Are you handy on a keyboard and like working remotely part-time or full-time? Then, a virtual assistant profession could be the ideal career move for you.
Virtual Assistants support businesses by performing a wide range of jobs, such as general admin, support, copywriting, invoicing clients, email, social media management, bookkeeping, and more.
You don’t require any formal qualifications to become a VA. However, completing tertiary education and gaining some work experience will help develop niche skills.
This comprehensive guide will help you get started in this profession. We will discuss the virtual assistant role, employment opportunities, earning potential, and steps to launch a career in this field.
1. What Is a Virtual Assistant?
Virtual Assistants are sole trading freelancers that provide remote technical and administrative services to a business or an entrepreneur.
They have the flexibility to work either from home or from wherever they want.
Virtual Assistants have the liberty to decide their working hours and the type of work they wish to take.
They are multitaskers who provide virtual assistance to different businesses at a time.
Their common services include email management, bookkeeping, administration, finance, marketing, content creation, customer service, social media, graphic design, and more.
2. What Does a Virtual Assistant Do?
A virtual assistant offers services on daily basis, contractual basis, or as self-employed.
Knowledge of the work responsibilities is essential if you look forward to pursuing a VA profession.
Research content ideas, write, edit and schedule blog posts, create graphics, manage blog comments, and improve blog SEO.
Extract information from raw data and transform it into a concise and clear format.
Create slides, spreadsheets, charts, digital graphics, presentations, reports, and web-based seminar speeches.
Organize and manage files, spreadsheets and documents
Manage online presence on the website or social media profiles
Offer customer support by answering customer queries, processing their orders, and managing order entry, consignment, and invoicing
Proofread key business documents
Perform organizational tasks and manage client’s time by overseeing calendars, appointments, and schedules
Track customer orders, handle exchanges/returns and manage inventory
Handle superannuation, tax payments, and leave of clients
Prepare letters, statements, and reports
They answer, supervise, and organize emails
Make, answer, or direct phone calls
Make travel arrangements
Coordinate calendars, and schedules
Modify and proofread documents
Make travel arrangements
Generate sales leads
Perform admin tasks such as accounting, and billing
Research market and build databases
3. What Do You Need To Become A Virtual Assistant?
Before you start finding clients, it is important to equip yourself with the following essentials:
A computer/laptop that runs a newer OS version
A high-speed internet connection
Microsoft Office for working with MS Word, MS Excel, and MS PowerPoint
An Email Account
Photocopier, Scanner, and Printer machines
Business Cards with an email address, website address (optional), and services that you offer.
Public Liability Insurance
Quiet working environment
Excellent Virtual Assistant software/ cloud-based file-sharing tool such as Hubstaff, Dropbox, Google Drive, and Google Calendar.
4. Key Skills For A Virtual Assistant In Australia
The first step to starting your journey to becoming a VA is to determine your strengths and how desirable they are for this job.
The most sought skills that employers look for in a VA job applicant are:
Good typing speed
Good vocabulary, and diction skills
Outstanding computer and Internet skills
Proficiency in software such as MS Word, MS Excel, Adobe Photoshop
Data entry skills
Social media management
Excellent written and verbal communication skills
Time management and Organization
Attention to detail
Able to work to time constraints
Pleasant speaking voice
Strong editorial skills
A passion for learning
Good grasp of spelling, semantics, grammar, and proper writing mechanics
5. Top Reasons To Work As A Virtual Assistant
Virtual assistants make a perfect solution for businesses that look for workers to delegate their tasks.
The profession offers several benefits that no regular job can offer. Here are the top reasons to pursue this profession:
A great earning opportunity while working from home or traveling
The freedom and flexibility to work from anywhere and choose your working hours.
You can control your workload at your convenience. This way the profession lets you work around your other priorities in life and seek a work-life balance.
No formal education and specific licenses are needed.
Minimal investment is another important reason to choose this career. With just a computer/laptop and an internet, and basic computer skills, you are all set to launch your career as a VA.
As VA does not need to commute to the workplace, it saves considerable time and energy.
6. Qualifications For A Virtual Assistant in Australia
There are no formal requirements specified to become a VA in Australia. However, it is good to hold a high school diploma and a few tertiary qualifications to exhibit your skills and competence for the role.
1) Complete High School education in English, IT, and Mathematics
2) Undertake relevant tertiary qualifications such as:
Certificate III in Business Administration
Certificate III in Information, Digital Media and Technology
Diploma of Social Media Marketing
7. How To Become A Virtual Assistant From Home In Australia?
The following steps will give you the direction to help you start working as a VA:
Step 1: Research
Look at VA job advertisements to understand the job role and duties. Learn about what businesses hire these professionals. Decide whether you want to work full-time or part-time.
Do you want to work with a local business, with an employer, or with a small business? Assess your skills to get clarity on what would be the most suited VA work for you.
Step 2: Decide On The Technology
Having decided about the field, you now have to decide on the necessary tools, software, and equipment to execute the job. The most common software that you would require are:
Teleconferencing and communication software
Compare the available software in these categories to find an affordable and efficient one for your work
Step 3: Decide On The Fee You Want To Charge
Once you have identified the niche, and type of services to offer, the next step is to determine your pay per hour rate.
The average hourly virtual assistant rate in Australia is AU$29.28. You may initially start small and at a little lower rate.
Once you gain a couple of months of experience and positive reviews, you can gradually increase the rate.
Step 4: Set Up Your Workplace
You need a distraction-free and quiet place that allows you to work with full focus. It could be your home or an office space.
Invest in a comfortable desk chair and laptop stands to avoid discomfort.
Step 5: Obtain A Unique ABN Number
An ABN (Australian Business Number) is essential to work as a self-employed virtual assistant business and issue an invoice for your services.
The Australian Government issues this number to Australian residents who have a suitable visa and wish to work as a business.
To run a business, you would also require setting up a business bank account and an Invoice system. Click here to register your Business Name with ASIC.
Step 6: Build Professional Network and Hunting For Jobs
The right marketing skills are essential to promote your talent and services to a wider audience. Some of the good places to network and look for virtual assistant jobs from home are:
If you wish to work with local businesses, then social media sites such as Pinterest, VA Facebook groups and LinkedIn would help.
Start your Virtual Assistant Facebook Page, and list the type of services you offer and the location of the service.
Attend local business events, meetings, and professional development sessions to network and build connections. These are great ways to make people aware of your profession and services.
Identify and Join VA-related Community and Business Groups.
Design pamphlets that advertise your service and distribute them to local newspapers.
By working on several projects and building a strong work portfolio, you can gain more clients and high-paying jobs.
8. Virtual Assistant Courses In Australia
Professional Development for Virtual Assistants is the best online virtual assistant course in Australia. The course is offered by Australian Online Courses.
The course focuses on refining your organizational and communication skills teaching ways to manage numerous tasks at once, and gaining an array of business skills to succeed as a VA.
It educates students about the necessary techniques and tools, business planning, and marketing strategies to run your virtual assistant business.
The course content covers the following areas:
Develop typing speed and precision
Write complex documents and manage them
Research and formulate business strategies
Design and create a business document
Unlimited tutor support during study via email, telephone, and live chat.
No workplace and educational requirements to join the program
90 hours duration
Online delivery of course through e-learning system that eliminates the requirement to attend classes
A Certificate of Attainment is provided after the successful completion of the test.
Successful completion of the course leads to the following career pathway:
Email Marketing Manager
Social Media Specialist
9. Where Do Virtual Assistants Work In Australia?
With more and more occupations getting online, the demand for VA has increased over the years.
To improve productivity and revenue generation, businesses choose to focus on their core areas and outsource non-core tasks such as social media management, email transcribing, scheduling appointments, etc. to specialized VAs.
A VA can either get directly employed by a company or run its business. Virtual assistant jobs for beginners are available in the following areas:
General administration support
Customer Service or Receptionist
Content creation (for websites, blogs, social media, company’s presentation, etc.)
Aspiring VA’s can choose to pursue any of the below virtual assistant jobs in Australia:
Medical Virtual Assistant: This role is concerned with the administration of doctors and medical practitioners. Medical VA’s work with a medical transcriptionist to convert audio files into written documents that becomes part of the medical record of a patient.
Other than medical record maintenance, they also communicate with patients, schedule appointments, file insurance claims, and do medical billing. This is a good specialization option for those who wish to work in the healthcare industry.
10. Job Prospects For Virtual Assistant In Australia
Technology advancements facilitate the execution of regular business tasks such as work-sharing, conducting meetings, providing customer support, and a lot more.
It greatly helps employers get remote workers without spending resources to recruit in-house professionals for their non-core tasks.
The profession also benefits VAs by offering heightened flexibility and independence to undertake remote freelance work while managing their workload.
No formal education requirements and steady work opportunities make it a lucrative profession for budding virtual assistants in Australia.
The wide array of benefits for workers and employers makes Virtual Assistant a rapidly advancing career field in Australia. As an increasing number of small businesses and entrepreneurs prefer to hire affordable remote workers than full-time employees, the profession will see strong future growth all across Australia.
11. How Much Does A Virtual Assistant Earn In Australia?
The virtual assistant salary is usually on a per-task basis rather than a fixed yearly or hourly-based salary. Their earnings depend on their skill set and years of experience.
Based on PayScale, the hourly salary of a Virtual Assistant is in the range of A$24.04 to A$43.31.
The average hourly pay in this profession is AU$29.28 or an equivalent of $52,204 per year in Australia.
Sydney is the highest paying city that pays an average salary of $95060 per year.
Average Hourly Salary Based On Experience
An entry-level Virtual Assistant (< 1-year experience) earns: AU$25.14
An early career Virtual Assistant (1-4 years of experience) earns: AU$27.78
A mid-career Virtual Assistant (5-9 years of experience) earns: AU$33.77
An experienced Virtual Assistant (10-19 years of experience) earns: AU$38.40
Whether you want to make additional income or begin your full-time online business, Virtual Assistant work can be flexible, exciting, and challenging. It is a means to ‘Future-Proof’ your profession.
Training, upskilling, sincerity, setting clear boundaries, reliability, good customer service, and consistency will help to succeed in this profession.
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