How to Become a Voice Actor

Voice Actor Key Stats
Avg. Salary / year $32,750
Avg. Pay / hour $15.75
Education 2-3 Years
Job Outlook 1%

Voice Actors are most commonly recognized by their voice than by their physical appearance.

They may provide voice material for a variety of productions including for: television shows, cartoons, commercials, radio shows and movie trailers.

Individuals who succeed in this profession typically have a strong and recognizable voice that helps them stand out amongst other individuals.

Individuals who want to become a Voice Actor will need to work on attaining experience, complete training and have some personal characteristics that will help them succeed in this field.

Because this field tends to be highly competitive, individuals are highly encouraged on working on their networking skills to make contacts in the field.

Other recommended skills can include: creativity, persistence and clear speaking skills.

Education Requirements to Become a Voice Actor

There are no exact requirements in order to become a Voice Actor.

Many individuals have found success in this field without having had a formal education.

However, individuals are encouraged to gain experience and practice using their voice.

Individuals may take formal training through a university drama or theater arts program.

Courses in drama or filmmaking can also help an individual gain the necessary training to enter this profession.

Individuals who want to become a voice actor also have the option to gain experience by being a stage actor; many individuals have a stage acting background.

Individuals who want to become a Voice Actor can work on gaining experience on diction, proper pronunciations and learn new accents and dialects through courses and experience.

Through experience and training, individuals will also have the opportunity to use their creativity to produce and develop characters.

Being proactive by creating characters and learning dialects and accents may help individuals stand out.

Many employers seek individuals who already have experience and who doesn’t need any training after they’ve been hired.

Voice Actors will also need to take direction and be personable and easy to work with.

Because many productions are time bound and have non-negotiable deadlines, completing a job without much direction is one trait that many employers look for.

In addition, individuals who want to become a Voice Actor must work on their networking in order to enter this field.

The entertainment industry is very small and knowing the right people to begin a career in this track is one of the most important assets to finding and keeping jobs.

Voice Actor Job Description

Many Voice Actors work on a freelance basis and spend a good amount of time networking and finding jobs to work on.

Voice Actors will work with sound technicians and directors to create sound bites and recordings for animate television shows, commercials or films.

Using accents, pronunciations and their voice, they will create or enhance a character during their recording sessions.

Some jobs may be long term and last several seasons on air, or for such things as commercials, may only last a few days to a week to complete.

Voice Actor Salary and Career Path

Wages for Voice Actors are not generally tracked, but instead are grouped together with other types of actors including: stage, movie and television actors.

In 2012, the median wage for all actors was approximately $20.26 per hour.

Hourly wages of up to $500 per hour have been reported for many Voice Actors.

Many actors work part time and on a freelance basis which reflects upon their annual wages.

Voice Actors may work inconsistently throughout the year with some of the off time being used to search for new jobs.

Exact wages for individuals will depend on a variety of factors including the number of projects completed per year, professional reputation and the amount of time worked.

The job outlook for all Actors is expected to grow at a slower than average rate when compared to other professions.

Job opportunities for Actors, including Voice Actors, are projected to grow by 4 percent through the year 2022.

However, the exact job growth will depend on the type of production.

For example, movie productions and film opportunities are expected to have a better growth than individuals who would like to work for a performing arts complex.

Voice Actors are professionals who are experienced in creating sound bites for a variety of productions including television and radio commercials, films and animate television shows.

Some individuals may go their full careers without being recognized out in public, but what does stand out is their voice as many individuals who are successful in this career have spent a good chunk of their time creating a trademark voice or character such as the Voice Actor for Moviefone.

BLSThe below information is based on the 2021 BLS national averages.

  • Annually
  • Monthly
  • Hourly

National Average Salary


Average Salary by State

StateAvg. Annual Salary
Connecticut- NA -
District of Columbia$102,460
New Hampshire$39,260
New Jersey$42,330
New Mexico$39,400
New York$108,420
North Carolina$55,720
North Dakota$46,670
Rhode Island$96,470
South Carolina$56,490
South Dakota$34,340
West Virginia$33,250
Puerto Rico$18,850

The top earning state in the field is New York, where the average salary is $108,420.

These are the top 5 earning states in the field:

New York - $108,420
District of Columbia - $102,460
Rhode Island - $96,470
Utah - $79,450
Colorado - $78,710
* Salary information based on the May 2021 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Broadcast Announcers and Radio Disc Jockeys, OCC Code 27-3011, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a voice actor?

Voice actors, also known as voice artists or voice talents, are performers who provide voices that represent a character.

They are most commonly hired to play characters in animated films, commercials, radio dramas, video games, puppet shows, or to narrate audiobooks and documentaries.

A voice actor’s role may also include singing, so having some vocal training may give you better chances of finding employment in the field.

Voice actors can also be used for voice-over translation of foreign language films.

Work hours for actors, in general, are irregular; when being involved in a project an actor may have to work overtime.

How much does a voice actor make?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t specifically record information about employment and wages of voice actors; they are grouped with other types of actors.

According to, the median hourly wage for actors, in general, was $17.54, as of May of 2018.

How much an actor makes depends on a wide range of factors, including the field of employment, his or her reputation, and the region.

How much does it cost to become a voice actor?

There are no education requirements for voice actors but holding a bachelor’s degree in acting or taking some acting classes may help you start a career in this field.

How much the acting classes will cost you depends on the coach and the school you choose.

The rates for acting coaches are typically between $25-$100 per class.

Some schools also offer voice-over training classes.

Although it is not a requirement, a bachelor’s degree in the field will help you perfect your skills.

The average cost for a four-year bachelor’s degree program in acting is around $170,000 but tuition costs vary depending on the college and the program you choose.

What is the demand for voice actors?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for actors, in general, is expected to show little or no change in the next years.

However, as the number of streaming platforms that produce their own shows increases, more actors will be needed to perform on these shows.

The voice acting field is highly competitive and having some formal education and maybe a few successful projects in your acting portfolio may help you win auditions.

How long does it take to become a voice actor?

There are no formal education requirements for voice actors, but having some training in the field can help you start your career.

How much it will take until you become ready to enter this highly-competitive field depends on many different factors.

There is no one-fits-all recipe for becoming a successful voice actor but if you want to master this craft you should start by taking some acting classes.

Acting classes are offered at many community colleges, conservatories, and private film schools and can typically be completed in about 2-3 years.

Many actors also hold a bachelor’s degree, which usually can be earned after four years of training.

As a voice actor, you will have to perfect your skills throughout your career by participating in workshops, rehearsals or by having an acting coach.

Your career will also depend on your portfolio and reputation; most actors start with small parts and move to bigger projects as they gain experience.

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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