What's the average price for a voice-over job?
Thread poster: Michael Lourenço Leite

Michael Lourenço Leite
Local time: 09:13
Member (2010)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
May 4, 2010

Hello my dear friends!!!

I am negotiating a voice-over job, but I do not know how much I should charge. Does anybody know the average price?

Should I charge per word, hour, minute? I don't really have any ideas.

Thanks a lot for your contribution.


[Edited at 2010-05-04 02:15 GMT]


Noni Gilbert  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:13
Spanish to English
+ ...
Per hour May 4, 2010

I charge per hour, with a minimum fee, and taking into account travelling time. Almost all my work is with just one company and they have always been happy with this arrangement (I don't trip up much these days and can adapt speed to spaces).


Michael Lourenço Leite
Local time: 09:13
Member (2010)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Thanks and another question May 4, 2010

In my case, it is for an agency in Europe.

Could you tell me a good price for me to charge? It will be the first voice-over job.

Thanks for your reply.


Noni Gilbert  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:13
Spanish to English
+ ...
Rates in different country May 4, 2010

I don't know how relevant my rates are for you since I am in Spain in a provincial city. I charge my standard hourly rate (ie hourly for translation, where this is the charging method, for teaching, coaching etc) which is currently 29,50€. But this will go up in September - I am planning on 30,50€.

Are you trained to do voice-overs? If not, then it would perhaps be fairer to charge per word, although I don't know if this is common practice. It's just that if you are constantly having to re-record because of tripping up or having to speed up or slow down to accompany the images....


United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
Don't sell yourself short! May 4, 2010

I did an onsite job for a UK client which involved working with a voiceover artist. They asked us to leave our invoices at the end. Mine was for about $300 a day, and his was four times that.


Michael Lourenço Leite
Local time: 09:13
Member (2010)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Thanksgiving May 4, 2010

Thank you so much for everything!!

It helped me a lot!!!


Paul Strikwerda
United States
Local time: 08:13
Dutch to English
+ ...

I'm a voice-over professional first and a translator second. Both jobs require very different skill sets, training and experience. Some voice-seekers are using sites like Proz.com to recruit naive native speakers for voice-over projects. Please think twice before you respond to those leads!

Talking to translators, I have noticed a few persistent misconceptions about the voice-over business:

1. MYTH: Believing that all you need is a cheap microphone, recording freeware and a voice, to market yourself as a voice-over professional.
REALITY: voice-over pros use expensive, state-of-the art equipment and have had years of training in order to sound like what they're doing is easy. Trust me: it's not!

2. MYTH: Believing that since anyone can read, anyone can record voice-overs.
REALITY: Even though most of us have the ability to sing, only a few of us can actually make a living as a singer. Just because I'm a native speaker of a certain language, that doesn't mean I that I should advertise myself as a translator or interpreter.

3. MYTH: Believing that it's okay to charge translation rates for voice-over projects, and that voice-over rates are determined the same way translation fees are negotiated.
REALITY: voice-over projects have many variables and many price tags. If you charge translation rates, you're exposing yourself as an amateur and you're undercutting your voice-over colleagues. Lastly: you're leaving a lot of money on the table!

4. MYTH: It's fine to put in a blind bid on a project without knowing the specifics of the job or the outsourcer.
REALITY: Because low paying voice-seekers have either been banned from voice-over casting sites or ignored, they are turning to translation sites, hoping to find ignorant and cheap labor. Remember: bargain prices attract bargain shoppers. Low paying customers are usually high maintenance customers. As one freelancer put it:

“People that are only willing to spend pennies will argue over every cent, while people willing to spend whatever it takes, care more about the result than the bill.”

My advice: always do your homework before you put in a bid, whether it's a voice-over or a translation project. There are people out there, waiting to take advantage of your lack of knowledge and experience.

Quoting a voice-over job is not as simple as plugging in a per-word translation rate. Before I come up with an informed quote, these are some of the variables I take into consideration. All of these could drastically change what I would charge:

* PROJECT LENGTH: (minutes), word count or pages

-Commercials: radio, television
-Narration: corporate, medical, educational
-Telephone system recording
-Audio book
-Video game
-Website, on-line tutorial

MARKET: local, regional, national, global


-Language: English, Dutch, German, Accent
-Required audio format (e.g. MP3, WAW, AIFF)

For more information, I invite you to check out my blog: http://nethervoice.com/nethervoice/ You'll find a number of articles about pricing, marketing, freelancing and about what it takes to become a voice-over pro.

Last but not least, here are a few links to US average voice-over rate sheets. The third link requires you to provide your email address. Doing so, will give you access to a wealth of essential voice-over information from The Edge Studio in New York. I highly recommend it!




Any questions? Why not drop me a line! You can find me at http://www.nethervoice.com


Maria Drangel  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:13
Member (2007)
English to Swedish
+ ...
Great list of things to think of - and, such a cool voice-sample! Jun 27, 2010

Paul Strikwerda wrote:

Any questions? Why not drop me a line! You can find me at http://www.nethervoice.com

I thought your list of things to think of was brilliant so I went to your website and there I listened to your demo. WOW! I am SO amazed at what you can do with your voice! I can see that you get more jobs than you can handle! Inspiring to read and to listen to!

Thank you for the tips!



Local time: 15:13
How to set up your voice over rate? May 3, 2011

Here's a series of articles I started posting on this topic:


Nick Ivanov


Elisabetta Bastai (X)

Local time: 05:13
English to Italian
+ ...
Confused Aug 12, 2011

Hello Paul Strikwerda

I have tried to contact you using your website but apparently there is a problem with your site (or is it my mac?) because it would not send my message.

So here it is:

I have just read your post. All your points are very interesting but they have made me more confused. I have just joined proz.com. I would like to bit on my first voice over job but I don't have a clue on how much to charge. I have never done voice over before. I am in a hurry to send my bit. According to you I should not even bother with it because I don't have any experience or training...According to a friend of mine, whose first job as a translator was a voice over one, I should take the plunge and go for it.

So can you, or somebody else, give me a more specific idea on how I can figure out my rate?



Local time: 14:13
Voice over rates Jun 21, 2015

You can read the voice over rates in this web: http://www.locutortv.es/budgets_and_rates.htm


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