Starting Your Voice Acting Career: Understanding the Voice Over Business

Beginner's Guide To Voice Acting in 2024

Understanding the importance of voice acting and how the voice over industry functions is key to being a successful voice actor. This includes learning who voice over clients are, understanding the kinds of jobs that exist, and how voice over projects work.

That said, the real first step is to learn what a voice over is and how it enriches a variety of projects.

What is a Voice Over?

A ‘voice over’ is an spoken word recording provided by a voice actor for a project or production. Voice overs help content creators share information, bring stories and characters to life, and most importantly, connect with audiences.

The demand for voice overs comes from a variety of industries, such as advertising, gaming, broadcasting, healthcare, education and financial services. Practically every industry needs a voice-over at some point.

If you are bilingual or multilingual, other opportunities open up as well, such as providing voice dubbing and localization.

In other words, voice over opportunities are abundant and content creators are quickly realizing the importance of voice in a world where voice is everywhere.

Understanding Clients

Content creators and producers who need voice actors for their voice over projects are called ‘Clients.’ Such clients may be advertising or marketing professionals, audiobook publishers, filmmakers, creative producers at advertising agencies, video game creators, and more. You can see the kinds of jobs they post and the voices they look for by navigating to Voices.

Tip: Learn more about our voice over clients and their industries.

Recent voice over industry reports show that most clients believe that voice overs are critical for their project. Most importantly, over 71% of clients agree, using voice over helps them capture their target audience’s attention for longer than not using a voice over at all.

In our annual survey, 52% of clients cited a shift to remote and freelance work at the top trend affecting their business. This means that in 2021 and beyond, clients will be hiring more freelancers such as voice actors, audio editors, writers and translators.

FREE PDF Download: Read the full 2021 Voice Over Trends report now

Building Your Business: Types of Voice Over Jobs

The voice acting industry is always evolving with a variety of interesting jobs. The types of voice over jobs include traditional voice overs for radio and TV commercials, voice acting roles in animated films, audiobook recording, podcasts and dubbing projects, as well as new categories of work that have been created by the advancement of technology, such as eLearning, voice assistants and voice tech projects.

To establish yourself as a voice actor, you must understand the kind of acting styles these projects include, and practice a variety of voice acting skills in order to tackle these projects.

Tip: Browse the wide variety of the types of voice acting jobs available on Voices to familiarize yourself with the categories of voice over work.

Union and Non Union Voice Over Jobs

Even if you’re new to voice acting, you have probably heard about performers unions and guilds. In North America, you’re likely familiar with SAG-AFTRA and ACTRA. In the UK, most talent are familiar with Equity.

On Voices, there are talent agencies representing union actors. Those talent agencies audition their actors for voice over jobs that need union talent.

In contrast, non-union or freelance voice over jobs are open for all voice actors to audition for. These jobs represent the vast majority of voice over work around the world and also make up over 99% of the job postings on Voices.

Grow Your Voice Acting Career: Understand How to Get Voice Over Jobs

Most aspiring voice actors, especially if you have no experience, land their first job at an online marketplace like Voices.

You can find voice acting jobs through agencies, open casting calls from casting directors – however since pandemic, these opportunities seem few and far between nowadays, especially given social distancing requirements as well as health and safety measure in place in so many countries around the world. In person auditions, especially for voice overs, are practically non-existent.

Some options may be more time consuming than others. For example, auditioning at casting calls may be hard for voice actors who work full time jobs. Similarly, going through a bunch of help wanted postings to search for relevant voice acting projects can be a difficult task.

On a positive note, an online marketplace like Voices allows you to tackle multiple auditions at once, increasing your chances of landing amazing voice acting jobs and building upon your voice over experience.

FACT: There are more than 5000 job postings each month on Voices

Getting to Know Voice Over Terminology

As a voice actor going through a variety of job postings, you will notice industry terms that you may be unfamiliar with. Understanding terms like ‘announcer’ and ‘narrator’ will help you recognize voice acting opportunities, and get a sense of the kind of voice over work each project entails.

Voice Actor Terms Commonly Used in the Voice Acting Business

The following are the most common voice acting terms you will come across in the industry, especially in voice over job postings. It is important to understand them, so the next time you look at acting jobs, you can determine if the project suits your skills or not.


Announcers may be voice actors who introduce segments on live television, radio broadcasts, sporting events, podcasts, and so on. It’s important to note that ‘announcer’ is also a style of voice over delivery, which tends to be highly engaging, and easy to understand. Some announcers are fast-paced and may provide a loud delivery. Any voice actor who has a strong command of the announcer style voice can be an announcer for a voice over project.


Narrators are voice actors who specialize in audiobooks, documentaries, educational videos, business videos, medical videos and audioguides. They can narrate a variety of exciting content by taking on various roles and characters, creating great stories for listeners. Learn more about the different types of voice over narration.

Voice Actors, Voice Over Artists, and Voice Talent

Terms like ‘talent,’ ‘voice over artist,’ and ‘voice actor’ are used interchangeably in the industry. They all refer to talented voice actors like you. These terms are an easy way to reference all types of voice over performers and are mostly used by those hiring voice talent.

Differentiating Your Voice Acting Business and Landing Jobs

As a beginner voice actor, we realize that the voice over business can seem quite intimidating. However, online marketplaces like Voices allow both clients and talent to easily take part in amazing voice over projects.

For clients, hiring voice talent online saves them time, money, and hassle. When a client is facing tight budgets and looming deadlines, your goal should be to provide a simple solution for getting the work done on time and within their budget.

So, how do you stand out in a sea of voice talent?

Your online brand serves as a key differentiator, outlining your unique skills and background, while also helping you to appear exactly where clients are looking.

So, even as a beginner voice actor, you should have a profile on a voice over marketplace where clients can find you, hear your voice and hire you.

How Voices Works in 5 Simple Steps

Here’s a simplified breakdown of how Voices works:

  1. A client posts a voice over job.
  2. Voice over talent audition (often by recording a portion of the client’s script).
  3. The client selects which talent to hire, and they deposit their funds into Voices’s SurePay™ service.
  4. The voice over talent accepts the job, records the script and uploads the finished file.
  5. The client reviews the file. If no revisions are required, the file is approved and downloaded, and payment is sent to you, the voice over talent.

That’s how you make money doing voice overs on Voices!

Everything from the audition, to the file delivery and payment, are all completed through your Voices account.

Learn more about how Voices works, and how voice over talent build a successful career on Voices, by browsing through our Help section.

Get started today by signing up on Voices, and easily connect with voice over projects that appeal to you!