February 19, 2011
- Virtual assistants fell into the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ category of executive secretaries and administrative assistants for salary tracking. In 2009, workers in these fields numbered 1,361,170 and earned a median salary of $41,650. At the high end of the pay scale, virtual assistants earned $64,330 in the 90th percentile. On the opposite end of the scale, the bottom 10th percentile earners averaged $27,780.
- The East Coast topped all five spots of the BLS list of highest-paying states for virtual assistants. New Jersey led the nation with salaries of $53,950 for the profession. New York placed second, paying $51,890. New York also placed second for the most virtual assistants employed per capita. Maryland earned third place, with salaries of $50,330. Massachusetts and the District of Columbia were tied with above-average salaries of $49,630. The District of Columbia also topped the country’s list as the largest per capita employer of virtual assistants.
- Virtual assistants found work in a variety of fields, with the BLS separating out the top five paying industries for 2009. The postal service had the highest salaries in the profession at $63,880. The computer and peripheral equipment manufacturing industry came in second, with salaries of $57,870, and the securities and commodity exchanges industry wasn’t far behind, paying $56,730. Virtual assistants employed by the tobacco manufacturing industry earned an above-average $56,220, followed by those working for the federal executive branch of the government, paying $55,660.
- Although the virtual assisting and administrative assisting fields have no singular governing regulations for required education, experience or skills to secure a job, prospective virtual assistants may find a few ways to boost their salaries. Pursuing even a short-term course in administrative office duties, computer skills, bookkeeping or writing from a community college or technical school may help the assistant find work. The International Virtual Assistants Association offers, through written testing, three options for voluntary credentialing: Certified Virtual Assistant, Real Estate Virtual Assistant and Ethics Checked Virtual Assistant.
by Ethan Leak