How Much Money Do Voice Actors Make?

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by Jason McCoy

Updated March 2022

Before you get started learning how to become a voice actor, you'll probably want to have an idea of how much money voice actors make. (Check out the real-life examples below to see exactly how much voice actors get paid)

This way you'll know whether or not a career in voice-over will pay you well enough to meet your needs.

Fortunately, one of the greatest & most freeing benefits to having a voice-over career is the ability to earn as much income as you want.

This may sound too good to be true but there is a direct correlation to the effort you put forth and how much money you can make as a voice actor.

While having hustle helps, making smart decisions is even more important.

That's because the amount of money a voice actor makes will depend on a few important factors (most of which you have complete control over).

How Much Do Voice Actors Get Paid?

One factor that has a major impact on how much a voice actor makes is whether the voice actor is union or non-union.

While the union (SAG/AFTRA) may offer higher-paying jobs, the number of jobs are fewer and the competition is pretty fierce.

As a non-union voice actor you're able to set your own voice-over rates. This mean you can still have access to jobs that pay just as much or more than union rates. 

A second factor that'll determine how much a voice actor earns is the type of voice-over (or voice-over niche) being recorded. For example, based on an hourly rate, audio books tend to pay less per hour than other niches like commercials.

Another factor that plays a role in how much the voice actor makes is where the voice-over jobs come from.

Freelancer websites (like Fiverr & Upwork) are notorious for low-paying jobs.

Online casting sites (also known as pay-to-play) have higher budgets and post several auditioning opportunities every day.

And voice-over jobs that come via agents or direct marketing efforts of your own tend to be some of the most lucrative voice-over work available to non-union voice actors.

A final factor to mention that can affect how much a voice actor makes is how well the voice actor knows how to run a business.

Don't make the mistake of thinking creative skill is all you need, voice-over is also a business.

Remember, landing a voice-over job is great, but on-going repeat client relationships are what can really skyrocket a voice actor's income.

Examples of How Much Money Voice Actors Make

One of the best ways to get an idea of how much money voice actors make is with real-life examples.

Let's take a look at a few recent voice-over job opportunities and see how much money a hired voice actor was able to earn:

How Much do Voice Actors Make? - Example #1

This job posting was for 75 words, which works out to be 30-seconds of voice-over. It was for a radio commercial and the budget was $750.

How Much do Voice Actors Make? - Example #2

How much money do voice actors make?

This project consisted of recording the voice-over for a bike product video. The word count was 250 which is just over one-and-a-half minutes. The budget for this project was $1,000 to $1,249.

How Much do Voice Actors Make? - Example #3

This is a project that was posted on a freelancing website for a voice-over to be used on a presentation. The job listed 60 minutes as the estimated finished time and a budget of $1,000.

How Much do Voice Actors Make? - Example #4

This industrial promo voice-over for the web was 3 minutes long and the budget was $400.

These examples are just a few of the thousands of voice jobs that pop up every day. Some will pay much less and some will pay much more.

In the end, how much you could earn from voice acting depends on how many jobs you book, which really comes down to other factors including your auditioning and performance skills.

Hopefully this gives you a better idea of how much voice actors make in case you decide you want to learn how to become a voice actor yourself.

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