Day 21, Voice Over Artist… and the ending of this challenge!


Voice Over Artists were our heroes as children. Don’t agree? Who voiced the selfless Mufasa when he took his life for Simba in The Lion King? Who powered the brave voice of Mulan as she faced the Emperor of China in…well…Mulan?  Who sang the wacky lyrics of the lovable Genie in Aladdin? You bet your bottom dollar they were all Voice Over Artists (Sorry to break it to you, Woody wasn’t really a toy).

While we are at it lets actually, for interests sake, meet the voices behind Toy Story (Thanks GenerationWest):

That was fun! Moving on.

The final day of The Career Research Challenge (I’m literally brimming with happiness) is going to be spent finding out what being a Voice over artist is all about.


Tasks involved in this job:

Voice Over Artists are paid by their clients to create audio recordings 0f their voice (with professional equipment) for the many different mediums.

On Anna Parker-Naples, a leading British Voice Over Artist, lends us a list of the few mediums Voice Over Artists or VO’s (as she calls them) use their voice for:

“Computer and Console Games, Websites, Cd-Roms, Interactive DVD’s, iPad, iPhone and Android Apps, E-learning courses, Podcasts, Interactive children’s storybooks, meditation CD’s, toys with embedded sound chips that speak, museum and exhibition guides, pre-recorded announcements on transport, public information services, in-store commercials, theatre shows that require pre-recorded voice, infomercials, shopping centre announcements, film dubbings for foreign film” 

Another very important part of the job (to be successful) is marketing themselves by creating portfolios of their work and networking with people in the industry.

Lastly, serious Voice Over Artists have to take good care of their voice by staying hydrated and not smoking and constantly expand their voice ranges by undergoing voice training or experimenting with new techniques.

Here’s a pretty cool video of a typical day in the life of established Voice Artist, Brian Thon:

Still interested? Keep going!


Personality and skills required for this position:

No professional education is required to be a VO but one has to have a distinctive and well-developed voice and acting ability. It is to ones advantage to speak more than one language or have to ability to sing, many more clients are interested in this type of candidate.


How to get into this career:

As above, you don’t have to have any professional education to become a Voice Over Artist, in fact many people start work as children. It is however important to have an entertaining voice that stands out and is well-rounded so it is recommended that one goes for voice training.

From here it is all about marketing yourself. The trusted process is to first create professional recordings of your voice (a portfolio if you will) and a resume to showcase to potential clients, then contact VO talent agencies or VO organizations and send in your goodies, finally… you wait for the “YOU’RE HIRED”.

Ofcourse this was a very short summary. You might find’s advice for getting into the VO industry more comprehensive.

You usually start out working in recording-studios but as you become more established you can buy the equipment needed and begin to work from home (Unless you are a radio presenter, then it’s always going to be in-studio work for you!).


The working hours:

Time spent working depends on the work contract, the deadlines, the workload etc. When starting out one usually works random shifts of 1-12 hours but when established, VO’s ultimately choose their own working hours.


The pay:

Voice artists can be paid per job or (if working full time) with a salary. Currently, in respective order, the average amounts (in USD) are $35.00 /hr or $30521 annually. Back home in South Africa Voice Over Artists are earning…an amount I could not find. 🙁


The pros:

-By following the right steps you can find yourself earning a lucrative amount of cash.

-Potentially this career could result in you collaborating with or meeting many passionate, interesting or even famous individuals.

-Your appearance doesn’t have to meet a certain expectation.

-Ultimately you can be your own boss and determine your own timetable.

-It is a family friendly career as you have such a flexible schedule and mostly work from home.

-Feel great about yourself if you are a VO, you are catering for the needs of the blind.


The cons:

-A LOT of editing and recording and re-recording is involved in creating marketable voice-overs (you gotta have patience dear heart).

-Again patience is required as there is a long journey to becoming a successful Voice Over Artist.

-Being your own boss means that nobody is motivating you to excel except yourself.

-When your’e sick your career is put on hold, worse, damaging your vocal chords could mean the end of your career all together.

-If you are self employed, like most voice artists, there in no guarantee of financial stability.

-Apart from any in-studio work you will be working by yourself…alone…


My conclusion and rating on this career:

Do it I say! I think this is a great job as you basically get to be the star of the show (even though usually most people will never know your name and only your voice). It’s a great career in that it doesn’t require formal education. However it is worth being cautious of the possibility of getting lonely and facing financial instability. As with all careers my advice is to not pursue it unless you know you will enjoy it. This career earns a final (and my final career) rating of 8/10.

Well that’s it.

My first challenge is complete and I can honestly say it was totally eye opening. Just learning about careers I never even knew existed or learning more about what I seem to like in a career (the trend seems to be a job that involves travel, performing a talent and being around people) has broadened my knowledge so much.

I have no regrets whatsoever just a sense of achievement and the hope that anyone out there will do themselves a favor and undertake a challenge like this: 21 days devoted to researching an area that will help them grow.

In other news: My next challenge is The Sleep Experiment Challenge so stay tuned!

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