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Voiceover Rates

Active Member
Roxi D Member Since: Mar 20, 2018
1 of 6

Calling all are you decided what to charge on Upwork as the rates seem to vary alot?

Ace Contributor
Mohamed A. A Member Since: Mar 8, 2017
2 of 6

Hi Roxy,

Hope you doing very well !
I'm not a Voiceover, but have the answer for your question.
As you are new here on upwork, On your profil we can see just 1 job and your total earning.
That means if i am your 1st client, I'll interview you first just because you'll have the minimum rates (because of your profil experience).
But as I can see, the job you done was awesome as ays your client ! Wich means, you are very skilfull and brilliant. (proven by your client's comment)

Now my advice for you are these steps :
- At first, try to work vry hard and minimum rates. Many clients are asking for freelancers with minimum rate. Try to bid correctly following upwork community advices. So you can have a job. Your objective is just to get as much jobs as possible to figure on your profile. So ask for small missions, And becarefull !! You have to get 5/5 starrs on eatch of them !
- Once you got 4 or 5 jobs rated 5/5 ! Then upgrade to premium membership, where you can hide earnings. Do it, and raise your rates slowly..
- After 6 months, can multiply your rates 4 times or as many as you want !

Working on upwork is like working on a big market, where the only matter is you job success score. If you don't have a good score, you just can't expect the earnings you want.
For me, I think this is a brilliant idea, an open market like this gives chances to the most brilliant freelancers, no matter the race or the origine.

Trust me Dear Miss Roxy, if you follow these steps, you can the earning you want. Pacience and building a nice and longterm reputation is the key here, either in Real Life Smiley Wink

Active Member
Roxi D Member Since: Mar 20, 2018
3 of 6

Hi Mhammed, Thx for your reply and the sound advice re earning good reviews and reputation. Roxi. PS: Really appreciate the kudo - not sure what it was but know it's a good thing! 

Active Member
Nathaniel James V Member Since: Mar 20, 2018
4 of 6

This is a great question!


There are SO MANY different aspects to Voice Over work, that having to post only one rate is quite a predicament. I wish that there was a special option so that we could list mulitple rates for different jobs (i.e. $X amount for a commercial, or $Y amount for an audiobook). I have recently joined UpWork to expand my clientele also, so all I put on here would be situational and merely suggestions. I am certainly not one to tell you the value of your work - only you can do that. You seem to have already landed a job (congrats by the way!), so I'm not sure if you even need advice.


I would say keep in mind what aspects of Voice Overs you want to focus on - do you enjoy making commercials, or doing audiobooks for example? Those rates will be different than someone who does voices for animations or video games, and clients looking for work in those areas should be expecting similar rates.


For example, if you are doing a radio commercial for a company that is really trying to get their name out there, and you advertise that you do editing and cleaning of your audio as well. You might only spend a few hours working with the client on how your voice sounds for a 30 second script (or much less depending on how quickly they get back to you for feedback), but then you might spend a few more ADDITIONAL hours cleaning up the pops and clicks, getting the pause lengths right, etc... Now let's say you're very meticulous and want to do a very good job, and the whole project takes you 4 hours to complete. If you advertise that you are working for only $20/hour, you would have made $80. That's definitely better than making $0, but don't you think you'd be selling yourself short?


According to Voice Over Resource Guide, that same job would have been $298.10 for a 13 week license! That means that if the client went through the union, and wanted that commercial to air for an entire year, you would have made $1,192.40... and even more if it was a national commercial!


Granted, most freelancers aren't with the union, so we don't have the union fees to pay. And unless you somehow work out a contract with the client to pay you a renewal subscription, once you finish the job, they own the audio file outright.


Does that seem fair that you would be handing over a product with full rights for only $80? Maybe if you're doing charity work, or helping a kid out with a YouTube channel (which even then I'm skeptical, especially if it becomes popular), but otherwise I think not. 


There are plenty of other voice over artists that advertise cheaper rates. I argue that not only are they hurting themselves, but they are hurting the entire community as well. If they are genuinely talented and going for less than $100/hour for edited, cleaned commercials... then that client got a bargain of a lifetime. Then, not only will that client expect those cheaper rates to continue from the artist, but from the entire community as well! 


Also, if you are a fast worker, would you want to punish yourself for being so efficient? If you can do a 4 hour recording job in a fraction of the time, would you really want to make less? That just doesn't make any sense. If anything, you should be making more since you are better capable of making tighter deadlines!


I know this is a lot of information, and that if you've done any research, you would have come across many people saying the same thing...


A much shorter answer/suggestion: Choose what area of voice overs you want to focus on, compare the rates to union rates (and give a discount if you aren't with a union), and don't sell yourself short.


Also, your displayed rate per hour won't apply towards milestone bids... for those, you can give a more accurate amount based on what you feel is appropriate. 


I hope this helps!


Active Member
Roxi D Member Since: Mar 20, 2018
5 of 6

Hi Nathaniel, Thx so much for a thorough and helpful reply. I've been using as a guide. What makes it more complicated is the rate per hour guide which as we all know does not really figure in VO work. It's hard to know where to pitch yourself price wise and was hoping to avoid paying the subscription charge where you can see other bids. Do you and indeed anyone else think this is the right way to go? Thx. Roxi

Community Guru
Mary W Member Since: Nov 10, 2014
6 of 6

Whatever you do, I would not start low and work my way up.  That only leads to dirt bag invitations and total frustration. If you haven't, search for Voice Over freelancers in your area and see what they charge.