Virtual Assistant Career: What to Know

virtual assistant on computer

The Need for a Virtual Assistant in Business Today

A virtual assistant can be a lifesaver for small businesses across the country. These professionals help complete tasks that smaller companies don’t have the staff or time for. Indeed, administrative positions are the most common for virtual assistants as small business owners can’t afford to hire anyone full-time to handle their calendars or emails. And due to having less staff, owners often spend hours longer at their business than they would at a regular job.

Virtual assistants often work part-time as freelancers or contractors, meaning it’s cheaper to hire one than fill a permanent position. Notably, this type of schedule is ideal for those who hate the idea of working a 9 to 5, want a side gig, or need alternative hours. Plus, you can earn just as much as with a traditional job.

Thanks to technology, virtual assistants can help these businesses from across the country and the comfort of their own homes. They can log in as needed to make calls, respond to emails, and set meetings.

Of course, assistants aren’t limited to just administrative tasks. They can specialize in other areas like real estate, financial services, or marketing as well. Basically, if an industry has a gap in its services, these professionals can dive in and find work. Thus, it’s no surprise that the life of a virtual assistant has gained so much attention in recent years.

Virtual Assistant Career and Outlook

You’ll find many different salary estimates for a virtual assistant. Some will give low amounts, around $20,000, while others will promise 6 figures. However, your salary depends on many factors. Where you look for work, whether you freelance or get a job with a firm, what you specialize in, and more impact your take-home.

Notably, a firm will promise you more gigs and jobs than freelancing, but you’ll get less money per job. On the other hand, you’ll get more per job as a freelancer, but you may find it hard to find work, especially when you’re just getting started.

Indeed, as with starting any business, there will be growing pains. But virtual assistants can make a living from home, doing a job that they enjoy.

virtual assistant working at desktop

General Skills

What the average virtual assistant needs to know how to do depends on their niche. Overall, good communication and writing skills are necessary for success. You’ll also need to be comfortable with technology, including printers, fax machines, laptops, and phones. Additionally, most virtual assistants end up learning how to use various new software. You’ll need to be a fast learner and feel comfortable with trying new applications and sites out.

As administrative jobs are the most common and popular, you will need to have basic office skills. Notably, you’ll have to know how to prioritize, set meetings, handle documents, and more. Of course, if you prefer to specialize in marketing or accounting, you’ll need relative experience and skills.


Part of what makes virtual assistant jobs so popular is the fact that you only need a degree for many positions. Indeed, as long as you have the skills for success, you only need your high school diploma or GED.

However, an entrepreneur or virtual assistant program can help you build your business. Indeed, figuring out the freelancing world can be difficult. Most individuals aren’t prepared for everything that goes into starting a business. Taking a course allows you to learn from the experts and their mistakes.

Additionally, if you’re interested in a specialized niche, like accounting, you’ll need a degree in the field.

Types of Gigs

Virtual assistants can find work in just about any industry. Beyond administrative duties, companies also need someone to fill gaps in content creation, tech support, social media management, real estate, and marketing.

Basically, if it can be done virtually, a virtual assistant can fill in the business’s labor you’re your options are only limited by the needs of the businesses. You may run the company’s Facebook page, respond to emails, make cold calls, write articles, and much much more. Additionally, you may offer unique services on top of the basics. So, if you have a special interest or talent, you can include it in the packages you offer.

social media manager

Employment Options

You have options on how you want to become a virtual assistant. Notably, you can freelance – one of the more popular choices. There are many reputable sites, such as Fiverr, that allow you to create a profile to sell your services. You still have to do some marketing to make sure your name appears in the search options, but you’ll rise in the rankings with every customer review. Of course, the downside of using one of these sites is that you do lose a portion of your income. At the time of writing, freelancers at Fiverr take home 80% of the cost of their service. In other words, you lose 20% of your income in fees.

Alternatively, you may start your own business and website. This option can take longer and requires more effort. Notably, businesses go to sites like Fiverr as they know they can trust it. They’re less likely to make additional effort and find independent websites. Thus, it’s up to you to get your name out there. You’ll have to aggressively seek clients as you’re first getting started.

Finally, you may also consider joining a firm. Virtual assistant firms also take a portion of your pay, but they guarantee more work. Indeed, you don’t have to worry as much about getting your name out there. Just like with Fiverr, businesses are more inclined to trust established firms. However, workers find they have less freedom and more oversight. They may not be able to choose which clients and jobs they get and will be monitored by the agency.

Final Thoughts

Lakewood University offers a fully online 16-week virtual assistant program. Students learn how to find their niche, build their name, set rates, and get clients. Additionally, they’ll learn the basics of entrepreneurship and how to succeed in the field. Students are introduced to time management, marketing, and strategic business skills.

In the end, graduates will leave with a strong framework that encourages growth and a successful career in the world of online business.

Lakewood University is an accredited online school that offers a variety of degree and certificate programs. We have rolling enrollments and asynchronous courses. In other words, you don’t have to worry about missing a lecture or running late to class. If you plan on enrolling in college while working, Lakewood University offers the flexibility you need to earn your degree.

Don’t hesitate – reach out to our admissions department today to learn more!