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The diversity of voice over jobs

Mixed sweets

The world of voice over is diverse. There are many situations that need a recorded voice and there are many different types of voiceover jobs.

Whenever I meet someone at a networking event and I tell them I’m a voiceover artist they often have a very narrow idea as to what it is I do. When I start explaining the breadth of voice over jobs that there are, I often see the proverbial lightbulb going on!

The genre of voice acting that people tend to think of first is commercials – on the TV, radio and internet. This can be one of the most lucrative areas of voice over work, but it’s actually quite a small slice of the overall voiceover pie.

Corporate narration is a much bigger field, and the source of a lot of voice over jobs. It includes corporate videos to showcase a business (often hosted on their website or shown at exhibitions), and explainer videos (often animated) which explain a company’s products or services.

E-learning is a huge sector. Many companies, charities, and educational institutions use online training to teach their staff, students or volunteers. Topics range from health and safety, to safeguarding, to how to use equipment or software, how to carry out various tasks and more.

Voicemail greetings and on-hold messages are used by many companies where phones can’t always be answered straight away. Bigger firms may also have an IVR (interactive voice response) system where dozens of prompts need recording that will funnel the caller to the right department. This type of work tends to be low in fees but can be high in volume.

A voice acting genre that people often think of is animation. I’ve frequently been asked if I’ve voiced a character in a cartoon and the answer is no! It’s not a field I’ve particularly pursued. 

Many people listen to audiobooks and there are more and more books all the time that need voice actors to narrate them. This includes both fiction and non fiction books.

Video games often need many voices and this is a rich source of voice acting jobs for actors who enjoy character work.

Podcasting is still on the rise. There are millions of podcasts out there, and they all need a professional sounding introduction (well I think they do if they want to be taken seriously). I’ve recorded a couple of these for other people’s podcasts as well as for my own, Small Business Big Network.

Museum and gallery audio guides are one of my favourite genres of voice over. I love narrating an audio tour as I always learn so much from them and often find myself wishing I could go and visit.

Whenever you hear a recorded voice be it on your sat nav, the auto checkout at the supermarket, the train or the tube, it was originally recorded by a real person. Even AI generated voices are based on recordings of real voices.

The diversity of voice over jobs is what makes it so interesting to work in this industry. Every day is different which is what I love about it.