Do you consider yourself having a great speaking voice and thought about the possibility of earning an income with it?

Despite the economic downturn, a particular industry is on the rise: Voice acting.

According to Warren Garling of Voice Coaches, a company that specializes in voice-over training, production and evaluation, the voice-over industry is booming and voice actors are needed for a variety of purposes.

“A lot of businesses and government agencies got cut back and couldn’t afford to send new employees for training,” says Garling. “These days workplace training can be found on videos or DVDs. Voice acting is in demand to narrate these types of videos.”

On Dec. 16, local residents will have the opportunity to learn more about this growing industry by attending “Getting Paid to Talk,” an evening that will introduce the world of voice acting sponsored by Independence Adult Education.

Garling says voice acting is not only needed for job training or educational videos, but for the video game industry as well.

“The video game industry now makes more money annually than Hollywood,” says Garling. “The recent release of the ‘Grand Theft Auto V’ game featured more than 700 voice actors.”

Overall, most people do not see the budding industry as a business, says Garling. “Actually less than 10 percent of voice acting jobs available are commercials.”

“Whenever you hear a voice that doesn’t have a face, that’s voice acting,” he continued. “From elevators to phone recordings, the industry has exploded since the advent of the Internet 10 to 15 years ago.”

Voice Coaches mentioned that given today’s technological mobility, voice artists are now able to work from home. Also, according to, voice actors can earn an average of $50,000 to $80,000 a year.

Attendees at “Getting Paid to Talk” will learn the basics of everything voice acting-related such as working in the studio, effective demo production methods, and where to find job opportunities in the industry. They will also have the opportunity to record a mock commercial under the guidance of a Voice Coaches producer, says Garling.

“It’s going to be a fun and entertaining two and a half hour course,” Garling adds. “You’ll leave deciding whether or not voice acting is for you.”

The Getting Paid to Talk course will be held at Truman High School in Independence on Monday, Dec. 16 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. To enroll, visit the website or call 816-521-5507. The class fee is $27 per person. Registration will be accepted up until the day of the course, but enrollment is limited to the first 25 attendees.