Virtual assistant jobs have risen dramatically in the last few years, mostly because of globalization and economy trends.
Companies and entrepreneurs have discovered that they no longer have to lease an office space and hire employees in-house to operate a business. As more companies successfully transitioned from a brick-and-mortar approach into this home-based business model, the demand for VAs increased as well.
And when there’s a demand for a certain type of work, historically, this demand has always been met. In fact, Intuit predicts that 40% of the U.S. workforce will be replaced by freelancers.
Virtual assistants (VAs) perform very specific day-to-day tasks. So even if these employees live in the other side of the world, all is well as long as the business operates efficiently.
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Just one quick search shows you that the virtual assistance industry is alive and very lucrative. This goes not only for individual, freelance VAs, but also for virtual assistant companies that hire VAs as employees and assign them to paying clients from around the world.
Virtual Assistant Jobs from Home
What is a virtual assistant? The answer depends on who you ask.
In general, VAs are like modern secretaries. Their jobs often include administrative duties such as answering calls and e-mails, scheduling meetings, making travel arrangements, transcribing documents, accounting duties, writing newsletters, handling business inquiries, and a whole lot more.
However, virtual assistants can also be assigned other job titles (often describing the focus of their work). For example, a SEO virtual assistant does everything a general VA does, but adds SEO tasks to the table. A marketing VA may take up social media tasks along with market research, analytics, Google AdWords, and so on.
You may also encounter other types of virtual assistant jobs like graphic design VA, article writer VA, WordPress VA, web developer VA and ecommerce VA, among others.
How to Become a Virtual Assistant
There is no formal education required to become a virtual assistant, but you’ll need:
- Basic computer knowledge with fast typing skills
- Social media skills (get acquainted with Facebook, Twitter and other popular platforms)
- Excellent research skills (clients often ask you to find information online)
- Perfect written and verbal English communication skills
- Ability to take follow directions, learn quickly and take in positive criticisms
As for your tools of the trade, you’ll need a reliable computer with high-speed internet and a working headset. If your job requires taking calls, you might need a phone (landline) to perform your work. Understanding of basic programs like Microsoft Office and Google Suite are important as well.
Specialization in a certain area would give you an edge over your competition. For example, a SEO virtual assistant with proven experience in Google Analytics and AdWords will find his/her skills more marketable.
How Much Do Virtual Assistants Make?
Today, general virtual assistants earn anywhere from $500 to $800 a month. Those with advanced skills (mobile app developers, graphic designers, video creators, web developers, etc.) take home higher pays from $800 to $1,500 a month.
Many virtual assistant jobs also include benefits, paid time off, Christmas bonuses, and so on.
If the virtual assistant decides to join a VA company, his/her earnings are usually lower than those who prefer to do it on their own. However, freelancer VAs do have to find their own clients and market their virtual assistance service everywhere.
In the past, virtual bosses were able to hire full-time home-based assistants at only $250/month. Many home-based workers were happy with this salary simply because there are no other jobs that require only several computer skills and offer stable income. Also around this time, many entrepreneurs capitalized on the demand for virtual assistants and launched VA companies, which then took a percentage of the monthly earnings of VAs in exchange for finding clients. Eventually, the starting salary of virtual assistants increased.
15 Virtual Assistant Companies hiring VAs
The best thing about being employed by virtual assistant companies is the sense of stability. Your pay rate is lower than freelancers, but you will have constant work and clients. If you wish to go this route and focus on the job (instead of marketing your VA services), here are 15 companies to check out:
1) WORLDWIDE101 – Their general VA, called executive assistants, earn $20 an hour. This company is legit and has been operating since 2012. Worldwide101 also pays its VAs paid vacation, holidays and parental leave.
2) 24/7 VIRTUAL ASSISTANT – Ideal for virtual assistants with experience or in-demand skills, this company hires US-based VAs for $10 to $12 an hour.
3) FANCY HANDS – Ideal for beginner virtual assistants who want to dip their fingers into the industry, Fancy Hands pay freelancers by task. Each task completed earns VAs $3 to $7 per task, which means your takehome pay increases when you perform more tasks.
4) VIRTUAL OFFICE VA – US-based virtual assistants with excellent communication skills can earn $9 to $10 an hour to find real estate leads. Payment is sent weekly.
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5) BELAY SOLUTIONS (formerly eaHELP) – eaHELP was named the 131st fastest growing company in America by Inc. Magazine in 2015. Aside from general VAs, Belay Solutions also hires webmasters and bookkeeping VAs. You can earn from $18/hour upwards if you pass the application process.
6) PRIALTO – This company focuses on providing assistance to executives and boasts of an “enterprise-grade support.” Pay can go from $20 to $80 per hour, depending on experience and location (Prialto has offices in the Philippines, Guatemala and the United States.
7) ASSISTANT MATCH – Assistant Match currently has the need for part-time VAs and pays out $12 to $15 an hour depending on specialization. Graphic design virtual assistants here make $20 to $25 an hour.
9) VIRTUAL GAL FRIDAY – There are positions available as general VA, medical receptionists, general receptionists, and other job titles. They accept workers from anywhere in the world, as long as the VA has solid work experience. Pay ranges from $5 to $20 per hour.
10) ZIRTUAL – When home-based slots do open, you’re lucky to get hired by this company. While the pay isn’t high (it’s only $11/hour), all employees receive medical, dental and vision benefits. Zirtual only hires in the US.
11) PREMIERE VEBA – Premiere Veba’s target market involves executives, CEO and other higher-ups that require customized virtual assistance. Those who are part of Premiere Veba’s team earn higher than industry standard rates ($20/hour or more).
12) OFFICE 88 – Graphic designers, web designers, proofreaders, writers, translators and general office assistants can find work-from-home positions with Hong Kong-based Office 88. Salaries vary depending on the position you apply to.
13) 99 DOLLAR SOCIAL – This company hires social media VAs who can handle at least 10 accounts at a time and can commit to at least 4 hours daily. Payment isn’t on an hourly basis, but a flat rate per account. The 99 Dollar Social website claims most of their VAs earn around $12 an hour.
14) LIFEBUSHIDO – Open for VAs around the world, Lifebushido has been offering VA services since 2006. Once you’re accepted, you can choose to work work anywhere from 5 to 20 hours per week. Pay starts at around $10 per hour.
15) RED BUTLER – Regularly accepts part-time and full-time virtual assistants from around the world.
These 15 are just the tip of the iceberg. You can find more VA companies if you specify a location (such as “virtual assistants Philippines”) or an area of focus (like “virtual assistants mobile app”) during your search.
More Resources for Future Virtual Assistants
If you’re interested in this career and want to learn more, you can start with our quick guide to become a Jack-of-all-trades virtual assistant. If you have some cash to spare to learn new skills, you can check courses on Udemy and Skillshare.
One of the best job boards to find a VA position comes from Hubstaff Talent, mainly because the company doesn’t charge freelancers a lot of fees and both clients and freelancers use the platform to complete projects.
WeAreVirtualAssistants is the sister site of Worldwide101 and a useful resource site if you’re serious about a career as a VA. Another veteran website you must follow is WAHM.com (work-at-home moms), which is filled with information about online jobs and a job board that is updated daily. Other virtual assistant job boards you can visit are Remotive, Working Nomads, and VA Networking, among others.
Virtual Assistant Jobs Outlook
The virtual assistance industry continues to be a lucrative (and still developing) industry. The job outlook of a virtual assistant remains positive. If you’re interested in entering this field, you have three options:
1) As a freelancer – You will be selling your own VA services to clients. Obviously, the main advantage of this route is that you get to keep 100% of your earnings. You have to be highly organized if you’re planning to juggle two or more clients at a time.
2) As an employee – You will be applying as a virtual assistant for a company offering VA services. Your income will be much less, but you don’t need marketing experience or continuous need to pitch yourself to clients. If you’re lucky, the company you work for could also offer benefits (medical, dental, or paid leave).
3) As a business owner – You will be launching your own virtual assistance company from scratch. You’d have to have some capital, business knowledge, huge network of contacts, and marketing skills. Revenues won’t get back so quickly, but if you do it right, becoming a boss of a VA company has the potential of a smart business plan.
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Whichever route you hope to explore in this industry, know that virtual assistant jobs are here to stay.