A virtual assistant is someone who works remotely for a company. They work on tasks such as client coordination and scheduling, strategic implementation of marketing plans, client research, and database updating. They also assist in doing personal transactions such as booking arrangements and online purchases.

Virtual assistants for hire

Virtual assistants can be hired in two ways. They can be hired through freelance platforms where businesses can contact them directly. They can be contacted through email, instant messaging, or phone calls. 

Outsourcing, meanwhile, is an option where businesses hire a virtual assistant through an outsourcing company. These companies take care of legally employing the staff and providing HR and management support.

Virtual assistant services

Benefits of hiring a virtual assistant

Hiring a virtual assistant has great benefits for any business. 

Saves time and effort

VA’s help business owners save time and effort on doing repetitive and time consuming tasks. VA’s mainly do tasks such as appointment setting, email management and lead generation.

They can also be assigned to prepare reports, presentations, and letters for the clients. They may not be able to make coffee for their boss but they can order it online and have it delivered instead.

Generate savings

Outsourcing generates big savings to a business since it doesn’t need extra workspace and equipment to occupy. Freelance VA’s mostly work in their homes with a PC, an internet connection, and tools needed for their job.

Virtual assistant teams hired through business process outsourcing, meanwhile, are managed by the BPO company. Their work needs are provided from the workspace, PC, phones, internet connection, to their salaries, benefits, and required training.

Utilizes workload

Since they serve as the right hand of the business owner, their tasks are crucial in running a business. They help promote the business by creating marketing campaigns and running ads.

VA’s can also help in assigning tasks to other employees. They help in utilizing their workload so they can focus on accomplishing bigger tasks for the company. 

What does a virtual assistant do

A virtual assistant can do a wide range of duties and can have different specializations, it is common for VA’s to become generalists as they grow with the client. Popular tasks that a VA does are:

  • Customer service (voice, chat or email)
  • Bookkeeping 
  • Business presentations
  • Digital marketing
  • Online research and lead generation
  • Supplier and vendor coordination 
  • Travel arrangements (personal or business)
  • Social media management
What does a virtual assistant do

Virtual assistant salary

According to Payscale, a virtual assistant has a minimum hourly pay of $4. This may increase depending on the experience and specialization of an individual.


Freelance virtual assistants can be hired through popular platforms such as UpWork or Fiverr. Their pay starts at $5 depending on their experience, location, and skillset that they have.


Office-based virtual assistants, meanwhile, work in a managed office and can be hired by outsourcing through a third-party company. Their rate starts at $8 per hour with their equipment, training, onboarding, and benefits covered by the outsourcing company.

Specialized virtual assistants

Specialized virtual assistants are those who are hired and paid because of their expertise in a specific field. An employer can hire a VA that is also a certified public accountant or a VA that has experience in software development. Salaries can range between $10-$50 per hour depending on the skill needed.

Virtual assistant websites

There are several virtual assistant websites in the market that people can use. These websites may be based on different locations, but the pay rate still varies depending on the type of VA hired.

Outsource Accelerator

Image via Outsourceaccelerator.com

Outsource Accelerator is the leading marketplace and advisory for business process outsourcing. We list over 700 BPO companies and offer solutions for brokerage, implementation, and fully-managed solutions for small and medium businesses.


Image via Upwork.com

Upwork is a freelance platform where businesses can hire a wide range of talent including virtual assistants. They contact and hire freelancers directly through the platform and monitor them from the start of the project up to the final payment.


Image via FreeeUp.com

Unlike other platforms, FreeeUp doesn’t offer browsing of available virtual assistants. Instead, they let businesses submit a request for a virtual assistant and match them with a qualified candidate to protect them from employee turnovers.


Image via Fiverr.com

In Fiverr, businesses “buy” a virtual assistant’s “offer” and contact them through the platform. Offers usually start at $5 a project and can be one-off or within a period of time.


Image via Onlinejobs.ph

Onlinejobs.ph lets their clients hire virtual assistants based in the Philippines. It highlights applicants with updated resumes and guaranteed English proficiency to assure employers that they hire the best VAs for their business. 


Image via Freelancer.com

One of the oldest platforms in the market, Freelancer is a marketplace that offers a wide range of specializations, particularly virtual assistant services. The platform allows direct contact and hiring of freelancers through the platform as well as work collaboration, monitoring, and processing of payment.


Image via Guru.com

Guru offers freelance hiring solutions for small businesses at low costs. They can manage multiple virtual assistants and collaborate with them through the platform for secure and streamlined work progress.


Image via PeoplePerHour.com

Virtual assistants in PeoplePerHour offer their services on a per-hour basis starting at $5. Freelancers can also make custom bids for each job posting that businesses will make.

Collaboration software

Virtual assistants use work collaboration platforms to track their progress in a project. Some of the most popular collaboration software in the market that you should use right now are:

  • Slack is unique when it comes to streamlining projects. The platform uses hashtags to create channels and delegate tasks, streamline conversation, and upload documents for a specific project. 
  • Asana aims to simplify tasks, processes, and objectives by keeping it minimal as possible. It has a free version that small businesses can use.
  • Trello is one of the unique platforms in organizing tasks. It uses the Japanese Kanban method, with projects organized as sticky notes. These notes form a board where users can have an overview of each project included in there.
  • Skype is a messaging platform is used to chat with employees and make internet phone calls. Skype enables file sharing, video conference, and screen sharing through the whiteboard app.
  • G Suite is a collaboration platform from Google that works like Microsoft Office. It has cloud storage (Google Drive), a document maker (Google Docs), a spreadsheet maker (Google Sheets), and a presentation maker (Google Slides). 

Payment processing

Businesses don’t need to worry about paying their virtual assistants anymore. Payment platforms make processing fast, easy, and affordable with minimal fees charged.

  • Payoneer provides virtual receiving accounts to its users for an easier transaction. With this, businesses can pay their clients in different currencies instantly with only minimal conversion fee charged.
  • PayPal enables its users to receive payments easily with a minimal fee. It is widely popular in e-commerce and online businesses.
  • TransferWise offers fast and affordable international transfers. Users can even create a borderless account along with a card that they can use in ATMs worldwide.
  • Skrill has made its name as an alternative to PayPal. One of its unique features is its VIP program exclusively available to US-based customers.
  • Escrow is mostly used by freelance virtual assistants when accepting payments. Escrow makes a contractual arrangement between the client and the VA where it receives and disburses payment dependednt on conditions agreed by both parties.

Outsource virtual assistant

The Philippines is one of the leading countries in outsourcing, alongside India and other countries in Asia. Cheap labor costs, high-quality equipment, and a wide range of talent with strong English proficiency are some of the reasons this country is an outsourcing destination. 

BPO companies in the Philippines cater to different sectors and ensure high-quality services to their clients. To find out more about this, check out the Top 40 companies guide.

Outsourcing salary comparison chart

All amounts are in U.S. dollars (USD$) per annum

Customer Service$3,337$29,717$22,137$35,275
Copy Writer$4,767$56,600$52,088$62,653
Graphic Artist$3,883$46,658$38,668$37,596
HR Manager$9,506$78,007$46,669$66,518
IT Representatives$5,722$61,758$24,741$59,938
Project Manager$21,458$108,000$57,296$86,029
Software Developer$7,221$81,994$39,913$62,653
Software Engineer$8,333$109,087$44,459$62,653
Technical Support$4,638$36,924$35,225$38,232
Team Leaders$7,152$75,823$31,174$45,428
Virtual Assistance$2,285$42,240$39,066$31,797

Average monthly outsourcing cost guide (USD)

The total cost varies depending on the role and experience level, as well as the BPO facility, service levels and quality.

Total cost $1,200

Entry-level role

Employee salary $400-$500pm BPO facility & service $500-850pm TOTAL COST $900-$1,350pm
Total cost $1,450

Mid-level role

Employee salary $700-$800pm BPO facility & service $500-850pm TOTAL COST $1,200-$1,650pm
Total cost $1,700

Technical role

Employee salary $950-$1,200pm BPO facility & service $500-850pm TOTAL COST $1,450-$2,250pm
Total cost $2,700

Executive level

Employee salary $1,800-$2,200pm BPO facility & service $500-850pm TOTAL COST $2,300-$3,050pm

Using a BPO supplier vs. agency vs. freelancer vs. Upwork

BPO CompanyAgencyFreelancerUpwork
Best rates
Quality control
Expand and scale
Operational backup
Leadership team
Trading and upskilling
Facilities and offices

Proven outsourcing solutions for your business

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About Outsource Accelerator

Outsource Accelerator is the trusted source for independent information, advisory and expert implementation of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)

The #1 outsourcing authority

Outsource Accelerator offers the world’s leading aggregator marketplace for outsourcing. It specifically provides the conduit between Philippines outsourcing suppliers and the businesses – clients – across the globe.

The Outsource Accelerator website has over 4,000 articles, 250+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 700+ BPOs… all designed to make it easier for clients to learn about, and engage with, outsourcing.

Independent trusted advice and implementation

Outsource Accelerator is the leading outsourcing advisory for the Philippines, as well as offering a full spectrum of brokerage, implementation and co-management services.

Derek Gallimore

Derek Gallimore has been in business 20 years, outsourcing 8+ years and living in Manila (the heart of global outsourcing) since 2014. Derek is the founder and CEO of Outsource Accelerator, and is regarded as a leading expert on all things outsourcing.