Voice acting jobs, what are they? Well, have you ever watched The Simpsons or Family Guy? Did you know that the people who lent their voices for the cartoon characters are being paid thousands?
For example, Yeardley Smith plays the voice of Lisa Simpson. She is paid $300,000 per episode of The Simpsons and also has a net worth in the $85 million range. Seth Macfarlane earns around $50,000 per episode of Family Guy.
I have done a few voice acting jobs myself. One example is an audio tape for an educational e-book and another for a commercial. I earned $200 for one job which took me 10 mins and $800 for a job which took me 2 days to record. There is a big range.
With this in mind, you might what to know, what is voice acting?
What is voice acting?
Voice acting is also known as, dubbing or voice-overs. It involves you providing your voice to give information to your audience or to represent a character. You read a script and bring that script to life using your voice.
Voice acting jobs are significantly in demand in the entertainment industry, commercials and even for political campaigns.
Types of voice acting jobs:
There are an array of voice acting jobs you can apply for:
Radio and TV commercials – Every time you are driving down the highway and hear someone recommending the best carpet cleaning product or best pension plan, trust me, someone is #gettingpaid!
Radio and TV commercial jobs don’t take long to record but you need to understand the copy and give it a relatable character.
Educational E-learning – You could record e-books, classes, tutorials, anything to do with education. The key is to have a clear neutral accent for learners to understand.
Audio Books – Audiobooks are hugely in demand. So many people listen to audiobooks while cooking or driving. Audiobooks are also a great source of recurring income, as they are long and take weeks to create.
Phone Prompts – You know when you call the bank or your mobile phone provider and they put you on hold with music and some random person talks about how much they value you as a customer? Well, a voice actor was hired for that. The key here is to have a friendly conversational tone.
Podcasts – Similar to e-books, people are listing to podcasts on their commute to work. This is an area that is going to explode soon. I was recently approached to record some podcasts last year and the money offered was excellent.
Video games- Gaming is a hugely lucrative industry that is only going to get bigger. Every game needs a voice actor.
How much can I earn with voice acting jobs?
As a voice actor, you can get paid on a per-project or per job basis. The difference is, a project may have several different voice acting jobs within it.
As a rough guide, you can earn $35 for a small market radio spot, $150 for a 15 to a 20-second recording for a small website, $250 – $350 for a 30-second big radio commercial to about $2,000 – $5,000 per audiobook.
The most common way to charge for a voice acting job is by the word count of a script. Calculate what you want to earn per hour, then decide how long it will take you to record the script. Then charge accordingly.
There are voice actors that get paid lower or higher than this, but it depends on several factors, more on this later.
What skills do I need for voice acting jobs?
Every job requires a skillset. Even though you may have a naturally enthusiastic, smooth or attractive voice, you may still need to undergo different training just like an on- cam artist, the only difference being that you work in a recording room.
Here are some of the skills that you need to attain if you want to apply for voice acting jobs:
Clarity of voice and voice control. A voice actor’s articulation has to be impeccable. Each word needs to be distinctly understood, not swallowed, mumbled or garbled. This includes cleanliness which refers to mouth noise.
Successful voice actors are always in control of their voice in terms of their pitch, their volume, and their breath. Breathing heavily into the recording and sounding like a stalker will do you no favors. Unless you are auditioning the role of a stalker .. then breathe away 🙂
Practice Consistency. Consistency is a highly valued skill. If you are consistent in your volume, energy, pacing, articulation, and characterization in your eye-brain-mouth coordination, you will be every director’s dream. Know what are you talking about even if you don’t. This includes having a good manner for narration.
Have a kind of connection with your material. Being connected with what you are reading is vital to your performance. Try to be conversational in your recording.
Learn how to act. Any kind of voice acting that requires characterization requires acting. The ability to perform solid characters will set you apart from your competitors.
Practice the skill of cold reading. This skill is a must-have for long-form narration, particularly in the areas of e-learning modules, narration and non-fiction audiobooks. The ability to cold read text will save you a lot of time in the studio, not to mention a lot of editing time.
How do I get started?
This is what the experts say :
Voice acting jobs require you to look for a quiet place, like a studio, where you can record your voice. You also have to have the right equipment for your recordings. It is good to have a good quality microphone and a mic stand to make your recording more comfortable, and pop filters for better sound transmission.
Since you will be uploading your material on different social media platforms, you will need a good laptop and a fast internet connection.
For editing purposes, look for a good recording and audio editing software over the net where you can save and edit your video.
This is what I say :
When you are starting, keep your costs low. Once you have received a few jobs, then you can start investing in expensive software or microphones. All I needed when I started was :
- A quiet place – I recorded one job in a bathroom and another in a bedroom after bribing my brothers to leave the house with movie tickets -_-
- A decent microphone – I used my iPhone
- Free editing software– On my iPhone
Where do I find voice acting jobs?
Here are a list of 10 voice acting job sites that hire voice actors.
Voices.com has lots of resources to help you look for a voice-over gig. Just by signing up for an online account, you will be able to look for potential clients where you can send in your audition pieces.
It comes also with a paid account option and has voice match technology that helps in voice matching, cutting down the processing time for hiring. It offers a variety of voice acting projects, making it the best in the market.
With over 28000 voice actors, VoiceBunny is another popular voice-over platform but the application process requires taking an exam before getting approved.
Unlike other companies that have a standard rate of pay, VoiceBunny allows you to set your own rates from $31 for a gig.
Hailed as one of the most popular voice-over companies in marketplace, Voice123.com allows its clients to choose the actors for their projects. Simply create your online profile for free or for a membership fee that costs $395/year. It features a SmartCast algorithm that invites paid talents to its clients.
For beginners, Fiverr.com might be one of the sites you may consider. There are no perquisites for signing up for an account that is open for public users. You give an initial $5 base amount, but it allows you to have add-ons for additional pay.
You just need to input ’voice acting jobs’ in the search bar.
Upwork is a freelance site where you can bid your job easily. However, there is no assurance of being accepted. Uploading a project portfolio could be a good start if you want to land a gig easily and have potential clients.
Word of advice- Be careful with scammers online and fake employers that might hire you. They are the ones who conduct interviews via skype and google and ask you for a small amount of money for their office supplies.
The Voice Realm is an online voice-over directory where you can find, submit your audition and hire or be hired as a voice actor and translator. The Voice Realm provides it’s global clients with voice talents. The platform allows anyone to source and work with a voice-over artist for different media platforms.
First, you need to submit your audition by filling up the form provided on their online site and avail of their free audition services. If you’re lucky you will be able to download audio files and start working.
Bodalgo.com has 8404 voice over talents and 80 native language speakers. It presents an easy way for its users to land a voice acting job and allows its users to manage their files remotely either on tablets or on mobile phones.
Filmless is essentially a video production company. They create videos for their clients and often need to hire voice actors for their videos. A quick look at their career section indicates that they are hiring freelance voice actors right now.
Snap Recordings deals with people who have various needs related to voice industries. You just sign up and create your own profile and start searching for your own gigs. You can choose different types of work such as voice prompts or phone systems, there are plenty of opportunities available.
EarWorks is a voice talent agency that requires it’s applicants to send their own audition scripts. Following this, they will undergo a series of evaluations and of chosen, jobs will be assigned.
Tips to succeed
Feel that you’re ready for the job? Well, here are some tips that you can use that can help you to succeed in this career.
- Play the character. When casting a voice-over job, the person hiring is only interested in whether your voice can match and bring the character in their script to life. Have a think about the character in the brief, how should they sound, what is their audience?
- Study the casting spec and script. The person hiring has a tone in mind. Do they specify that the audition should be more conversational and less salesy? Tweak your pitch accordingly. Review the spec. Study the script. Give yourself the best chance to deliver what they are looking for.
- Get the pronunciation right. If you aren’t sure, google it and listen to YouTube videos. Also, get your timing right too. If there is a 31-second pause in the script, don’t pause for 50 seconds, you won’t get hired. Pay attention to the detail.
- Be resilient. Similar to any new job application, it’s a numbers game. In the beginning, you will get lots of rejections, just keep applying. Your opportunity will come. How quickly you move on from negative situations and maintain focused amid rejection is crucial to you reaching your goals.
Is there any voice over training online?
If you are REALLY interested in voice overs and feel like maybe you’ll need a little more guidance to get going or want to make this a serious career move, check out this free mini course, “Intro to Voice Overs,” to learn more about what’s involved in becoming a voice artist.
Similar to any career, the more time and money you spend on your learning, development and training, the more you can potentially earn in the future’.
Voice acting jobs are a great way to earn an income remotely from the comfort of your own home. You can do it part-time or full time or on a freelance basis when you feel like it (that’s what I did).
If you are looking for alternative ways to work from home and make money online, it’s worth checking out these articles :
How to Become an Online Teacher (and earn $6,000 per month!)
How to Become an Online Editor (9 Easy Steps)
Alternatively, you may be interested in starting your own blog that makes money within the first month?
Check out this step-by-step guide to setting up your blog today for less than $5 a month.