Do you miss the energy of an office? Do you want to contribute your skills to the success of a large or small business, but aren’t sure where to start? Maybe you’re taking surveys to get some PayPal cash, but you need a more sustainable source of income from home.

You can always apply to be someone’s virtual assistant.

A virtual assistant’s responsibilities will vary based on the industry you choose to work in. However, there are some staples to virtual assistant jobs that never change. If you’re a single parent who wants to get back to work, or if you just want to see what working from home is like, read on!

What Is A Virtual Assistant?

A virtual assistant performs many of the same roles that an in-person assistant does, but from the comfort of your home. Whether this involves data entry, social media management, setting up travel arrangements, or more, you’ll be expected to make life as easy as possible for your employer.

That said, there is a difference between a virtual assistant and a virtual executive assistant. Executive assistants tend to work closely with the company founders, deans of colleges, or with higher-ups in established companies. It’ll be the responsibility of these assistants to arrange travel, manage schedules, and field phone calls for their supervisors.

Comparatively, virtual assistants may be expected to field phone calls and answer emails for an entire office similar to an administrative assistant or an office assistant. Your responsibilities, if you fill this role, can range from bookkeeping to ad editing to customer support. The semantics will depend almost entirely on the field you’re entering into and the needs of your virtual office.

What Does A Virtual Assistant Do?

As mentioned, it’s the job of a virtual assistant to make life as easy as possible for her coworkers. Virtual assistants, however, don’t have to report to the office on a daily basis. Instead, this work-from-home position allows you to field office calls while making lunch or relaxing in your pajamas.

Of course, that doesn’t mean that a virtual assistant position is low-stress. You’re still responsible, after all, for an office’s administrative responsibilities. On a day-to-day basis, a virtual assistant will be expected to:

  • Answer office emails
  • Field phone calls
  • Look over email marketing materials
  • Manage travel time for a company’s higher-ups
  • Bookkeeping
  • Manage a company’s social media
  • Scheduling meetings 
  • Researching potential clients

The only difference is that you’ll be able to do these things from home instead of from an office desk.

What Tools And Skills Do Virtual Assistants Need?

With all of that in mind, what kind of experience do you need to work as a virtual assistant?

As is the case with most freelance positions, you’re going to need to be a self-starter. If you’re not, it’s going to be nearly impossible to get out of bed and go to work when you’re not expected to physically show up somewhere.

Likewise, your communication skills are going to need to be off-the-charts. Even though you may spend most of your day working on your own, you’re going to need to check in with each team member of your office to share emails, bookkeeping information, and more.

Other necessary skills include:

  • Stellar time management
  • Patience
  • Technological know-how
  • A strong sense of organization
  • Project management 

Do you need a bachelor’s degree to work as a virtual assistant?

An assistant’s educational requirements will vary based on her industry. Usually, it’s a person’s years of experience that have more of an impact on whether or not they’re hired than their education. Even so, there are some institutions that prefer to hire employees with a bachelor’s degree or who are in the process of earning their secondary education.

How Much Do Virtual Assistants Make?

A virtual assistant’s salary will vary significantly based on your industry and years of experience. If you work as a contract or freelance virtual assistant, you’ll want to charge between $13 and $30 for your services if you’re just starting out. You can raise your rate as you gain more experience.

If you’re lucky enough to score a salaried position, you can expect to make between $20,000 and $37,000 per year, again taking into account different industries’ expected salaries and previous experience.

How Many Hours Do Virtual Assistants Work Per Week?

In general, virtual assistants will be expected to work forty hours a week, the same as they would if they were in a standard office environment. That said, it is possible for a virtual assistant to work part-time, sharing a load of assistantship with another person or persons.

Where Can You Find Virtual Assistant Jobs?

Finding a virtual assistant position isn’t, unfortunately, always easy. That said, there are some online job boards that frequently list these types of positions. If you’re on the prowl, check out:

That said, you can also take advantage of the job alerts on Linkedin, Glassdoor, or Indeed.

Is Being A Virtual Assistant Worth It?

With all of that in mind, is it really worth your time to apply to be a virtual assistant?

If you want to ease your way back into an office environment but can’t leave the house, then yes. A virtual assistant position is ideal for new moms, caretakers, or college students who want to make a bit of money from their dorm rooms. While you’ll have to treat this position with the same sense of responsibility you would any other freelancing career, it serves as a flexible and understanding gig for employees with unusual home circumstances.

So what are you waiting for? Check out the listings posted online to see if there’s a virtual assistantship open in your preferred field. 

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