What’s the difference you ASK?
I get asked regularly, what’s the difference between a PA, EA and VA. Most people are unclear of the lines between them all, just like personality, skill sets and strengths these can all vary considerably.
My career started as a PA through to EA and now resides as a VA. Each role has the ability to create new challenges and opportunities, which is why I have stayed in the profession for so long.
Personal Assistant (PA)
Everyone has heard the term PA and understands this as an individual that is responsible for administrative support and usually reports to a senior member of staff. Typical duties for a PA would include diary management, taking and typing minutes, phone calls, organising meetings, research, presentations etc.
There are various levels of a PA from a Junior to Senior depending on their years of experience you will be looking at paying an average of £29,500 based on total jobs current statistics https://www.totaljobs.com/salary-checker/average-pa-salary
Executive Assistant (EA)
An EA generally has a much higher job responsibility or will report directly to high level professionals such as Executives, CEOs and Managing Directors. Today most EA’s will hold a degree or an equivalent higher education qualification. For some EA’s if they don’t hold a qualification, they would normally have more than 10 years’ experience in the role.
As an EA your work duties will be more complex than just supporting a manager. You’ll be managing projects, complex proposals and will be heavily involved with the business strategies.
The average salary for an EA is £37,500 increasing to £42,500 for London based on total jobs website https://www.totaljobs.com/salary-checker/average-ea-salary-london
Virtual Assistant (VA)
The Virtual Assistant job is still relatively new to some people but is an emergent role of the digital age. As a VA you work remotely and support multiple clients as opposed to working for one organisation. Instead of reporting to one CEO you will be working with entrepreneurs or smaller companies that are looking to grow their business without the overhead cost of a full-time employee. As a VA it’s your duty to support several clients/businesses on an hourly basis as opposed to full time in an office.
While as a PA and EA you build a strong relationship with you manager and learn the company’s core values and the industries terminology. As a VA you must adapt to different personalities and learn multiple software’s that work for small companies instead of working with one CRM system. A VA will also be involved more heavily on assistance and support for social media, finance etc, where a larger company would pass this to the necessary departments.
The UK VA rates usually range from £15-£35 an hour, with the average charged being £25.79 from Society of Virtual Assistants Annual Survey https://www.societyofvirtualassistants.co.uk/
Looking for a VA?
Firstly, be clear on what you need from a VA for you and your company. In many cases you can access highly skilled and experienced people for a fraction of the cost of employing someone full time. There is no reason when taking on a VA you shouldn’t still ask for their CV. Make sure you find out their background, what experience and qualifications they have. If you were taking on a PA or EA, you would ask for a CV so why not when taking on an VA. Do your research and you will find the right person for you!