Working as a voice actor from home is probably one of the best career paths for anyone who has always loved voice acting or narrating. Needless to say, it’s the perfect job for anyone who always desired to make money out of something that she loves to do.
The voice-over or voice acting industry has always been there since the birth of radio and other audio transmitting devices. Over the years, the industry continues to grow, reaching a larger audience not only in one location but across the globe.
While some people thought the voice industry might be thoroughly hit by technological advances, well, as stated in an article by The NYU Dispatch, “advances in technology have proven advantageous to the voice-over industry and have brought it to a new level with the arrival of podcasts, audiobooks, e-learning and even smart devices that enable self-command features.”
Furthermore, it states, “The internet has made it easier and more accessible than ever for individuals to break into voice acting, even without professional coaching.“
True enough, with all these advancements and platforms that cater to voice talents or voice actors, it helped a lot in the rise of the gig economy, which, according to the article, comprises 36% of workers in the United States.
There is nothing that could stop the voice industry from growing, which is great especially for every single voice actor who looks forward to achieving their goal of turning their passion into their primary profession.
More so, thanks to technology and the World Wide Web, work from home options for voice actors become possible.
Yes, today, even voice actors can work remotely — for as long as you have the right tools and equipment to do the work, you are definitely good to go.
Exciting? Well, it truly is!
So, having said that, today, we are going to share with you essential information on how to be a successful voice actor working from home.
In particular, we are going to tackle the following items:
- What is voice acting?
- What does a voice actor do?
- What are the pros and cons of voice acting?
- What are the different voice acting niches?
- Who qualifies to become a voice actor?
- What is the equipment needed to become a voice actor from home?
- How much does a voice actor make?
- Where to find voice acting jobs?
WHAT IS VOICE ACTING?
First of all, let us define what voice acting is all about —
We always say this, and we will say it again. Whenever you are entering or opting to jump into whatever career, make sure that you know and fully understand what you are getting yourself into.
You just don’t take the plunge especially if the competition is very evident. So, to give you an idea about this industry, let us first and foremost learn about what voice acting truly is.
The history of voice acting dates back to 1900 when Canadian inventor Reginald Fessenden recorded the very first voiceover in the world. He was an avid fan of the newfangled telephone, and he wanted to innovate the technology, which led to the birth of voice acting.
Since then, the voice acting industry has grown to what it is today.
It has truly grown that in fact, according to a study, the monetary value of the global voice market is $4.4 billion. Again, the industry is expected to continue to rise in the years to come especially with the boom of digital technology and the internet.
Voice acting refers to the art of performing voice-overs, or in other cases, providing voices to represent a character. Voice acting also refers to providing information to an audience or user using voice as the main tool.
Technically, the definition is a bit broad. But that’s totally understandable because the voice industry, in general, is really broad.
Voice acting is part of our everyday lives. We hear voice actors or voice-overs or voice talents over the radio, online (through podcasts as well as platforms like iTunes and Spotify), even while watching the television, you will encounter voice actors.
You see, it’s everywhere!
To give you a glimpse, voice acting is used in different platforms like:
- animation shorts or films
- radio or audio dramas
- training sessions/e-learning sessions
- phone messages
- interactive voice response
- toys and games
- TV programs
- … and so much more!
Voice acting is indeed a huge industry. Thus, we find it impossible for voice actors to run out of opportunities given its broadness.
Generally, voice acting requires a range of voices, skills, as well as techniques depending on certain factors like the format of the piece as well as the target audience.
Given this fact, most voice actors prefer choosing a few specialties to focus on instead of trying to do everything.
WHAT DOES A VOICE ACTOR DO?
So, we already shared a very brief history of voice acting, as well as the definition of the term. This time, we are going to provide you with what exactly a voice actor does.
As mentioned in the prior section, the voice industry is broad, which means there is a lot in stored for voice actors.
Technically speaking, a voice actor uses her voice to portray characters in movies, commercials, animations, dubbed films or TV shows, video games, eBooks, etc. Basically, anything that a project or a piece requires.
To become an effective voice actor, you have to acquire a certain range of voices, skills, and techniques. The more flexible your voice is, the more competitive you will be.
Back in the days, voice actors work in recording studious. However, today, opportunities to work from home have also emerged provided the voice actor does have the right tools and equipment.
Before moving on, if you want to get some inspiration on how to start off a voice acting career, check this insightful video by Brizzy Voices:
WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF VOICE ACTING?
Working as a voice actor is fun, but it can also be challenging. Thus, it is important that before you even get to it, you fully understand what it requires and you’re ready for them.
Now, to give you balanced information, below is a list of some of the pros and cons of getting into voice acting:
- It is impactful. No matter how big or small your piece is, it can still make a big impact on your audience. As a voice actor, it can be extremely fulfilling knowing that by lending your voice, you were able to help a project succeed.
- You get to be part of an amazing voice acting community and work with reputable clients. Voice acting allows you to meet a lot of people both from the voice industry as well as from different company clients. It’s a great avenue for networking, which could lead you to better opportunities in the future.
- You can make as much as you like. Generally, voice actors are self-employed. They are entrepreneurs. Their voice is their business. As a voice actor, you are your own boss, which means you get to decide how much you want to make in a certain span of time.
- You get to work from home. Probably one of the best things about voice acting especially nowadays is that it allows you to work at your own pace (without sacrificing deadlines, of course), anywhere you want.
- It may take some time before landing a job. This, however, is particularly true for beginners. The voice industry is very competitive. Thus, it may be a little challenging for newbies to kick their voice acting career off.
- It can be emotionally draining. As a voice actor, you have to act according to what your character asks of you. So, at times, it can really be draining.
- It can be isolating. In some cases, you may have to work for long hours, which means being alone in your recording room for a long period of time. Unless you are an introvert, this can be quite challenging as well.
- It can be financially challenging. When starting off, you need to invest in certain good quality equipment. Otherwise, your output will suffer.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT VOICE ACTING NICHES?
As mentioned, the voice industry is broad. However, there are certain areas in the industry that have a greater demand for voice actors.
Some of the biggest voice acting niches out there include:
Audiobooks are a growing industry. In fact, it is booming these days, especially with the young generation.
If you are going to pursue a voice acting career by doing audiobooks, please know that your voice acting or voice over will depend on the subject matter. However, to be an effective audiobook voice actor, you have to be a great storyteller. You need to capture the attention, as well as the emotions of the listener.
To give you an idea, though, some of the common audiobooks are romance, fiction, as well as self-help.
E-learning is a voice acting niche that is perfect for voice actors who have a passion to make a difference in someone’s life through teaching.
What’s nice about it is that you are able to train or teach others on subjects that matter to them.
The only downside of pursuing this particular niche is that in some (if not, most cases) you will be tasked to teach a subject that you are not familiar with, which can be challenging.
However, once you mastered how to handle such circumstance, it should be a lot easier.
Voice acting in character is seldom required when doing e-learning projects. Instead, you’re challenged to deliver the material in a manner that will keep the listeners engaged over a long period of time.
Both small and large businesses use phone prompts to help callers find the right person to speak with regarding their concerns.
Apart from that reason, phone prompts also helps keep customers from getting bored while they are on hold and are waiting for their turn.
If you are going to accept projects in this area, keep in mind that the vocal style required is usually friendly conversational, at the same time, it has to be clear. The other person on the line should be able to understand what you are saying.
Radio and TV Commercials
Of all the voice acting niches, these two are probably the most common of all, needless to say, the most popular among voice actors.
Both radio and TV commercials provide a huge number of opportunities for voice actors.
Normally, a pot lasts for 15, 30, or 60 seconds, which means it does not require a lot of time to record and get done.
When doing commercials, you need to have the ability to interpret the copy, understand what the commercial is all about and the message it tries to convey, and then essentially, create a character to match it.
It’s probably safe that among all the voice acting niches, doing radio and TV commercials is the best avenue to practice and improve your character range as a voice actor.
WHO QUALIFIES TO BECOME A VOICE ACTOR?
In this section, we are going to provide you information on the skills required for voice actors.
Not everyone is gifted with voice acting skills (although it can be learned if you’re really into it). So, if you got it, you better make use of it. Share it with the world by pursuing a voice acting career or business.
In order to qualify as a voice actor, you must at least have the following important skills and abilities:
- Ability to Act – We are not talking about acting like how actors and actresses do. We mean, ability to act using your voice. You have to have the ability to relate to the script and be able to deliver what the character needs.
As a voice actor, it is important that you are able to convey to the listener who is speaking, who your character is speaking to, and you must be able to bridge the emotion down to the listener. As a voice actor, being able to interpret the script given to you is vital.
- Communication Skills – Excellent communication skills are important for voice actors just like in any careers out there. Since most voice actors work independently, it is important that you know how to communicate well with your clients.
As mentioned, the voice industry is a competitive industry. Thus, building a really good network and a great relationship with your clients is key to be considered as a reliable voice actor.
To keep the work coming, make sure to regularly check and respond to emails and phone calls.
- Knowledge in Handling a Business – As mentioned, most voice actors work independently. Thus, having knowledge of how to run a business is important.
As an independent contractor, you are responsible for quoting projects, setting rates, invoicing, as well as in auditioning for voice acting gigs, and in following up with clients regarding the status of your audition/application.
- Computer Skills – This skill is particularly crucial for voice actors working from home. You have to be knowledgeable in audio recording.
Apart from knowing how to use a computer, you must also acquire and learn how to use audio recording software, which is very important in your work.
WHAT IS THE EQUIPMENT NEEDED TO BECOME A VOICE ACTOR FROM HOME?
Apart from the skills we mentioned earlier, pursuing a voice acting career will also require you to have the following equipment:
- A well-performing computer
- A reliable, high-speed internet
- An audio software that will allow you to record, edit, and save your voice recordings
- A quite space that is free from distractions where you can do your recordings
HOW MUCH DOES A VOICE ACTOR MAKE?
Probably the most important information you want to know about voice acting is the amount of money you can make as one.
Generally speaking, a voice actor’s rate varies depending on your experience, expertise, and also where the voice recording will be used.
Typically, a voice actor can make around $100 to $300 per minute of audio for shorter projects. Obviously, you can earn more than that for longer projects.
By the way, as an independent voice actor, you set your own rates.
Pursuing a voice acting career can be a good resource of income especially if you have already earned the respect of clients, and have proven your reliability and credibility as a voice actor.
WHERE TO FIND VOICE ACTING JOBS?
There are several places where you can find voice acting gigs.
However, the fastest way to get paid for a voice acting or voice over job is by auditioning through online voice casting websites like Voice123, VoiceBunny, and Voices.
Furthermore, you may also find voice acting gigs in popular online job listing sites like Upwork and FlexJobs.
In addition, you may also opt to join voice actors’ groups on Facebook and other social media platforms. It’s a great avenue network not only to fellow voice actors but potential clients as well.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON BECOMING A VOICE ACTOR FROM HOME
Voice acting had been around for years. In fact, since its inception, the voice industry continued to grow over the years, and does not have any signs of slowing down especially nowadays when voice acting can already be done at home – thanks to technology and the internet.
While pursuing a voice acting career can be challenging at the beginning, once you’re there, it can certainly become fulfilling not just career-wise, but also financially.
Have you been thinking about pursuing voice acting yet? If yes, well, go for it!