Back in the day I used to manage my website by myself including writing articles and responding to emails. But as I got ahead of the game I felt the need to free up my schedule and focus on things I like doing more. So I decided to hire a virtual assistant (VA) and it's been the best decision for me. Fortunately there are many other businesses that see the value of virtual assistants.
You're probably wondering what a virtual assistant does and where to start. So we dug deep to find all there is to know about working online as a virtual assistant in this article. So, let's get cracking!
What Is A Virtual Assistant?
A virtual assistant is a skilled person who works from home as a clerical or administrative assistant for an individual or company.
What Kind of Work Do Virtual Assistants Do?
Most virtual assistant jobs may involve making phone calls, typing, data entry, tech support, booking flights, making reservations writing articles, emailing, live chat or anything else that a company or individual may need you to do.
How Much Money Can I Make As A VA?
The quick answer is that it all depends. First, it depends whether you are an employee or have your own business. There are perks and quirks to both.
Virtual Assistant employees earn much less than Virtual Assistants that run their own VA business. That's because as an employee you don't have to look for work and neither do you require a huge initial investment. However, your working time is not that flexible and you have limited say on how you work.
As a virtual assistant business owner there is more involved. You'll need an initial investment to get your VA business off the ground. You'll have to find your own clients. So you may not start making real money off the bat. However, you are your own boss with your own schedules and you get to keep all the profit. So there are pros and cons with being a VA employee vs being a VA business owner.
Depending on the company or individual you work for, the industry average for a beginner is $10 an hour. You can earn upwards of $20 an hour depending on your skills and what you're actually doing.
As an VA business owner, your pay largely depends on how many clients you can get, what you can actually do and your skillset. Most self-employed virtual assistants set their own hourly rates and come up with service packages.
It's not set in stone exactly how much you can make but the industry average is $18-35 an hour for beginners, based on what most individual virtual assistants charge currently.
What Type of Experience Do I Need?
The skills you have right now might be enough to start working. However, you'll have to be skilled at whatever services you offer. You'll also need good communication and organizational skills.
You can also sign up for web-based training and certifications to spruce up your resume, but most companies that hire virtual assistants employ based on initial tests to gauge your skills and abilities.
Aside from technical abilities in your area of expertise, a can-do attitude and flexibility will take you places as a virtual assistant.
What Type of Equipment Do I Need?
It depends on the service you want to offer. However, there are standard equipment that you'll definitely need. High speed internet and a laptop or desktop for starters. The operating system on your computer also needs to be up to date. In some cases, you'll also need a word processor like Microsoft Office.
If you don't have any of these, you can find a laptop such as Chromebook for about $200 at Amazon.com. You can also purchase Microsoft Office at a great price at Amazon.com. in some cases you might need headphones, a telephone and a webcam.
Complaints About Virtual Assistant Jobs
The life of a virtual assistant is not always a walk in the park. There are some cons to this type of work that you need to about. So let's dive into them below.
The pay can suck…
Most companies that hire virtual assistants don't offer benefits, bonuses or paid vacation days like a normal clerical job does. Because the competition out there is vicious there are more workers than there are jobs. As a results companies that hire can offer lower pay. So you may want to supplement your income with sites like SurveyJunkie.com, Swagbucks.com or FusionCash.com.
Pain in the ass clients…
Some virtual assistants tasks require unreasonable amount of effort to complete. In most cases the client won't pay you for the extra effort and time spent on that particular task. So the math may not always add up when working with demanding clients.
Where's my money?
Depending on where you work as a Virtual Assistant, the client can reject your work. So you may dedicate several hours to a job and get it rejected by the client. Unfortunately you won't be compensated for the time you wasted. The reality is many of the VA websites value clients more than the virtual assistants.
If you don't like being at the whim of employers and want to be your own boss, you can check out My Top Work At Home Recommendation. This way you can control how much money you make and avoid pain in the ass clients like we mentioned above.
Virtual Assistant Jobs
The following are some of the best companies to work for especially if you are a newbie.
Flexjobs.com is always a good resource to find many types of jobs including virtual assistant jobs, but here are a couple of other sources you can apply, and good luck on your application if you do so!
Time etc. – Time etc. hires experienced work at home freelancers including virtual assistants. They make it clear before you apply that you'll need 5 years' experience working as a freelancer. You'll have to go through the application process to know whether they accept freelancers from your location. They pay every month via PayPal and you can make $11-16 depending on what you do and experience.
Upwork – Global crowdsourcing website Upwork is a great place to find virtual assistance jobs. All you need to do is create a free profile specific to what you can do as a virtual assistant and set your hourly rates. You can also bid for available jobs or get hand-picked by clients based on your profile. Upwork pays via PayPal, Payoneer or direct deposit on a weekly cycle basis. You can read my complete Upwork review here.
Fiverr – Fiverr is also a superb platform for beginners. You'll basically be bidding for jobs or if a client likes your profile they may employ you directly. You can negotiate your pay per job or go with what the client is willing to pay. You can work from anywhere in the world and it's totally free to work at Fiverr. They pay via direct deposit or PayPal, 14 days after your project is marked as completed. You can read my full Fiverr review here.
FancyHands – FancyHands employs virtual assistants from anywhere in the world. All you need is a Gmail account and Chrome web browser. If you are good at fetching information from the internet, making bookings or data entry, you'll enjoy FancyHands. They pay $3-7 per task, usually small tasks that take up to 20 minutes. FancyHands pays via Dwolla every other Tuesday. You can read my FancyHands review here.
PeoplePerHour -PeoplePerHour has all types of jobs for virtual assistants from all over the world. Once you create your profile you can bid for work based on what tasks you can do. You can work in administration, marketing, tech support, IT social media marketing and so on. How much you earn depends on the available jobs but most jobs pay $7-10 an hour. PeoplePerHour pays via either bank deposit or PayPal. You can read my full PoplePerHour review here.
Freelancer – Freelancer is similar to Upwork and Fiverr in many ways. You can work from anywhere in the world, all you need is to create a profile specific to virtual assistance. You can make upwards of $10 an hour depending on what you do. Freelancer.com pays via most remote payment platforms including PayPal and remote direct deposit. You can read my Freelancer review here.
Worldwide101 – Worldwide101 is definitely something worth checking out especially if you have previous experience in social media management, project management, paralegal or executive assistance. You can also apply if you live outside the United States. You'll start off at $20 an hour and they pay every first of the month via PayPal. You can read my full WorldWide101 Review here.
Zirtual – Zirtual can be a great option if you are in the United States. You'll basically be making phone calls, scheduling appointments, ordering and paying for stuff on behalf of other people. They keep what they pay people under wraps, but reliable online posts claim you'll be earning $10-15 an hour. You start by sending an expression of interest email to email@example.com and they'll get back to you. you can read my complete Zirtual review here.
More Virtual Assistant Work At Home Jobs
Virtual assistant jobs are not always available, and getting one might be tough. There's always downtime when jobs are rare. That's why you would need resources like Flexjobs.com to stay in the loop when legit virtual assistant work at home jobs are available within your area. The company is BBB accredited so you shouldn't have to worry about running into scams.
Alternative Work At Home Opportunities
It never hurts to have multiple streams of income. If you see the value in that, I would recommend you try out Swagbucks.com, Fusioncash.com or SurveyJunkie.com if you are looking to make even more money online.
Are Online Virtual Assistant Jobs Worth It?
Virtual Assistance jobs are totally worth it. Even if you have a full time job you can still use your on-the-job skills to make a little more money on the side as a VA.
All you need is a work station equipped with all what you need. You might not make a livable income right away, but as you build your client list things will work out in the end.
You can also choose to start your own business which is harder while starting but it pays off in the end. Again, you can rake in more money when times are tough at sites like Swagbucks.com and FusionCash.com.
If being a virtual assistant is just not your thing, you can check out My Top Work At Home Recommendation and build your own online business. You can even work full time or part time making real money at home.
Well that's about it from me when it comes to Virtual Assistant work at home jobs. Are you a virtual assistant or do you work at home? We would love it if you shared your experience. Again if you have questions or comments, feel free to chime in on the comments section below.
Until next time
Eddy ”with a Y”