With the world becoming more digital by the year, virtual employees have become a massive asset to companies in various industries.
In the medical industry, virtual assistants offer doctors, dentists, and other medical professionals the chance to spend less time working on mundane tasks and more time focusing on their patients and the overall growth of their practices.
But what exactly is a virtual assistant? What services do they offer? And what’s their hourly rate?
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about virtual assistants, including what they are, the services they offer, the benefits they bring to the table, their hourly wage, and more, so that you can make an informed decision when hiring a virtual assistant for your practice.
What is a virtual assistant?
A virtual assistant (VA) is an office or administrative assistant who performs their daily tasks remotely as opposed to in the office.
You can hire a virtual assistant to handle several of your administrative and routine tasks so that you have more time on your hands to deal with high-impact tasks.
Some virtual assistants specialize in specific areas and have considerable knowledge and expertise working in certain industries.
At Hello Rache, we specialize in providing highly-trained virtual assistants to dental and medical practices. Our virtual assistants have extensive knowledge and experience working in the medical industry. Hire your virtual assistant from Hello Rache right now.
Virtual assistant skills
Depending on the industry they specialize in, assistants may need different skills to effectively perform industry-based tasks. However, most virtual assistants should have the following skills.
- Communication: A virtual assistant needs to communicate with clients on a continuous basis. Therefore, it’s vital that they have good communication skills to convey messages clearly and leave no room for misunderstandings.
- Accounting: Many assistants have to help their clients with basic accounting tasks. This means they need to have a good understanding of budgeting and financial statements and some experience in accounting software.
- Writing: Aside from communicating with clients and suppliers over the phone, virtual assistants must also communicate with them via email and type out important documentation. As such, good writing and grammar skills are a necessity.
- Time management: Virtual assistants often need to schedule appointments and meetings, so they must have good time management skills to avoid overbooking. This also ensures that they meet deadlines and fulfill their duties efficiently.
- Organization: Virtual assistants need to have excellent organizational skills since they’re responsible for updating schedules and keeping data secure. Without good organizational skills, they won’t be able to perform administrative tasks effectively.
- Critical thinking: Sometimes, assistants will be required to solve problems or handle client complaints on a whim. As such, they need to have good critical thinking and problem-solving skills so that they don’t panic in these types of situations.
- Technical skills: Technical and computer skills are extremely important in our ever-evolving digital world. Having an assistant who knows a thing or two about online processes and software may improve business activity and result in higher productivity.
- Adaptability: When plans change, assistants need to think quickly to resolve the situation by creating an outcome that suits all parties involved. Turning surprises into opportunities is an excellent skill that could help grow your practice to new heights.
- Content creation: Virtual assistants may be required to create content that’s useful and shareable to the people reading it. Thus, having an assistant who can aid in content creation for social media or email newsletters is a huge benefit.
- Website maintenance: Sometimes, assistants are required to help businesses keep their websites up to date and analyze data. This way, they can suggest more efficient processes and content that will develop a business's online presence.
Virtual assistant education, training, and experience requirements
Virtual assistants should have a high school diploma or equivalent.
Often, they’ll also require a degree, diploma, or certification related to the industry they're working in. In the medical industry, this will give them a better understanding of the processes and services of medical and dental practices.
Having a few years of experience and familiarity with the latest workplace technologies and software is also a huge advantage since they can simply jump in and get to work without needing additional training.
Furthermore, some assistants will also have completed short online courses, such as social media management, business management, and word processing, to enhance their skills.
How many hours does a virtual assistant work?
Virtual assistant jobs come in all shapes and sizes. Often, these assistants have several clients and work a minimum of 20 hours per week across the clients they support.
They work full-time, part-time, or freelance, depending on the client's needs. If they have a single client that requires most of their time, they can choose to work for that client exclusively.
At the end of the day, it’s up to the client to decide how many hours of service they require per day to complete their business tasks and keep clients satisfied. From there, the virtual assistant will decide if they need more clients and hours of work to have a sustainable income.
Virtual assistant services
Here’s a list of some of the best virtual assistant services that many assistants offer to help grow your practice faster.
The internet has made it easy for medical practices to show up online under the “local” businesses section on Google whenever people search for local medical professionals to help them with their problems.
This means that the industry is more competitive than ever before. As such, it’s crucial that you have a competitive advantage if you want to stay ahead. This is where customer service comes in.
Having a dedicated assistant that offers excellent customer service will help your business stand out as reliable and customer-centric. Customers will know you care about them because your assistant is always quick to respond to their queries and help them with their appointments.
73% of business owners say there’s a direct link between customer service and business performance.
Therefore, an assistant who takes great care of your customers will help your business perform better and have more loyal and satisfied customers.
Email marketing and management
Aside from responding to simple email requests from your clients and suppliers, a virtual assistant can also help organize your email inbox so that you and your in-office staff members can easily respond to more urgent queries.
Social media management
Assistants who have knowledge of social media platforms and processes can help manage your profiles to create a strong social media presence that will increase brand awareness.
By creating consistent posts on your social accounts, more people will learn about your practice and the services you offer.
Your assistant needs to perform several administrative tasks, such as scheduling appointments, doing data entry, addressing employee administrative queries, responding to voicemail, and more.
By having a meeting with your assistant every day or once a week, they’ll know exactly what’s expected of them and which administrative tasks they need to complete each week.
By getting a virtual assistant who has a basic understanding of graphic design and the corresponding software, they can help you create great marketing materials that’ll make your practice appear more professional to potential clients.
They can create company logos, advertisements, medical brochures, professional documentation, and more.
If you’re thinking of hosting events in the future to create more business opportunities, a virtual assistant can help you find all the right services to ensure that your event runs smoothly.
From finding the right venue, arranging catering, and planning the invites, your assistant can take all the stress and responsibility off your plate.
Benefits of having a virtual assistant
Here are some of the main benefits of having a virtual assistant for your practice.
If many of your full-time employees spend a lot of time performing repetitive tasks, a virtual assistant can take over those duties — leaving more time for you and your staff members to perform job-specific, high-impact tasks.
This way, you and your employees will have more time to focus on your customers and give them the best experience possible. This will give your practice an excellent reputation and lead to repeat business.
No additional space or equipment
Since these types of assistants work remotely and are responsible for their own hardware and office equipment, you don’t have to spend money on buying additional hardware, and you don’t have to free up space for them to work.
Additionally, you won't have to arrange for extra parking spots or other additional expenses.
According to a survey conducted by Airtasker, only 15% of remote workers said that their manager distracted them from work, whereas 22% of office-based employees stated the same.
Having your assistant work remotely means there’s far less chance for them, you, and your other staff members to get distracted. This will lead to higher productivity levels and more time spent on improving your business.
Using a virtual assistant on a seasonal or project basis decreases your business costs drastically. Instead of spending thousands of dollars per month on an in-house employee, you get to pay lower fees — while still getting all your work done on time.
Often, this can result in hundreds or even thousands of dollars in savings each month.
How much does a virtual assistant earn?
The national average salary for a virtual assistant is $16.40 per hour or $43,965 per year.
However, most virtual assistants who run their own businesses have different fees depending on their location, experience level, and skills.
Virtual assistant hourly wage by location
Generally, virtual assistants who are located in the following areas earn more:
- Los Angeles, California: 37.2% more than the national average.
- Baltimore, Maryland: 26% more than the national average.
- Dallas, Texas: 22% more than the national average.
- San Diego, California: 20% more than the national average.
- Orlando, Florida: 19% more than the national average.
- Austin, Texas: 18.5% more than the national average.
- Atlanta, Georgia: 18% more than the national average.
- San Francisco, California: 12.8% more than the national average.
- Minneapolis, Minnesota: 7% more than the national average.
- Denver, Colorado: 4% more than the national average.
- Portland, Oregon: 4% more than the national average.
Virtual assistant hourly wage by level of experience
Virtual assistant salaries also increase based on their level of experience. For example, assistants with 10–19 years of experience charge close to $5 more per hour than those with 1–4 years of experience.
Virtual assistant hourly wage by skills
Virtual assistant salaries can also increase when they have specific skills. Generally, assistants with the following skills earn more:
- Payroll administration: 46% more
- Scheduling: 40% more
- Graphic design: 22% more
- Blogging: 22% more
- Project management: 16% more
- Bookkeeping: 10% more
- Online research: 7% more
- Billing: 7% more
- Office administration: 6% more
How much do similar positions get paid?
Want to compare salaries? Here are some related positions and how much they earn per hour.
- Administrative assistants perform clerical tasks, such as sorting and filing, record-keeping, and minor bookkeeping, to make sure that staff can communicate and work effectively. They earn an average hourly rate of $12.50–$22.90.
- Office managers are responsible for developing and implementing office procedures and communicating these changes to employees to improve business processes and productivity. They earn an average hourly rate of $13.60–$26.60.
- Executive assistants help the executive they work for with tasks, such as scheduling, organizing documents, taking notes during meetings, and other administrative tasks. They earn an average hourly rate of $15.20–$33.10.
- Customer service representatives work directly with customers — providing them with assistance, answering their questions, resolving problems, and processing orders. They earn an average hourly rate of $10.50–$20.
- Receptionists are responsible for answering, screening, and forwarding incoming calls, scheduling appointments, and directing visitors to the right person or department. They earn an average hourly rate of $10.20–$18.20.
- Medical assistants help doctors or other medical professionals during procedures, dispose of contaminated supplies, conduct basic laboratory tests, and sterilize medical equipment. They earn an average hourly rate of $12.70–$20.90.
What is the difference between a virtual assistant and a receptionist?
Virtual assistants and receptionists have different work environments — as receptionists are required to work in-office, whereas a virtual assistant works remotely.
They also have different duties. For example, a virtual assistant usually reports to an individual and provides assistance in several areas, such as scheduling, conducting research, and answering calls for the business professional.
On the other hand, receptionists provide administrative and clerical assistance to an entire office and are responsible for greeting and directing clients when they enter the building.
Who does a virtual assistant report to?
Virtual assistants can report to several different roles, including general managers, administrators, executives, or directors.
These individuals will provide the virtual assistant with tasks to perform on their behalf. In turn, the assistant will then report directly back to them regarding travel dates, appointments, important meetings and emails, and more.
What sorts of areas can virtual assistants specialize in?
There’s a wide range of areas that a virtual assistant can specialize in, including, but not limited to, digital marketing, graphic design, bookkeeping, copy editing, market research, and more.
They can also specialize in specific work environments, such as real estate, healthcare, law firms, engineering firms, and more.
Ready to hire a virtual assistant for your practice?
Hiring a virtual assistant for your practice will save you a lot of time, make your practice more productive, and result in happier and more satisfied clients.
Ready to hire a virtual administrative assistant? Book a call with our team so we can find you your dream assistant.