Voice Acting

How Much Does an Animation Narrator Make?

Keaton Robbins | January 29, 2024

A brunette woman reads from a book, while wearing headphones and speaking into a microphone.

The landscape of voice acting, particularly in animation, has dramatically expanded.

Voice actors have unprecedented access to global opportunities.

In this article

  1. The Current State of the Animation Voice Over Industry
  2. Technological Advancements and Accessibility
  3. Rise of Streaming Services
  4. Diversity and Inclusion
  5. Globalization of Content
  6. Emerging Opportunities in New Media
  7. Financial Outlook
  8. Understanding the Animation Pay Structure
  9. How Much Does an Animation Narrator Make?
  10. Additional Considerations for Animation Narrators
  11. Conclusion

This digital revolution means that a voice actor in one corner of the world can contribute to a new animation project thousands of miles away.

In this blog, we’ll take a look at animation narrating or voice acting and dive into how much animation voice actors can make.

The Current State of the Animation Voice Over Industry

As we explore the financial aspect of voice acting in animation, it’s essential to understand the industry’s current state, which is experiencing dynamic changes and exciting growth.

Technological Advancements and Accessibility

One of the most significant changes in recent years is the technological revolution.

High-quality recording equipment has become more affordable and accessible, allowing voice actors to set up professional home studios. This democratization of technology means that more talents from around the world can participate in the industry.

Rise of Streaming Services

The surge in streaming platforms like Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime has increased demand for animated content.

These platforms constantly seek fresh and diverse voices, providing more opportunities for voice actors. The variety of content, from children’s animations to adult-themed series, has widened the scope for voice artists.

Diversity and Inclusion

There’s a growing emphasis on diversity and inclusion in the animation industry.

This shift includes on-screen representation and extends to the voice actors behind the characters. Producers and directors increasingly seek authentic voices representing the characters’ backgrounds and experiences.

Globalization of Content

The globalization of content has opened doors to international markets. Shows and movies are often dubbed in multiple languages, creating additional opportunities for voice actors across the globe. Anime, for instance, has seen a rise in popularity in the Western world, leading to a higher demand for skilled voice actors in this genre.

Emerging Opportunities in New Media

Besides traditional animation, new media formats like video games, virtual reality, and interactive storytelling create new avenues for voice actors.

These mediums require voice acting that can adapt to non-linear storytelling and interactive elements, adding a new layer of complexity and opportunity in the field.

Financial Outlook

Given these developments, the financial outlook for voice actors in animation is positive.

The increase in content production means more work opportunities. However, the industry remains competitive, and voice actors must continuously evolve and adapt to stay relevant.

Understanding the Animation Pay Structure

Voice acting, especially in animation, involves a diverse pay structure.

Factors influencing income include the actor’s experience, the project’s budget, and the medium (TV, film, online content, etc.).

  1. Experience Matters: Just like any profession, experience plays a significant role in determining a voice actor’s pay. Seasoned actors with strong portfolios often command higher rates.
  2. Project Budgets: The project’s budget directly impacts what a voice actor can earn. Larger productions with significant funding typically offer more lucrative compensation.
  3. Medium and Distribution: Whether the animation is for a major television network, an independent film, or a web series, it can greatly affect earnings. Mainstream projects usually have higher pay scales.

How Much Does an Animation Narrator Make?

  • Entry-Level Voice Actors: Beginners in the industry can expect to earn lower rates, often starting from $20 to $100 per hour.
  • Mid-Level Professionals: With some experience and a growing portfolio, these voice actors can earn significantly more, potentially ranging from $100 to $300 per hour.
  • Top-Tier Talent: Highly experienced and in-demand voice actors, especially those with notable work in successful animations, can earn $300 per hour or more.

Additional Considerations for Animation Narrators

  • Royalties and Residuals: For some projects, voice actors may receive additional royalties, especially if the work is for a highly successful series or film.
  • Agents and Managers: Professional representation can help secure higher-paying jobs, but they also take a percentage of the earnings.
  • Freelancing vs. Contract Work: Many voice actors work as freelancers, which allows flexibility but can lead to income variability. Some may prefer contract work with studios for a more stable income.


The world of animation voice acting is as diverse in its payment structures as it is in its creative output.

From budding voice talents to seasoned professionals, earnings can vary widely.

However, the joy of bringing animated characters to life with one’s voice remains a priceless experience for many in the field.

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