After much debate, the new rates sheet is ready! Click to download your copy now.

money-tree.jpgWow! What a response to the post on revising the Standard Rates Sheet. First, we would like to thank all of you who commented and shared your opinions and insights on the matter. Our team reviewed all of the comments and suggestions, bringing the rates up just slightly lower than the current union rates – these rates are for finished dry voice only. The revised rates reflect the sentiment that the fees charged for voice-over services are relative to talent and experience, whether a talent be union or non-union.

All talent reserve the right to charge their own rates, and these are merely a guideline. For example, some talent may charge higher than the stated rates. Although these rates may not apply to amateur talent (we know that you have to start somewhere), they should be regarded as something to aspire to when you become a professional voice talent.

Stephanie, David, Laurynda, Carol and Todd

P.S. Before you comment, please read all of the comments below. From the feedback received thus far, we changed the industrial and animation rates. Thank you to those whose comments helped revise the document this afternoon.

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Stephanie Ciccarelli is the Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer of Classically trained in voice, piano, violin and musical theatre, as well as a respected mentor and industry speaker, Stephanie graduated with a Bachelor of Musical Arts from the Don Wright Faculty of Music at the University of Western Ontario. Possessing a great love for imparting knowledge and empowering others, her podcast Sound Stories serves an audience that wants to achieve excellence in storytelling. Stephanie is found on the PROFIT Magazine W100 list three times (2013, 2015 and 2016), a ranking of Canada's top female entrepreneurs, and is the author of Voice Acting for Dummies®.


  1. Sorry, guys. I cannot agree with my colleagues thoughts on rates for non-broadcast, corporate and industrial reads. $125 for an hour session is absurdly low-stone age in fact. This is giving it away! Anyone who works for that is either desperate or not that good. Sorry.

  2. Nice rates, of course all talent should remember outside of New York, Chicago and Los Angeles there is vast difference in “local” spots. San Francisco and Amarillo Texas are a long way apart in size! Also I agree with PJ. $125 an hour for industrial is crazy low…unless it takes you an hour to voice ONE page!

  3. Stephanie,
    I agree with PJ that the rate for non-broadcast is too low; but I’ve already replied to your earlier post with my rates to I won’t rehash here.
    On the other hand, you have made it very clear that we talent are all free to set our own rates. When a lead arrives in my inbox that has a budget below what I’m willing to work for, I just delete it and never think about it again.
    Be well,

  4. $125/hr for industrial? Those are jobs I pass on to my VO students! Minimum industrial rate in my book is $300! I may go below that if it’s several hours long…or there are a lot of projects for same client. But never to $125!
    On occasion, I’ll do a freebie for a worthy cause, but for a paying client, $125 isn’t worth my time.

  5. Agreed… $125/hr? Is that supposed to reflect the studio rate, and then the per page rate applies as well? That might make more sense (if someone’s going to a studio).
    The per page that I charge (everyone sets their own rates) is usually $100.
    Hmmm…. not sure I’m comfy using this as a guideline.

  6. Caryn,
    Thank you for your comments. I’d like to address this issue now before the day is over:
    The rates were compiled with insight from those who responded since Friday and over the weekend.
    If you have not yet made your voice heard and would like to see a particular change on the board, for example, the per page rate, we’d be happy to hear it now!
    All rates are for dry voice only and do not include studio, etc.
    Please remember that when you are suggesting changes to a rate to identify the exact numerical fee that you would charge – otherwise, it is incredibly difficult to make things better 🙂
    P.S. Thank you Bob Souer for pointing this out on your blog 🙂

  7. The rate sheet is nice but, I think, only for the largest markets. In markets outside the top 50, it is difficult to get local TV stations to break $50 let alone radio stations. And believe me, if my rates were that much below the norm I would be getting far more inquiries.
    I see how a :30 or :60 radio spot is listed at $200 but an hour of TV animation is $125. I don’t get how that equates.
    If I am “giving it away” let me know but, I find difficulty in getting higher rates in today’s economy.
    It’s a delicate balance of not pricing yourself out of the market and not pricing so low to where it isn’t worth the effort.
    I am interested in any thoughts as long as we do not venture into the area of “price fixing”.

  8. Saw your new rates and while they seem workable in most areas, I agree with the comments from others regarding industrials. They make up 50% of my billing a year and $125 for an hour is absurd. A good talent can easily breeze through an 8-10 minute script in that time. I charge a base of $400 for the first 90 min, then $100 for each additional half hour should it run long. Good luck.

  9. Your suggested rate for non-broadcast is way out of line. Certainly not “slightly lower than union rates.” Non-broadcast, union talent base rate is currently $405 for the first hour.

  10. I feel the industrial rate is completely wrong, and I hope nobody in , even a beginner would work for that. I believe a graduating rate scale, based on script length would be best to gauge compensation on. My standard rate would be: $300.00 for 0-5 minutes, 400.00 for 6-15 minutes, 500.00 for 16-30 and so on… Thanks for listening…. Bobbin Beam

  11. Hi everyone,
    As of just past 6 this evening, we have updated the rates sheet.
    We have also added a Word version of the rates for you to customize own your own as you see fit.
    Thank you for your input,

  12. As a total newbie to the biz I cannot tell you how much I appreciate the rate sheet, the downloadable script book, all the comments and helpful newsletters via e-mail. Many, many thanks!! Now for a quick query, what is the difference between “1 hr. recording session” & “per finished hour of audio”?

  13. Let’s take another direction with rates and etc.
    Could I suggest a forum or blog or the like for “add-ons”, the non-voice components.
    For some time now I have been in a dilemma especially regarding music.
    Royalty Free still costs and choosing for a client may be fraught with perils… and in the same way we safeguard our work from being used without consent and fees, we must equally respect the work of musicians and writers/composers.
    How do different folk address these and other issues and charge for them, and indeed where do you get the music in the first place at a reasonable cost?
    I have the new Audition 2 with Loopology, BUT as I understand it, none is available for commercial use ??!!

  14. Thanks for re-working the guidelines. I have my own rates I quote, but its good not to have the baseline rates so low I look greedy. Its great for the novices to see where to start. Also, hats off to Stephanie and the crew at You guys have come a long way and are generating great jobs. Keep it up.

  15. The new sheets are a nice touch. I agree on the non broadcast. For my clients, it’s on the low side. I would use that maybe for phone menus and low exposure work. Most of what we are paid for is the use of our voice, not the hours worked in front of a mike. The larger the audience or stakes…the more we can charge. And the other way, too. I have no problem having that rate on the sheet. I get at least $300 but sometimes there are pretty easy industrial things that are short, low maintenance and will fall my way only with a low ball quote.

  16. This entire discussion is a great help; I’ve been working as a voice talent for 30 years, but never have tried to make a living at it. It’s hard to take the first steps when you don’t have anywhere to step from – a starting point is critical, and – in my case – especially for the business side of all this. Just wanted to say thanks to everyone piping up on this issue, and particularly to Stephanie and your crew. Good stuff!

  17. These rates in most areas can cause headaches for all of us. If all the voice seekers have this document, they will try to base their pay on these specific rates. Another issue that we should point out is that these rates do not include the studio fees. I think that most of us have a recording studio and as basic as it could be, we all put time, effort, experience and dedication in every job we receive. I understand that not only in Puerto Rico, but in many studios in the US, the basic studio fees per hour is $85 – $200, whether it is broadcast or non broadcast. We are all spending money in terms of time and equipment.

  18. With regards to royalty free music: There are many buy-out libraries in the marketplace. I own a couple of them. Prices do vary, but anyone charging $400 an hour for corporate narration should be able to afford it.

  19. Hi Abner,
    Thank you for your comment.
    I’d like to clarify that there are suggested studio hourly rates included at the bottom of the sheet. Most clients are aware that the voice is only part of the equation. It also says that talent reserve the right to charge their own rates, which of course could be higher than the rates listed for their voice, etc.
    Could you please elaborate for us on which areas of these rates would cause headaches?
    Your feedback is valued.

  20. My apologies to the Voice team, I know that you guys have a lot of hard work to do.
    My point is for example, in the “Radio Commercial: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago” the rate is 300.00. I can consider that rate for the voice only, but what about the studio fee?
    My suggestion is that you guys can create a chart based on recording studio facilities with fee ranges, from the most basic studio requirements to do voice over to the most sophisticated recording studio. I think that all the voice seekers should have a real idea about how much it can cost for both the studio fees and the voice over.

  21. Hello Stephanie & Crew-
    Thank you so much for amending the pricing. It sends a good and realistic message to everyone involved in this business.
    Thank you for your responsiveness to us in the talent community.
    Keep up the excellent work!
    Best, Bobbin Beam

  22. Hi Maarit,
    To answer your question, the difference between finished minutes and per hour is as follows:
    Hourly rate means you charge for the time you spend voicing/editing the job (excluding production)
    Finished Minute charges based on how long the finished product is–not how long it took you to do it.
    It’s advisable to decide rates for both types, because clients budget based on differing criteria… then if a client doesn’t have a preference, bid the way you’re comfortable.
    Good Luck!

  23. Thanks for the new rate sheet!
    How are potential clients being exposed to these rates?
    When they fill out a request for talent, do they specify the type of project and then are they briefed on typical rates for that project type?
    And while I’m here, I find the current way for me to specify my quote when submitting for a job to be inadequate.
    Of course, I’m specific in the text of my proposal, but in the quote box, we can only enter a number.
    (And I fear that my carefully formatted proposals with rate information are arriving in clients’ in boxes as garbled masses of squished-together text.)
    There is no way to say “per page,” “per word,” “per hour,” “per spot,” etc.
    Very, very few IV jobs are specified precisely enough that an actor can say “I can do that for you for $250.” I think that, unless it can be made more flexible, useful, and precise, the quote box should be eliminated.
    Also… what about IVR/phone messages?

  24. Fellow Voice Folks – for a radio PSA do you all think that $200 for either a :15, :30 or :60 is too low? If so, what is a better amount?

  25. How much shd I charge for an ad on a website? they want six segments of about 30 secs each. Also should there be an extra charge because I’m doing in in a foreign language?(spa). I am also translating the script, how do i charge for that?

  26. Greetings,
    I am still trying to make sense of this whole bidding process.
    Let’s use project 14067 as an example. It is 18 pages long; and, I would venture to say that it will take at least 1.5 hours to read and edit. This is probably a low estimate; but, for the sake of the discussion we will stick with that figure.
    A reasonable figure for this type of project is probably closer to $650 – $700 when you factor in the editing etc. to make it a useable piece of production for the client.
    With your sure pay system the talent can not even get close to that figure, as an even remotely reasonable bid of $500 automatically pushes the bid that the client sees upon opening the various bids is actually $550.
    I trust that you see my point of concern?
    We are all in this business to make a little money; but it would appear that Voices might be holding the talent pool back by actually getting collecting twice from the talent. First the subscription fee ( not too unreasonable in the scheme of things ) and then by collecting an additional fee predicated upon the talents’ actual bid.
    In a scenario such as this project, the talent is being held back even more when he/she bids the maximum ( $500 ) on an already low budget by $50. This just seems a little unfair, don’t you think?
    Bob North

  27. Hi Bob,
    Thank you for commenting with your thoughts.
    With regard to your comment, talent are free to quote whatever they feel best reflects what they would charge for the scope of work and are not restricted to bidding within the range. If you feel that the selected budget does not represent what truly should be budgeted for the job, let the client know that you charge higher rates for this kind of work. Sometimes it’s a matter of education.
    We do our best to provide clients with information that will help them to budget properly, however, not all of them heed those suggestions nor do they have the funds in some cases but still wish to find someone who could help them achieve their goals.
    I’m not clear on why you think is holding the talent back. SurePay is not a commission fee that is taken away from what you as a talent are commanding as your professional fee, it is only a transaction fee for clients who wish to use our escrow service. This is how a client would pay for the usage of our tools and services at and does not in any way take from the talent.
    That being said, voice talent are not obligated to use SurePay, although it is very beneficial to do so and protects everyone involved guaranteeing payment for work obtained through If a client has no issue with using SurePay (they are aware of this service prior to posting their jobs), it is in your best interest to do business within the safe framework of as your customer desires.
    Does that help to clarify your questions and address your concerns?
    Best wishes,
    Stephanie Ciccarelli

  28. Hi Stephanie,
    Simple question. If this is the ‘Standard Rate Sheet’, why do most of the radio and TV jobs that come down still have the $100 – $250 rate range listed? Seems that category ought to go the way of dial-up. Far too low and never worth auditioning. Which by extrapolation means most of the jobs that come through are not worth auditioning.
    Wayne Thompson

  29. Hey folks,
    What am I reading here? Comments begin dated July ’06, jump to Feb & July ’09. Is this info current? Please xplain. Thanx.

  30. Hi Wayne and Tom,
    Thank you both for your comments and questions.
    Wayne, $100-$250 is what is generally paid for local radio commercials. On the most recent rate sheet, $200 for local is suggested.
    For regional and national commercials, higher rates can be commanded. We recommend going by the union rates if you are comfortable with that. The standard rates refers to the average fees that some non-union professionals in the US and Canada are charging for their services, dry voice only.
    Tom, this article was originally posted in 2006 but has received comments over the years since. Older postings are archived on the blog.
    More current rate info can be found here:
    Best wishes,

  31. For those of us that dont have a home studio, you HAVE to include the cost of the studio time & travel expenses(gas)…RIGHT???. I am really new to this entire industry & its all very confusing

  32. I write my own “Royalty Free” music…My clients appreciate getting personalized music, and I build up a great library of stuff I can use over and over, after all, it stays mine unless I sell it to someone specific. (But I’ll tell you…it’s almost cheaper to give it away rather than pay copyright fees) and…there’s and endless supply. (As long as I don’t lose my hearing, then it won’t matter anyway)
    As far as the fee structure is concerned…We all know that’s just a suggestion. Thanks for the info…I’ll adjust accordingly and see if my Job to Audition ratio changes.

  33. Hi all,
    Thanks Stephanie for all this info. I notice one BLARING HOLE in the rates. As today’s ad market is moving away from traditional media on radio and TV what are the fees for Internet-only commercials???? Are we charging more because they are more targeted or are the less because not ‘broadcast’? Are we charging residuals or per site or full buyouts and if so, because they can be posted even more places is the rate, yet again, higher?
    What are others doing with these???
    Krista Klear

  34. Hi Krista,
    Thank you for joining the conversation and I hope all is well with you.
    To answer your question, what we recommend doing is charging what you charge (or close to what you are charging) for broadcast voice overs.
    Mainly what you are looking at are full buyouts, however, you can negotiate licenses or residual payments with your clients if you and they perceive the value of the voice over to be substantial, especially if they are using it for years and have hundreds of thousands if not millions of visitors to their website.
    This topic warrants more discussion as it’s been a long time since we touched base on this.
    Best wishes,

  35. What would a “newbie” charge for an On Hold job??? Being new to this, I have no clue as to what to charge?????? HELP!!

  36. Hi Jenny,
    Thank you for your comment, question and for participating!
    To answer your question, quote no less than $100 for voice overs, regardless of length or application. Your time is worth money as are your skills and the talent you bring to the table. Whenever we hear people ask this question (What should a newcomer / newbie charge), we always emphasize that you and your service offerings have worth and are of value and there is no need to identify yourself as a newcomer nor should you feel obligated to charge a lower fee than other freelance professionals.
    Another tip: Don’t quote less as a strategy for getting your first job as it will set a precedent with that client going forward and it will be difficult to increase your prices once they perceive your services to be worth a lesser amount.
    I hope that has helped to answer your question.
    Take care,


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