If you’re searching for a way to enter the dynamic, flexible, and fast-paced world of remote work, few other professions have as many openings as virtual assistant jobs. While the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows a 7% decline in the secretarial and administrative assistant industries over the next 10 years, many of these jobs are moving online. By moving these jobs to the virtual realm, employers can eliminate the geographic requirements of hiring virtual assistants and find the best candidates from around the globe.
Another major benefit of virtual assistant jobs is that open positions create a ton of options for aspiring remote workers. Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or you just want to cut out the commute to the office, virtual jobs provide the flexibility and work-life balance you need for improved mental, physical, and emotional health. So if you’re searching for an entry-level position or you’re a certified executive assistant, a career or fresh job opportunity as a virtual assistant can provide the income and job satisfaction you need.
Everything You Need to Know About Virtual Assistant Jobs
Virtual assistants come from a variety of backgrounds, simply because many associate’s, bachelor’s, and certificate programs don’t have a specific major or concentration for secretaries or administrative assistants. As a result, the barriers to entry are low; anyone can become a virtual assistant provided they have the drive, knowledge, and organizational skills to do so.
By understanding what’s required of a virtual assistant, you can learn what skills you need to improve, any credentials you need, and other steps necessary to embark on a journey toward your virtual assistant job.
Continued education isn’t required to become a virtual assistant. In most cases, a virtual assistant may have only a high school diploma or GED equivalent. However, executive assistant roles may require more education, such as a bachelor’s degree or an associate’s degree. The best way to know what education you need is to search online job descriptions for specifics.
Deciding on Your Expertise
Some virtual assistant jobs are basic in terms of job roles and responsibilities. Others may require you to have specific knowledge of a particular industry. This might include understanding industry-specific terms and jargon, how the business operates, or the ability to prioritize specific tasks ahead of others. Some of the most popular industry-specific virtual assistant jobs include:
- Accounting and finance
- Marketing and social media
- Healthcare and medical
- Teaching and tutoring
- Human resources
Similar to other types of remote jobs, a dedicated home office is a necessity to become a successful virtual assistant. This will likely require a number of features, including:
- Reliable, high-speed internet
- Laptop or desktop computer
- A headset or headphones
- A cell phone or landline phone
- Copier and scanner
- Possibly a fax machine
Before applying to any virtual assisting jobs, make sure your skills are up to par with market expectations. Compare your traits against the following list of basic hard and soft skills needed to perform well in a virtual assistant job.
- Organizational skills
- Time management skills
- Listening skills
- Effective written and verbal communication skills
- Ability to self-assess
- Problem-solving skills
- Prioritization skills
- Strong computer proficiency
- Intermediate to expert knowledge with Office Suite
- Skilled at using other standard office equipment like a multi-line phone, fax machine, scanner, postage meter, and copier
- Fast, accurate typing
- Appointment coordination and schedule management
- Strong writing skills
- Basic math and accounting abilities
Keep in mind that these aren’t the only skills necessary to land a virtual assistant job. You may also need skills that are relevant to the particular industry you’re working in. Some roles may also require specific skill sets as dictated by your employer, especially if you’re reporting directly to a manager, CEO, or owner of a particular company.
Tertiary education and certifications aren’t required for entry-level virtual assistant jobs. Even so, extra training or certifications can make you stand out from other candidates. Furthermore, certifications can provide you with the additional knowledge you need to become a more effective virtual assistant, and potentially, to earn more money. If you’re an aspiring freelancer, these added credentials are even more important to landing your next client. Because no certifying body is industry-recognized, you may have to do some research to find the courses and certifications you need. Some places to look include:
- Online universities
- $10K VA
- Fully Booked VA
Salary and Information
According to the BLS, virtual assistants earn a median salary of $40,990 per year or $19.71 per hour. The top-earning job is an executive assistant with salaries over $63,000. At the low end, remote medical assistants make a median wage of $37,350.
Virtual Assistant Jobs vs. Executive Assistant Jobs
When you’re searching for virtual assistant jobs, you will undoubtedly come across job listings for executive assistants. In many ways, these jobs are identical. However, several distinctions between the two can help you decide which one is the better option for you.
The differences between the two roles often hinge on three specific aspects:
- Employment type (full-time vs. part-time, 1099 vs. W-2, etc.)
- Salary requirements
- Education and industry-specific knowledge
In most cases, an executive assistant is a full-time employee rather than just a freelancer or contractor. Furthermore, executive assistants are more likely to have an associate’s, bachelor’s, or master’s degree, as well as higher salary expectations than a virtual assistant. The higher salary reflects the higher education and more knowledge required to successfully master the role and work independently without constant assistance or direction from an employer.
Tips to Improve Your Chances of Getting Virtual Assistant Jobs
Virtual assisting is a heavily saturated work from home field. However, you can boost your chances of getting noticed by implementing these quick and easy suggestions. The goal is to stand out from the dozens or hundreds of other workers that are vying for the same role.
- Do your research. In addition to researching a virtual job ad to verify its legitimacy, investigate your potential employer. Look for information on significant company achievements, recent projects, and positive, newsworthy stories that you can mention in your cover letter and job interview.
- Follow directions. Virtual assisting is a support role that requires you be able to follow through on instructions. Prove that you can follow directions on the job by doing so when submitting your application. When applying to virtual assistant jobs, look for special instructions in the job ad or sentences that request specific details like “Please submit three letters of reference” or “Only respond via email.”
- Proofread your employment documents. If you cannot ensure your own paperwork is error-free, how can an employer count on you to adequately maintain company files? Submitting a job application, resume, or cover letter with spelling, grammatical, and typographical errors is the fastest way to get canned as a candidate in this clerical role.
- Demonstrate your ability to work from home. If you’ve never had a remote job, the notion of working from home can feel daunting. However, you can take a few steps to shore up your abilities and resume. Learn industry-standard software such as Slack, Microsoft Office, Monday, or Asana. Each of these software programs has training modules that can make you an expert in just a few hours of study.
Companies Hiring for Virtual Assistant Jobs
Companies of all sizes and even individuals are consistently hiring for virtual assistant jobs. And with more businesses going online due to COVID, the ability to find employment online is more available than ever. So whether you want to work for a small company or a large corporation, here are some companies looking for your specific skill set.
Elite Virtual Assistants
If you want to take the hassle out of applying for specific virtual assistant jobs, Elite Virtual Assistants is a good place to start looking for your next position. As a staffing and recruiting agency and Virtual Vocations Employer Partner tailored specifically to the world of virtual assistants, the company has the network and connections to place you with a client that you can gel with.
Boldly is a subscription staffing company with dozens of Fortune 500 clients. Their mission is simple. To supply only the most highly qualified virtual assistants to their A-list of clients. Some of Boldly’s clients include ZenDesk, Grammarly, Google, Facebook, and Apple. Unlike other types of placement companies, all of Boldly’s job openings are W-2 positions with full-time pay and benefits.
Based in Stamford, Conn., Synchrony Bank is a provider of financial services and financial products to both consumers and businesses. The company offers promotional financing and loyalty programs, installment lending, FDIC-insured savings products, and private-label credit cards. As of 2021, this publicly traded company has over 68.5 million accounts for consumers across the country.
American Express Company
Founded in 1850, American Express Company is one of the world’s largest providers of financial services. Although best known for its credit cards for consumers and businesses, American Express also offers travel services, CDs, small business loans, gift cards, and more. In 2021, the company was voted the 10th best company to work for by Forbes.
How Virtual Vocations Is Your Greatest Ally in Your Search for Virtual Assistant Jobs
Although you can find thousands of virtual assistant jobs online, Virtual Vocations provides the extra resources you need to land your next job. Along with a job board that features thousands of job openings, Virtual Vocations also offers:
- Companies database
- Career services
- Industry guides
- Career coaching
- Career center
- Free blog with plenty of advice on remote working
Sign up today to see how Virtual Vocations can make all the difference when you’re searching virtual assistant jobs. With a bit of help, you can land the job that you’ve always wanted.
What excites you about virtual assistant jobs? Is there a particular aspect you find attractive? Connect with Virtual Vocations on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube to share your thoughts and tips. We’d love to hear from you!
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