A virtual administrative assistant is a highly-skilled office professional who provides administrative and other specialized services to businesses, entrepreneurs, executives, and any other individual in need of administrative support. Unlike office administrative assistants, who work in the office environment, virtual administrative assistants work as independent contractors from a home office.
There are many reasons a business may choose to hire a virtual administrative assistant rather than take on a full-time employee. One factor may be cost. Another factor might be that the amount of work does not necessitate full-time attention. However, simply because virtual administrative assistants do not work under the watchful eye of the boss doesn’t mean their workload is less strenuous. Virtual administrative assistants must often be more disciplined, more skilled, and more adept at self-marketing than traditional administrative assistants in order to launch a successful career.
Virtual administrative assistants must be proficient in using communication technology, as their entire job depends on it. They seek out and complete assignments using the Internet and e-mail as their primary forms of communication.
The responsibilities of a virtual administrative assistant are based on their skill-set and the needs of their clients. VA’s usually have several clients for whom they are providing administrative support. They may also specialize in a certain service, such as website maintenance or bookkeeping, although. Services typically offered are word processing, transcription, database management and updating, research, email management, and information management. Virtual administrative assistants are also usually responsible for providing website development and design, desktop publishing, event planning, generating spreadsheets, bookkeeping, payroll, and business consultation.
In order to work efficiently from home, virtual administrative assistants must furnish their home office in such a way that replicates the office environment. The most invaluable tool a virtual administrative assistant can own is a computer with a high-speed Internet connection. The computer should be able to run any programs and software used for administrative support. A list of other essential equipment includes a copier, fax machine, scanner, business phone line, and a photo-copier. The home office should be set up in a way that is conducive to working without distractions.
Training & Certification
Starting a career as a virtual administrative assistant doesn’t require extensive schooling. Most VA’s get their start after years of experience working as administrative assistants in offices. Basic clerical, communication, and organizational skills can be learned on the job or through a 1-2 vocational program. Virtual administrative assistants must be knowledgeable about computers and modern technology employed in offices. Therefore some budding VAs choose to take courses covering communication technology.
Virtual administrative assistants can choose to become a CPVA – Certified Professional Virtual Assistant. The certification is awarded to virtual administrative assistants who have shown mastery of skills, as well as a. A second level of certification, CMVA – Certified Master Virtual Assistant, is also available, but cannot be earned until 1,500 hours of billable hours have been completed. Certification demonstrates a commitment to the profession and a high standard of achievement.
As independent contractors, virtual administrative assistants set their own pay rate. The determining factors are usually the difficulty of the work, the level of skill needed to complete the work, the cost of living, and other financial needs. Virtual administrative assistants with years of experience can charge up to $100 for their services. When just starting out, virtual administrative assistants usually charge an average of $25.
Top Administrative Assistant Schools
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