Looking for legitimate online virtual assistant jobs? We'll help you find them with 10 recommendations and advice on avoiding scams.
Virtual Assistant Jobs
One of the increasingly popular ways to start working from home is to find online virtual assistant jobs.
The job has come to be described as that of a “cyber secretary,” and for good reason. When compared to secretary jobs, many of the skills and responsibilities are the same. But what sets virtual assistants apart isn't only the fact that you can work from home (or anywhere else, for that matter): it's also that you can work for multiple companies at the same time if you so choose.
This does mean you can't easily predict what you'll be doing or when. It largely depends on your client (or clients) and their needs.
We'll take a look at the type of skills you can expect to need, the income you can expect to receive, and how to avoid all the common scams that come with the territory.
But first, we want to help you find legitimate online virtual assistant jobs.
Find Virtual Assistant Jobs on Freelance Websites
One of the first places to start looking for online virtual assistant jobs is on freelance websites.
These platforms don't always pay well, but most often do. It very much depends on the client(s) you connect with and are hired by.
Especially as a first-time virtual assistant, it can be worth accepting a temporary position with a client that pays slightly less. This can be a good strategy to ease yourself into the market, learning on the job with lower risks.
However, if you do decide to start with a low-income client, make sure you're earning enough to cover all your expenses. This may mean having other income sources.
Formerly known as Elance-oDesk, Upwork is one of the largest, best-known online platforms for freelancers. Although their sliding commission fee may scare some away, it remains an ideal platform for both novice and experienced virtual assistants.
It's free to sign up as a freelancer. All you need to do is fill out your platform, making it clear that you're participating as a virtual assistant, and set your hourly rate.
Companies and entrepreneurs will post job offers for once-off, part-time, and full-time positions. By navigating the jobs board, you can find and respond to these postings to start working with a client.
Guru takes the same approach to creating a freelancer platform as Upwork, but with a few differences.
While Upwork's sliding commission fee drops from 20% to 10% to 5% depending on your earnings per client, Guru's scales down from 8.95% to 4.95% depending on your membership level. And while Upwork gives all users 30 free bids a month, Guru only allows for 10. However, you can buy more bids if you need them. You can find the commission fee tiers and bid purchase prices here.
Another thing to bear in mind is that while Guru Basic is free, the other membership plans range from $107.40 to $479.40 per year.
One of the better membership sites for freelancers to find legitimate online virtual assistant jobs is FlexJobs.
Some of the clients who use FlexJobs for hiring are Forbes 100 and/or Fortune 500 companies. These are the online virtual assistant jobs that pay rather well, starting at $17 an hour but more often with an opening salary of $20 an hour and guaranteed raises. However, they do tend to have higher requirements: some ask for a Bachelor's Degree, while others want 7+ years experience.
Rather than paying commissions, you pay membership fees. FlexJobs offers a Monthly subscription at $14.95, Quarterly at $29.95, and Yearly at $49.95.
Companies That Have Online Virtual Assistant Jobs
Perhaps working as a freelancer isn't quite up your alley and you'd prefer to work for a company (including agencies) that offer legitimate online virtual assistant jobs.
If that's the case, you're in luck. We've identified 6 such companies for you.
Formerly known as eaHelp, Belay Solutions was founded in 2010 to help businesses find virtual assistants.
While Belay Solutions doesn't charge any commission or membership fees, the application process is rather exclusive. You'll need to have at least 5 years experience in either administration or project management. There's also a series of interviews before the company accepts you. They then act as an agency, matching you to clients based on your skills and the client's specific needs.
You can expect to work anywhere from 10 to 40+ hours a week and earn between $13 and $19 an hour.
Coalition Technologies offers a range of job opportunities with the aim of helping start-up companies grow. While they predominantly look for web designers and online marketing experts, they occasionally have openings for online virtual assistant jobs too.
While the following job posting includes responsibilities for an in-house assistant, Coalition Technologies also allows for applicants wanting to work from home.
The position is full-time, so you'll need to be available for 40 hours a week (9am to 6pm PST). However, compensation is offered at $25,000 to $58,000 a year. Pay is determined by company profits, 50% of which is shared as a monthly bonus between all team members.
Based in Philadelphia, Delegate Solutions is a completely remote company that was founded in 2007. The company serves a vast number of clients and is almost always hiring.
The only catch is that you'll need to apply via FlexJobs. If the membership fees are off-putting for you, you can visit the following page first. You'll be able to see whether Delegate Solutions is currently hiring, view the job posts and offered salary/hourly rates, and then decide whether to purchase a 1-month FlexJobs subscription in order to apply.
Equivity, similar to Belay Solutions, acts as an agency by pairing online virtual assistants with their clients. These include individuals, entrepreneurs, and businesses of various sizes.
The application process is incredibly simple. Equivity currently has an active job posting for a US-based virtual assistants from the East Coast (or able to work during EST business hours). You will need to have a Bachelor's Degree and 5+ years of experience to qualify. Starting pay is $16.50/hour for 20 to 40 hours a week.
If you don't qualify for the above, then not to worry – Equivity also has an application form for sending in your resume. You'll still need a Bachelor's, but previous experience is only listed as a plus. Equivity will keep your resume on file for future consideration.
Gabbyville offers online virtual assistant jobs with a focus on live phone call support, which requires a T1 VoIP phone line and noise-canceling technology. However, you can also be expected to assist with appointment reminders, text message notifications, and online scheduling.
In order to apply, you'll need to send your resume and a cover letter to [email protected] The company does require that you have at least a high school diploma, a typing speed of 50+ words-per-minute (test yours here for free), and 2+ years experience in customer service. Pay is reported to be $9 to $10 an hour, putting Gabbyville on the lower-end of legitimate online virtual assistant jobs.
The requirements differ from company to company. On average, you can expect to need 2+ years experience as well as a range of technical skills, though some positions allow for applicants willing to learn on the job.
Pay also varies, typically from $17 to $20 per hour (part-time) or $38,000 to $42,000 a year (full-time). These are sometimes starting salaries.
Red Butler specializes almost entirely in online virtual assistant jobs, with the only other focus being Dedicated Assistants (in-house). As such, the company uses its 15+ years of experience to help train novices if requested.
There is a membership fee, ranging from $29 per month plus 20% commission to $299 per month plus 10% commission. In exchange, Red Butler will provide you with their patented Dashboard Technology, help you create pre-paid monthly subscriptions of $5, $10, $20, or $40 per hour, and create a Match Profile on your behalf. Match Profiles help clients to find and contact you.
Virtual Assistant FAQ
We've helped you to discover several platforms for finding legitimate online virtual assistant jobs, but you may still have a few questions you want answered.
Naturally, you'll need to know the general skills that the job typically requires, how much you can realistically expect to earn as a virtual assistant, and how to avoid the all too common scams. As promised in our introduction, we'll answer all of these questions to help you get started with your online virtual assistant career!
What Skills Are Required for Virtual Assistants?
As you no doubt saw in our reviews of different platforms above, some positions may have different skill set requirements for virtual assistants. However, there are a few universal skills that you can expect to need.
Here's a quick list of the different tasks virtual assistants are regularly expected to perform. The most common are italicized:
- Appointment bookings and reminders
- Blog/site management
- Customer service
- Data entry
- Email and/or text correspondence
- Event planning
- Graphic design
- Internet-based research
- Phone support and correspondence
- Project management
- Social media management
- Tech support
- Writing (emails, memos, reports, etc)
- Red Butler
- Profit Factory
- Delegate Solutions
- Coalition Technologies
- Belay Solutions
As such, you'll need the skills necessary to perform at least the tasks that are marked in italics. Additionally, there are sometimes software-based skills required, depending on your client(s) and their needs. Microsoft and Google Suite programs are a universal requirement.
How Much Can You Really Make from Being a Virtual Assistant?
This also varies depending on the platform/s you use to find clients, as well as your hours.
While some only pay $9 to $13 an hour, in general, you can expect to make anywhere from $17 to $40 an hour working for most clients. If you start your own online virtual assistant business and market yourself properly, you can potentially make up to $60 an hour.
Working on the assumption that you'll work 10 to 40 hours a week for 261 days a year, this puts your pay range between $4,689 and $125,280 a year.
Avoid Virtual Assistant Scams
We've provided you with a number of legitimate online virtual assistant jobs, but if you're looking to expand your horizons further, you need to be aware of scams. These will bleed you dry, often costing money without generating any.
To help you avoid virtual assistant scams, here are a few tips to keep in mind when considering any opportunities you come across online:
- While working for yourself or through a platform that allows you to set your own rates can be very lucrative, most online virtual assistant jobs won't pay much more than $20 an hour (starting salary). Be wary of any postings that promise higher figures.
- Research the company and/or platform as much as possible before providing any information.
- While freelancer platforms and some agencies have legitimate reasons for charging membership fees, other job opportunities that ask the same are almost guaranteed to be scams.
- Unless training is provided via a third-party site like Udemy, be wary of any site that asks you to pay for training before they provide you with work.
- Especially true when working for yourself, always ask for a contract. Scammers will come up with excuses not to provide one – or simply disappear.
- If you have been scammed, report it to Google, the Internet Crime Complaint Center, Federal Trade Commission, and the Better Business Bureau.
In today's world, the ability to work from home has not only become more attractive, but more viable too. More and more companies are recognizing the merits of allowing employees to work remotely.
For those of us with the skills and desire to become a virtual assistant, this is naturally good news.
It can be a hard job, but one that's certainly rewarding – provided you stick to legitimate online virtual assistant jobs and avoid those scams.