Actors usually have the option to pursue specialized courses geared toward acting in higher education levels.
Beginners in voice acting may find it unusual that the profession does not have anything remotely comparable to that. Does this mean that training is not necessary for voice talent?
Not All Voice Over Skills Can Be Self Taught
At the basic level, voice over acting is a very forgiving arena. With natural aptitude and constant training, beginners can considerably improve their starting skill sets.
But not all those skills can be self-taught. Hiring a voice coach can be of incredible assistance if you are a beginning voice over talent.
Finding the Right Coach for Voice Talent
Unfortunately, the world of VO training is also filled with its fair share of unreliable coaches and crooks. One way to counter this threat is by seeking referrals from other voice talents.
Your colleagues and other voice actors are the perfect sources of this information. To be safe, you should also do some online research on the preferred candidate to ensure that he is indeed the real deal. Try to research the body of work they've done in the past, there credits. The best teachers are those who are "doers" as well. See if they have a profile on IMDb. If possible, meet with several trainers to find out the best one for you.
The Most Important Qualities to Look for in a Coach
Experience should be the primary criteria to gauge the suitability of any teacher/trainer, including a trainer for "accent" or dialect voice over. Try and find someone who is contemporary and has been keeping up with the rapidly changing trends in the VO industry.
Avoid individuals who are unwilling to critique you often. A great coach is not someone who always puts you at ease, rather challenges you.
If you are with a decent trainer, you will be getting a steady stream of feedback regarding every aspect of your voice and voice over skills. Such coaches will help you get stronger, accept challenges and remain sharp as a professional.
Face to Face Sessions are Not Mandatory
In this day and age of remote chatting and video conferencing, your voice trainer no longer needs to be in a room with you. Quality is the main factor here, not convenience. His/her geographical proximity should not influence your choice of a voice coach. Provided they are willing to work remotely and have experience coaching that way.