Juanita Casas Former Head of Operations of Voice123.

What to pay voice actors and why

3 min read

In this post, we want to present you an incredibly valuable resource. It provides a significant opportunity for everyone in the business to learn about fair rates. David Toback and The Global Voice Acting Academy team built this guide to help anyone interested in the voice over industry to find out how to get the best out of every business relationship. This guide is for voice talents as much as for voice seekers or anyone else interested in doing business with a professional voice actor. You’ll find the guide useful, but to get the most out of it, you should apply it to every business you do. You can also come back to it for reference as needed; the GVAA team will keep it updated.

We encourage you to enjoy it and use it! You’ll definitely see its value.  

 Juanita Casas


The Global Voice Acting Academy not only provides industryleading voice over education and demo production, but is also an advocate for fair rates, leading the movement for industry rate standards. The GVAA has made it part of its mission to provide fair rate education and awareness to the voice over industry. To that end, the concept and execution of an industry standard rate guide took place, culminating with the development of the GVAA Rate Guide.

 We collaborated with various industry professionals with years of experience – voice talent, agencies, casting directors and rosters – and other reliable industry rate resources, such as the SAG-AFTRA rates card, spanning the many areas of the Professional Voice Over Industry. Numerous rates were obtained and compiled, generating standard rates for the different genres of voiceover.

 The goal of the GVAA Rate Guide is to educate voice talent, as well as voice seekers, what fair rates are, impress upon the importance of fighting for fair rates, and provide a medium for fair rate standards to take shape. With the overwhelming interest, adoption, and support from the VO Community, the Rate Guide quickly blossomed in size and scope – adding usage options, market rate data, best practices, and international rates to name a few.

 We are now proud to say that voice talent across the world are using the GVAA Rate Guide to help quote their projects and educate their clients on fair rate standards. Recently, it has been referred to as the Industry Standard for rates, and we couldn’t be happier! We have even received rates success stories from voice talent using the Rate Guide to negotiate rates and understand their value! Talent have been so impressed with the Guide that after the release of our free Rate Guide embed, several have put the GVAA Rate Guide directly on their websites. (See below for information on how to get the embed code.)

 If this is your first time hearing about or seeing the GVAA Rate Guide, it can be a little overwhelming – there’s a LOT of information packed into it. To give you a hand, we decided to make the following “Guide to the Rate Guide”:

How to Read the GVAA Rate Guide

The Rate Guide is broken down into VO categories and subsections within each category.  Here are few examples:

  • Commercial – TV, Radio, Online, Internet Streaming
    • TV/Radio – National, Regional, Local
  • Promo/Imaging – Radio, TV, Trailers
  • Non-Broadcast – Narration, Corporate Videos, Industrial Narration, Medical Narration

 Within each category and subsection, rates are listed based on job type, job length, type of usage, and usage length (buyout).  

  • Commercial – job types refer to the geographic reach of the spot in terms of the usage length.
    • National TV – 1 Year Buyout
    • Local Cable – 1 Year Buyout
    • Internet & TV Broadcast – 8wk, 6mo, and 1yr usage
  • Non-Broadcast – job types are similar so we break rates down by job length and usage
    • Corporate Video Narration – 1-2min video, 3-5 min video
    • Narration – 0-5mins, 5-10mins, etc.
    • E-Learning – Per Finished Min (PFM) & Per Finished Word (PFW)


This convention repeats through the different VO categories, allowing for relevant adjustments based on category content.

 Most category rates are shown on a Low/Average/High scale. Some categories don’t have that much variance, so those are listed as “Standard Rates.” In this listing, industry standards are given, and include a range where appropriate. We realize that talent have different levels of proficiency and business models, so we implemented a rate floor and ceiling.  This allows flexibility when quoting, empowers talent to take control of their worth, and gives the talent confidence that they are quoting a fair rate that doesn’t diminish their value or the value of the VO industry.

Notes with pertinent information regarding each category, subsection, job types, etc., are included as well.  These usually focus on usage rights.

The International market is tricky, but we offer rates for the most common types of VO work in different International regions.  A “Best Practices” section highlights some business practices to consider when doing International work.

Finally, the “General Rules of Thumb” section offers some basic VO business insight directed at talent who are newer to the industry. 

There you have it! Remember, our rate guide is a live document and is always evolving and improving! If you have rate information you’d like to contribute, questions about the GVAA Rate Guide itself, or would like the embed code for your website, please email dtoback@globalvoiceacademy.com.

Be on the lookout for our upcoming YouTube series that goes in-depth into each category of the GVAA Rate Guide! We’ll be featuring some of our own GVAA coaches and even some special guests!


David Toback

Chief Financial Officer, Global Voice Acting Academy


 Cell: 407-906-2380

GVAA: 424-371-3745



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5 Replies to “What to pay voice actors and why”

  1. Thank you so much for this progressive and positive
    development. You have helped address one of the most challenging and pressing problems of voiceover talents since the inception of pay-to-play sites. I applaud your commitment to us. And I appreciate that you will be educating clients and voice seekers in this as well.

  2. It’s great to get something like this but it’s also very limiting. A national TV voiceover spot is 2k-5k? That is giving the client carte blanche to limit the rate. A national union spot can pay anywhere from 15k to 100k or more. This guide is contributing to the rate drop in non-union work.

    Just 1 or 2 years ago, a national non-union spot could pay 10k-15k. But for various other reasons along with publishing guides like this, the rates have plummeted.

    If you never did a decent union spot and are new to voice work, 2k-5k may seem like a lot of money. But then consider what your voice WAS worth just a few years ago. Much more.

    I did a Cialis union spot that ran for 8 months. I had an iSpot subscription that showed how much each national run cost the advertiser/client. Would you believe they spent $45,000,000??? over the course of the 8 month run? The talent rates are peanuts compared to their overall budget but someone, somewhere is getting a slap on the back because he or she could find an actor who would work non-union for 2k-5k as a 1 year or more buyout.

  3. It seems to me that it’s V123 that needs to follow the GVAA rules. I’m constantly seeing voice seekers offering pathetic fees for projects worth hundreds of dollars more.

    I am asking V123 to use the GVAA pricing structure to filter out those voice seekers who want to get away with insulting budgets. This can only help the VO community.

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