You don’t need a degree. Yet professional cultivate is everything. I wouldn’t have been able to acquire my career turn off the ground prefer I did without training and also coaching. While training is a must, what I average is girlfriend don’t need anyone’s permission to select to seek voice over. You have the right to make your own hours for the most part. there are always deadlines for voice work, yet there’s a ton of versatility overall. It’s a cool job! the fun, and people will always be intrigued when you tell them it’s what friend do. It is an extremely lucrative. Or it have the right to be anyway. There room a most voice actors the end there functioning part-time, pursuing voiceover as just a hobby, or who are struggling to obtain their careers off the ground. Yet on the other finish of the spectrum, a most national TV commercials have 5-figure paydays. And also it’s been really funny to acquire to grow with a lot of voice actors that are now making a large 6 number salary! the course gaining to those numbers takes year of committed voice work, training, a good plan, and the endurance to stick with it.

Cons the Voice Acting

Work is never guaranteed. it’s a competitive industry, and sometimes (if you’re auditioning) you’ve obtained to win out numerous other voice actors to gain a job. Yes not much of a safety and security net aside from your ability to industry yourself and also consistently publication work. Agents and also casting sites can aid in this area but it’s ultimately up to you. Training have the right to be expensive and also time consuming. That takes time to get your skills up come a competitive level. The professional voice actor sector is competitive and full of people who have been doing it because that decades. Together a beginner you can’t really intend to compete with people who have much more skills, knowledge, and connections 보다 you do. However even those human being started together a beginner year ago. It’s it s okay to it is in a beginner and start from wherein you space today. While getting enough equipment and also know-how to start auditioning doesn’t expense much, a great coach does — and should. However in mine experience, the is fine worth the investment to land more voice exhilaration jobs. If the expense of training is prohibitive, over there are numerous online teams you can join for free that are very helpful, but aren’t a substitute for 1-on-1 coaching. (More information on these species of teams in the guide I discussed above.) It deserve to be isolating. If she an introvert favor me, this could also go in the pros category. Yet you deserve to expect to spend the bulk of her time alone in your recording space. I periodically joke the my task is to remain locked in a soundproof crate in my house shoes talking to myself every day long. (Nightmare because that some, dream task for others.) Certain types of work-related are much easier to acquire if girlfriend live in LA or brand-new York. although this hasn’t stopped me native making six numbers from home in Kansas City. I have flown the end to LA a few times for auditions, yet I do the vast bulk of my work from home. Around every other month I do a directed session in ~ a neighborhood studio.

How much Money can You do Voice Acting?

This different from task to job and depends on even if it is you are a union member or not. Friend can check out current union rates here. What I’ve uncovered is that outside of union rates, it’s subjective when it concerns pay. Plenty of audition website will allow you come bid your own price for a job. On this sites, a job may obtain one bid at $20 and another bid indigenous a different voice actor because that $1,000. That a issue of what you feel you’re worth and how much clients room willing come pay because that truly expert work.

One that my many memorable paydays was $3,000 because that 45 minute of work. I was getting paid $500/spot (whether the spot was 60 seconds or 15) because that a cinema ad campaign and also did six spots in under an hour. It was my very first time see that type of cash come in native voice acting, and also I psychic feeling prefer there had actually to be some type of mistake once the inspect came in. I was ecstatic!

The price for voiceover job-related varies depending upon what form of task it is (the pay because that narrating audiobooks is really different than the pay for voicing commercials), exactly how long the occupational will air, and also where it will certainly air. So you’ll view rates varying from a couple hundred dollars well into the thousands.

When i was an initial starting out, ns took work that ns wouldn’t today. However I learned mine lesson on accepting less-than-optimal rates. Ns am a vast advocate for charging what she worth and also not underselling yourself–even for new voice actors.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Money magazine simply came out v a list of the highest possible paying work you can do at home, and interestingly sufficient voice over work-related clocked in at 2nd place! v an average hourly rate of $72/hr. So obviously those actors no doing that right choose Carrie is ;))

How I acquired Started Voice Acting

Before we destruction in here… If friend ask any type of voice actor exactly how they gained started you will do it likely gain a totally different price from each person. There’s no one, straight and narrow route like, “I checked out voiceover school, perfect my residency, to buy a mic and now ns a voice actor!” ok tell mine story but just remember that your course will it is in different. I additionally highlight other voice actors’ acquiring started stories on mine website therefore you can see the unique journeys different people have had.

Okay, this is my story…

It all began with podcasting. Mine husband and also I have actually hosted and/or produced thousands that podcast episodes starting method back in the ancient days (2010). We provided to work-related for a podcasting network and also we’ve had our own personal shows off and on due to the fact that 2010 too. We’re always on the lookout for a an excellent new display to binge. At the moment I uncovered voice acting, I had a 45 minute commute come work, therefore I gained lots of hearne done.

One day, i randomly choose a brand-new podcast I had actually never listened to, the go For It display with Tyson Webb (sadly, it’s not roughly anymore). I turned top top the recent episode and set off for work. About fifty percent way v the episode, a light bulb went off.

The show I happened to it is in listening to to be an interview with a voice actor called Alyson Steel. i was only half paying attention till I heard her answer the question, “What go a usual work day look choose for you?” I had actually a baby that year and also had just gone ago to work. Ns was dice to have the ability to spend an ext time through my daughter and husband.

This is what Aly’s common work work looked like: She acquired up, did yoga, obtained her kids off to school, confirm her email for scripts, invested some time in her voiceover booth recording spots because that radio, TV, internet, phone call systems, etc., acquired on on facebook for a while, go a little an ext recording, then dubbed it a day. Um… AWESOME!

At the finish of the episode, she mentioned that she supplies private voice acting coaching for $150 because that an early hour consultation (her coaching model is different now and I still highly recommend her). Mine husband, Derek, is a budgeting fanatic, so i figured he wouldn’t be too excited around me questioning to invest $150 come learn an ext about a job that neither of us had even heard of prior to that day. Fortunately, he told me to go for it. (He would later tell me the he might tell just how excited ns was and also that he can “sense” something.)

I booked the session with Aly, a 20-year voice acting veteran, and she spent an hour telling me all about the business. Ns took notes favor a crazy person. I still have them. That night, I tape-recorded a really rough sample reel ~ above the equipment Derek and also I use for podcasting and sent it to Aly. She was past encouraging, so i hired her to coach me together I functioned to gain my brand-new business going.

The ball Started come Roll…

I become a voiceover sponge, reading, watching, and also listening come every voiceover resource I might find. Meanwhile, I started auditioning for work-related on an online spreading site. They had a distinct where I could sign up for my first month because that $10. When a client or spreading director ~ above the site likes your audition, they have the right to shortlist you. I started obtaining shortlisted almost immediately. And also one morning together I to be leaving for work, i whispered come Derek who was quiet in bed, “I acquired my very first job. $450!” i was thrilled and also he was shocked!

I had booked my first paying job around seven mainly after learning voice end was also a thing and I was totally obsessed. I started living, breathing, and also eating all points voiceover. Well, no eating…


(We’ve come a long method since this pic! This was in an isolation booth at a in ~ a co-working room I used to usage that just happened to have actually a complete blown recording studio. The door was five inches thick and also weighed a freakin’ ton! The mic in this pic was the same we supplied for podcasting and also originally price $100 in 2010. I’ve since upgraded my collection up i beg your pardon you can learn an ext about in my gaining started guide.)

I’ve been having actually a blast. like in any business, there space ups and downs, however I have actually now been booking work-related on mine own and through my agents and manager, if continually seeking the end the best training in the industry. I acquire to network with the impressive contacts i have made over the years, to be nationally represented by one of the best agencies in the business, have voiced highly played television and radio commercials, and accumulated a hefty clientele that repeat organization for mine voiceover services. In 2019 i joined the gibbs Union which ns still can not believe!

I’ve worked with thousands of companies now, consisting of Taco Bell, Kmart, REI, Grammarly, Pandora, 7-11, Walt Disney World, AT&T and am love doing promos for the Netflix series Spirit speak Free.

Here space The procedures I absorbed Detail

(I’m laying the end the path I took, also though ns realize your route will look way different. If you’re less interested in how I did it and would rather simply hear around how you have the right to do it, skip under a section.)

First, ns made the decision to make a actual go that it. because I’ve been voice acting, I’ve had hundreds of people ask me just how to get into the industry. I think the an initial step is that you need to want it. Badly. And also you need to want it enough to put in the initiative it requires. That the plenty of who have picked my mind on coming to be a voice actor, just a tiny percentage actually adhered to through v the procedures I suggested. Voice over work sounds favor a ton of fun — and it is — however it is also a business. Voiceover work don’t loss into her lap just since you’re kind of interested in trying the out. This leads me to the 2nd thing ns did, and also probably the most important.

Then, ns hired a voice over coach. There room so many civilization on the web claiming to be voice over coaches, and also you have to be careful that the one you job-related with isn’t just trying to develop up your confidence, make you a half-ass demo, take her money, and also then send you on your means to bad results, no income, and frustration. Sadly, this go happen. You only get one possibility to do a an initial impression v potential clients and agents, and also your coach should be someone who helps you construct your an abilities and do a demo the is walking to provide them a good an initial impression. Look for someone that knows the industry, is connected to agents therefore they know what a an excellent demo sound like, and also doesn’t simply crank out demos for anyone who will pay their fee. You desire someone who provides you personalized attention and also will it is in there because that the long haul.

Thirdly, ns devoured everything I can get my hands and ears on around the voice exhilaration industry. Blogs, books, podcasts, everything. I’m really glad i did this due to the fact that I ended up booking my an initial national radio point out in a matter of weeks, and all of the study I did, combined with mine sessions v my coach, aided me to feel choose I knew what ns was doing as soon as I walked into the recording studio because that the first time. Ns lay the end some an excellent resources that i devoured in those very first weeks and months in a free guide that’s available on mine website (more details below). A word of fist on this: If someone is promising you something the sounds too great to be true, make sure to vet the person prior to giving them any type of money.

Next, ns auditioned. Auditioning to be my only technique of obtaining work for my first full year together a voice talent. I was still working complete time, so i would try to carry out ten auditions when I acquired home from work, and as plenty of as I might on the weekends. This didn’t constantly happen, but it was my goal.

Lastly, i marketed myself. After my very first year, I wanted to have an ext control end my business, therefore I occurred a target system and also marketed my services to potential clients i really wanted to occupational with, greatly for e-learning work. By doing this i was able to build up a stable stream that repeat clients, numerous of whom i still occupational with today.

You may have actually noticed the “buy a microphone” or “learn exactly how to usage audio editing software” is i do not have anything on this list. Fortunately, I simply happened come have had actually a understanding (podcasting) that offered me a head start in those areas.

It was not a smooth roadway to making a full time income through voiceover work, specifically in the first year. It was risky to leaving my job as soon as I did, and although things ended up functioning out, over there were some shaky moments. My income was dependency on even if it is or not I would publication that next job. Acquiring regular, repeat clients assisted to lull the burden ns felt to constantly be booking brand-new work.

And I never stopped seeking counsel. Along every action of the way, ns consulted v my remarkable voice over coach, that was (and quiet is) over the moon around my success. She has talked me down from the ledge, urged me, common her wisdom, thought in me, and helped me to think in myself. In a word, she is invaluable. I’ve additionally been associated in voice end mastermind teams that have actually helped me prosper my company through motivation, connections, and also voice and business skills.

By now you’ve known a usual theme throughout my story: coaching and training. Voice acting is one of those markets that seems easy to acquire started in because “it’s simply talking.” and also while ns do know a couple of people who have actually made amazing careers because that themselves with no or limited coaching, you’re much much more likely to flourish your business–and experience less frustration–if you invest in arising your performance.

After all, countless of the many acclaimed athletes, speakers, and entrepreneurs regularly accomplish with your coaches for ongoing development, so I figure I’m in great company.


(Pic over is the my current vocal booth at home. I’ve got my computer monitor and also mic an installed to the wall surface and of food a shelf for my coffee!)

Want to it is in a Voice Actor?

I gain asked all the time “How carry out I get started?” or “Where carry out I go to acquire the jobs?” ns answer these inquiries cautiously because I desire to offer the best kind the advice, and additionally because ns trying come gauge if the human being asking is setting themselves up for failure and frustration because they think that going to it is in easy. If someone ever before tells friend it’s going to be basic to begin a 6-figure business, they’re pulling your leg. Beginning a voiceover company may not be easy, but with the ideal plan and also expectations, it’s totally doable. And totally precious it.

Here are a few steps i recommend you take if she interested in follow a job in voice over. These are the Cliff’s notes.

Listen to her coach. No really, your coach will be able to tell girlfriend what your next measures should be. At part point, you’ll must make a demo and also start auditioning and/or marketing her services. Your coach will certainly let you understand when she ready and also will make proposal for obtaining started. The or she deserve to also aid you with acquiring every one of the devices you’ll need for your new career. Listen to commercials. Or audiobooks, or e-learning programs, or whatever it is you desire to voice. I offered to hate listening to radio advertising in the car. Now, okay actually adjust the station when music comes on so that I have the right to study the commercials! Market yourself. when you feel your an abilities are competitive, obtain a website up and also running, acquire a demo made, and also start reaching out come your ideal clients and also agents. Yet don’t perform this too early. If she going to invest in a demo, make sure it represents you at your best. So don’t do it an initial thing. If you make her demo first, climate start obtaining training afterwards, your demo will be outdated virtually immediately. (Meaning: You will be better than her demo so your demo will actually it is in holding you earlier from acquiring jobs!) Make sure you’re competitive prior to paying money to obtain a demo made. Keep practicing. ns absolutely love act voice over. It’s fun, and also I gain to be an imaginative and even goofy sometimes. (Sometimes i scare the crap out of my husband once a project requires screaming. I always forget come warn him front of time!) there are human being all end the human being working hard to perfect their skills, and also if I desire to continue to be competitive through them, I need to practice to keep up mine chops. I recognize they are practicing and also getting coaching, and also that encourages me to save up (or slightly ahead). ;) Grab mine (free) exactly how to get started in voice over guide. I provide away several of my ideal secrets on just how I grew my voice end career, as well as some super beneficial resources in the guide. Everything mentioned in the section above is increased on in the guide, from devices to training and coaching recommendations to marketing and also even invoicing clients.

I feel so blessed come have found an sector I adore, that supports my family, and enables me to spend time at residence with the people I love.

Let me know if you decide to look into it!

– Carrie


Frequently asked Questions about Voice end Acting:

Here room the peak questions we acquired from the comment section and quick answer below…

Can I perform voice acting if I have an accent?

Absolutely! In fact, there are definitely opportunities where having actually an accent or gift bilingual come in handy v voiceover work. And for all the various other situations, there space coaches that specialize in accents, therefore they could aid you with that area together well. One of the first questions my voiceover coach request me was, “Do friend speak another language?”. Slang and also local terms are very desirable skills.

Voice coaches that specialization in accents: –> check out sheet Studio and also The accent Coach!

How perform you treatment for your voice?

“I drink loads of water, or at the very least I need to :) I stop sugary foods prior to sessions, I avoid yelling, and I try not to acquire sick :)”

Best advice come attract brand-new voice acting jobs?

I would say that your capability to act/talk convincingly to her target audience is more important than the quality of her voice. If you’re cultivating a skin care product, and you can “become” the finest friend sitting across the table telling your friend around this good new moisturizer you uncovered — and do that so convincingly that it no sound favor you’re exhilaration — the will get you more than simply sounding nice. You can do self research to get much better at this, and also you can also attend classes, workshops, or rental a coach. Feel cost-free to reach out if you have much more questions!”

Can I carry out voice acting together a permanent career?

Yes! This doesn’t just need to be a next hustle. Many people make a great career out of VO. Frequently you’ll require a many experience come land permanent jobs and earn a stable voice actor salary. But, you likewise might uncover that you can make much more money contracting and being a freelancer for her talent than obtaining paid a salary.

See more: How Old Is Alex Guarnaschelli’S Daughter And Ex, Alex Guarnaschelli

What is the typical voice gibbs salary?

The average voice actor yearly salary is ~$76,300 (or $36.70 hourly wage) according to Zip Recruiter as of October 2020) yet keep in mind, this is the average. Some experienced voice actors acquire paid substantial amounts.

Can you make passive revenue from voice acting?

Although friend sometimes deserve to earn residuals for voice end work, this is largely trading her time because that money. But, if girlfriend love what friend do, friend don’t work a day in her life, right?

Who is the highest paid voice actor? (Just for fun)

Trey Parker & Matt Stone. This dudes created South Park, and also do the voice exhilaration for numerous of the main characters!

What if mine voice sound “too young”?

Remember, there is no such thing as the appropriate kind of voice. Numerous adults get paid huge money to voice plot for components that are an alleged to be kids voices. Many of the cartoon voices the sound like children on TV and also in video games room really adults! Typically, adults are less complicated to occupational with than kids, for this reason you can use a young sound voice to her advantage! check out Lisa Biggs!