How much do voice actors make? Is that question running through your mind because you’re considering a career in voice acting and wondering about the potential earnings? Uncover the crucial factors that determine a voice acting salary by exploring 2 key factors that affect how much a voice actor makes, the highest paid voice actors, how much voice actors make in the US, and what unions and broadcast’s got to do with it.

How much do voice actors make

Voice actors make anything from a hundred to a few hundred thousand dollars, so truthfully, there’s no cut-and-dry answer because there’s no one-price-fits-all for voice over projects. In our experience at Voice123, each project is calculated on a standalone basis, not random prices. This means the voice over industry doesn’t offer a universal voice actor salary that fits everyone. So, a voice actor salary is defined by various industry aspects — such as broadcasting rights, geographic location, and applicable voice over unions. Therefore voice actors must assess each project’s unique requirements and negotiate fair compensation that aligns with industry standards.

Earning a voice actor salary, however, offers numerous perks, including the ability to support yourself (and your family) by doing something you enjoy. As the saying goes, “Earn a living doing what you love, and you’ll never have to work a day.” But before you embark on a career in voice acting, it’s necessary to establish how much money you can make and whether it’s a financially viable career choice. Although this requires research, understanding the potential earnings of a voice actor salary is a crucial step in determining if it’s the right career path for you.

2 Factors that affect a voice actor’s salary

The two main factors that affect a voice actor’s salary are speaking speed (pace) and script length; these, along with other factors such as broadcasting rights and union requirements, significantly impact the voice over rates they charge.

According to a survey conducted by the Global Voice Acting Academy, the average speaking rate for a professional voice actor is around 150 words per minute. However, rates vary depending on genre and project type. For example, e-learning projects may require a slower pace, resulting in a lower overall word count and potentially lower pay. While commercial projects could demand a faster pace, resulting in a higher word count and potentially higher pay. Script length is another critical factor that influences rates. As a general rule of thumb, a voice actor’s salary per project is calculated based on word ratio in conjunction with recording length. 

What is the average voice actor salary?

The average voice actor salary in the United States, according to ZipRecruiter, is: 

  • $38.82 per hour  
  • $1,552 per week  
  • $6,728 per month
  • $80,736 per year

Subsequently, conducting research on the various pricing components in the voice acting industry can help you gain a deeper understanding of the different voice over categories and rates. To optimize your efforts, focus on the specific categories pertaining to your area of expertise. Additionally, you can consult a relevant rate guide like the GVAA to understand the inner workings of a voice actor salary. This helps you become more familiar with industry-standard rates, which assist in formulating a reasonable expectation of a voice actor’s salary.

How much do voice actors make: union vs. non-union 

Union voice actors make around $59, 000 per year, while non-union voice actors earn a median salary of $40, 000 per year, according to a recent voice over report. These figures vary depending on experience and location, but joining a union may provide access to higher-paying jobs and greater job security. So how much voice actors make largely depends on whether they set their own rates or are part of a union. Although voice acting unions don’t operate in all countries, in the United States, SAG AFTRA union members adhere to established rates that factor in residuals and royalties. As such, it is important to consider the benefits and drawbacks of union vs. non-union voice acting jobs before making your decision. 

How much do voice actors make: broadcast vs. non-broadcast 

Voice actors make around $316 for a 30-second commercial for TV or radio if you they don’t belong to union, whereasa union voice actor’s average pay for the same project is $627, according to a recent survey. Pay rates are also influenced by the type of project and how the voiceover will be used. Broadcast projects, like commercials, pay according to market distribution and screen time. In contrast, non-broadcast projects, such as audiobooks or video games, generally pay according to word count. On the other hand, audiobooks pay an average of $250 per finished hour, while video game voice actors can earn up to $1,000 per hour or more. So, understanding the pay rates for different types of projects can help voice actors determine which jobs to pursue and negotiate better salaries.

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How much do voice actors make in the United States?

Voice actors in the United States make, according to ZipRecruiter estimates, the following annual figures for voice actors: 

  • $80,736 is the average voice actor salary an experienced artist earns annually.
  • $13,500 is the lowest amount paid annually to a voice actor.
  • $206,000 is the highest amount paid annually to a voice actor.
  • $30,000 to $106,000 is the average voice acting salary annual range in the United States.
  • 76,000 is the amount the average voice actor pay varies by. 

What you need to know about earning a voice actor salary

In a nutshell, the voice acting industry offers a wide range of salary opportunities depending on various factors such as experience, location, and type of work. However, reaching the higher end of this spectrum is not an easy feat and requires a solid understanding of industry-standard rates and best practices. Factors such as specialization and the type of work can significantly impact a voice actor salary, with commercials and animation projects typically paying more than audiobooks or video game voice acting. To increase their earning potential, voice actors can develop a diverse portfolio, build a strong professional network, and continuously improve their skillsand voice actor pay through training and practice.


$76,297 is the average, annual voice actor salary in the United States as ZipRecruiter reports.

According to Path of Ex, the top-five highest-paid voice actors in 2022 are:


  1. Matt Stone – worth $800 million, known for South Park.
  2. Trey Parker – worth $600 million, known for South Park.  
  3. Seth MacFarlane – worth $300 million, known for animations. 
  4. Hank Azaria –  worth $90 million, known for The Simpsons.
  5. Harry Shearer – worth $85 million, known for The Simpsons.

Get advice from professional voice actors in our guide to learning about voice over rates. Then, when you’re ready to set your own rates, consult a rate guide like The GVAA Rate Guide, to learn industry standard rates according to the genres you’d like to perform in. 

Yes – voice actors can set their own voice over rates, or if they are part of a union, they follow union rates and best practices.

“Always ask to see the script before quoting. Once you’ve agreed to a rate, it muddies the waters of your relationship with your client, so you want to get as much info as possible before agreeing to a rate.”