Is Voice-Over a Good Career? Getting Started in This Fast-Growing Industry

Is Voice-Over a Good Career? Getting Started in This Fast-Growing Industry

Is Voice-Over a Good Career? Getting Started in This Fast-Growing Industry


During the last few years (and particularly after 2019), we’ve seen many new trends and shifts within the voice-over industry. More importantly, actors had to adapt to a changing world - one where remote or hybrid work became the norm. Luckily, the field did not just stay alive; it thrived!

Today, many voice over artists work from their own home studios. Audio-visual sharing programs and platforms have also made collaboration much more straightforward, with entire productions being moved to a 100% online environment. Talent from all over the world can now work from international locations and create various revenue streams using new and powerful tools.

So, in this context -- what is it like to be a voice over artist, and is it something you should consider if you’re looking for a career change? Let’s ask some seasoned professionals what they think about their job.


What is it Like to Be a Voice-Over Artist?

We should start by clearing one of the biggest misconceptions about working in voice over: A great voice is a big plus for the industry, but needless to say, it’s not the only factor in play. Voice talent is, in many cases, more about good business sense and some polished talent.

We asked Claire and Jo, two talented voice over artists with extensive experience in the field, what they thought about their career choice. Here’s what they said when asked about what they liked the most about being a VO actor:

“I love the creative process; often having to find multiple characters and methods of delivery in an instant. It’s a very intuitive process. You need to trust your gut and your personal performance toolkit because often, there isn’t a lot of time for rehearsal. I enjoy the variety of projects that I work on- from complicated medical text, to fun kids’ voices, from Shakespeare or news reports to robot characters! Plus, I love the flexibility of the lifestyle. I love being my own boss.” Claire.

“The thing I most like about being a vo artist is the different roles, scripts, and emotions I have to portray on a day-to-day basis. no two days are the same, nor are the client. I meet some amazing people and get to work with extremely talented people that I would not get to work with normally. it's always nice when people say that they have heard my work on tv or the radio, which brings a smile to my face.” Jo.

We’ll go through the benefits of voice over career in the next section, but you can already guess the primary motivator for artists: the variety of projects you can work on. Let’s see what some of the other advantages of this job are.

What Are the Benefits of Becoming a Voice Over Actor?

There are many benefits to choosing this career. For instance: An Amazing Community and Clients. As soon as you start taking on new projects, you will notice your networking skills improve as you work with repeat clients. Most voice over actors agree that the community plays a huge role in their career choice. If you’re not meeting people on jobs, you can also attend workshops and events to meet other artists and get referrals.

“I love working on an audiobook casting, directing, and playing all the characters myself! But I also enjoy the variety of commercial and educational e-learning work I do. You need to make quick decisions in this business, and it’s great to trust your instinct and feel that you got it right! It’s also really fun to get a message from a friend saying, ‘hey, is that your voice on my telly?’” Claire.

The Impact of Lending Your Voice

Even the smallest of voice over projects can have an impact. By providing your voice, you are helping a business achieve a goal, which is particularly fulfilling as a professional. This is especially the case if you feel committed to a script and want to come in contact with a variety of industries and projects.

The Ability to Work From Anywhere

We’ve mentioned this when we went through the changes the industry has gone through in the last couple of years. Voice over was always a career choice that allowed you to work flexibly. Today, though, remote work is the norm. This means you can work from anywhere in the world and, in most cases, on your own schedule.

“So to keep yourself prominent in a highly competitive market, a professional VO needs to work hard on making their demos perfect, their vocal health at its peak and to practice their delivery, sight reading, intonation, and pitch daily. You could be required to perform at any time- tomorrow- or even in the next hour- so you have to be at your peak 24/7! Sometimes you are recording at 7am in your pajamas at home and sometimes in a swanky studio with free coffee and donuts!” Claire.

Challenges of Voice Acting

Of course, there are some downsides to working in voice acting. These include:

  • Monetary costs: If you run a voice over business or want to work on it full-time, you will need to invest in a home studio, professional equipment, and usually some marketing.

“There's no school or public information out there on voice over. I mean, it's out there, but you have to know where to look. voice over is a very unique job because you have to be good at sight reading, be able to act, take directions, work alone, be an engineer, and I could go on.” Jo.

  • Isolation: Working from inside a booth can sometimes feel somewhat isolating. There could be an emotional cost for certain projects, so you need to make sure you engage in other activities to keep your mental health in check.

“There aren't many disadvantages to being a voice over, but if I had to pick, one would be the amount of time you spend alone. although I do work with many people most of the time, this takes place online. I maybe go into a studio twice a month.” Jo

  • Time: Beginner voice over artists can book jobs immediately or struggle to find a gig. As you build your network, remember that you should remain patient and self-reflective. And use your time to polish your skill!

“I’d say a disadvantage is that the industry is highly competitive. You need to be at the top of your game at all times because if you’re not ready, someone else will be. Sometimes there is nothing for days, and then suddenly you’re having to juggle 6 projects at the same time whilst fighting a bad cold!” Claire

How to Become a Voice-Over Actor

If you want to start your career in voice over, you should consider using an online agency specializing in representing voice over artists. OutSpoken helps connect creatives with voice over talent capable of recording quality audio from their home studios. Add your voice to OutSpoken and find your first voice over gig today!

Still unsure? Here are some thoughts from our two guests:

“I became a voice over because I made a positive out of a negative. It's something I've always admired and was told I would be good at but didn't know you could make a living out of it. During 2020 I had time on my hands, and something clicked in my head that made me buy equipment and give it a go. I joined freelance sites, and the rest was history. Within 6 months, I was lucky enough to call myself a professional voice over, and hope it continues. If you are new or established in vo please check out my biweekly podcast about the vo/audio industry covering demos, rates, coaching, and more.” Jo

“I created a little home studio in my house (after studying lots of videos and taking lots of professional advice) and started to record my own demos. Before long, I was getting repeat work with large audiobook publishers in the States, recording idents for the BBC and getting regular work with Global, who make radio adverts for Independent Local Radio.” Claire


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