Voice Actor Annual Salary in the USA
Voice acting is a booming industry, with many voice actors working remotely in our new, post-pandemic world.
Beginners and veteran voice actors alike may be curious about how this new dynamic has affected annual salaries for voice actors. What are the going rates that voice actors are using? Which fields in voice acting are the most or least profitable right now?
And most importantly, what can you do to set a competitive salary for yourself or even increase your salary as a voice actor?
This article has the answers to these questions and more. Let’s begin!
Expected Annual Salaries for Voice Over Artists
Like with many other career fields, salaries for voice actors can differ based on various factors such as the type of work, number of hours, and actor’s level of experience.
Here are a few estimates for what beginners, intermediate, and veteran voice actors can expect to earn annually. We based these numbers on the averages of USA voice actor salaries from actors at different experience levels.
If you are a voice actor breaking into the industry for the first time, it can be hard to know what your expectations for annual earnings should be.
A beginner voice actor can be considered anyone with 1-4 years of experience in the industry. A collection of reported beginning voice actors found that the median salary was $24.50 per hour or approximately $50,000 annually.
Whether you have been in the industry for a few years or completed work for a couple of projects, you can now comfortably call yourself an experienced voice actor.
Having some experience means you can reasonably expect to earn more for your work. The average annual salary for intermediate voice actors with 5-9 years of experience starts at about $52,000 and increases with experience.
Veteran voice actors can offer far more experience and skill than the average beginner actor.
Because you have been honing your craft for years and bring more skill to the project, you deserve to be earning more as well.
A veteran voice actor, individuals with 10-19 years of experience, can expect to earn about $40 per hour or $83,000 annually.
Artists with over 20 years of experience often earn even more, with some reporting salaries of around $100 per hour.
Best Voice Over Fields for Salaries
Some voice over fields are growing in popularity and, therefore, demand for talented actors is as well.
The intended use for the finished work will also affect how much you want to charge for your services. For instance, projects with a more extensive planned distribution will pay more.
Some of the most lucrative fields for voice actors include video games, broadcast jobs such as national tv commercials, and cartoon or animated projects.
Worst Voice Over Fields for Salaries
While many fields offer more pay, a greater number of jobs, and other benefits, some projects offer fewer hours and smaller word counts, which will translate to a smaller overall salary for you.
Lower paying fields can include local radio commercials, online ads, or non-broadcast jobs.
For example, a job for two minutes or less of work is not going to be as high-paying as a full-length audiobook that might require anywhere from 4-6 hours of voice over work.
Tips for Increasing Your Salary
Regardless of your experience level or the field of voice over work that you want to work in, it is important to try to negotiate for the best salary you can.
Here are a few helpful tips for increasing your salary as a voice actor:
- Regardless of your experience level, present yourself as a seasoned professional. Avoid sounding too unsure or too aggressive when meeting with clients.
- Have explanations for your rates and ranges. You need to be able to explain to your clients what your rates cover and the situations where you might need to adjust your charges.
- Know how flexible you are willing to be on rates before going into the meeting and be willing to accept that not every project or client is going to work out.
Setting Your Voice Over Rates
For beginner voice actors, setting your rates can be challenging. You want to find a rate that will be competitive but also provide you with a salary that is commensurate with your abilities.
Conversely, many experienced voice actors make the mistake of keeping their rates the same even after years of accumulating experience and improving their craft.
It is essential to review your rates regularly to ensure you are keeping them at the correct level and not accidentally cheating yourself out of a better salary.
Fortunately, we’ve designed a free rate guide that takes a lot of the guesswork out of the process for you.
Download the rate guide here and use it to learn how to set your voice over rates:
- For non-broadcast jobs, determine how many finished minutes the project and use the rate guide to help decide your rate. It would be best if you also considered other factors like the complexity of the task when determining the rate.
- For broadcast jobs, understanding the usage of the finished work is the most important consideration for determining your rate. A wider distribution or more prolonged use of the finished project should translate to a higher rate for your voice over work.
- Utilize our rate guide frequently, but remember that it is only a reference. It would help if you personalized the rates based on your unique situation and the specific project.
Hopefully, this article has made you feel like you have the facts and figures you need to feel comfortable determining the current voice over salaries in the USA.
For more information about voice actor salaries and to learn more about breaking into this fantastic industry, sign up with Voices. We share valuable insights to help actors of all experience levels grow their careers.