How Much Should You Pay Your Filipino Virtual Assistant

The world of business is increasingly turning to virtual assistants (VAs) to streamline tasks and free up valuable time. Recognized for their strong English skills, diverse expertise, and cultural fit, Filipino VAs offer a cost-effective solution for entrepreneurs and business owners seeking skilled support. But an important question remains: how much should you pay your Filipino VA?

In this comprehensive guide, we will talk about the common Filipino VA rates, and we will also determine the fair and competitive compensation for Filipino VAs, considering various factors influencing Filipino virtual assistant compensation and best practices in hiring your first VA. We’ll also explore why simply following local corporate salaries isn’t the best approach.

So if you are interested in hiring a Filipino virtual assistant, whether it’s an admin va or a marketing virtual assistant, read this first before starting with your hiring process!

Why Consider Hiring the Filipinos?

Before we start talking about rates, let’s discuss why you should consider hiring a virtual assistant from the Philippines.

Filipino VAs bring a wealth of benefits to businesses, including excellent communication skills, a broad range of expertise, and a customer-centric approach. Their friendly demeanor and English proficiency make them ideal candidates for roles requiring client interaction. Additionally, Filipino VAs often possess specialized skills in areas such as digital marketing, administrative support, and technical assistance, making them versatile assets to any team. (To learn more about the advantages of hiring a Filipino VA, check out our blog on this topic.)

Determining the Fair Pay for your Filipino VA

You may have come across articles or videos online suggesting that VAs in the Philippines can be paid as low as $2/hr or $400 (USD) for a full-time position. However, it’s unclear where this information originates. Nonetheless, for companies or business owners who wish to prevent their VA from taking on additional clients and yet pay less than $6/hr, it may not be fair to impose such restrictions on their VA.

In the Philippines, while corporate salaries can pay as low as Php 20,000 per month, companies often provide additional benefits such as half of their employees’ insurance, HMO and they also provide other benefits and cover employee expenses.

Checking and comparing the average wage in the Philippines should not be your full basis in deciding how much you should pay your VA. It’s important to also consider different factors such as:

1. Experience Level: This determines the level of experience based on the number of years a person has been working. Entry-level VAs typically command lower rates, while experienced VAs typically command higher rates. Some experienced VAs may even ask for rates as high as $25/hr.

2. Skillset Specialization: Specialized skills such as social media management, SEO, bookkeeping, or web development have varying rates depending on the scope and demand for the job.

3. Project Scope & Complexity: More complex projects often demand a higher level of expertise and experience, which can justify higher compensation for virtual assistants. For instance, tasks that involve intricate data analysis, advanced technical troubleshooting, or specialized software development typically require specialized skills and command higher rates due to their complexity. In addition, projects with larger scopes that involve managing multiple platforms, coordinating with various stakeholders, or implementing comprehensive marketing strategies may also require more extensive skill sets and, therefore, suggested a higher pay.

4. Cost of Living: Just like in the US or any other country, the cost of living in the Philippines varies by location. If your VA lives in Metro Manila, higher costs are expected, while those in remote places have lower cost of living.

Checking resources like Expatistan ( can help you understand the living expenses in your VA’s location. Don’t base compensation solely on the national minimum wage.

Where to pay: Convenient Payment Transfer for Both The VA and The Client

Regular bank transfers can be tricky for international payments. They require lots of information and can take a while. Plus, they can be expensive and entail various requirements and potential risks.

So, if you want a seamless and secure payment process, you can explore these legitimate payment transfer options commonly used by Filipino freelancers or virtual assistants.

1. Wise (formerly known as TransferWise) is the most commonly used and preferred platform among Filipino freelancers and Virtual Assistants. This is due to its transparent, multi-currency accounts, lower fees, quick transfers, and competitive exchange rates.

2. Payoneer is another popular payment gateway platform known for its user-friendly interface, available on both web and mobile app. It enables effortless transaction management, allowing you to handle transactions conveniently from anywhere 

3. Paypal is a popular online payment option you might already know. Although it’s a bit expensive, PayPal remains a preferred choice for international payments due to its user-friendly interface and robust security features.

Benefits to Consider (Optional But Rewarding)

While not mandatory, offering benefits like paid time off or health insurance can be a perk that attracts high-caliber VAs and fosters loyalty. Other known benefits for Filipinos are the following:

1. 13th month pay also known as the 13th month salary, is an additional month’s salary given at the end of the year, often considered a Christmas bonus. It is provided to employees who have worked for more than a month.

2. Holiday pay or vacation leave typically entitles employees to 15 days off per year, which can be converted into cash if not used within the year.

3. Health insurance in the Philippines comes in three main types:

  • PhilHealth: A government-owned corporation that offers affordable health services to all Filipinos. This is a government-mandated benefit, even for employees who have not yet become regular employees.
  • Health Maintenance Organization (HMO): Typically provided by employers upon an employee’s regularization, HMO coverage may be fully funded by the employer or require monthly contributions deducted from the employee’s salary.
  • Private Health Insurance: This type of insurance provides financial support to policyholders in the event of major illness or hospitalization. It is not typically provided by employers as a benefit.

4. Government Mandated benefits: In addition to PhilHealth, the government also requires employers to provide two government-owned insurance savings programs:

  • Pag-Ibig offers financial assistance to Filipinos to help them afford decent housing.
  • The Social Security System (SSS) provides social security coverage for employees to ensure that workers receive financial support in the event of death, disability, sickness, maternity, and retirement.

5. Maternity and paternity leave serve as vital benefits designed to help employees balance their work and family obligations during pregnancy and birth. Female employees are eligible to 105 days of maternity leave for a normal delivery and 120 days for a C-section, while male employees are awarded a total of 7 days of paternity leave.

6. Sick leave is an essential provision for Filipino employees experiencing illness. While the Philippine Labor Code does not set exact requirements for sick leave compensation, it does require 5 days of sick leave each year. However, many companies in the Philippines provide 10-15 sick days as usual practice.

(More information here:

While the benefits mentioned above are not obligatory for business owners who outsource VAs and freelancers, it’s worth noting that companies in the Philippines often provide these benefits in addition to the basic salary, despite the relatively low pay.

If you’re willing to offer similar benefits to your full-time VA as companies in the Philippines do for their employees, then paying your entry-level full-time VA as low as $400 per month could be considered reasonable. A fair wage allows your virtual assistant to live comfortably, not just fulfilling their basic needs.

Finding The Right Compensation Balance = Loyalty = Success

Determining fair compensation for Filipino virtual assistants requires careful consideration of multiple factors and compliance to best practices. By taking these steps, you can establish a compensation structure that promotes a mutually beneficial working relationship between you and your VA.

It’s important to recognize that a VA who feels adequately compensated and appreciated is more likely to remain loyal and dedicated to helping your business goals in the long run. Prioritizing fair pay not only benefits your VA but also contributes to the overall success and stability of your business operations.

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