Virtual assistants (VAs) have become increasingly popular among small and medium businesses. They are more cost-effective than their in-house counterparts and can help employers save on overhead costs while still getting the support they need. Statistics show that a great virtual assistant can decrease costs by 78%.
If you are a business owner or a busy professional looking to hire a virtual assistant to help you improve workflow and want to know how much they will cost you, this article is for you. We’ll give you an overview of the average salaries of VAs by experience and location and some key traits to look for when finding your ideal VA.
How Much Should You Pay Virtual Assistants in 2023?
According to Indeed, the average virtual assistant salary (as of the beginning of 2023) in the US is $23.89/hour or around $5,090/month. However, what you pay can vary a lot depending on whether you hire someone based in the US or abroad. For instance, a virtual assistant based in a country with a lower cost of living may charge lower rates than one living in a country with a higher cost of living. Hiring someone with the necessary skills to undertake specialized and complex tasks will also require paying a higher rate than for someone who will only complete simple administrative tasks.
The best approach when paying a professional virtual assistant is to negotiate a fair rate based on location, expertise, and the quality of service provided. We break down each category below.
Based on experience level
There are generally three experience levels when it comes to VAs:
VAs with less than two years of experience typically fall into the beginner or entry-level category. From our experience, you can expect to pay around $700 to $1,200 per month for an entry-level virtual assistant based in Latin America (LatAm), depending on their specific skills and experience. Typically, an entry-level VA has a basic understanding of administrative tasks (scheduling appointments, answering emails, data entry, customer support, basic bookkeeping, etc.). They also know how to operate basic software programs (Microsoft Office, Google Suite, Outlook, Trello, Zoom, Canva, etc.) but may still need guidance and training to complete more complex tasks.
A mid-level virtual assistant has two to five years of experience and can perform more complex tasks with minimal supervision. They usually have a higher level of skill and knowledge than beginners and may specialize in certain areas and industries, such as content creation, project management, or email marketing. If you hire a mid-level virtual assistant from LatAm, you can expect to pay them a maximum of $1,800 a month.
A senior-level virtual assistant has more than five years of experience and can handle complex tasks independently. They typically have strong know-how and expertise in certain areas, such as executive support, managing corporate schedules, financial management, strategic planning, and team management. Senior-level VAs based in LatAm typically charge about $2,200 a month.
It’s important to note that in addition to the experience level, the salaries for virtual assistant jobs strongly depend on the location and the type of work required as well.
Based on location
When paying VAs based on location, it’s imperative to consider the cost of living in their area. VAs based in areas with a higher cost of living will generally require higher salaries to maintain their standard of living and vice-versa.
Some employers choose to pay VAs the same rate regardless of location, while others may offer different rates based on the cost of living in the VA’s country or region. Ultimately, the most important thing is to ensure that your VA is being paid fairly for their work.
According to recent market trends, some of the best countries for finding excellent VAs without breaking the bank include:
- Philippines: The national average salary for a virtual assistant in the Philippines is around $5–8/ hour.
- Bangladesh: The average salary for a virtual assistant in Bangladesh is around $2–5/hour.
- Mexico: The average salary for a virtual assistant in Mexico is around $8–15/hour.
- India: According to Indeed, the average hourly salary in India is around $2; depending on their experience, it might range between $5–10/hour.
- Ukraine: On average, VAs from Ukraine can be hired for around $5–10/hour.
- Poland: You can expect to pay a virtual assistant from Poland around $6/hour.
- Brazil: According to SalaryExpert, the average virtual assistant’s salary per hour in Brazil is around $4.
- China: A virtual assistant in China will work for $6 an hour.
- Argentina: A virtual assistant from Argentina will cost around $8 per hour.
- Singapore: The hourly rate for VAs in Singapore ranges between $2 and more than $20.
Keep in mind that all of the figures given thus far are average salaries and can vary based on factors such as the virtual assistant’s level of experience, location, skills, the specific tasks they are performing, and the demand for their skills in the market. As with any job, more experienced VAs should generally receive higher compensation than those with less experience.
If you are planning to hire VAs from LatAm, use Near’s 2023 LatAm Salary Guide to make an informed decision on how to pay them.
Factors to Consider When Hiring a Virtual Assistant
When identifying and sourcing great remote talent for a virtual assistant position, consider these key factors:
The required skills for a virtual assistant will vary depending on the specific tasks and industry. However, some common skills that VAs should possess include excellent communication, time management, and organizational skills and proficiency with basic software programs such as Microsoft Office and Google Suite.
Depending on the line of business, you can add more specific tools such as CRM platforms or marketing-specific tools like WordPress, SEO tools (Ahrefs, SEMrush), Google Analytics, and social media management platforms.
As English is the primary language of business, VAs should have a good command of it. This will ensure that communication is clear and effective and that the virtual assistant can perform tasks such as writing and editing documents, conducting research, and communicating with clients and customers.
To decide what level of English you require, consider whether interacting with customers is included in your virtual assistant job description. If it’s not, you can safely look for a VA with advanced English skills. However, if one of the primary virtual assistant’s responsibilities is customer service, look for strong English with great fluency, preferably someone who can provide certifications; you can also create your own language skill assessment test.
A more experienced virtual assistant will typically have a better understanding of how to perform tasks efficiently and effectively, and they may be able to offer suggestions and insights based on their previous experience.
It’s essential to find a balance between experience and cost and consider other factors, such as the virtual assistant’s availability, communication skills, cultural fit, and ability to work independently when determining their hourly rate. For example, if the person has considerable experience, offer them a competitive salary close to the top range.
For more information on how hiring a VA could benefit your company, read our guide on hiring a virtual administrative assistant.
The compensation you offer your VAs can impact their performance significantly, which in turn can affect the success of your business, particularly if they are responsible for handling time-sensitive tasks. So be transparent with your VAs about payment and ensure that they are being paid fairly for their work. Always consider their level of experience, skills, location, the type of work they do, and the unique value they bring to the table.
Use the information in this article as a guide to what you might offer your virtual assistant. Remember though that you don’t necessarily have to pay more to get the most experienced and highest-skilled VAs; a big factor in a VAs salary is where they are based.
If you are considering hiring a VA from LatAm, where the cost can be 30–70% below US costs, Near can help you. Simply fill out our form with the profile of the virtual assistant you need, and we’ll present you with the best pre-screened candidates who possess outstanding English communication skills. You could be working with a highly skilled VA in just a few weeks.