How to Become an Animation Voice Artist (Voice the Unspoken!)

how to become an animation voice artist

If you’ve ever dreamed of breathing life into characters with your voice, or wondered what it takes to become an animation voice artist, you’re in the right place.

In this guide, we’ll explore the EXACT steps you need to take to launch your career as an animation voice artist. We’ll talk about:

  • The skills you need.
  • The training that can help you excel.
  • How to land a job as an animation voice artist.

So, whether you’re a budding voice actor or an experienced performer looking to diversify, stay tuned.

We’re about to unveil the roadmap to become an animation voice artist.

Let’s get started!

Contents show

Steps to Become an Animation Voice Artist


Step 1: Research the Voice Acting Industry

Begin your journey towards becoming an Animation Voice Artist by getting familiar with the voice acting industry.

Start by understanding the job role, responsibilities and the skills required for a voice actor.

Reading books, attending seminars, or even joining online forums and communities about voice acting can be a good way to start.

Learn about the different types of voice acting jobs available, such as commercial voiceover, audiobook narration, and, of course, animation voiceover.

Each type requires different skills and has its own nuances, so it’s essential to understand these differences.

Furthermore, you should also research the job market, including the demand for voice actors and expected salary.

This will give you a clearer picture of the career prospects and help you decide if this is the right career path for you.

Lastly, listen to different types of voices in animation.

Try to understand how these voices bring characters to life and convey emotions effectively.

This will not only help you appreciate the art of voice acting but also inspire and influence your own style.


Step 2: Get Training in Acting and Voice

Becoming an animation voice artist requires more than just a unique voice; you need to know how to use that voice effectively.

Start by gaining training in acting and voice techniques.

There are many options for this, including drama or theatre studies at college, acting workshops, and voice coaching sessions.

During your training, focus on expanding your vocal range and versatility.

Animation voice artists often have to voice multiple characters in the same project, each with its unique personality and voice.

So, the ability to create distinct voices and switch between them is crucial.

It’s also essential to learn acting skills because voicing a character is more than just reading lines in a distinctive voice.

It involves understanding the character, the story, and the emotions involved, and conveying them convincingly through your voice.

Good acting training will help you bring animation characters to life with your voice.

Finally, consider learning singing as well.

Many animation projects, especially in children’s content, involve singing, and being able to sing will make you more versatile and marketable as an animation voice artist.

Remember, training is an ongoing process.

Even after you start your career, keep honing your skills and learning new techniques to stay competitive and versatile.


Step 3: Practice Vocal Skills and Diction

Mastering your vocal skills and diction is a crucial step in becoming an animation voice artist.

This is because your job will largely involve voicing various characters, which requires you to manipulate your voice in different ways.

You’ll need to develop a broad vocal range, and be able to switch between characters with different personalities and accents quickly and convincingly.

You might want to start by imitating the voices of characters from popular animations and observing the unique features of their voices, then gradually develop your own characters and voices.

You can also take voice acting classes or hire a voice coach to guide you in improving your vocal skills.

Diction is equally important.

Clear enunciation is essential in animation voice-over work, as you’ll need to be understood easily by your audience, especially when portraying characters with diverse accents or speech patterns.

Practicing reading aloud, concentrating on articulation and pronunciation, can help improve your diction.

Taking classes in speech or linguistics can also be useful.

Remember, practice makes perfect – so make sure you spend a good amount of time each day honing your vocal skills and diction.


Step 4: Develop a Range of Voices and Characters

As an aspiring Animation Voice Artist, it’s crucial to develop a diverse range of voices and characters.

This versatility can make you more appealing to casting directors and increase your chances of landing a role in an animation project.

Start by exploring different voice styles, tones, accents, and speech patterns.

You can take inspiration from cartoons, movies, and video games, but also make it a point to create original voices of your own.

Practice impersonating a wide variety of characters, from different age groups, genders, and nationalities.

Remember, you’re not just altering your voice, but also embodying a character.

Understanding the character’s personality, background, and motivation can help you deliver a more authentic and engaging performance.

Consider taking voice acting classes or hiring a coach to guide you and provide feedback on your performance.

They can help you refine your technique, expand your vocal range, and bring your characters to life.

Recording your practices and maintaining a voice portfolio can also be beneficial.

It allows you to track your progress, experiment with different voice combinations, and provides you with a ready sample of your work for auditions and casting calls.

Remember, persistence and regular practice are key in this step.

Do not hesitate to seek constructive feedback from professionals in the industry.

Their advice can help you improve and evolve your repertoire of voices and characters.

This step is a continuous process and forms an essential part of your journey to becoming an Animation Voice Artist.


Step 5: Create a Professional Demo Reel

Creating a professional demo reel is an essential step for becoming an animation voice artist.

This reel will serve as your audio resume, showcasing your vocal range, versatility, and character interpretation skills.

It typically should be about a minute or two long and include snippets of various voices, accents, and emotions.

Start by selecting scripts or write-ups that showcase different characters and moods.

For instance, you could include a clip of a grumpy old man, a cheerful young girl, a nervous alien, or a heroic superhero.

This variety will demonstrate your versatility and adaptability, which are crucial in animation voice acting.

Next, record your performance in a quiet, echo-free location with high-quality equipment.

This not only includes a good microphone but also pop filters and soundproofing.

Professional sounding audio will showcase your skills in the best light.

Once you have all your recordings, you can edit them together into a smooth, cohesive reel.

It’s crucial to maintain a logical order and transition smoothly from one voice to another.

Some artists choose to hire a professional editor for this step, but with the right software and skills, you can also do it yourself.

Lastly, after your demo reel is complete, make sure to share it on your website, social media platforms, and on professional voice acting websites.

This will allow potential employers to easily find and listen to your work.

A well-crafted demo reel can be your ticket to landing voice acting roles in the animation industry.


Step 6: Build a Home Recording Setup

As an Animation Voice Artist, having your home recording setup is a crucial step.

This setup will not only give you the freedom to practice and perfect your skills anytime, but it can also serve as your workspace when working on actual projects.

The increasing acceptance of remote work in the voice-over industry makes a home recording setup essential.

Your home recording setup should ideally include a high-quality microphone, a pop filter, headphones, and audio editing software.

Soundproofing your recording space is also crucial to avoid background noise from interfering with your work.

A good microphone is indispensable as it can capture the full range of your voice and deliver clean, professional-grade audio.

A pop filter is used to reduce or eliminate ‘popping’ sounds that can occur during speech or singing.

Investing in a pair of professional studio headphones is also a wise idea.

They will allow you to listen to your recordings and catch any imperfections that might go unnoticed with regular speakers.

Lastly, becoming proficient with audio editing software will enable you to edit and clean up your recordings, add effects, and make your voice sound as best as it can be.

Software like Adobe Audition, Audacity, or Pro Tools can provide the editing capabilities that you require.

Remember that while having high-quality equipment can enhance your performance, it’s your talent and skills that truly make you stand out.

So, use your home setup to practice and improve continually.


Step 7: Network with Industry Professionals

Being in the industry of animation voice acting, it is crucial to build a strong network of professionals.

This includes not only voice actors but also directors, producers, and casting agents who can provide you with opportunities and advice to advance your career.

Networking can be done in a variety of ways, such as attending industry events, joining professional associations, and actively participating in online forums and social media groups dedicated to animation and voice acting.

When attending these events or participating in forums, make sure to be genuine, respectful, and professional, as these industry professionals could potentially be your future employers or colleagues.

Always be ready to showcase your talent and passion for voice acting when the opportunity presents itself.

Additionally, getting a mentor who is an experienced voice actor can be a game changer.

They can provide you with invaluable advice, guide you through the industry, and even introduce you to key people in the field.

Remember, networking is not just about taking, but also about giving.

Offer your help and support to others when they need it, as this will strengthen your relationships within the industry.


Step 8: Find a Voice Acting Agent

Finding a voice acting agent is a significant step in the career of an animation voice artist.

Agents are professional representatives who can help you access better job opportunities in the industry.

They can help negotiate contracts, secure auditions, and provide career guidance.

To find the right agent, you need to research various agencies and their reputation in the industry.

Look for agencies that specialize in voice acting for animation.

Check their client roster and see if they represent voice actors who have worked on projects similar to what you aspire to do.

Make sure you have a quality voice acting demo reel before you approach agents.

A demo reel is a collection of your best work and showcases your range and versatility as a voice artist.

This is essentially your resume in the industry and is vital for agents to evaluate your suitability for potential projects.

When you find an agent you are interested in working with, reach out to them with your demo reel and a professional cover letter.

Be patient, as it can take time to hear back.

If you do get a meeting with an agent, be sure to ask about their approach to client representation and how they plan to help advance your career.

Remember, signing with an agent is a professional commitment, and it’s essential to feel comfortable and confident in the person who will be representing you.


Step 9: Audition for Roles

Once you have honed your skills and built your portfolio, the next step to becoming an Animation Voice Artist is to start auditioning for roles.

Auditions can happen through multiple avenues, including casting calls, voice over agencies, or online platforms dedicated to voice over work.

Before your audition, make sure to thoroughly understand the character you are auditioning for.

This involves understanding the character’s personality, backstory, and role in the story.

This understanding will help you portray the character more convincingly.

During the audition, it’s crucial to demonstrate your range and versatility as a voice artist.

Remember to show your ability to convey emotions, change tones, and adapt your voice to different characters.

Always be open to feedback and direction from the casting directors or producers.

Keep in mind, success may not come immediately.

Persistence is key in this industry.

It is common to face rejections; don’t let this discourage you.

Instead, use these experiences to learn, improve, and prepare for your next audition.

Once you secure a role, continue to work on your craft and be professional at all times.

This will not only help you to deliver a great performance but also build a good reputation in the industry, leading to more opportunities in the future.


Step 10: Continue to Refine Your Craft

As an animation voice artist, it’s crucial to remember that learning and improvement never stop.

Even after you’ve secured regular work and are comfortable in your role, you should always strive to refine your craft and expand your range.

Engage in regular voice training exercises to keep your vocal cords healthy and flexible.

This will allow you to continue to take on a broad range of characters and emotions, which is vital in the world of animation.

Exploring different genres and styles will also help you become more versatile and appealing to a wider range of projects.

Consider working with a voice coach who can offer you personalized advice and training based on your specific strengths and weaknesses.

They can provide you with exercises and techniques to improve your breath control, articulation, and vocal tone, as well as give you constructive feedback on your performances.

Remember to review and analyze your work regularly.

This will help you identify areas for improvement and areas where you excel.

It’s also beneficial to observe and learn from other successful voice artists.

Networking and attending workshops and conventions can also provide you with opportunities to learn from peers and industry experts.

This will give you insights into the latest trends, techniques, and opportunities in the field.

Remember, persistence and dedication are key.

Continue to audition for roles, accept feedback, and look for ways to improve.

The voice-over industry is highly competitive, so maintaining a high level of skill and professionalism can set you apart.


Step 11: Stay Informed on Industry Trends

As an animation voice artist, it’s important to keep yourself updated with the latest industry trends.

This could include new animation styles, trends in voice acting, or popular animation platforms.

Paying attention to industry news can also help you stay informed about potential job opportunities.

You can stay updated by subscribing to industry magazines, newsletters, or blogs.

Joining voice acting or animation groups on social media platforms can also be beneficial.

These groups often host discussions about the latest industry trends and provide opportunities for networking.

Additionally, attending industry events, such as animation festivals, conventions, or workshops can help you get a first-hand experience of the latest trends and also expand your professional network.

Staying informed allows you to adapt your skills to the evolving industry requirements and keeps you at the top of your game.

Remember, the animation industry is constantly evolving and in order to be successful as a voice artist, it’s crucial to keep learning and growing with it.


Step 12: Look for Opportunities in Various Media

As an animation voice artist, it’s important not to limit yourself to just one type of media.

There are numerous platforms and mediums where your voice can be utilized, such as animated films, television series, video games, commercials, and even online content like YouTube animation channels or podcasts.

Each medium may require slightly different skill sets and may offer unique challenges.

For instance, in video games, you may have to convey a wide range of emotions and actions through your voice alone.

While in animated films, your performance can influence character development and plot progression.

Start networking within these industries, and attend industry-specific events, like animation festivals and video game expos, to meet potential employers and other professionals in the field.

Apply for open auditions and casting calls targeted towards these industries.

Keep an eye on job listings on dedicated voice acting websites and forums.

Expand your portfolio by working on a range of projects across different mediums.

This not only increases your exposure and experience but also makes you more versatile and adaptable as an animation voice artist.

Remember, the more diverse your experience, the greater your chances of success in this industry.


Animation Voice Artist Roles and Responsibilities

Animation Voice Artists provide the voices for characters in animated films, TV shows, video games, and other forms of media.

They bring characters to life using their voice and acting skills.

They have the following roles and responsibilities:


Voice Acting

  • Create unique and distinctive voices for a wide range of characters.
  • Provide the voice for characters in animation scripts as directed.
  • Portray character emotions and reactions through vocal performances.


Character Development

  • Collaborate with directors and writers to understand the character’s personality and motivations.
  • Develop a character’s voice based on their backstory and personality.


Script Reading

  • Read and interpret scripts to understand the story and characters.
  • Deliver lines from scripts with authenticity and creativity.


Dubbing and Voice Over

  • Perform voice-overs for animated content in various languages if necessary.
  • Dub voices for characters in post-production as needed.


Recording Sessions

  • Participate in recording sessions, following the director’s guidance.
  • Ensure high-quality sound production in collaboration with sound engineers.



  • Improvise lines and emotions during recording sessions if required.



  • Audition for different roles and voice acting gigs.


Training and Practice

  • Regularly practice and refine voice acting skills.
  • Undergo voice training to maintain and improve vocal health and versatility.



  • Network with industry professionals to find new opportunities.



  • Work closely with animation teams, directors, writers, and other voice actors.


Professional Development

  • Stay updated on industry trends and advancements.
  • Attend workshops, voice acting classes, and industry events.


Contracts and Negotiation

  • Negotiate contracts and payment terms for each project.


What Does an Animation Voice Artist Do?

Animation Voice Artists are primarily employed in the film, television, and video game industries.

They may also find work in advertising, audiobook narration, or as part of animated e-learning modules.

Some voice artists work independently or freelance, while others are part of an agency or production company.

The primary role of an Animation Voice Artist is to provide the voices for animated characters.

This can involve reading and interpreting scripts, developing distinct voices for different characters, and emoting effectively through vocal expression alone.

In addition to speaking dialogue, Animation Voice Artists often have to create non-verbal sounds, such as laughter, crying, or reactions to physical actions.

They may also be required to sing if their character performs a song within the animation.

Working closely with directors and sound engineers, Animation Voice Artists participate in voice recording sessions, which involve performing in front of a microphone, often wearing headphones to hear their performance and respond to direction.

They may need to repeat lines multiple times to achieve the desired effect.

Post-recording, they may also be involved in the editing process, which includes matching their voice to the animation and making necessary adjustments to timing or performance.

Animation Voice Artists must care for their voices and often use various techniques to maintain vocal health.

They should also be skilled in improvisation, as they may be required to modify dialogue during recording sessions.

They need excellent reading skills for script interpretation and the ability to take and implement direction well.


Essential Animation Voice Artist Skills

  • Voice Acting: Animation voice artists need to have excellent acting skills. They should be able to convey various emotions and moods through their voice alone. Training in theatre, acting, or voice-over work can be beneficial.
  • Vocal Control: Voice artists must have control over their vocal cords to vary pitch, tone, and volume. This skill helps them to create unique voices for different characters.
  • Diction and Clarity: Artists must pronounce words clearly and accurately. A good understanding of language, phonetics, and accents is crucial for this role.
  • Imagination and Creativity: Voice artists need to imagine the scene, character’s mood, and context while voicing lines. This requires creativity, empathy, and the ability to imagine scenarios vividly.
  • Reading Skills: Artists should be able to interpret scripts and bring them to life. Good reading skills are essential for understanding character dynamics and plot lines.
  • Improvisation: In some cases, voice artists may need to improvise lines or emotions. This requires quick thinking, creativity, and a deep understanding of the character.
  • Technical Understanding: Artists should understand the basics of sound recording and editing. This includes familiarity with microphones, audio software, and sound booths.
  • Patience and Stamina: Recording sessions can be long and require many takes. Voice artists need to have patience, stamina, and the ability to maintain voice quality over time.
  • Flexibility: Artists need to be flexible in adjusting their performance based on feedback from directors and producers. They should be willing to experiment with different voice tones, accents, and styles.
  • Professionalism: Artists should have a professional attitude, respecting deadlines, being punctual, and being prepared for sessions. They should also take care of their vocal health.
  • Teamwork: Voice artists often work with a team that includes directors, sound engineers, and other voice artists. They need to work well with others, take direction, and maintain a positive attitude.


Animation Voice Artist Career Path Progression

The Foundation: Novice Voice Artist

At the beginning of your career, you may start as a Novice Voice Artist.

During this stage, you will focus on honing your voice skills, understanding your unique voice qualities, and building your portfolio.

Here are some tips for success in this role:

  1. Practice Regularly: Refine your voice talent by practicing regularly and experimenting with different voice tones and accents.
  2. Improve Language Skills: Enhance your language proficiency, diction, and pronunciation skills.
  3. Take Feedback: Be open to feedback and learn from your coaches and mentors.


The Ascent: Animation Voice Artist

With enough experience and confidence, you will transition into the role of an Animation Voice Artist.

You will bring characters to life with your voice, work with directors and sound engineers, and be part of the creative process.

Here’s how to thrive in this stage:

  1. Character Understanding: Develop a deep understanding of the character you are voicing, its personality, emotions, and motivations.
  2. Collaboration: Work closely with the animation team, take direction well, and incorporate feedback.
  3. Voice Care: Take good care of your vocal health, as your voice is your key asset.


Reaching New Heights: Lead Voice Artist

The next stage in your career is becoming a Lead Voice Artist.

In this role, you will often voice the main characters, guide other voice artists, and even participate in script reading sessions.

To excel as a Lead Voice Artist:

  1. Leadership: Mentor and guide novice artists, sharing your expertise and experiences.
  2. Creative Input: Provide creative input during script readings and character development sessions.
  3. Networking: Establish strong relationships within the industry and stay informed about new opportunities.


Beyond the Horizon: Voice Director or Voice Casting Director

As you further advance in your career, you may choose to become a Voice Director or a Voice Casting Director.

In these roles, you’ll be responsible for overseeing the entire voice recording process, selecting the right talent for characters, and directing the voice artists.

Here’s what to focus on:

  1. Direction Skills: Develop your ability to convey your vision to the voice artists and help them deliver their best performances.
  2. Casting Abilities: Cultivate an eye for spotting talent and choosing the right voice artists for specific characters.
  3. Project Management: Manage time and resources effectively to ensure timely delivery of projects.


Pinnacle of Success: Animation Director or Voice Producer

At the peak of your career, you may reach positions like Animation Director or Voice Producer.

Here, you’ll be responsible for shaping the overall voice and sound strategy of animation projects, making critical decisions, and managing larger teams.


Animation Voice Artist Salary

Entry-Level Animation Voice Artist

  • Median Salary: $30,000 – $50,000 per year
  • Entry-level animation voice artists usually have less than 2 years of experience in the industry. They may have studied performing arts, drama, or related fields. Their work primarily involves contributing to character voices in animation projects.


Mid-Level Animation Voice Artist

  • Median Salary: $50,000 – $80,000 per year
  • Mid-level animation voice artists usually have 2-5 years of experience. They are often involved in more complex voice roles and may also contribute to the development of characters’ vocal aspects.


Senior Animation Voice Artist

  • Median Salary: $80,000 – $120,000 per year
  • Senior animation voice artists typically possess 5+ years of experience. They are often entrusted with the task of lending their voice to the lead characters in animation projects. They may also mentor new voice artists.


Voice Director / Lead Animation Voice Artist

  • Median Salary: $120,000 – $160,000+ per year
  • These roles require significant industry experience and often involve directing and overseeing the entire voice cast of an animation project. They may also play a crucial role in the selection of voice artists.


Principal Voice Artist / Voice Artistic Director

  • Median Salary: $150,000 – $200,000+ per year
  • These high-level positions require extensive experience, a distinctive voice, and deep knowledge of the industry. They often involve strategic decision-making for an animation studio’s voice casting and voice directing.


Animation Voice Artist Work Environment

Animation Voice Artists often work in sound recording studios, where they provide the voice for animated characters in films, television shows, video games, and other media.

Some voice artists may also work remotely from a home studio equipped with the necessary recording equipment.

The work schedule of an animation voice artist can be quite flexible, as they often work on a project-by-project basis.

The hours can be irregular, depending on the demands of the project they are working on.

With experience and a strong portfolio, an animation voice artist may progress to bigger, high-budget projects or even start their own voiceover production company.

This role may also involve travel, particularly if the production company or studio is based in a different location.

However, with advancements in technology, many voice artists are now able to work from virtually anywhere, provided they have access to high-quality recording equipment.


FAQs About Becoming an Animation Voice Artist

What is needed to become an animation voice artist?

To become an animation voice artist, you would ideally need a versatile and dynamic voice, an ability to adapt and create different characters, and excellent speech clarity.

It’s beneficial to have training in voice acting, drama or performing arts.

Experience in theatre, radio, or any form of public speaking can also be beneficial.

Developing skills like voice modulation, dialects, and accents can give you an edge.

Additionally, understanding timing and pacing can help in syncing your voice with the character’s actions.


How long does it take to be an animation voice artist?

The time it takes to become an animation voice artist can greatly vary depending on the individual’s talent, training, and networking skills.

Some might find success quickly through a breakout role, while others may need more time to refine their skills and establish themselves in the industry.

Attending voice acting courses and gaining practical experience through small gigs, community theatre or radio can speed up the process.

Ultimately, persistence and patience often play a big part in breaking into this field.


Can I be an animation voice artist without a degree?

Yes, it is possible to become an animation voice artist without a formal degree.

Many successful voice artists do not have formal education in the field but have honed their skills through experience and self-practice.

What matters most in this field is your talent, versatility, and the ability to convey emotions and bring characters to life with your voice.

However, having a background in drama, performing arts, or voice acting can definitely be beneficial and can potentially open up more opportunities.


Is being an animation voice artist a stressful job?

Being an animation voice artist can be stressful at times due to long recording sessions, tight deadlines, and the physical strain that intense voice acting can put on your vocal cords.

However, many artists find the job highly rewarding and enjoy the opportunity to bring a variety of characters to life.

To manage the stress, it’s important to take care of your voice, maintain a healthy lifestyle, and balance work with relaxation and leisure activities.


What are the prospects for animation voice artists in the next decade?

The demand for animation voice artists is expected to grow in the next decade due to the increased production of animated content for television, films, video games, and digital platforms.

The rise of international content and localization has also opened up opportunities for voice artists who can work in multiple languages or accents.

The future seems promising for those with talent, dedication, and a passion for voice acting.



There you have it.

Beginning a journey to become an animation voice artist is no mean task, but it’s absolutely rewarding.

Equipped with the right voice skills, education, and perseverance, you’re well on your way to leaving a lasting imprint in the realm of animation.

Remember, the path may be challenging, but the opportunities are boundless. Your unique voice could bring life to the next iconic animated character, changing the way we perceive entertainment.

So, take that first step. Immerse yourself in voice training. Network with industry professionals. And most importantly, never stop honing your craft.

Because the world is waiting for the characters you can breathe life into.

And if you’re seeking personalized guidance on launching or advancing your career in animation voice acting, explore our AI Career Path Advisor.

This complimentary tool is designed to provide custom-tailored advice and resources to help you navigate your career path effectively.

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