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How Much Do Voice Actors Make?

How Much Do Voice Actors Make?

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How Much Do Voice Actors Make? Photo of the Hands of a woman holding 100 dollar bills by

If you want to jumpstart your voice acting career, the first thing you’ll ask yourself may be, “how much do voice actors make?”

There’s actually no fixed rate for the job since it varies based on lots of factors. According to this voice over rates guide, the average starts from a few hundred pounds to a couple thousand – excluding other necessary costs.

That said, if you need clearer answers to the question, “how much money do voice actors make?” Here’s your guide.

Factors that Affect Voice Actor’s Salary

When you start a career in voice acting, keep in mind your salary could change with each project. Besides the type of work a client needs, here are a few more reasons.

Type of voice-over work

The voice acting industry has many branches, so you’re likely to find many jobs in different fields related to it – for example, gaming, advertising, and entertainment.

To know how much do voice actors make, you should understand how they work. The table below shows a couple examples of voice-over work and their appropriate techniques.

Voice-Over WorkTechnique
Radio ShowsPractice articulating your words well and use an engaging, casual tone
Animation and CartoonsPut emphasis on expressions by exaggerating pronunciations and words
Video GamesGet a good feel of the character and makes words sound pleasant even after repetition
Education or e-LearningFocus on sounding clear, natural, and conversational
AudiobooksEnunciate words correctly and clearly while keeping the tone or expression of characters
TV CommercialsCapture audience’s attention by adjusting the tone or color of your voice based on the script

Each type of work follows a different style that determines the complexity of the job. The more skill required to deliver it, the higher the salary goes.

Experience and skill level of the Voice Actor

As a voice actor, clients take a good look at your experience and skill. That’s because voice acting requires training to improve rather than just practice. But even with great skill, you need to establish a strong foundation for your name.

Some clients also prefer to hire voice actors familiar with their niche or industry. So, the usual voice actor agency tends to train their talents under one focus field.

Geographic location

When you ask yourself how much do voice actors make, did you ever think it could also vary by location? 

If you live in cities like New York or Vancouver (and other top locations for finding voice actors), the pay usually matches your living expenses.

It’s the same when you get a project from clients based in locations like those.

Voice-Over Language

Language is another major factor if it’s for a language beyond your mother tongue or the universal one. 

Studying a second or third language and achieving fluent or conversational levels is a lot harder than it looks. It takes time and practice to get the right accent or pronunciation – even more if you’re learning it for voice acting.

So if you’re wondering how much do voice actors make when they’re multilingual? The simple answer is a LOT. Read this guide on the most useful languages to learn nowadays.

Agency representation

Voice actors have agencies too, and some of those are well-known names and figures in the industry. The more popular the company, the more likely you will get higher rates.

But note that some of these agencies follow strict guidelines to assess if you qualify. In that case, practicing how to sound professional when voice acting can push you up their list.

Voice Over Job Time and Workload

Like any other industry, you might have extra work or stay overtime to finish up a project. Of course, you don’t have to worry about that all the time.

But if you ask how much do voice actors make per month, it helps to consider this when setting your salary expectations.

Union Membership

If you’re a member of a voice acting union, it’s less complicated to negotiate your salary with an employer. Unions usually help with giving you the pay and benefits you deserve.

You can join a union even if you’re a freelance voice actor and still get the same perks as the rest of the members.

How Much Do Voice Actors Make on Average?

You might be thinking, how much do voice actors make a year if it varies with every project? We elaborate more about that with the following tables.

Note that the hourly rate means you’ll be booked for an hour of your time, not necessarily that you’ll be completing an hour’s worth of finished audio.

If you want to know how much do voice actors make per episode, we include the average salary for 30-minute episodes, assuming it’s basic roles.

Beginner Voice Actors

An entry-level voice actor is likely to earn something towards the lower range of a payment scale, whereas more experienced voice actors will likely charge higher fees. Depending on the number of jobs they’re booked for, their overall yearly costs will also vary greatly!

Here is an overview of the rates beginner voice actors can expect to receive based on the given factors.

FactorsRate in £Rate in €Rate in $
Per Hour£100 – 150€150 – 175$150 – 175
Per Year£18,000€20,000$25,000

Mid-Level Voice Actors

A mid-level voice actor usually has a few years of experience, usually anything above three years.

You can find a brief of the average salary to answer your question on how much do voice actors make with experience.

FactorsRate in £Rate in €Rate in $
Per Hour£150 – 200€175 – 200$175 – 200
Per Year£24,000€28,000$30,000

Experienced Voice Actors

There’s a big jump between the pay for a high-end voice professional compared to entry and mid-level voice actors. 

Here’s a table to give you a better look at how much do voice actors make on the professional level.

FactorsRate in £Rate in €Rate in $
Per Hour£200 – 250€200 – 350$200 – 350
Per Year£80,000 +€90,000 +$100,000 +

Celebrity Voice Actors

Next to professionals, there are more popular figures. Did you ever wonder how much voice actors make when they’re full-on celebrities?

Here’s a quick example: The Simpsons Voice Actors. The cartoon pays its voice actors a whopping $300,000 for every episode! 

That goes for their long-time cast members like Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, and Yeardley Smith among others.

As for how much do voice actors make in animation, no-rank voice actors (the highest level of voice acting in Japan) get to name their own price. It’s enough to say how much they could possibly earn per episode.

How to Maximize Earnings as a Voice Actor

If you’ve had your fill on how much voice actors make, it’s time to kickstart your journey.

Voice actors can earn a lot depending on how far they can go. 

If you want to learn how to maximize your earnings in the field, here are a couple of tips to keep in mind:

  • Have a specific niche and audience.
  • Set competitive rates.
  • Negotiate with your clients.
  • Market yourself and build your brand.
  • Grow your network with professionals.
  • Upskill and expand your services.
  • Generate income from multiple work sources.
  • Maximize social media access with promotions.
  • Seek higher-paying opportunities in different fields.

How to Get Voice Acting Jobs

It’s true that landing a voice acting job requires patience. But when you focus on your voice quality, expand your network, and develop a great voice reel, you’re likely to gain more interest from different clients.

For Voice-Over agencies like Golocalise, you can apply as a freelancer and create a voice demo reel with them. You can present it through different platforms, like websites or social media.

With your knowledge of how much voice actors make and a good voice sample demo, it may just be your one-way ticket to success!

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