Is $15/hr too much for a VA?

22 replies
I've been looking around for VA services and the rates I am seeing for people in India and the Philippines around the $5/ hour mark.

Now, given that you get what you pay for, is it really possible to find good people at that rate?

If you wanted people to do support for you, you want someone who has a good command over English and who's reliable - does what they say will, and one who's available as required.

If I were to help you find an Indian VA who's great, knows their stuff and is actually reliable, would you consider paying them $15 an hour? Or is that too much to ask for?

Sagar
#$15 or hr
  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    What I would do is hire two or three at $5 and see how they do. If you have a "winner" in the group - pay them $10 plus occasional bonuses to keep them working for you.

    First, find someone you want to use long term - and then reward that person above what they expect whether through payment or bonuses.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jill Carpenter
    Originally Posted by Sagar Mehta View Post

    Now, given that you get what you pay for, is it really possible to find good people at that rate?
    It has to do with the cost of living.

    $5 an hour is $40 a day is $240 a week is enough to pay rent for the month.

    On the other side, my monthly rent is over 1k in the US.

    That $5 will take them a whole lot further than it will get me.
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    • Profile picture of the author James Gould
      Originally Posted by Jill Carpenter View Post

      It has to do with the cost of living.

      $5 an hour is $40 a day is $240 a week is enough to pay rent for the month.

      On the other side, my monthly rent is over 1k in the US.

      That $5 will take them a whole lot further than it will get me.
      Yup, relates to the post regarding living in Thailand as an IMer to save on living expenses thus having more to invest.
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      • Profile picture of the author Gonzosan
        I have a VA from the Philippines and I pay him $125 a week. He just works on editing my site and is currently working on setting up a digital store for me right now. It may not seem like a lot but I'm also not tracking his hours. I care more about his quality of work and what he puts out and he's always been prompt and easy to work with so I'm happy to work with him.

        I hired a Freelancer off freelancer.com and spent $125 just to have some nav links and post thumbnail "enhancements" and it took a week of going back and forth. The guy was from India but the quality of work and interaction with him was much different. He didn't do a bad job but I was pretty relieved when it was all said and done. My VA is pretty awesome and I found him after a week of searching. I believe it was on onlinejobs.ph. Just posted what I was looking for and had a lot of inquiries but he turned out to be the best one.

        I'd like to pay him more once I start generating money from my sites but even $500 a month in the Philippines is pretty decent money so I'm sure it's good for him. I treat him good and let him know his work is greatly appreciated and he actually likes working for me so I'm glad.
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  • Profile picture of the author BenWesty
    Hope this doesn't count as hijacking your thread, but is there much of a market for English VAs (with many skills in and around IM and SEO) for at least $10 an hour?

    This is something I would like to do. Earning some extra money to pay the bills while gaining more knowledge and experience in IM. But obviously $5 doesn't pay any bills.
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  • Profile picture of the author bgva
    The minimum wage in India ranges from $2 to $6 per DAY, so I don't think anyone would be willing to pay $15 per HOUR for an Indian VA. The whole point of outsourcing is to get cheaper hourly rates; paying $15 would defeat that purpose.
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  • Profile picture of the author Kenster
    All depends what they are doing. Normally the higher level service and more discretion they have, the more they'll demand and the more you'll pay.

    If it's simple data entry, you can find somebody full time for $200 or $250 per month. If it's high level programming, you can pay $200/hour!
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    • Originally Posted by Kenster View Post

      All depends what they are doing. Normally the higher level service and more discretion they have, the more they'll demand and the more you'll pay.

      If it's simple data entry, you can find somebody full time for $200 or $250 per month. If it's high level programming, you can pay $200/hour!
      I agree. Most inexperienced VAs without programming or design skills start out at $250 and they get paid more as their acquire more skills. I suggest you ask around to see what the rates are for VA with the skills and experience you are looking for before shelling out any money.
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      • Profile picture of the author Kenster
        Originally Posted by John Jonas Phil VA View Post

        I agree. Most inexperienced VAs without programming or design skills start out at $250 and they get paid more as their acquire more skills. I suggest you ask around to see what the rates are for VA with the skills and experience you are looking for before shelling out any money.

        Correct! And make sure to interview the heck out of the potential prospects.

        I have this whole split testing thing I do when finding good outsourcers to bring to my team. Put the time in searching for the right person....95% of applicants will be terrible
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  • Profile picture of the author bmw040
    Yes U think $15.00 an hour is way to much for a Virtual Assistant.

    You can hire a real VA for half of that.
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  • Profile picture of the author JanG
    VA companies are usually a bit more expensive, as they will manage everything for you.

    If you go out and look for a VA yourself, you can find very skilled people for under $400/month. That is $100/week, $20/day, $5/hr. I usually hire from the Philippines as they have a great work ethic, and their English is usally very good.

    I hired a writer from the Philippines once... omg! She was fantastic! For an equally skilled writer from the U.S., UK, Australia, whatever, I would have paid much, much more.

    Just make sure you put some effort into the hiring process. That way you'll be able to uncover the true gems, and avoid some costly mistakes.
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    • Profile picture of the author Joe Stewart
      Originally Posted by JanG View Post

      VA companies are usually a bit more expensive, as they will manage everything for you.

      If you go out and look for a VA yourself, you can find very skilled people for under $400/month. That is $100/week, $20/day, $5/hr. I usually hire from the Philippines as they have a great work ethic, and their English is usally very good.

      I hired a writer from the Philippines once... omg! She was fantastic! For an equally skilled writer from the U.S., UK, Australia, whatever, I would have paid much, much more.
      Yep.

      I've been hiring people from the Philippines for around three years now. This is more in line with what you should be paying for a full-time VA once they're fully trained, but it still should depend on their skill set, how fluent they speak English, how quickly they learn and more. A VA could have a long list of things that they have experience in, but that doesn't mean that they'll know how to do it the way that we might need it to be done.

      I always check their test scores above anything else to see how well they scored in reading, writing and English comprehension. I can make a video and teach them practically any task, but I don't have the time to teach them the English language.

      I'd always start a VA at around $2.50-$3.00 per hour or at a flat rate for a specific set of tasks per week. That way you can train them until they're proficient at what you need done. It's no different than hiring an employee in the U.S. or other wealthier country. Give them a short probation period and see how they work out.

      Be quick to praise and quick to raise, but don't be afraid to fire them quickly if they're not able to follow detailed instructions. Remember that YOU are the boss. Also, don't go crazy by giving them a lot of money. As was stated above, they live in a much different economy than most of us do.

      Also, always treat these people with respect!!!

      I've hired more than one VA through Odesk.com and have heard similar stories of people hiring them and treating them badly. You can't have super high expectations right away. It takes time to train people to meet your standards and you must be VERY clear about what you want and how you want it done. These people are HUMAN BEINGS and deserve to be treated with kindness and patience. If they don't work out, fine, but don't be a jerk.

      I've found most people I've hired from the Philippines to be very loyal - if you treat them well. I've also found them to be very low key and unaccustomed to the stressful environment that most Americans live in day to day.

      I've had one person working for me off and on part-time for nearly two years now and she's told me that she takes other projects sometimes for more money but that she likes working for me best because I treat her respectfully and she can work stress free at her own pace.

      Treat them well and they'll do a great job for a very affordable price.

      HTH
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  • Profile picture of the author Victor Edson
    It all depends on their skill set and what they're bringing to the
    table. Would I pay $15/hr for a coder, yes. Would I pay $15/hr
    for poorly written articles... no. Quality articles, yes.

    I think most people paying $15/hr would prefer hiring someone who
    speaks English as their first language for most projects.
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  • Profile picture of the author Matthew D
    I think it is not too much. If your business is at the peak of busy day, and you cannot handle it yourself, it is better to have a guaranteed, reliable, and punctual VA that will assist you with many trivial task you don't have to do it yourself. I believe when your passive income rate is capable to hire $15 / hour, you should do it quickly to make sure your income is PASSIVE.
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  • Profile picture of the author writeaway
    Just because something is very affordable does not necessarily mean it is low quality. The opposite is also true. Just because you pay a lot doesn't mean you will get high quality work.
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    • Profile picture of the author Kenster
      Originally Posted by writeaway View Post

      Just because something is very affordable does not necessarily mean it is low quality. The opposite is also true. Just because you pay a lot doesn't mean you will get high quality work.

      ABSOLUTELY...but for nearly every industry and market out there, price and value are positively correlated.

      There will always be exceptions

      The positive correlation may not always justify the high price

      ...but taking all the data points together and running them generally leads to some positive correlation
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    • Profile picture of the author Gonzosan
      Originally Posted by writeaway View Post

      Just because something is very affordable does not necessarily mean it is low quality. The opposite is also true. Just because you pay a lot doesn't mean you will get high quality work.

      I agree. Honestly you can analyze your VA before hand as much as you want but you won't know how good they are until they start putting in the work. Just give them a trial run (without telling them), if they do good during that trial then great, if not then fire them.
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  • Profile picture of the author onegoodman
    I would say it is high ( and i had my share with VAs, but it depends, if your VA is good with specific skills, might be worth it.
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  • Profile picture of the author fated82
    I hav been paying $12/hr for my VA. I think you get what you pay. I believe you can pay $5/hr but you may have a lot more management challenges if you don't pay for what they are worth.

    I suggest you can pay at $5 and guadually (they need to know) increase if they are doing well. Set expectations so they know.
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  • Profile picture of the author sunny.golibu
    We can afford at $180 per month with our plan for a full time SEO VA.
    my skype is bella.golibu.
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  • Profile picture of the author run
    Remind me of when I was an outsourcer; I was practically designing, setting up, maintaining, customizing the websites, and doing every tasks that was told.
    I was very happy with my fix monthly salary of $300 though.

    $15/hour is not cheap for a low quality tasks but unreasonable for the high quality and skilled tasks.
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  • Profile picture of the author Gengis
    The real question is what are you paying them $15 and hour for? Because this can be a bargain or a rip-off given the job hired for.
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