All You Need To Know About Being A Babysitter

You think about working as a babysitter? While this can really be a nice job and also a lot of fun, a career as a babysitter can also have many downsides.

Thus, make sure to check out all the information in this article so that you are better able to decide whether you still want to go for a babysitter career or if you want to go for a different career path instead.

Not only will we talk about salaries, but we will also talk about job security, career prospects, educational requirements, working hours, job satisfaction and much more.

After reading this article, you will have a much better impression of what the job of a babysitter really looks like and whether it is suitable for you or not.

Enough talk, let’s get right into it!

Table of Contents

What does a Babysitter do?

Babysitters take care of babies and small children when their parents are away.

They make sure that kids can play in a safe environment so that parents can go out alone without having to worry about their kids during this time.

Duties of a Babysitter

  • Look after children
  • Prepare food
  • Make sure that babies and kids are safe
  • Make sure that kids can learn something
  • Change the nappies
  • Clean up play areas
  • Get kids ready for bed
  • Read stories to kids
  • Do the dishes
  • Potty training
  • Make sure that kids feel comfortable and safe

What a Typical Day of a Babysitter looks like?

Babysitters mainly work the evening when people want to go out for a nice dinner and want to spend a romantic evening without their kids.

Hence, your workday will often start between 5 and 6 p.m.

After arriving at the home of your clients, you will often get basic instructions on what parents expect from you.

This includes things kids are allowed to do and also things that are prohibited.

Parents may also tell you about potential allergies and it is therefore crucial to listen to those things carefully to avoid any serious mistakes.

Once you are alone with those kids, you will play games with them, prepare food and make sure that kids feel as comfortable as possible while their parents are away.

You will also bring kids to bed and wait until parents will come home.

This may be after midnight and this means that you will often have to work at nighttime for many hours.

Babysitter Salary 2021

Babysitter salary brackets 2021

Salary BracketsSalary (per year)Salary (per hour)
Top 10 %> $58,000> $28.72
Top 25 %$45,000 – $51,000$22.24 – $25.31
Bottom 25 %$25,000 – $29,000$12.29 – $14.33
Bottom 10 %$18,000 – $22,000$8.62 – $10.74
Range$18,000 – $63,000$8.62 – $31.36
Average$42,000$20.71

Babysitter salary 2021 by expert level

Level of ExperienceSalary (per year)Salary (per hour)
Entry level$18,000 – $26,000$8.62 – $12.86
Junior$22,000 – $29,000$10.74 – $14.33
Professional$27,000 – $37,000$13.41 – $18.28
Senior Professional$35,000 – $48,000$17.32 – $23.77
Expert$44,000 – $54,000$21.81 – $26.79
Top Expert$57,000 – $63,000$28.27 – $31.28

Babysitter salary by state 2021 (average)

StateSalary (per year)Salary (per hour)
Alabama$40,200$20.02
Alaska$42,600$21.14
Arizona$39,300$19.42
Arkansas$38,700$19.21
California$48,300$24.08
Colorado$42,500$21.19
Connecticut$43,700$21.61
Delaware$39,900$19.77
District of Columbia$44,100$21.82
Florida$39,600$19.66
Georgia$41,100$20.42
Guam$40,400$19.69
Hawaii$43,100$21.33
Idaho$41,600$20.76
Illinois$39,700$19.72
Indiana$41,200$20.31
Iowa$42,700$21.23
Kansas$40,800$20.19
Kentucky$41,400$20.51
Louisiana$43,800$21.69
Maine$39,300$19.42
Maryland$44,900$22.18
Massachusetts$45,700$22.62
Michigan$39,200$19.41
Minnesota$42,700$21.16
Mississippi$39,800$19.77
Missouri$38,600$19.18
Montana$42,100$20.81
Nebraska$43,600$21.61
Nevada$41,900$20.82
New Hampshire$39,700$19.71
New Jersey$43,200$21.48
New Mexico$41,500$20.43
New York$49,900$24.67
North Carolina$42,300$21.02
North Dakota$41,800$20.68
Ohio$42,700$21.26
Oklahoma$43,100$21.31
Oregon$42,800$21.29
Pennsylvania$44,700$22.18
Rhode Island$41,600$20.61
South Carolina$42,700$21.20
South Dakota$41,800$20.61
Tennessee$39,300$19.42
Texas$41,400$20.51
Utah$44,200$22.01
Vermont$39,400$19.49
Virginia$45,100$22.38
Washington$39,700$19.62
West Virginia$41,800$20.67
Wisconsin$42,500$21.16
Wyoming$43,600$21.78

Job Security for Babysitters

Babysitters have barely any job security at all.

Most of the time, they don’t have fixed working contracts but rather work whenever parents need someone to look after their kids.

Consequently, you will never have decent job security but will always have to deal with lots of financial insecurity as a babysitter.

Future Job Prospects for Babysitters

Babysitters will also have pretty poor future job prospects.

While babysitters will still be needed in the future, working conditions will be rather poor and salaries will likely stay rather low.

In turn, you will barely be able to pay your bills and to make a living from a babysitter job in the long run.

Working Hours of Babysitters

Working as a babysitter is not a classical 9 to 5 job.

Instead, you will often start your workday pretty late in the afternoon and will have to work during the evening or even at nighttime.

You will often start your workday around 5 p.m. and will finish work around midnight.

Job Satisfaction of Babysitters

Many babysitters really like their jobs and love spending time with those kids.

In fact, spending time with children can be real fun, at least if you are an open person who loves to experience something new every day and are also open to surprises.

While the job itself can be lots of fun, salaries are still pretty low in this field and this may lower job satisfaction quite a bit since you may often have to worry about how to pay rent and other basic expenses.

Promotion Opportunities of Babysitters

There are no promotion opportunities for babysitters at all.

It doesn’t matter how good you are at what you are doing, you will still do the same things over and over again and your level of responsibility and your salary will not change that much over time.

Career Levels of Babysitters

  • Part-time babysitter
  • Full-time babysitter
  • Full-time babysitter with many years of experience
  • Regional manager of a babysitting business
  • Owner of a babysitting business

Fields and Types of Babysitters

  • Babysitters for babies
  • Babysitters for infants
  • Babysitters for small children
  • Babysitters for elementary school kids
  • Occasional babysitter
  • Full-time babysitter
  • Permanent babysitter
  • After-school babysitter
  • Weekday babysitter
  • Weekend babysitter
  • Evening babysitter
  • Nighttime babysitter

Educational Requirements for Babysitters

You don’t need a degree or any other formal qualifications for working as a babysitter.

What’s much more important is that you have experience kids and are a trustworthy person so that parents are willing to give away the responsibility for their kids to you.

How to become a Babysitter

  1. Inform yourself about the advantages and disadvantages of being a babysitter
  2. Meet minimum age requirements
  3. Gather experience with kids within your own family
  4. Learn how to motivate young kids
  5. Inform yourself on how to solve conflicts with small kids
  6. Build some expertise in this field
  7. Ask friends if they need a babysitter
  8. Apply for babysitting jobs
  9. Gather experience in this field
  10. Start your own babysitting business (optional)

Character Traits you need for Working as a Babysitter

  • Interest in looking after children
  • Spending time with kids should be fun for you
  • Inner motivation to provide kids fun experiences
  • Patience is key
  • You should be an open person
  • You should be a good problem solver
  • You should be willing to compromise
  • Trustworthiness is key
  • You should be a reliable person
  • You need to have lots of empathy

Hard Skills for Being a Babysitter

  • Good knowledge about how to treat children
  • Experience in looking after children
  • Experience in how to solve conflicts among kids
  • Knowledge about legal issues and responsibilities as a babysitter
  • Expertise in what to feed children
  • You have to inform yourself what games are appropriate for kids
  • Good reading skills
  • Knowledge of how to play video games is a plus
  • Having a car and driver’s license helps you get to your clients’ homes

Soft Skills for Being a Babysitter

  • Good organizational skills
  • Multitasking can help to get all things done
  • You need to be empathetic with kids
  • Patience is important to not get disappointed
  • You should not expect too much
  • You should be a positive person
  • Good time management skills
  • Self-confident manner helps that parents trust you
  • Professional attitude helps you get more jobs

Exit Options for Babysitters

There are barely any exit options for babysitters.

Since babysitters don’t learn many valuable hard skills, they will just not be employable in other industries and this means that once you decide for becoming a full-time babysitter, you will have a pretty hard time getting out of this industry.

Babysitter – Similar Careers

  • Nanny
  • Teacher
  • Family assistant
  • Household manager
  • Parent’s helper
  • Housekeeper
  • School bus driver
  • Childcare worker

Babysitter Career FAQs

Is working as a babysitter physically demanding?

The job as a babysitter is not physically demanding most of the time. Sure, you will have to lift some toys and prepare some food.

However, compared to other jobs like working as a construction worker or welder, babysitters have a rather relaxed life in this regard.

Is working as a babysitter mentally demanding?

Working as a babysitter is not that mentally demanding.

You will not need to stress your brain that much.

In fact, most things are pretty basic and if you use common sense, you will soon realize what makes sense and what doesn’t in most situations.

Is it dangerous to work as a babysitter?

Working as a babysitter is not dangerous at all.

Most of the time, you will just spend indoors in a safe environment and while many other people out there risk their lives every day, you will be able to work in a rather cozy atmosphere instead.

How long do babysitters stay in their jobs?

Babysitters often don’t stay in their jobs for a longer period of time.

Quite often, their clients just don’t need them anymore and it is pretty hard for babysitters to make a full-time income from what they are doing.

Consequently, many babysitters work in a different field in the long run.

Is it easy for babysitters to find a new job?

It is not that easy for babysitters to find new jobs.

Since barriers to entry are quite low and almost everyone can do this job, there is lots of competition in the babysitting industry and finding a new job that pays decent money is rather difficult.

Is it hard to switch from being a babysitter to another field of work?

Due to the lack of hard skills most babysitters have, it is also pretty difficult for them to work in different fields.

Consequently, you should make really sure that you want to work as a babysitter for quite a long time or get some additional qualifications on the side to be prepared for the demanding future job market.

Do babysitters have a high social status?

Babysitters have a rather low social status.

While they are important to create a safe atmosphere for kids, babysitters are still belittled by many people out there and being a babysitter is just not considered a real job by some people who may want to bring you down.

Can you help out your family and friends as a babysitter?

If you have experience in the babysitting industry, you can help out your loved ones quite a lot.

Many of your family members and friends will have kids sooner or later and this means that you can greatly help them out by looking after their kids from time to time when your loved ones are away from home.

Can babysitters work remotely?

Babysitters can’t work remotely.

Instead, they have to be present at work in person since they have to make sure that the kids and babies they have to look after are alright.

Consequently, you will be less flexible as a babysitter compared to someone who works in a classical office job and is able to work remotely on a regular basis.

Is it easy to find a partner as a babysitter?

Since babysitters have a rather low social status and also don’t make good money, it is often pretty difficult for them to find a partner to start a long-term relationship with since your partner will often not trust you to be able to feed a family.

Do babysitters have to work on weekends?

Babysitters often have to work on weekends.

In fact, this is the time when most people are going out and need someone to look after their kids.

In turn, while many of your friends will have fun, you will have to work during those rather unpleasant hours.

Do babysitters have to work on holidays?

Babysitters also sometimes have to work on holidays.

Whether you have to work on holidays greatly depends on whether your clients need someone to look after their kids during those times or not.

You will also have to be quite flexible in this regard since clients often forget to inform you in this regard.

Do I have to work at nighttime as a babysitter?

You will often have to work in the evening or at nighttime as a babysitter.

It is just the nature of this job since parents often want to go out without their kids at nighttime and you will be the one who looks after their kids during these times.

Do you have to travel as a babysitter?

There is no need to travel as a babysitter.

Quite often, you will just have clients in your neighborhood and this enables you to stay at home while many other people who work in demanding corporate jobs will have to travel quite a lot and will be away from their loved ones quite often.

Are babysitter pensions good?

Due to the rather low salary babysitters often get, also babysitter pensions will be quite low.

Moreover, babysitters are often not able to save enough money for retirement and this means that many of them will have to deal with old-age poverty once they quit their active careers.

Are babysitter salaries going up?

Since almost everyone can do this job, babysitter salaries are not going up that much and will likely also not go up significantly in the near future.

Instead, many babysitters will still make pretty poor money and may not be able to pay their bills anymore.

Can you have a positive effect on society as a babysitter?

As a babysitter, you can have a real positive effect on society.

Since you will spend lots of time with kids, you can show them how to be a decent human being and can make the world a little bit better, at least if you are persistent and don’t get discouraged by drawbacks in this regard.

How long does it take to become a babysitter?

Since you need no formal education for working as a babysitter, you can start your babysitter career pretty soon in your life.

In fact, many babysitters are students who finance their studies with their babysitting jobs and once you decide to become a babysitter, you can start with it almost immediately.

Is it difficult to become a babysitter?

It is not difficult to become a babysitter since there are no formal requirements in most regions.

However, while barriers to entry are quite low, competition will be pretty high and this means that you will have a hard time making a full-time income from your babysitting jobs.

Do you need to be smart to work as a babysitter?

While you don’t need to be a genius for working as a babysitter, you should still have some common knowledge of how things work and what you should or shouldn’t do with kids to provide them with a safe environment to spend their time in.

Do babysitters have a good work-life balance?

While babysitters don’t have to work many hours, they still often have to work on weekends and at nighttime.

Consequently, they will not have much time to spend with their loved ones and the overall work-life balance of babysitters will therefore be rather poor.

Do babysitters have to work many extra hours?

How many hours you have to work as a babysitter greatly depends on your clients.

If clients come home late at night, you may have to work some extra hours.

However, most of the time, clients are reliable and come home at the time they told you right from the beginning.

How to maximize your chances of becoming a babysitter?

The more experience you have with looking after children, the higher your chances that strangers will employ you as a babysitter.

Hence, to maximize your chances of getting a job in this field, make sure to do babysitting jobs for your family or friends first to gather some experience and credentials.

Can babysitters work part-time?

Many babysitters work part-time while they still have a day job.

In fact, there are not many babysitters who can make a living from what they are doing and babysitting is just kind of a side hustle they have to make additional money.

Do babysitters work indoors or outdoors?

Babysitters work indoors most of the time.

Quite often, you will just play some games or watch TV together and there will be no need to go outdoors at all.

Hence, while many other people have to work outdoors in the cold during times of bad weather, you can really enjoy your time as a babysitter in a cozy atmosphere.

What does the workplace of a babysitter look like?

Since you will just work at the homes of your clients, it is impossible to say what your workplace will exactly look like.

However, most of the time, you will work in a nice home and will have everything you need to feel comfortable.

Do you have to look good for working as a babysitter?

While there is no need to look good as a babysitter, it may still help you to groomed since people may trust you more and it may just be easier for you to get new jobs if you don’t look like someone who doesn’t care about his or her appearance at all.

Is a babysitter career beneficial for your private life?

A babysitter career can be great for your private life, especially if you want to have your own children one day since you will learn how to handle different types of kids and it will therefore be much easier for you to handle your own children.

Do you need a college degree for becoming a babysitter?

You don’t need a college degree for becoming a babysitter.

Consequently, almost everyone will be able to do this job and babysitting can therefore be a great way to increase your household income if you have a day job but still want to make money on the side without having to invest additional time and money on education.

Do you need to be certified to work as a babysitter?

It is not necessary to get certified for working as a babysitter.

While those certificates may increase your chances of getting a job in this field, they are often just a waste of time and you should rather just apply for as many babysitting jobs as possible since experience is much more valuable in this field than any formal qualification.

How much does it cost to become a babysitter?

Since you don’t need any formal education for working as a babysitter, you can become a babysitter at virtually no cost.

You can just apply for babysitting jobs and start your babysitting career within a few weeks or even days.

Is being a babysitter a good career?

Babysitting can be a great career for you in case you love to work with children and want to experience many new things.

However, still keep in mind that you will not make good money in this field and that you may need a second job to pay your bills.

Is it easy to start your own business as a babysitter?

It is also pretty easy to start your own business in the babysitting industry.

You can start out as a one-man or woman show and once you get enough clients, you can employ additional babysitters in the long run and scale your business.

Can babysitters teach themselves?

Babysitters can teach almost everything they need to know themselves.

However, there is still nothing like experience and you will learn most of the things in practice when you really look after kids and see that theory and practice may be quite different.

Do babysitters make good money?

Babysitters don’t make good money.

In fact, most babysitters are barely able to make a living from what they are doing and many of them even need a second job to pay their bills, especially if they live in rather expensive regions where rents are quite high.

Is it ever too late to become a babysitter?

It is never too late to become a babysitter if you are willing to learn how to deal with kids.

In fact, if you really enjoy spending time with kids, becoming a babysitter may make sense even at retirement age to make some extra money.

Do babysitters have to quit their careers early?

Most babysitters don’t have to quit their careers early.

Instead, most people can work as babysitters until retirement age since this job is not physically stressful at all and people will still be able to work in this field once they get older.

What is the most challenging thing about working as a babysitter?

The most challenging part of working as a babysitter is to always adjust to new kids.

No child is the same and every kid has different interests, preferences and views of the world.

Consequently, you have to adjust how you handle all those different kids on a regular basis.

Can you provide for your family by working as a babysitter?

Since babysitters don’t make good money from what they are doing, most babysitters are not able to provide for their families.

Instead, most of them need to get a second job to provide for their families and to pay their basic expenses.

Will babysitters suffer from old-age poverty?

Since babysitter pensions are rather low and babysitters are also not able to save enough money for retirement, old-age poverty is a real issue for many babysitters out there who will struggle to pay rent and other basic expenses once they quit their active careers.

Can babysitters retire early?

Since babysitters have a pretty low income, they are also not able to retire early most of the time.

Instead, babysitters often have to work in their 60s and sometimes even have to work in their 70s or 80s to make some additional money since their pensions will be pretty low.

Can you get rich as a babysitter?

You can’t get rich as a babysitter.

In fact, most babysitters make pretty poor money from what they are doing and if money is really important to you, you should definitely go for a career in a different field instead.

Do you get continuous training as a babysitter?

You will not get any training as a babysitter.

Most often, you will just get basic instructions from parents regarding what you should do and that’s it.

You will have to learn how to handle kids in a proper manner by practice it a lot and over time, you will just get much better.

Are babysitters organized in unions?

Babysitters are not organized in unions.

While there is a union for nannies, you should not expect that this union will help you as a babysitter.

Instead, you have to negotiate your wage and your working conditions yourself and should not expect the support of anyone else in this regard.

Do you get paid when you are sick as a babysitter?

Babysitters usually don’t get sick pay. Instead, in case you cannot work, you will also not get paid at all.

Consequently, becoming a babysitter is also not recommendable if you are the type of person who gets sick easily since you would just not be able to make any money during those times.

Do babysitters have a high level of responsibility?

Babysitters have a pretty high level of responsibility.

Since you will look after kids while their parents are away and nobody else will be at home, mistakes on your side can lead to serious adverse outcomes and may put the lives of kids at risk.

Can babysitters work abroad?

It is pretty easy to work abroad for babysitters as long as you speak the local language.

In fact, babysitting is quite similar in most parts of our planet and you will easily find a job as a babysitter in a different country if your credentials are good and you know how to present yourself.

Is it stressful to work as a babysitter?

Working as a babysitter is not that stressful.

While you have to be patient and should not expect too much, you will still be able to work in a rather comfortable environment with no time pressure and other issues that come along with many other jobs out there.

Is it boring to work as a babysitter?

Working as a babysitter is not boring at all.

Instead, it can be really fascinating to teach kids and to see the progress they make in a rather short period of time.

Hence, if you are passionate about working with kids, chances are that you will really like what you are doing and that you stay motivated in the long run.

Is being a babysitter hard?

While working as a babysitter is not hard from a physical standpoint, it can be demanding on a mental and emotional level, especially if you are new in this field and don’t know how to handle kids properly.

Is burnout a problem for babysitters?

There are barely any babysitters out there who suffer from burnout.

Instead, working with kids can be a real pleasure and working conditions for babysitters are also not stressful at all most of the time and the risk of burnout is virtually zero.

Is there a dress code for babysitters?

There is no dress code for babysitters.

Instead, you can just wear what you feel most comfortable with.

Thus, while many other people who work in classical office jobs have to dress rather conservatively, you will not have to care about your appearance that much as a babysitter.

What kind of babysitters are paid the most?

The more experience you have with kids, the more parents will trust you and the more they will be willing to pay you for your babysitting services.

Hence, make sure to gain lots of experience in this field as soon as possible so that you are able to negotiate good wages.

What percentage of babysitters are women?

The babysitting industry is greatly dominated by women.

In fact, more than 95% of babysitters are women right now and chances are that trend will likely continue in the future since men are just pretty rare in this field and also often don’t aspire to a babysitting career.

Do I need a mentor to succeed as a babysitter?

You don’t need a mentor to succeed in the babysitting industry.

What’s much more important is that you get as much experience as possible so that you know how to handle difficult situations in a proper manner.

Will you be personally liable for mistakes as a babysitter?

It is possible that you will be liable for mistakes as a babysitter.

Hence, make sure that you get proper insurance so that you are covered in case of emergency and will not be liable for any damage on a private level.

Do babysitters have a high life expectancy?

Babysitters have a decent life expectancy.

Since they don’t have to work in a heavy physical manner and working as a babysitter is also pretty safe, babysitters are not at great risk of suffering from serious accidents at work and will therefore live quite long if nothing unexpected happens.

Do babysitters suffer from sleeping problems?

Since babysitters often work in the evening or at nighttime, many of them also suffer from sleeping problems since working during those times often destroys the natural sleeping rhythm.

Consequently, babysitters are more likely to suffer from sleeping shortages and health issues related to that.

What states are best for working as a babysitter?

Since babysitters don’t make good money from what they are doing, the best states to work as a babysitter are the states that have pretty low living costs since only in those states, you may be able to pay our basic expenses from your babysitter jobs while this will not be possible in states where living costs are quite high.

Who do babysitters work with?

Babysitters work with many different clients.

Consequently, you will have to deal with many different kids and parents and you will therefore need pretty good people skills to make everyone happy and to keep your clients in the long run.

Is working as a babysitter cool?

Working as a babysitter is not that cool.

However, it can still give you lots of satisfaction if you see the smile on a kid’s face and you should therefore not care about whether it is cool to work in this field or not. If you are passionate about working with kids, just go for it.

Do you have to be creative as a babysitter?

While you don’t need to be super-creative, you should still have some minimum level of creativity if you want to work with kids.

Otherwise, kids you are sitting may get bored pretty soon and may not enjoy the time they spend with you that much.

How employable are babysitters?

While babysitters are in high demand, there are also many people who want to work in this field.

Consequently, you will have to compete in a fierce environment and it may be pretty difficult for you to make a full-time income from babysitting.

Are babysitters happy with their jobs?

Many babysitters are pretty happy with their jobs.

While they love their work, many babysitters still worry about financial issues since they often don’t make good money and may not know how they should pay their bills in the near future.

Is working as a babysitter exciting?

Working as a babysitter can be pretty exciting.

In fact, you never know what will happen the next day and children can always surprise you.

Consequently, your job as a babysitter will never get boring if you love to work with children and are really passionate about what you are doing.

What are the pros and cons of working as a babysitter?

If you are still interested in becoming a babysitter, you should also have a look at additional pros and cons of a babysitter career.

Sources

https://www.statista.com/statistics/468114/us-consumer-spending-on-babysitting-and-child-care/

https://www.statista.com/statistics/247145/survey-on-the-increase-of-working-mothers-with-young-children-in-the-us/

Interviews and own research.

About the author

My name is Andreas and my mission is to educate people about the different career paths that are possible in our current state of the world. In my opinion, people often make the mistake to choose their profession solely based on how much money they can earn from it instead of doing what makes them really happy.

This is quite sad and I just want to give people a more objective picture of how a fulfilling career could look like. I did the same when I started working in consulting after finishing my Master’s degree in Economics. However, I’ve quit pretty soon after that since I haven’t found true meaning in my job.

Now I can do what I really love to do and I want to enable as many other people as well to go this exciting path towards happiness instead of money.

I conducted various interviews with employees to give you a good impression of what working in different fields will look like and that you can make the best possible decision regarding your future career choice.

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