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Virtual Assistant Vs Personal Assistant (Difference Explained)

Virtual Assistant Vs Personal Assistant (Difference Explained)

A virtual assistant and personal assistant offer unique advantages, it’s interesting to note that the average salary for a PA is $40,026, a tad higher than VAs $39,915. 


Despite the job growth rate for both being projected at -8%, a significant number of personnel (41%) and virtual assistants (54%) hold a Bachelor’s degree.


In this article, we’ll discuss the major differences between virtual and personal assistants, is it a good career? We’ll also tackle their duties and who to hire.


Let’s begin!

Virtual Assistant Vs Personal Assistant

The main difference is that a virtual assistant (VA) works online remotely in the world and a personal assistant (PA), works in an office closely with you in person, handling things like meetings, phone calls, and errands.


While VAs can handle many tasks without being physically present, PAs can offer direct, hands-on assistance and can handle tasks that require physical presence.

1. Tasks

Firstly, VAs excel in handling digital tasks such as managing emails, scheduling appointments, and updating websites. 


They are especially valuable for businesses or individuals who operate in a digital landscape and require assistance that doesn’t necessitate physical presence.


On the other hand, personal assistants can handle a broader range of tasks, including running errands, organizing files in an office, or personal appointments. 




Their role is more hands-on and can encompass tasks that require a physical interaction or presence.

2. Communication

VAs excel in responding promptly to emails, managing schedules, and handling tasks that can be performed online.


On the other hand, personal assistants, can gauge emotions, understand context better, and offer personalized responses.


While VAs provide convenience through their 24/7 availability, PAs offer a level of personal interaction and emotional intelligence.

3. Vetting

As for virtual assistants, you’re considering someone who has been specifically trained to work remotely.


This means your vetting process should include not just their skills and experience but also their ability to communicate, their technology setup, and their time zone. 


The goal is to find a reliable and capable virtual assistant who can seamlessly integrate into your workflow, despite the physical distance. 


Vetting for a personal assistant, on the other hand, might focus more on their ability to manage tasks in person and adapt to day-to-day in-office or home office needs.

4. Cost

A virtual assistant typically earns an average annual salary of $39,915. 




On the other hand, a personal assistant has a slightly higher average annual salary of $40,026. 


So, if budget is a big consideration for you, you’ll find that there’s not a huge difference in cost between hiring a VA and a PA. 


It comes down to your preference and the specific needs of your work or business.

5. Lawsuits

Since a virtual assistant operates remotely, often as an independent contractor, the legal landscape is quite different.


For instance, if something goes wrong or there’s a mishap in the work provided, handling disputes with a virtual assistant typically involves contract law.


On the other hand, dealing with personal assistants; who might work in your physical presence under direct employment. 


So, if a misunderstanding or problem arises, resolving these issues might require a more hands-on and, sometimes, emotionally charged process.

What are the Duties of Virtual Assistant?

1. Email Management

Email management is one of the major responsibilities of a VA. This task involves sorting through your inbox to categorize, delete, or respond to emails.


A VA ensures that important emails are prioritized and addressed promptly, helping you stay on top of your communication.


They can also unsubscribe from unwanted newsletters and organize emails into folders.


So, this can save you hours each week, allowing you to focus on more critical aspects of your work or business.

2. Calendar Scheduling

They ensure that all appointments, meetings, and important events are scheduled efficiently, avoiding any conflicts.


So, they coordinate between different parties to find suitable times and ensure reminders are set. 


Moreover, VAs often manage cancellations or rescheduling, adapting quickly to changes to keep the calendar up-to-date. 


This helps in maintaining an organized schedule and plays a crucial role in ensuring their employer can maximally utilize their time.

3. Social Media Management

On the other hand, VAs create content such as posts and videos, schedule these to go live at times when most followers are active, and respond to comments or messages from the community. 


Their goal is to keep the audience engaged and grow the social media presence of the brand or individual they represent. 


So, they analyze which posts are doing well and base future content on what the audience prefers.

4. Data Entry and Management

They often handle the crucial task of inputting data into databases or spreadsheets and ensuring this information is accurate and up-to-date.


They might transfer paper information into digital formats, update customer or contact lists, and manage company records.


The consistency and reliability with which a VA performs these tasks directly affect the efficiency and operational prowess of a business.

5. Customer Service

VAs also handle customer service and communication tasks to keep the interaction between a business and its customers smooth and effective.


They answer emails, manage social media inquiries, and handle phone calls to ensure all customer questions and concerns are addressed promptly.


They manage communications calendars, schedule appointments, and respond to customer reviews online.

What are the Duties of a Person Assistant?

1. Calendar Management

Firstly, a personal assistant might manage and update their employer’s schedule to ensure they can fulfill all their commitments without any conflicts. 


They set up meetings, appointments, and reminders, as well as rescheduling or canceling them as required.


A PA carefully plans each day to make it as productive and stress-free as possible, often coordinating with others to align schedules and priorities. 


Effective calendar management allows the employer to focus on their tasks with the assurance that their time is being used efficiently.

2. Correspondence Handling

On the other hand, a PA is responsible for managing all forms of communication for their employer. 


This includes sorting through emails, handling phone calls, and managing postal mail. 


They ensure that no important message is missed and that all correspondence is directed to the appropriate parties promptly. 


They also draft responses, schedule appointments based on the messages received, and maintain a well-organized filing system for all documents. 

3. Travel Coordination

Another crucial role of a personal assistant is handling all aspects of travel for their employer. 


This includes booking flights, finding the best hotels, and arranging transportation to the destination.


They ensure that travel plans are cost-effective, comfortable, and convenient for their employer.


Beyond just making reservations, they meticulously plan out itineraries, taking into account business meetings, leisure time, and any other preferences.

4. Document Preparation

This duty might include writing letters, creating reports, or putting together presentations. 


The goal is to ensure that all documents look professional and are ready for your boss’s needs, often at short notice.


A PA needs to be skilled in different software programs, such as Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, and have an eye for detail.


This task demands technical proficiency, a good grasp of grammar, and the ability to convey complex information in an easy-to-understand manner.

5. Project Management

Handling projects involves planning and coordinating various projects from start to finish. 


A PA will be setting deadlines, assigning responsibilities, and monitoring the progress of projects to ensure they are completed on time and within budget. 


A personal assistant is like a bridge between different team members, ensuring everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals. 


Lastly, attention to detail is also critical, as it ensures that all aspects of a project are considered and addressed.

Which Should I Hire? VA or PA

When you are deciding between hiring a VA or a PA boils down to your own needs, how you like to work, and what you’re hoping to achieve.


If you work remotely or travel a lot and feel comfortable communicating digitally, a VA could be a great choice.


They can handle tasks from anywhere in the world and often have flexible hours. 


However, if you prefer face-to-face interaction and need someone to manage tasks that require a physical presence, then a PA might be more up your alley.


Moreover, you should look at your resources too. VAs can be more cost-effective since they often work as freelancers, you don’t have to worry about overhead costs. 


On the career goals front, if you’re looking to grow your business digitally, a VA with specific online skills could be the way to go. 


But if your focus is on expanding your local network or managing local events, a PA who understands the local scene could prove invaluable.


Since VAs usually provide their equipment and work remotely, they might have different salary requirements compared to PAs. 


In the end, consider what you value most in your work environment and what kind of support you need to achieve your goals. 


That way, whether you choose a VA or a PA, you’ll know they’re the right fit for you and your business.

Where to Hire Virtual Assistant or Personal Assistant?

If you’re looking for a virtual assistant or personal assistant, Stealth Agents might be a great place to start.


They offer a wide range of services and have a team of professionals ready to help with various tasks; like scheduling, and email management. 


Their platform is user-friendly, making it easy for you to find the right assistant to match your needs.

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