There’s a lot of buzz lately about working from home as a voice-over artist, but many people don’t really understand what this means or how it works. ln this post, I’m breaking down some of the most commonly asked questions about how to work as a voice artist, so you can better understand if this is a job you’d like to try.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.
What is voice-over work?
Voice-over is the act of narration, and it’s a lot more common than you probably think. Someone who does voice-over work narrates or speaks from a script, edits their work using computer software, and then sends the finished product to the client.
Many voice-over artists who work from home are freelancers, which means they contract out with various clients or companies rather than just working for one particular company.
While this used to be the kind of thing only done in recording studios, it’s now extremely easy to do voice-over work right from your own home. You do need a quiet space you can use for recording, a few supplies like a good microphone and some headphones, and editing software as well as a computer to use.
Here are just some of the jobs that a voice-over artist could do from home:
- radio ads
- movie theater announcements
- e-learning modules
- telephone announcements
- web videos
- loudspeaker announcements
Is voice-over work and working as a voice-over artist the same thing?
The terms voice-over work, voice-over artist, and voice actor are all used interchangeably to mean the same thing: someone who uses their voice to speak, act, or narrate without appearing in person.
How do I become a voice-over artist?
If you want to become a voice-over artist from home, you need to set up your home studio, make sure you have the proper recording materials and software, and create a demo reel to show to prospective clients. You’ll then start looking for voice-over jobs, pitching to clients, and networking with others in your field.
Becoming a voice actor isn’t just about getting your voice right and nailing the part — there’s also a bit of business savvy that comes into play. That’s why it can be helpful to get training from someone who knows the ins and outs of the business and can tell you exactly what (and what not) to do.
If you’re looking for the best training in setting up your voice-over business, I highly recommend Julie Eickhoff with Online School for Voice Over.
Julie’s course teaches you everything you need to know about working from home as a voice-over artist, including exactly what supplies to purchase, what (free) software to use, and how to get your business going. She’ll even offer a free coaching session for you.
If you want to find out more, you can click here to check out her course.
What background do I need to be a voice artist?
Many voice artists have a background in broadcasting or acting, but these things are not absolutely necessary.
In fact, you can become a voice artist with no previous background or experience at all.
You do need to have a voice that is easy to understand, but that is basically the only requirement. And with the wide variety of jobs available out there, all types of voices are needed to fulfill these projects too.
This means you should not hesitate if you feel your voice may be too old, too young, male, female, or even if you have an accent. In fact, you may be exactly what someone is looking for! Clients need a huge range of voices for all sorts of projects, and you may find that you’re the perfect fit for someone.
What equipment do I need to be a voice-over artist?
In order to work from home as a voice-over artist, you need to have a recording space, a good microphone, headphones, and editing software. Other tools, like a pop filter and a shock mount, can also be helpful.
What skills do I need to be a voice artist?
In addition to a voice that’s clear and easy to understand, other skills necessary to be a voice artist include script reading skills. This means that you know how to give life to a character or part so that it sounds easy and natural (you don’t want to sound like a robot while you’re speaking!).
If you have trouble doing this naturally, don’t worry — this is a skill that can be learned, coached, and practiced.
Other skills necessary for working from home as a voice-over actor include knowing how to record, edit, and master your own files. No one is expected to know how to do this on their own. There are many tutorials available, depending on the software you are using.
If you take a training course like Work from Home Doing Voice Overs you’ll learn everything you need to know right within the program.
How do I get voice-over work?
There are a number of places online that regularly hire voice-over artists. To start, consider one of these top companies:
Voices.com offers a wide variety of jobs for all kinds of voice actors. This includes everything from commercial voiceovers to audiobooks to animated cartoons.
You can join their large talent community for free, or pay for a premium account which makes it easier to browse jobs and pushes your name higher up in the results so you’re more likely to get hired.
Snap Recordings offers voice-recorded telephone greetings, hold messages, voice prompts, and similar recordings. In order to be considered, you must provide a demo reel.
While they hire people from all over the world, they boast of having over 100 industry-leading voice talents available, which means they’re likely very choosy about who they hire.
Bunny Studio Voice
Previously known as Voice Bunny, Bunny Studio Voice is another platform that might be a good match if you have previous experience and can work on professional equipment. This site works with over 28,000 voice artists covering 50 languages.
One of the nice things about this platform is that you’re able to set your own rates and the company works to match talent with appropriate projects.
If you have previous voice acting experience, check out Filmless. This company hires freelance voice-over artists with at least five years of experience in this field. They also prefer to work with freelancers who can offer a quick turnaround and who work from their own home studios.
You’ll find just about every kind of job under the sun on Fiverr, which means chances are good you’ll find someone looking for voice talent.
Bodalgo allows you to set your own rates, and you can send your demos directly to clients who post projects. After you’re hired, you’ll have direct contact with the client.
The Voice Realm
The Voice Realm is a job platform with thousands of voice-over artists, however, they boast that they don’t hire any amateurs. If you feel confident with your voice acting skills, it’s definitely worth submitting a demo reel here.
Mandy is a huge directory of jobs across the film, TV, and theater industries. Not only can you create a profile where you showcase your talent and audition for jobs, but you also have access to other service providers who can help boost your work.
When you’re on the site you can even network with other professionals and receive member training.
LinkedIn is a professional networking site that can be extremely helpful in finding a job, no matter what field you’re in.
Adding a demo reel to your profile and making it public can help connect you with recruiters who have jobs available.
These online sites aren’t the only way to get a job. You can also reach out to local businesses or agencies, working with video production offices, e-learning publishers, and audiobook publishers. There are lots of businesses that need voice talent, so you can look in a wide variety of places for anywhere you can audition for gigs.
How much money can I make as a voice-over artist?
The money you can make as a voice-over artist really depends on the type of projects you do and how hard you work.
“Voice artists are paid per project and the range can be quite wide depending on the usage of the project,” explains Julie Eickhoff of Online School for Voice Over. “A voice over on a commercial that runs nationally is entirely different than a voice over for a corporate office that is only going to be used internally.”
Eickhoff explains that many voice actors like to start out with audiobooks, so she uses these as an example for typical pay.
“With audiobooks, you can get paid two ways, or a combination of both. There are royalties (where you get paid a portion every time the audiobook sells) or you can get paid per finished hour for narrating/producing the audiobook,” she says. “Rates vary here, but you can easily find projects that pay $100-$200 per finished hour (Although many voice artists command much higher rates). So, a 5-hour audiobook with a rate of $200 per finished hour would be $1000.”
Keep in mind that as a freelance voice artist, you won’t only be working on money-making projects. Much of your time will be spent on marketing and auditioning, especially at first. So initially, much of the time you spend is marketing and auditioning. While you don’t get paid for these, they can pay off in the long run, especially if you gain repeat clients and can establish a good demo reel.
Where can I learn more about working from home as a voice-over artist?
To find out more about working from home as a voice-over artist, visit Online School for Voice Over.