What Do Virtual Assistants Charge?

This is a guest post by Amy Wright, mom and owner of Amy Wright, The Hiring Source For Busy Entrepreneurs LLC.

I’m a New Virtual Assistant, How Do I Know What to Charge?


Excellent question, and one that holds hundreds of new VA’s hostage for months! When you’re new to anything, it’s essential to charge a lesser amount than those who’ve been doing whatever it is that you’re doing for much longer periods. It’s how you get your foot in the door with potential clients.

Budget is a huge concern for most entrepreneurs who are hiring help for the first time. Those are the people that you want to target- people who aren’t too far along in their businesses and who have the time and patience to train you in things that you may not know.

If you start out knowing absolutely NOTHING about administrative work, I’d suggest getting some training first, even if it’s self guided through YouTube videos or free information online. Seldom will someone train your from A-Z while you work for them… they just don’t have the time. Even if they did, you’d be making $10-15/ hour, at best.

If you can afford it (and I think that you should make every effort that you can), I’d suggest a reputable training program like my friend, Ali Rittenhouse’s Geek Labs.

You can gain solid knowledge and graduate from programs like these making more starting out. Ali’s graduates, depending on experience, can make upwards of $50 hourly. That’s nothing to sneeze at. Plus you’re aligned with a great brand and a reputable name in the business.

Lisa’s note:  FreelanceMom.com not an affiliate of Ali’s program, but Amy is and has experience with it and highly recommends the program.

If you have some experience already but haven’t worked virtually yet, there are a few key differences in being an administrative assistant in an office and a VA online. The technology is a bit different.

So instead of taking cash or check payments, you’ll need to know a bit about shopping carts and how to set them up and process payments. Instead of sending out emails via Outlook, you’ll need to know how to navigate an email management software like Mailchimp or Aweber.

At the admin level, you can expect to charge around $15 an hour as an entry level VA. Sounds like pretty decent money to start making while working from home, but we have to remember that this $15/ hour isn’t like the $15/ hour that you make in your desk job. You’re now contract labor, meaning that you pay your own taxes and benefits and those weekly vacations that you take each year aren’t paid anymore.

So my best advice for new VA’s and wannabe VA’s is to start cheap, get as much experience as you can… even if it’s for free at times, gain references, get training and raise your rates as you get more talented. If you’re driven and aspire to be a great VA, you’ll be banking over $50/ hour in no time!

Amy Wright pic for article Amy Wright is the owner of Amy Wright – The Hiring Source for Busy Entrepreneurs LLC. She is goal oriented like a mo-fo and super passionate about connecting with business owners and helping them in their business. Get your FREE 5 step guide on how to “Hire a VA Who Doesn’t Suck”.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lisa Stein owns FreelanceMom.com, is a college business professor and a mom to Gabriela and Elle. Lisa is dedicated to playing a part in helping women and moms run a business they love, help support themselves and their family and create a flexible lifestyle. You can find her online on Facebook and Twitter or at home burning something in the kitchen.