Virtual assistants have completely transformed the way modern companies and entrepreneurs conduct their businesses. Tim Ferriss, famed author of the “4 Hour Workweek” credits virtual assistants as the key for him to be able to scale his business all at the same time working less. In short, VAs are the unsung heros of successful businesses the world over.
In this post I’ll share 10 important statistics on virtual assistants every freelancer, entrepreneur, and businesses should know. Let’s get started.
It is three times cheaper to hire a virtual assistant than a full-time employee
No matter if you’re a small business entrepreneur or the owner of a large corporation, you want to stay cost-efficient. According to one data source , compared to a full-time employee, a virtual assistant can save you up to 78% on operating costs each year. Some of the reasons include:
- The virtual assistant is responsible for any expenses that they use to provide their services. This means that you can save on rental workspace, internet subscription, and equipment.
- You can hire virtual assistants only when you need their services. A full-time employee gets paid even when it’s off-season and there isn’t a lot of work to be done.
- Most 8-hour employees are only really productive for 2 hours and 53 minutes per day. Virtual assistants only charge their clients for the hours they actually worked.
- You can save money spent on recruitment and training process. Clients can hire virtual assistants with the specific skill set that they need, eliminating or reducing the need for training.
The top 2 destinations for sourcing VAs are India and the Philippines
The 2 top countries people turn to for outsourcing and virtual assistant work are India and the Philippines . In fact, before Elance became Upwork, the company reported that close to 13% of the 8 million virtual assistants on their platform are from the Philippines.
What makes these countries great sources of virtual assistants?
- At 96.2%, the literacy rate in the Philippines is one of the highest. Based on Global English’s survey of 180,000 global employees , the Philippines came out to be the world’s best when it came to Business English.
- India is the second-largest English-speaking country after the US. Clients favor Indian virtual assistants when it comes to IT and back office work.
- A lot of foreign companies find Filipino virtual assistants to be easy to work with. This is because they have a great understanding and can adapt to different cultures due to the years of Spanish, American, and Japanese colonization.
Among the Countries Surveyed, the average VA Salary is lowest in the Philippines at $400/mon, and highest in Australia, at $5,600/mon
According to data compiled by Onlinejobs.ph , the Philippines offers one of the most affordable rates when it comes to full-time VAs, at $400/mon. Compare that to the US, where the average VA salary is $4,000/mon, and in Australia, the highest at $5,600/mon. India is also relatively affordable, at $800/mon:
Now, just because the VA rates in these remote locations are cheap doesn’t mean that they won’t perform well. Virtual assistants from the Philippines and India are able to charge significantly less than freelancers from other countries because of their lower cost of living. Though the rates might seem low, they are still actually higher than the minimum wage in these countries.
87.7% of virtual assistants are paid on an Hourly Basis
The majority of VAs work as freelancers, as reflected in one figure  that shows up to 88% of VAs are paid on an hourly basis. This doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t earning a full time wage, however. Just like contractors, some VAs earn more being paid hourly while working less hours, such as Sharon Pegrum, one of the VAs we interviewed.
Only 59% of virtual assistants work Full Time
Only 59% of virtual assistants currently work full time . This is inline with another local survey done in UK, which shows that 79% of UK VAs currently work part time at their positions.  This shows that for many VAs, learning additional skills to become well rounded enough for employees to hire full time should be a priority.
On the bright side, in general, 97% of freelancers are happier than permanent employees. This just shows that, for a majority of virtual assistants, their happiness depends on more than just their income.
Other Noteworthy Virtual Assistant Stats
- 59.2% of VAs have a College Education 
- 69.3% of VAs are married
- The global outsourcing market is worth $85.6 billion in 2018 
- According to our own survey of 10s of successful VAs , the most in demand VA skills in 2019 are:
- Social media management
- Email marketing
- Project management