Elearning Rate Guide

eLearning Rate Guide

How much does eLearning narration cost? It’s the second question everyone asks when narrowing down their voice over artist selection and getting ready to book talent. This eLearning rate guide, the product of dozens of hours of research and years of experience was created to answer this question.


eLearning narration is priced either by minute, 10 minute increment blocks of minutes, or by word. In all cases the longer the project, the lower the price.


0.11 – 0.55 per word
Sweet spot = 0.25 per word.
Technical/medical = 0.45 per word
Schools, NGO’s = 0.12 per word

16.50 – 79.50 per minute
Sweet spot = $37.50 per minute.
Technical/medical = 67.5 per minute
Schools, NGO’s = $18 per minute

Medium 150
Slow 140
Quick 160

Slow 8400
Medium 9000
Quick 9600

NOTE: All voice over narrators charge a minimum rate for any elearning project


# of Words Mins of Time $ Per Word & Cost Per Minute Blocks @ 3 Price Points:
Bargain Mid-Range Rolls Royce
0-750 0-5 0.27 = $200 0.34 = $250 0.53 = $400
750-1500 5-10 0.23 = $350 0.26 = $400 0.50 = $750
1500-3000 10-20 0.17 = $500 0.225 = $675 0.47 = $1400
3000-4500 20-30 0.145  =$650 0.20 = $900 0.40 = $1800
4500-6000 30-40 0.12 = $700 0.19 = $1150 0.38 = $2300
6000-7500 40-50 0.113 = $850 0.18 = $1350 0.36 = $2700
7500-9000 50-60 0.11 = $1000 0.17 = $1550 0.34 = $3000

Like any product or service, eLearning voice over rates may slide downward with greater volume, loyalty, and exclusivity agreements, and may scale upward with more difficult material, larger audiences, greater profiles.

Some narrators claim a price point and stick to it rigidly. Others are more fluid. Some have invested in their craft and perform your material with the passion of a subject matter expert, and the smoothness of a Morgan Freeman or Sigourney Weaver. Others may be new to the industry or not as adept at storytelling. Like with everything, you get what you pay for. That being said, insight into voice over narrator pricing exists.


Many factors weigh in on whether a voice over narrator rate is higher or lower. Here are some value-added components to consider. If your narrator is charging the Rolls Royce Rate, they should offer all these factors as part of their regular service package. If you opt for an eLearning voiceover narrator from the bargain pricing, many of these factors may be lacking. Buyer beware.

  • Efficient – Do they get your narration right the first time? Or, 98% of it right the first time? Numerous back and forth communication with style notes, changes or pickups that didn’t come from your client are annoying and waste your valuable time.
  • Reliable – Can you count on them? Will they get the job done? Will it come in on time? Every time? If you haven’t worked with them before, do they have a track record you can refer to? Perhaps a section with feedback and reviews from previous clients? Do they communicate quickly, or leave you in the dark for days on end?
  • Talent – Do they make your project sound as good as it looks? Does it capture your attention? Keep you interested? Will it help you meet your goals of information retention or behavior change? Is the narration as good as the other plugins, content and coolness factors you’ve built in?
  • Speed – Can they get the completed narration back to you within your deadline? Some talents may be overbooked. Others may be juggling day jobs. Make sure your hired voice over narrator can guarantee a timely turn-around.
  • Quality – Is the sound your voice over narrator delivers of professional audio quality? With no ticks, blips or uncomfortable noises? The LA Film School says, “Poor sound quality can ruin an otherwise spectacular video production.” They are talking about movies, but it applies to all audio visual media, including eLearning programs.
  • Availablity – A full time voiceover actor will be there day in and day out. Year after year for updates and ongoing projects. When they take vacations they let you know ahead of time and often voice over artists take remote sound studios with them to be available for emergency pickups.
  • Experience – You’ve put weeks and many hours of manpower to bring your program to the point where a narrator steps in. Do you feel comfortable entrusting your project to them? What is their voice over experience?How long have they been at it? Are they giving you the same performance you might have expected 15 years ago or are they staying market-relevant?
  • Relationship – Do you enjoy working with them? Have they become part of your team, or could you envision them becoming part of your team? What else do they bring to the table besides great narration?


Some narrators offer discounts on projects. Here are a few common rebates:






  • Pickups – Every narrator has specific service details in terms of their pricing on pickups. For example, Kim offers free (reasonable) pickups within the first 48 hours after delivery and $10 a line with a $50 minimum thereafter.
  • Regular Turn-Arounds – How long does your narrator take to get your project back to you? Good ones offer 24-48 hour  turn arounds on most projects.
  • Rush Fees – If you need it right away – like within 2 hours – can your narrator do that? This service may come with an extra 20% – 50% rush fee.
  • File splitting – Is file labelling & splitting including in your narrator’s price? Some offer this service built-in, some charge $1 per file.
  • Editing – The large majority of voiceover narrators include editing in their pricing. Tell them if you don’t need it edited. Many will offer a discount.
  • Usage – Most training usage is considered internal, but some is public facing. Prices may be higher for public facing eLearning programs, especially for high profile organizations or companies.
  • Session Fee – If you want to be present on the phone or Skype line while the narrator is recording this is an option. Usually narrators offer free editing OR a free live directed session. If you want both, you generally have to pay for one. The going rate for a 1 hour session is about $150.

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