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On average, a virtual assistant should earn between $16 and $30 per hour. The rates vary depending on a VA’s skills.

The table below illustrates how different virtual assistant roles are remunerated.

Average Virtual Assistants Rates

Virtual Assitant’s RoleWork ScopeAverage Rate Per Hour
Admin Assistants and Data
Entry
  • Documents proofreading
  • Excel sheet management
  • Clerical tasks
  • Research
$12 – $20 +
Marketing VA $20 – $35 +
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Salesforce
  • WordPress
  • Powerpoint presentations
Customer Service $20-35 +
Accounting Support
  • Quickbooks
  • Salesforce
  • CRM
$30-40+
Advanced VA, Executive
Assistant, Consultant
  • Business Consulting
  • Web development
  • Content management
  • Advanced IT
  • Server management
  • Project management
$38-50+

The modern office has a lot of work that is repetitive and mundane. Tasks such as phone calls, paperwork, research, data entry, etc are time-sensitive. Executives can get back their time by hiring a virtual assistant (VA).

VAs will help with tasks such as scheduling work, clerical work, and some technical aspects that will help run the business smoothly. The trick is in finding a VA with the right mix of skills so that they can seamlessly integrate with your office culture and help save your time.

So how much should a virtual assistant earn?

In the United States, the average pay for a virtual assistant is as shown in the table below:

Hourly Rate$10.15 – $29.37
Hourly Tips$0.23
Overtime$7.21 – $44.04
Bonus$60.00 – $7,500
Profit Sharing$2,800
Total Pay$20,697 – $61,427

Obviously, this depends on the scope and duration of the project as well as the role of the VA. If you are looking to work as a VA, below are some of the things that you may want to consider before you take up the VA role.

How do you negotiate a comfortable pay rate for both you and your client? Grab your free cheat sheet.

Project Scope Definition

The average virtual assistant can handle almost every administrative task including scheduling meetings, taking calls, and supporting the sales and marketing team.

Before you get hired, you will need to have qualities such as:

The employer should determine how much work they are willing to delegate to you. Obviously, this will be different for everybody depending on their efficiency and availability.

When accepting a job as a VA, ensure the project scope is as detailed as possible. You can, for example, get hired for the following tasks:

  • Marketing Campaign – A marketing assistant can help with tasks such as content publishing, generating email lists, social media management and much more.
  • Data Entry – In an e-commerce shop, a virtual assistant can help with updating customer records. Some of these tasks will need some specialized knowledge in the web platform the employer uses.
  • Customer Support – A virtual assistant can help to monitor online chats, reply to emails and frequently asked questions, create a report from the CRM software and much more so that the employer can focus their time on the core business of satisfying customer’s needs.
  • Sales Support – A VA can help with creating presentations, receive inbound calls, drive online traffic to online stores, advertising, and many more.
  • Finance – The virtual assistant can help with accounting, vendor relations, bookkeeping, receipts transcriptions, and invoicing.
  • Admin Tasks – A virtual assistant can schedule travel arrangements, reply to emails, type documents, take notes, and perform other daily tasks.

Often, getting the right project scope will require the use of a project management tool such as Hubstaff. Using Hubstaff will enable you and your employer be on the same page when it comes to task assignments.

Besides having a clear view of the task assignments, Hubstaff also helps keep budgets and work schedules on track. Feel free to check it out.

Work Experience and Expertise

Virtual Assistant Checklist
Download your free cheatsheet of Virtual Assistant Freelancer

The most important skills in a virtual assistant include reliability, efficiency, resourcefulness, and excellent communication skills. The more experienced you are as a VA, the more you will be paid.

For example, virtual assistants on platforms such as Upwork are paid between $18 and $35 per hour depending on the skills and experience.

A VA who has previously worked in a corporate organization where structure and protocols are observed will obviously have an advantage when looking for an online job.

Your virtual assistant profile should also state the personal aspects you bring to the workplace that might be lacking there.

Any advanced skills that you might have will be relevant when applying for virtual assistant roles since the employer’s project scope might expand if they realize there is much more you can do for them.

Type of Work to Be Done

As a virtual assistant, you may be hired on a per hour or on a project basis. Alternatively, you can get a fixed price contract if the project is short term.

While some projects are long-term, others are one-off. If, for example, the project involves email marketing, the VA will pool the contacts and put them in an email marketing platform such as MailChimp.

Sometimes an employer may need additional support in tasks such as creating an email copy, email responses, and monitoring the bounce backs. In such a case, you could ask for more pay.

Technical Know-How Required

Most of the employers looking for virtual assistants just need you to have general office skills, email etiquette, and know-how of tools such as PowerPoint, Excel, and Google Suite.

As a virtual assistant, you can still make tons of money by doing small tasks. Read this story on Small Revolution and get inspired!

There are some clients who will need you to have some specialized technical know-how.

For example, you may be required to have knowledge of platforms such as eBay, Amazon Web Stores, Shopify, etc. You can charge extra for that knowledge.

Other common specialized knowledge areas for VAs include; HootSuite, MailChimp, Evernote, WordPress, Joomla, and all other CRM software.

If you are being hired as a virtual assistant for specialized skills such as lead generation, social media marketing, search engine optimization, and many others, your salary should reflect these extra skills.

If the virtual assistant role will involve some technical-related aspects, you should check out what other virtual assistants are charging for similar services.

For example, if you are required to handle a website by maintaining and updating it, installing servers and networks, providing technical support to customers and vendors, and many other skills you will need to charge accordingly.

Location

The term “virtual” means that the worker is not physically located at the employer’s office. Virtual assistants are located in different countries with different costs of living.

You need to factor in your cost of living when negotiating your salary.

Find your country’s cost of living here.

You will need to keep time zones in mind when accepting virtual assistant jobs. If, for example, you are required to be online in the employer’s timezone, the timing might fall at night in your time zone.

Ask yourself this, are you willing to work at night? Are you able to give up your social life for work?

Click here to download your free salary negotiation cheat sheet.

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Katrina
Author

I'm Katrina McKinnon, founder of McKinnon Group and Small Revolution. I'm using my 20 years' experience in building and operating online businesses to create engaging educational materials that helps others become successful online workers. Find me on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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