8 Highest Paying Virtual Assistant Jobs

Qualified Virtual Assistants (VAs) continue to be in high demand in Canada and internationally. In a challenging economy, the demand has only increased as a way to manage workloads and bring in experts without hiring employees.

The popularity of freelancing has resulted in a record number of individuals going into the business of providing virtual services, usually from their home. While the market is far from saturated, it is becoming more competitive. One way to set yourself apart and charge more than average is to specialize.

Most independent Virtual Assistants in Canada charge $25-50/hour, with specialized or highly-experienced VA’s charging more. You may prefer other ways to charge for your work, such as per project, package rates, or a minimum number of hours/month (retainer). In any scenario, if you hit the lucrative combination of demand and unique qualifications you’ll be able to charge top dollar.

Go to local job sites or use wage calculators to search for Virtual Assistant jobs and find out just how much more you can get paid for certain specialties and skill sets. You’ll discover other desirable skills to add to your list as your search results reveal the demand.

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If you decide to pursue one of these specialties, make sure you can prove your level of knowledge with certifications. Additionally, business and marketing courses will ensure your success, both by being skills that are in demand and so you can effectively run and promote your own business. Udemy has affordable VA certification courses, as well as training for countless services you may want to offer (often free or under $20).

Otherwise, you can demonstrate your expertise with a blog, group comments, social media posts, reviews, and references.

8 Highest Paying Virtual Assistant Skills & Services

1. Online Business Manager: This is a broad title that could demand tech skills, but usually not ‘back end’ programming or building sites from scratch. Generally, you may have to maintain a website, edit with popular platforms like WordPress, oversee digital content, coordinate online marketing, as well as managing ecommerce, affiliates and other types of monetization.

2. Bookkeeping / Accounting: While the compensation can vary widely, if you specialize in online business you’ll be able to charge considerably more. In my experience, expertise in global online sales, drop shipping, and other unique business scenarios are in high demand.

3. Social Media Manager: It takes a lot of time and expertise to manage social media platforms and engagement, along with a high level of professionalism and people skills. Show them how exceptional you are with your own social media platforms.

4. Affiliate Program Manager: American companies have been using affiliate programs as part of their online sales strategy for years, but it’s relatively new to Canadian businesses. Even in the US, it’s really hard to find someone qualified for this position.

The best way to begin is to become an affiliate marketer on the publisher side first (such as adding affiliate programs to your own website). One of the biggest problems with Affiliate Program Managers is their lack of understanding of the affiliate publisher/advertiser relationship and how to most effectively utilize this potentially lucrative strategy. Read How to Start an Affiliate Program for a Canadian Business for further guidance.

5. Content Production: Writing copy or blog posts, videos, courses, ebooks, newsletters, and so on. If you aren’t a great writer (or even if you are) think about other related tasks you could help with, such as research, editing, translation, content search engine optimization, or product photos. Check out How to Start a Digital Content Freelancing Business in Canada for more info.

6. Data Tracking & Analysis: So much data, so little time. It takes takes both time and skill to organize and analyze data, and then turn it into something actionable. Virtually every business is (or should be) tracking everything from online advertising data to customer behaviour. If you love using data to paint a picture and solve problems, you’ll have all the clients you can handle.

7. Industry & Profession Specialties: Specialize and define a niche, such as a certain industry (manufacturing, food, music, etc.) or client (authors, entrepreneurs, real estate agents, lawyers, or what have you). If you have some sort of specialized education or experience to set yourself apart in that niche, all the better. For instance, if you are experienced in selling on Amazon and other online marketplaces, you can offer to manage that for retailers.

8. Tool Master: There are two ways you can pad your income using online tools.

  • Master popular tools, which could be anything from Microsoft Office to marketing tools. ‘Master’ status must be proven with certifications, backed by as many ways to prove it as possible (experience, blog, and so on).
  • Offer access to coveted (often expensive) tools. I don’t mean sharing your password for these platforms, but instead offer to use your toolbox to generate reports, analysis, keywords, and so on for small businesses that may not be able to afford it. For instance, a small business may not need a tool like Semrush all the time, but they would benefit from periodic analysis and reports. Meanwhile, you can cover your own tool subscription fees with these services on top of making a profit.

What About AI?

There will always be new tools and trends and there is a clear competitive advantage for those who stay on top of them. For example, everybody is talking about AI. Consequently, related jobs are flooding the freelance market.

Jobs requiring skills in Artificial Intelligence is the seventh fastest growing on Freelancer.com (up 20.62% in Q1 2023 from 1,038 to 1,252). Jobs demanding Generative AI skills, such as ChatGPT, Dall-E, Midjourney and Chatbots, grew by more than 325% from 286 in Q4 2022 to 1,216 in Q1 2023.

But how do you use AI skills to get the highest paying Virtual Assistant jobs? The most effective way to take advantage of what’s trending is to bring it into your current offerings. For instance, if you’re a Virtual Assistant to authors you could master the top AI tools for writers. It’s important that you avoid hopping on random trends without thinking about how they could (or not) work for you and your home business. Apply them strategically when they’re a good fit and potential clients will be lining up at your virtual door.

Can You Offer Too Many VA Services?

The more specialized you are, the better. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t offer a wide range of services based on your exceptional skills. It gives you an edge when potential clients are deciding who to hire. Most people who hire Virtual Assistants don’t have lots of employees. The more you can do for them, the more often they’ll hire you.

What’s Next?

“With the gig economy forecasted to grow to $455 billion by 2023, demand for skilled virtual freelancers will continue to rise,” writes Mona Csada, Vice President of Marketing for Virtual Gurus. “The pandemic accelerated the trend, and we predict it’s here to stay. Now that the world at large has experienced the benefits of flexible, remote talent solutions, they’re hooked.”

Highlight your high-demand skills on your website and optimize your site so searchers will find you. If you haven’t launched a website yet, use our Checklist: How to Start an Online Business in Canada. For more guidance on starting a Virtual Assistant business, read How to Become a Virtual Assistant (VA) in Canada.

Do you have specialties that allow you to charge top dollar for Virtual Assistant services? Please share your experience or questions in the comments below, or join us in the Online Business Canada Facebook group.

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Digital Business & Marketing Manager at Online Business Canada | Website | + posts

Melody McKinnon is an internet entrepreneur with 25 years of experience in a wide range of online business models, backed by a formal business education and enhanced by training and mentorship. She has owned or managed both educational and ecommerce websites. Her book, 7 Recession Proof Online Businesses to Start From Home, is available from all major ebook retailers.

Melody has worked with many businesses & brands in a multitude of capacities. She can often be found on CanadianDigitalMedia.com, CanadiansInternet.com, CanadianFamily.net, and AllNaturalPetCare.com, as well as other quality digital publications. Her content has earned reference links from highly-respected websites, magazines and university textbooks.

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