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Compelling Reasons To Have an Apprentice or Hire an Assistant


By Stephanie Ciccarelli

July 10, 2009

Comments (5)

Female working in an officeThere is no shortage of people looking to gain experience in the business of voice overs.

Some seek apprenticeships and internships which are difficult to find, while others learn the ropes by working in the field, concurrently earning a wage and gaining an education.

Do you remember what it was like to work for someone else before starting your own voice over business? Are you now in a position to offer such opportunities?

Learn more about the benefits of working with others to achieve your goals and also how you can make a positive impact through your business.

Entering the Voice Over Market

When you were first considering a career in voice over, what did you do to prepare yourself as a businessperson for what lay ahead?

From what I've heard, apprenticeships, internships, and co-op placements are hard to come by in our industry, however, being hired to work in a recording studio, at a talent agency, or as a personal assistant to a voice over coach or professional voice talent are the likeliest options available to get an insider's advantage and discover how the business works.

Opening New Doors For You and Your Business

As entrepreneurs, everything is usually learned on the job as there is only so much a text book can teach you. When you run your own business, it is nearly a given that you'll be wearing a number of hats ranging from that of the owner to front-line customer service in the startup phase.

I think you'll agree that by initially doing everything in your business, the basic fundamentals are internalized quickly and help you to gain a fuller perspective and appreciation for running a business. You know what needs to be done, how it needs to be done, and why it needs to be done, motivating you to achieve your goals.

A Good Problem To Have

When you are an established voice over professional up to your ears in work, you may find that there is actually too much work for just you alone to do -- please note that this is a good problem to have!

Because of the sheer volume of work and demands that your business places on you as an individual businessperson, you may be noticing how hard it is to do everything and still feel creative doing what you do best behind the mic.

5 Signs That You May Need Help:

๏ Your deadlines suffer or it becomes burdensome to meet deadlines
๏ You're losing business because you don't have time to followup or maintain relationships
๏ Your marketing efforts are not as fruitful or ambitious as you'd like them to be
๏ You feel overwhelmed or like you're "spinning your wheels" and getting nowhere fast
๏ You're spreading yourself too thin and not doing anything exceptionally well

Now, just think about how your life and business could change if you had some help!

How Do You Get Your Mojo Back?

At this point, it may be time to consider hiring someone to help you grow your business, and if you aren't necessarily looking to hire, think about taking on an eager apprentice who wants to learn more about how voice over businesses work. Not only will you get much needed assistance, you'll also have an opportunity to teach, mentor, and if all goes well, add to your overall success and bottom line through your combined efforts.

Here are some benefits for you to consider with regard to people you can add to your team for both the long or the short term.

Benefits For You!

3 Benefits of Having a High School Co-op Student:

๏ Students only spend a few hours a day at your workplace for about 4 - 6 months
๏ Are already interested in your profession and are given placements by their teachers
๏ You do not pay co-op students

3 Benefits of Having an Intern:

๏ Interns are highly motivated as completing their education program depends on you
๏ Have a serious interest in learning everything they can for immediate application
๏ Will lighten your load and take the initiative on projects you assign

3 Benefits of Having an Apprentice:

๏ Apprentices care deeply and are supportive of your business like no other
๏ You'll be able to influence someone directly in the field on a granular level
๏ An apprentice may renew your passion for your work

3 Benefits of Hiring an Employee:

๏ Paying someone means you can elevate your expectations for productivity
๏ Creating a new role within your company will benefit you and your business
๏ You have a team member on board who is motivated to help you succeed

Are You at the Point Where You Need to Consider Any of the Above?

I'm really curious to hear if you are open to working with an aspiring talent in some capacity at your studio. If you're already doing this, please comment with how things are going for you!

Also, if you've been an apprentice, intern, co-op student or an assistant to someone in the voice over business, I'd love to hear from you too about your experiences and how you managed to get your position.

Best wishes,


©iStockphoto.com/Chris Schmidt

Related Topics: Apprenticeships, Assistants, Business, High School, hired, industry, Interns, voice actors, voice overs, Working


    Hi Stephanie-

    I am actually in the process of interviewing college students for a paid part time position working with me as an apprentice.
    First I posted a job with Elance.com, then realized that that resource is best for people who can farm the work out and operate with virtual assistance. I realized that I am a hands on person and wanted someone by my side to guide as we go. Especially since this is a new experience for me as well.

    I contacted a school in NYC and within 48 hours had a dozen really interesting and interested candidates whom I'll be interviewing next week.

    One thing that's been really fascinating is being on the other side of Internet job postings. Now I am looking to hire instead of looking to be hired! Truth be told it has changed how I think about my approach when responding to vo job leads online!

    Wish me luck!

    Posted by:
    • Debbie Irwin
    • July 11, 2009 11:13 AM

      If anyone in the industry is looking for an employee in Western Massachusetts, send a message my way.

      Posted by:

        Hi Stephanie - this is a timely post! Only on Saturday did I receive a letter from a graduate looking for work in Alison Pitman Voiceover Services! Sadly I'm not in the position to offer any paid employment, but your post has certainly given me some ideas and thoughts to offering him some work experience / short placement which may be of benefit to both of us!
        Thanks for the post!

        Posted by:

          I've only been working in the voice-over world for about a year, but my load was getting heavy enough that I recently took on a fellow actor as an assistant. I found Maria at The Actors' Network, in L.A., where I am a member. I couldn't have asked for a better assistant. She created and helps maintain my contacts database, among other things, and she gets to see how I quickly made the transition from no-time to full-time. Eventually, I may put her in charge of my daily auditions, submissions and leads. I highly recommend.

          Posted by:


            I'm grateful to be able to employ my daughter part-time and my oldest son full-time in my voiceover business. I've also been able to help both of my younger sons get paid voiceover work in the last couple of years too. And my wife helps with appointments, directing and some voiceover work. Being able to share the burden in the family like this has made it possible for us to be much more productive than would be possible for me alone.

            Be well,

            Posted by:

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