How much should I charge for my voice-over services?

So, you have set your own Voice recording studio and got your demo ready and the next question that pops into your mind is "How much should I charge for my services?" This is a common question that pops into the mind of most people who are just starting their own business. They agonize about charging the right price and worry that they are charging too much or too less. There is nothing to worry about really, it is a matter of just getting used to deciding your price and having the confidence to quote it and be ready to negotiate a little.

consider talent
consider talent
time required for recording and studio costs if any
time required for recording and studio costs if any
do the math and arrive at a rate
do the math and arrive at a rate

KOPS, you have asked me a very subjective question, but let me answer it as best as I can.

Voice-over rates are different for different kinds of jobs and different in different countries.

Advertisements pay you by the second, whereas a narration for a documentary will have to be considered on an hourly rate as the volume of work is more. You can also go by word count, on an average; speech rate for Indians is 120 words per minute. You need to know this as sometimes having a word count will help you determine how long it will take for you to complete an assignment.

You can decide your own rates depending upon how good you are. When deciding the rate- you have to consider the following factors: studio costs - if you are hiring a studio, time required – for recording and processing, and your talent: getting the perfect 30second recording for an advertisement may take up to 40 minutes of time to get a perfect take, or - there are also assignments in the phone VOIP field, where you may have to record just a few sentences that may take you half an hour to record, on the other hand a simple narration for 10 minutes may take just about 20 minutes of your time. All this is pretty subjective and will vary from person to person depending on factors such as experience, familiarity with the content, energy levels on a given day, or sometimes even the emotional state of the artist. If one is nervous, it may take longer to do the same job.

So, keeping in mind everything I have just said, you can decide a rate that suits you and your client, it can range anywhere between (INR) Rs 25/- per minute for large volumes of work to Rs100/- or Rs 125/- per minute for lesser volumes of work, and for ad spots you can charge up to Rs1500/- for 30 to 40second spot and go higher if you are really well-known or famous. (for example- if a film star such as Amitabh Bachchan were doing the voice over, he will be paid much more than a newcomer doing the same job.) As I said it is totally up to you and how good you are and how much of a demand there is for your voice and sometimes what the client is willing to pay.

Sometimes prices for assignments are decided by the client. They may have a limited budget for their assignment. If you do visit sites like GAF (getafreelancer.com), you will find that there are projects posted there that may have $30 as the maximum price they are willing to pay while there may be other projects where a person is willing to pay $250. It depends on the employer/client/budget/artist/experience. When you are quoting in dollars, you usually will have to figure out the cost in local currency and then covert to USD or Euros or whatever.

If you are applying for the job of a radio-jockey, then the payment scale will depend upon your employer. Sometimes free-lancing will get you more money as compared to a regular job, but it may not be a steady stream on income as that will depend on the assignments you get.

I’d like to sum this up by saying – take into consideration the studio costs, the time required, and do the math, work out a per minute cost- (assignments may require you to quote charges inclusive of studio costs or exclusive of those)  then decide upon a rate that feels good and reasonable to you, and quote it with CONFIDENCE. Wait for the client to respond. You maybe surprised that they agree to your rates, in which case it is good. You can choose to quote a high rate and then negotiate a bit, or start at a low rate at first and then gradually increase your rates as you gain popularity, confidence and a good client database. This may work better than quoting very high rates and then being forced to bring them down if the client disagrees. Here is wishing you all the best – Cheers!

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Comments 15 comments

Kops 6 years ago

Thanks a ton....Sure was informative!


Kops 6 years ago

Thanks a ton....Sure was informative!


sabu singh profile image

sabu singh 6 years ago

Since you are so knowledgeable on this subject, am I right in assuming you do voice-overs, Vibhavari?

Coincidentally I am a keen bird videographer and have been thinking of making a DVD with voice-over on birdlife.

Unfortunately I have not yet overcome the first challenge of editing the many hours of video that I have. Perhaps when that is done, I shall look at the voice-over aspect.


Vibhavari profile image

Vibhavari 6 years ago from India Author

Hi KOPS,

I'm glad this information was of some help, sometimes you may have to quote a lumpsum for a long term assignment or a project which will depend on your hourly rates.

@Sabu singh:

Hi Sabu singh, yes you are right, I do voiceovers. I love the work. I have already done one voice-over project for a CD on birds and bird-calls, this one was for birds of the western ghat. I would be glad to take up your project if you do make up your mind to get a voice-over for it, I can send you my voice samples etc. :-)

(you can outsource the video editing, you will find many people who do that in Pune, maybe you could get help to get started and see how it goes)

I have written a couple of hubs on voice over business:

http://hubpages.com/business/How-to-start-your-own...

http://hubpages.com/business/How-to-set-up-your-ow...

So here is to your birdlife project, Cheers...!


optimus grimlock profile image

optimus grimlock 6 years ago

hmm i want to get into voice overs as well


Vibhavari profile image

Vibhavari 6 years ago from India Author

Hi optimus grimlock,

thanks for stopping by.

If you want to get into voice overs, go ahead; what's stopping you?

it is a good business to be in or you could develop it as a hobby.


Kops 6 years ago

Hi Vibhavari.

Sorry I did not use as many words in thanking you as I did in posing the question. My bad. Thanks again. Well I just randomly keep sending out mails with my VO demo to studios and media houses that i Google. And I've got an encouraging amount of replies...With a few asking for my rates. Probably sticking to your advice, I'll start small and if I do make it to the big league probably I'll charge them a bomb then.HEHEH. But seriously a Big Thanks.

Cheers !


Vibhavari profile image

Vibhavari 6 years ago from India Author

Hi Kops,

You are so welcome. You will soon find it is all a learning experience, just enjoy yourself quoting, negotiating, getting some, losing some, have fun and watch it all come together. All the best to you. God bless.


harleyradio profile image

harleyradio 6 years ago from Salisbury , NC

send me some ok


Vibhavari profile image

Vibhavari 6 years ago from India Author

Hi harleyradio,

Thanks for stopping by and I guess you are asking for voice samples, right?


cyber sequencer 5 years ago

How does one get into doing voice over work? I have all the required tools just zero connections


Vibhavari profile image

Vibhavari 5 years ago from India Author

Hi Cyber sequencer,

Take a look at my hub

http://hubpages.com/business/The-inside-truth-abou...

Thank you. Have a nice day.


MizBejabbers profile image

MizBejabbers 4 years ago from Arkansas

Sone good information, Vibhavri. Seems like times have changed since my days in the business. I believe you are advising mostly freelancers. May I suggest that anyone wanting to break into the business check with some advertising agencies. Even if they don't hire you, they have connections that could give you the break you are looking for. By the way, my advice is for the USA. I don't know how it is in other countries. I voted you up and useful.


Vibhavari profile image

Vibhavari 4 years ago from India Author

Thank you MizBejabbers!


Vanessa 19 months ago

Hi love the app! Very helpful sync aiiebtils, and pretty easy to use. I really like the ability of the online MyMightyGrovery site where I can edit or add to either shopping or favorites lists. One thing I would like to see for the website editor, is to be able to edit multiple items at once without having to hit save each time. It would save a HUGE amount of time Right now assigning aisles is a one-by-one endeavor. Click on the item, choose aisle, hit save. Since we can expand multiple items in the list, it would save a lot of time and minor frustration if we could edit multiple items at once, and have the save work against all items. Is this something being looked at for a future update?

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