What Does a Virtual Assistant Do? (+ How to Become One)
Virtual assistants, also known as VAs, are professionals who provide a range of services to clients remotely from a home office. With the rise of technology and the increasing popularity of flexible work arrangements, the role of a virtual assistant has become more prominent in recent years.
In this article, we will explore what a virtual assistant does, the types of VA jobs, and how you can find and land a virtual assistant job, including relevant skills and qualifications you may need.
What is the job of a virtual assistant like?
A virtual assistant job is a position in which an individual provides administrative, technical, or creative assistance to clients remotely, typically from a home office. Virtual assistants are often self-employed and work on a contract or project basis for multiple clients. In many cases, virtual assistants can set their own schedules and work flexible hours.
Common virtual assistant tasks
The specific tasks that a virtual assistant might perform can vary depending on the client's needs and the virtual assistant's skills. Some everyday tasks that virtual assistants might handle include:
- scheduling appointments,
- managing email and calendars,
- making travel arrangements,
- conducting research,
- providing customer service.
Types of virtual assistant jobs
There are many types of virtual assistant jobs, and the specific tasks a virtual assistant is responsible for can vary depending on the industry and the needs of their employer. Some common types of virtual assistant jobs include:
- Administrative assistants: These virtual assistants provide support with tasks such as scheduling appointments, managing emails and phone calls, and organizing files.
- Customer service assistants: These virtual assistants handle customer inquiries and complaints, often via phone or email.
- Social media assistants: These virtual assistants manage a company's social media accounts, creating and scheduling posts and engaging with followers.
- Research assistants: These virtual assistants conduct research on a variety of topics, often using the internet to gather information.
- Technical assistants: These virtual assistants provide support with technical tasks such as setting up and troubleshooting computer systems, or helping customers with technical issues.
Overall, virtual assistants are responsible for a wide range of tasks that can support businesses and individuals with their administrative, technical, and customer service needs.
How much do virtual assistants make?
In general, virtual assistants can make anywhere from $10 to $60 per hour, with the average rate being around $20 per hour. Assuming a workload of 30 hours per week, a typical virtual assistant can expect to earn around $2,400/month on average or around $30,000 in a year.
Factors that affect the amount of money a VA can make
Some of the main factors impacting the salary of a virtual assistant are:
- The individual's experience and education
- The types of work they do and services they provide
- The location they work from
- The number and types of clients they work with
For example, virtual assistants who have specialized skills and experience, or who work for high-paying clients, may earn higher salaries than those who are just starting out or who work for lower-paying clients. All other things being equal, a VA who lives in the United States, for example, will probably earn more per hour than a VA living in the Philippines.
How to become a virtual assistant?
Here are some steps you can follow to become a virtual assistant:
- Determine which skills and expertise you have that could be useful to potential clients. This could include administrative tasks such as scheduling and email management, technical skills such as website design or social media management, or creative skills such as writing or graphic design.
- Develop a portfolio of your work or a list of references that you can share with potential clients. This will help to demonstrate your capabilities and give clients an idea of the types of tasks you are able to handle.
- Create a website or online profile that showcases your skills and experience. This will help potential clients to find you and learn more about your services.
- Network with potential clients and promote your services through social media, online job boards, and other channels. This will help to generate interest in your services and connect you with potential clients.
- Once you have secured some clients, make sure to deliver high-quality work on time and maintain open communication with your clients. This will help to build a positive reputation and secure long-term clients.
Below is a list of common requirements for becoming a virtual assistant:
- Have a good understanding of the tasks and responsibilities that are typically associated with this type of job. Examples include scheduling, email management, research, and customer service
- Have a computer with a reliable internet connection and the necessary software and tools to perform your tasks, such as a word processor and communication software
- Have a dedicated workspace that is free from distractions and allows you to focus on your work
- Be comfortable working remotely and using technology to communicate with clients and manage your work
- It can also be helpful to take courses or get certified in virtual assistance to improve your skills and increase your credibility in the field
Where to find VA jobs
There are several ways to find virtual assistant jobs, including:
- Job boards and freelance platforms: Many job boards and freelance websites, such as Upwork, Flexjobs and Fiverr, list virtual assistant jobs. You can search for available positions and apply directly through these platforms.
- Virtual assistant companies: These companies usually offer a range of support services. Some examples are Belay, Boldly, and Hello Rache.
- Social media: LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media platforms can be useful for connecting with potential clients and finding job opportunities. You can use these platforms to promote your services and network with other virtual assistants and professionals in your field.
- Professional associations and networking events: Joining a professional association for virtual assistants can provide access to job listings and networking opportunities. Attending industry events and conferences can also be a good way to meet potential clients and learn about available jobs.
- Personal connections and referrals: Networking with your existing contacts and asking for referrals can be a great way to find virtual assistant jobs. Letting your friends, family, and colleagues know that you are available for work can also lead to job opportunities.