How Much Does a Virtual Assistant Cost?

Joe Troyer

Updated September 15, 2023

Table of Content

Table of Contents

When outsourcing for a virtual assistant, several questions immediately come to mind.

Such as:

  • “How much will a virtual assistant cost?”
  • “Do they charge an hourly rate?”
  • “How much is their average hourly rate?”
  • “Do I determine a virtual assistant cost based on experience?”
  • “What things should I be looking for to know virtual assistant costs?”
  • “What virtual assistants services cost more?”
  • “How many hours do you need your virtual assistant?”

Understandably many people will have questions about virtual assistant costs as that’s an important factor when hiring virtual assistants.

At the same time, if you clearly understand what virtual assistant services are, what they can do for you, and why you should hire one, you’ll have a better idea of a virtual assistant’s pay rate.

Although virtual assistant services will differ, there are some affordable virtual assistant services that others offer.

In this resource, we’ll discuss the things you need to know about the cost of hiring a virtual assistant without feeling like you’re overpaying.

But first, keep this in mind.

Virtual assistant costs can vary wildly as some specialize in certain virtual assistant services. Most businesses would outsource virtual assistants in countries with low labor costs because the rates are below most minimum wage in the United States. On the other hand, a highly knowledgeable and experienced virtual assistant can run into the three figures per hour rate.

Never understatement someone’s financial capabilities, too, as everyone has a different view of what “expensive” means. If you talk to two clients who are doing great in their businesses and earning the same monthly revenue, you will see that one will say, “Let’s do this!” and another might respond with, “This is outside my budget.” And that is because of several factors they are considering for expenses. Honestly, this has never been so clear to me than now.

Remember that money will never be an indicator of somebody’s success and whatever is in your bank account is not a determination of how successful you will or will not be.

Outsourcing new team members such as virtual assistants will be another expense, and you have to be wise regarding a virtual assistant’s hourly rate or monthly package.

Since we’re talking about the rates and packages for virtual assistant costs, let’s look at some pricing options for virtual assistants.

Pricing Options

  • Hourly Rate: This is the easiest way to calculate the virtual assistants’ gross expenses to earn and compensate for bills, health insurance, and more. Most virtual assistants who’d prefer this pricing option have already calculated how many hours they anticipate working throughout an average month (including possible holidays) to determine their hourly rate.
  • Fixed-Rate: Some would use this to negotiate to get a fixed or flexible schedule of working hours per week. This would also guarantee a fixed salary at the end of each month or per pay period leaving no worries to the virtual assistant for the next payout.
  • Project-Based Rate: This would typically apply to freelancers, which is another term for virtual assistants who do not have full-time commitments or a contract agreement from a business. These virtual assistants often charge a flat fee higher than the standard rate.

Now that we’ve determined the payment options for virtual assistants let’s talk about the costs of hiring a virtual assistant.

Calculating the Cost of your Virtual Assistant

There are plenty of things to be considered when calculating the cost of a virtual assistant. These things would include the benefits your offering, which location they are on, how many hours they will have to work, what experience they have, what things they will do, and so on. It’s a long list of things to be considered, honestly.

Although some rates can be researched online, those are just sample per hour or monthly rates you can offer to virtual assistants.

Now, the question is, how much do virtual assistants charge? Well, that depends on certain things such as:

  • Services Offered: There will be a few questions related to this, such as “What tasks would you like to delegate to your virtual assistant? Would it Customer Service?” “Are you looking for an executive assistant-type tasks such as calendar management and flight bookings?” or “Are you asking for a general virtual assistant to do data entry, copywriting, or email marketing?” Because virtual assistants charge different rates for different types of services. Be sure to consider what you’re asking for when evaluating rates.
  • Experience: Many virtual assistants nowadays are new to the type of work you might be asking them to do, but some virtual assistants may have experience with certain things depending on their previous corporate job. Some people have recently graduated too, changing careers, or want to make some money on the side, so they may not have any experience at all, and usually, these people do not charge much. Still, if you hire a virtual assistant with experience, their average hourly rate might be slightly higher depending on their knowledge and expertise.
  • Due Date: Is the project an urgent task that needs to be completed ASAP? If yes, expect the virtual assistant to charge a little more. That’s one of the things to motivate a virtual assistant to give their complete dedication to your project. Not to mention, they’d have to drop everything to make sure to meet your due date or finish the task beforehand.

Virtual assistants charge anywhere from $1 to $100 per hour. Sometimes even more, especially if they have some specialized skills or services to offer. However, in the United States, a virtual assistant’s regular per hour rate is between $15 – $30 for executive-related tasks, which include but are not limited to project management and customer relationship management. For other tasks like marketing and sales, that might range a per hour rate of $35 – $45 depending on experience.

Some virtual assistants have a portfolio that contains testimonials from clients they have worked with and their successful relationship with those clients, and it’s one of the things you might consider, too, since that reflects how a virtual assistant takes care of his clients.

If the virtual assistant is relatively new, you might consider offering a lower per hour or monthly rate that ranges between $5 – $10.

Based on what’s mentioned, consider those when evaluating the per hour or monthly rate for a virtual assistant. That way, you’d have an idea whether or not the offer from the virtual assistant is worth or not or if you’re offering is enough for the services you need.

Now that we have figured out the main factors to consider when hiring a virtual assistant, let’s dive deeper.

How To Pay For a Virtual Assistants Services

Earlier on, we talked about several pricing options for virtual assistants. But how should you be paying them? Should it be on an hourly basis? Monthly basis? or Project-based?

Well, that depends. Because same with how you should calculate the cost of a virtual assistant, there are also things you must consider for their payment options.

Each virtual assistant has a preference for how they’d like to be paid. Most often, they’ve already thought of that even before applying for the role.

Now, let’s look at the pricing options closely.

Per hour Rate

This is commonly what virtual assistants would prefer because this gives them the freedom to commit how many hours per week or per day they will be working. They’d also be able to quickly calculate how many hours they will need to spend working on a particular task giving them more room for extra tasks. Ideally, this is more suitable for part-time virtual assistants as they’ll only be paid for the number of hours they will render for any executive or administrative services.

Based on experience, there’s a little disadvantage to this. We cannot deny that some virtual assistants would work slowly, especially if they were hired for a limited time to complete a task/project. But, this should not be something to be worried about that much, especially if you’re hiring a virtual assistant or an executive assistant, because the stakes are very low as compared to hiring virtual assistants for graphic design to help you with your logo and branding, which in most cases is just a one off project.

This payment option is the most convenient way to pay a virtual assistant because this helps guarantee that you are not overpaying an employee since their salary is based on the hours they have rendered for their services.

Monthly Fixed-Rate

Unlike the per hour rate, where virtual assistants will only be paid based on the number of hours worked, on the monthly fixed rate, they will be paid a fixed amount every pay period might, it be every bi-weekly or month. This is an advantage, especially with monthly holidays, as not all holidays will be paid depending on company policies.

Most often, full-time virtual assistants prefer this as this will ensure their expenses are covered, and no deductions will be made if they work less than 40 hours per work week. However, that will still depend on the attendance policy placed.

Experienced virtual assistants would highly appreciate this, too, for the same reason, although some would like an hourly rate depending on the type of work they will be doing.

Project-based Rate

This would mainly apply to freelancers looking for a one time project because they do not want long-term commitments and recurring tasks.

Usually, the number of hours needed for one time projects is already predefined, so it is not surprising that some of these projects will need to be completed urgently.

But, this is where this gets risky as some virtual assistants work slow on projects, and to avoid that, it’s best to be on top of things like always asking for updates on progress. That way, you can ensure that you are not overpaying a virtual assistant for the entirety of the project assigned.

Some small businesses offer to find virtual assistants with specialized skills required for a one-time project. The most common project associated with this will be graphic design, particularly for logos and branding.

To sum it all up, the best way to determine the cost of a virtual assistant is you must come up with how you’d like to pay them and determine how much you’re willing to offer as their service fee, then consider their experience and expertise to validate if your offer is suitable or not.

Most often, virtual assistants will have their preferred rate, so it’s best to ask them for it in case you are unsure how much to pay them. If you already formulated how much to pay but feel like it’s too much for the services the virtual assistant is offering, this will create a win-win situation if what you have in mind is higher than the asked price.


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