My husband tells me I’m not a woman. I’m Andrea. Because I don’t like to go shoe shopping, and I get angry if he spends too much money on a gift, and during the Fall and Winter you’ll find me glued to every football game I can find on TV. (Go Bears!)
So, I’m not the conventional woman. And as I begin to learn more about the VA world and talk with other VAs, I’m beginning to find out I’m not the conventional virtual assistant.
The US National Average median salary for an Administrative Assistant II at this time is $40,976 (www.salary.com). That’s about $19.70/hr for an FTE. For an in-house assistant. To be there daily, 9 to 5, to be 100% dedicated to you and your business.
In 2007, VANetworking did a survey of VAs and found that 80% of virtual assistants had an hourly rate that was more than the FTE Admin.
(I want to add a disclaimer here. I’m not talking about people who have a lot of knowledge and skill in highly prized and/or technical areas. (Design, Accounting, etc.) I’m talking your standard admin – data entry, responding to emails, internet research – that sort of thing. Highly skilled specialized workers deserve the money they make.)
I charge “too little” according to the pay scales in the VA world. If I went back to corporate life, I’d easily jump into a tidy salary, especially in project management. But I feel that my clients provide me with a benefits package better than any business I’d have to drive an hour to get to.
Yes, you my clients (and hopefully soon-to-be clients, too) pay me benefits along with the dollars. You allow me to not spend two hours a day in the car in traffic, yelling at people. You allow me to work in my jammies. You give me time to run to the store or have lunch with my mom. You let me volunteer at my son’s school. You let me sleep in when I want, and are just as happy to have me working late at night when I feel like it.
These are huge benefits to me and I consider them as part of the package that goes into my billing rate. I hope it’s a win-win situation. You get an extremely experienced assistant and I get to live a pretty satisfied life.
…but, if you’d like to pay me $50/hr, let’s talk.