How to Work as a Virtual Assistant, and Companies Hiring

Virtual assistant jobs are a fairly well-known and highly coveted type of remote work. If you’ve been wondering if you have what it takes to start working as a virtual assistant, or how to find companies and open jobs in this area, read on!
First, let’s define what a virtual assistant is: every virtual assistant job is a little bit different, of course, but there are some general components to expect. Most virtual assistants provide support to their employer or clients in the form of answering emails, transcribing documents, preparing statements and letters, organizing files, coordinating schedules and calendars, making travel arrangements, and generally taking charge of administrative tasks to help a client focus on the other aspects of their jobs (or personal lives).
The good news for anyone hoping to work remotely as a virtual assistant? Virtual administration is one of the fastest-growing remote career fields, with job listings growing over 20% in 2017 according to FlexJobs data.

Typical Virtual Assistant Duties and Tasks

Virtual assistants can work as executive assistants, administrative assistants, personal assistants, and in other related positions, depending on the client. Tasks may be any combination of the following:
  • Calendar and schedule management
  • Travel arrangements
  • File and document organization
  • Email monitoring and organizing
  • Answering and directing calls
  • Billing and accounting activities
  • Writing and maintaining records
  • Vetting potential clients, projects, partnerships, etc.
  • Maintaining or updating a client’s social media or professional profile
Because so much of a virtual assistant’s job is done through a computer, excellent typing skills and being highly comfortable using different computer programs are a must.

Finding Companies Hiring for Virtual Assistants

According to the current virtual assistant job listings , some of the companies hiring for virtual assistants include:
  • BELAY
  • Delegate Solutions
  • Equivity
  • Milrich Virtual Professionals
  • Profit Factory
  • VaVa Virtual Assistants
  • Worldwide101
When it comes to job titles, be on the lookout for job titles like virtual assistant, virtual administrative assistant, administrative coordinator, personal assistant, executive assistant, and similar titles.

What Makes a Good Virtual Assistant

Great virtual assistant job candidates possess skills like phenomenal written and verbal communication and open and transparent communication practices where they are viewed as a reliable, reachable partner by their clients. Time management and organizational skills are a must, as is a natural ability to take charge of a situation and organize it for the benefit of a client.
Also, experience with or knowledge of cloud-based communication technologies like file sharing, password managers, and phone and video conferencing is important.
You may already have some of these skills without realizing how valuable they are. If you need to brush up on some areas, skills and certifications can be obtained through self-study or taking online courses to learn best practices.
Finally, people who hire virtual assistants are looking to lessen the stress and disorganization in their lives. Don’t wait to be asked to do specific tasks—if you see a client is struggling, offer to help them with something you aren’t currently doing. This gives you more work to do and lets them rely even more heavily on you.

Pay Rates for Virtual Assistants

PayScale shows a wide range of pay for virtual assistants, depending on their skill level, years of experience, industry, and clientele.
The range is $15,387 to $65,379 per year, with the median annual rate at $36,272. Hourly, virtual assistant pay ranges from $10.16 to $29.49, with a median hourly rate of about $16.

The Work Environment for Virtual Assistants

Just like any other remote job, you’ll need to have a dedicated home office in order to work as a virtual assistant. In addition to a computer with a high-speed Internet connection, you’ll also need a printer, copier/scanner, and fax. Most likely, you will need a dedicated landline (or two) as well.
Virtual assistant jobs come in all shapes and sizes: full-time, part-time, employee, freelance, temporary, and alternative schedule. Many virtual assistants work with more than one client at a time on a freelance basis, combining several part-time projects to create a full-time business for themselves.