All You Need To Know About A Nanny Career

You consider working as a nanny but are still not entirely sure whether this will be the right job for you or not?

Great! Stick with me since I will show you everything you need to know about being a nanny in the following chapters!

Not only will you learn how much you can make as a nanny, but we will also talk about job satisfaction, work-life balance, duties, responsibilities, educational requirements and much more.

You will also find an FAQ section at the end of this article where I answer various questions about working as a nanny.

After reading this article, you will have a much better idea of what being a nanny looks like and whether you still want to pursue this career or rather want to go for a different job instead.

Without further ado, let’s get started!

Table of Contents

What does a Nanny do?

Working as a nanny is often like the life of a stay-at-home parent.

Nannies care for children while their parents are away.

For instance, while parents are working, nannies pick up kids from school, cook for them, do their homework with them and make sure that children get everything they need to be happy.

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Hence, nannies often have a pretty deep relationship with the children they care for and are also considered surrogate parents in some extreme cases.

Responsibilities & Duties of a Nanny

  • Picking kids up from school
  • Cooking for children
  • Helping kids with their homework
  • Making sure that kids get everything they need while their parents are away
  • Making sure that kids don’t get into trouble
  • Providing a safe environment for kids
  • Bringing kids to and picking kids up from sports classes
  • Assuring that children get decent education opportunities at home
  • Solving conflicts of kids
  • Making sure that children have trust and feel comfortable in their presence

What a Typical Day of a Nanny looks like?

Nannies often start their workday between 7 and 8 a.m. to bring kids to school.

After that, they have some time to prepare lunch before they collect kids in the early afternoon.

After taking kids home and giving them something to eat, nannies often help kids with their homework and assure a productive environment so that children can learn in an efficient manner.

After finishing homework, nannies often play with kids and make sure that they get everything they need to stay happy and content.

After caring for kids for many hours, most nannies finish their workday when parents come back home between 4 and 6 p.m.

Nanny Salary 2021

Nanny salary brackets 2021

Salary BracketsSalary (per year)Salary (per hour)
Top 10 %> $59,000> $29.43
Top 25 %$48,000 – $52,000$23.94 – $25.88
Bottom 25 %$28,000 – $33,000$13.91 – $16.45
Bottom 10 %$21,000 – $25,000$10.39 – $12.47
Range$21,000 – $62,000$10.39 – $30.96
Average (Mean)$43,000$21.42
Median$38,000$18.97

Nanny salary 2021 by expert level

Level of ExperienceSalary (per year)Salary (per hour)
Entry level$21,000 – $34,000$10.39 – $16.89
Junior$32,000 – $39,000$15.92 – $19.48
Professional$36,000 – $45,000$17.91 – $22.46
Senior Professional$43,000 – $49,000$21.47 – $24.42
Expert$47,000 – $58,000$23.48 – $28.94
Top Expert$56,000 – $62,000$27.94 – $30.96

Nanny salary by state 2021 (average)

StateSalary (per year)Salary (per hour)
Alabama$38,300$19.13
Alaska$39,400$19.67
Arizona$41,600$20.78
Arkansas$40,200$20.09
California$48,300$24.12
Colorado$41,700$20.84
Connecticut$38,500$19.23
Delaware$39,200$19.58
District of Columbia$41,700$20.82
Florida$39,800$19.89
Georgia$37,200$18.57
Guam$36,800$18.38
Hawaii$43,100$21.53
Idaho$35,900$17.92
Illinois$37,200$18.56
Indiana$36,500$18.22
Iowa$38,100$19.03
Kansas$37,600$18.79
Kentucky$35,800$17.88
Louisiana$36,700$18.32
Maine$38,200$19.08
Maryland$40,100$20.04
Massachusetts$41,600$20.78
Michigan$37,200$18.57
Minnesota$38,400$19.18
Mississippi$36,100$18.03
Missouri$35,800$17.89
Montana$37,500$18.72
Nebraska$38,100$19.02
Nevada$37,100$18.54
New Hampshire$39,800$19.88
New Jersey$40,200$20.09
New Mexico$37,600$18.77
New York$45,100$22.56
North Carolina$39,400$19.68
North Dakota$40,700$20.33
Ohio$39,200$19.59
Oklahoma$38,100$19.02
Oregon$37,800$18.87
Pennsylvania$39,900$19.94
Rhode Island$40,600$20.28
South Carolina$38,200$19.07
South Dakota$39,800$19.88
Tennessee$37,300$18.62
Texas$36,800$18.37
Utah$39,100$19.54
Vermont$38,700$19.33
Virginia$40,200$20.08
Washington$42,900$21.44
West Virginia$39,700$19.82
Wisconsin$37,500$18.73
Wyoming$36,400$18.18

Job Security of Nannies

Nannies have pretty poor job security since they are easily replaceable and in case parents don’t need them anymore, they may get fired from one day to the other and may have trouble finding a new job soon enough to be able to pay their bills.

Future Outlook of Nannies

Since many people may work from home in the near future and it may be easier for people to do their work and organize their private life at the same time, the demand for nannies may decrease and nannies therefore have pretty poor future job prospects and will have to deal with lots of insecurity regarding their work.

Working Hours of Nannies

Most nannies start their workday between 7 and 8 a.m. and finish their workday between 4 and 6 p.m.

Thus, working as a nanny is a classical 9 to 5 job and you will have more than enough time to meet up with your favorite people after work or to spend on your hobbies.

Job Satisfaction of Nannies

While nannies are pretty happy with the tasks they have to do on a regular basis, most nannies are still not happy with overall working conditions since they are not able to make good money from what they are doing and also have pretty poor job security.

Promotion Opportunities of Nannies

Nannies have barely any promotion opportunities at all.

Once you work in this field, you will do the same job for many years or even decades without getting the chance of being promoted anytime soon and this can be really frustrating in the long run since your efforts seem not to matter for your career progress.

Career Levels of Nannies

  • Junior nanny
  • Senior nanny
  • Nanny who takes care of more than one kid
  • Nanny who takes care of kids from multiple families
  • Manager of a nanny business
  • Owner of a nanny business

Fields and Types of Nannies

  • Nannies specialized in caring for preschool kids
  • Nannies focused on school kids
  • Nannies specialized in providing good education for children
  • Nannies with special expertise in playing sports
  • Nannies with expertise in playing musical instruments
  • Nannies with outstanding cooking skills
  • After-school nannies
  • Live-in nannies
  • Live-out nannies
  • Night nannies
  • Full-time nannies
  • Part-time nannies

Educational Requirements for Nannies

Nannies don’t need to get fancy education.

You don’t need a college degree.

Instead, you should be passionate about working with children.

In an optimal setting, you should have your own children since you will know much better what kids need in such a case.

How to become a Nanny

  1. Inform yourself about the advantages and disadvantages of being a nanny
  2. Care for kids of your family and friends
  3. Learn sports and other things kids will love to play with you
  4. Finish high school with decent grades
  5. Apply for nanny jobs
  6. Master the job interview
  7. Sign your contract
  8. Work hard to provide the best experience for kids you care for
  9. Build a strong reputation so that you get many recommendations from your clients

Character Traits you need as a Nanny

  • Passion for working with kids
  • Empathy for difficult kids
  • You should be a friendly person
  • You should be outgoing and open to new things
  • Patience is key to working with kids successfully in the long run
  • You should be reliable and trustworthy
  • Passion for educating children
  • Caring for kids should not feel like work to you
  • Ambition to make the world a better place
  • You should not be afraid of snarky comments
  • You should strive to do good for the next generations
  • Persistence helps you stay in the game in the long run

Hard Skills for Nannies

  • Ability to deal with children in a safe manner
  • Knowledge of what food children need
  • Ability to solve conflicts
  • Knowledge of how the minds of kids work
  • You should know how to structure your day well to get all things done
  • Ability to build confidence in kids
  • You need to know how to sell yourself
  • Digital skills help you promote your work
  • Certifications may help you gain the trust of parents
  • First-aid skills are a plus

Soft Skills for Nannies

  • Empathy for kids who have a bad day
  • Patience for difficult children
  • You should be a good listener
  • Willingness to work hard to gain the trust of kids
  • You should be good at building relationships on an emotional level
  • Good communication skills help you solve conflicts
  • You should be able to figure out what bothers the kids you care for
  • Ability to stay calm in stressful situations helps as well
  • You should be able to figure out current trends in school

Exit Options for Nannies

Nannies have pretty poor exit options.

While they are often also able to work as babysitters or caregivers, nannies have a pretty hard time working in a different field since they often lack important hard skills needed in the job market right now in most other industries.

Nanny – Similar Careers

  • Babysitter
  • Caregiver
  • Childcare attendant
  • Au pair
  • Human service assistant
  • Nursery nurse
  • Household manager
  • Teacher
  • Professor

Nanny Career FAQs

Is working as a nanny physically demanding?

Working as a nanny is not heavily physically demanding.

While you sometimes have to carry the schoolbag of kids and also play sports with them, you will still not have to stress your body as much as construction workers or welders who have to work in a hard physical manner on a regular basis.

Is working as a nanny mentally demanding?

You don’t have to stress your brain that much as a nanny.

While you will have to manage and coordinate many tasks at the same time, you will still not have to solve complex problems as financial analysts, statisticians and many other people have to do on a regular basis.

Is it dangerous to work as a nanny?

Being a nanny is not dangerous since you will work in a rather protected environment most of the time and will not be at great risk of suffering from serious accidents at work compared to people like garbage collectors or roofers who have to work with heavy machines on a regular basis.

How long do nannies stay in their jobs?

Nannies often don’t stay in their jobs for long since children they care for grow up and once kids reach a certain age, the services of nannies are no longer needed anymore since kids can care for themselves and you as a nanny will therefore have to find new jobs every few years.

Is it easy for nannies to find a new job?

Since our work world has changed quite a lot over the past years, an increasing number of people are able to work from home in a pretty flexible manner.

Consequently, many parents look after their kids themselves and don’t employ nannies anymore.

Thus, you may have a pretty hard time finding a new job as a nanny.

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

Since nannies are pretty specialized in what they are doing, they will often not learn many hard skills needed in the job market right now and will therefore have serious difficulties getting a job in a different field since they are just not qualified enough for it.

Do nannies have a high social status?

Nannies have a pretty low social status.

Even though they do an important job for society, they are often belittled and many people out there may not understand your career choice.

Hence, you should be able to deal with snarky comments in this regard in a healthy manner.

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

As a nanny, you can do good for your loved ones since you can care for kids in case your family or friends want to go out and spend a nice evening without having to look after their kids.

Can nannies work remotely?

Nannies are not able to work remotely since they have to care for kids in person.

Consequently, while many other people who work in classical office jobs will be able to work from home and to manage their private and professional life at the same time, you as a nanny will be far less flexible and will also have to spend lots of time and money commuting to your clients and back.

Is it easy to find a partner as a nanny?

It is pretty hard for nannies to find a partner for a long-term relationship since nannies don’t make good money and also have to deal with lots of insecurity related to their jobs.

Hence, they are not considered good providers and if you are a man who wants to work in this field, many women in the dating market may not want to date you and may rather want to look for stabler options instead.

Do nannies have to work on weekends?

Nannies don’t have to work on weekends most of the time.

However, the plans of your clients may change and if you are unlucky and parents need your support on weekends, you may have to work on Saturdays or even Sundays and you should therefore be rather flexible in this regard.

Do nannies have to work on holidays?

Nannies don’t have to work on most holidays.

Instead, you will be able to spend those days with your loved ones or on your favorite hobbies.

Do nannies have to work at nighttime?

Most nannies don’t have to work at nighttime but rather work during the day and have free evenings to spend with their family and friends, even though you might rarely have to look after the kids of your clients in case they want to go out and don’t want to take the kids with them.

Do you have to travel as a nanny?

There is no need to travel as a nanny.

While many other people have to do business trips and will be away from home quite often, you as a nanny will be able to spend your leisure at home with your loved ones.

Are nanny pensions good?

Since nannies don’t make good money during their active careers, also their pensions will be pretty poor.

Moreover, nannies are often also not able to save and invest enough money for retirement and may get into serious financial trouble once they get older and quit their active careers.

Are nanny salaries going up?

Salaries for nannies have not been going up significantly over the past years since the demand for nannies is decreasing while many people want to work in this field and wages therefore continue to be pretty poor as well.

Can you have a positive impact on society as a nanny?

You can have a big positive impact on society as a nanny since you can educate the kids you care for and show them how to be a good human being.

This is really important since those kids will be more likely to behave in a decent manner once they turn into grownups and may also strive to make the world a better place.

How long does it take to become a nanny?

Since you will not need a degree or any other fancy education for working as a nanny, you can start your nanny career right after finishing high school and don’t have to spend many years in college but can even make money from a rather young age.

Is it difficult to become a nanny?

Becoming a nanny is not difficult since you will not need any fancy formal education.

However, to stay happy and motivated with what you are doing, you still need a passion for working with kids since you might get bored with it pretty soon otherwise.

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

You don’t need to be smart for working as a nanny.

What’s much more important is that you have a high emotional IQ and that you know how to get kids what you want them to do.

In fact, understanding human behavior is crucial to stay successful with what you are doing in the long run.

Do nannies have a good work-life balance?

Nannies have decent work-life balance since they often have free weekends and holidays and also don’t have to work at nighttime.

In turn, they will have more than enough time to meet up with their favorite people or to spend on their hobbies.

Do nannies have to work many extra hours?

Nannies don’t have to work many extra hours.

You will just have fixed shifts and once your shift is over, you will hand over the kids you care for to their parents and finish your workday.

How to maximize your chances of becoming a nanny?

The more experience you get with kids at a rather young age, the better you will become at solving conflicts with them and the easier it will be for you to stay happy as a nanny in the long run.

Hence, you should care for the kids of your friends at a rather young age so that you gain experience and also have something to show on your résumé so that other parents trust you and will have faith that you are suitable for looking after their kids.

Can nannies work part-time?

Nannies are also able to work part-time.

However, since hourly wages are pretty low, you will most often have to work full-time to cover your expenses and a part-time salary will not be enough in this regard.

Do nannies work indoors or outdoors?

Nannies work both indoors and outdoors and you should therefore not be afraid of leaving the house during times of bad weather.

You should also not be a couch potato since kids often want to play outside.

What does the workplace of a nanny look like?

As a nanny, you will spend your workday at many different places.

While you will pick up kids from school, you will also stay with them at their parents’ homes and will also spend time at playgrounds outdoors.

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

You don’t have to look good for working as a nanny.

However, you should still look professional so that your clients will trust in your abilities to care for their kids while they are away.

Is a nanny career beneficial for your private life?

Working as a nanny can be beneficial for your private life since you will learn a lot about raising and caring for children and if you want to have your own kids sooner or later, this can be pretty good training since you will have a much easier time compared to someone who hasn’t got experience in this field yet.

Do you need a college degree for becoming a nanny?

You don’t need a college degree for working as a nanny.

Instead of spending many years and lots of money on college education, you can start your nanny career at a rather young age without having to look good on paper as you would have to do to work in many other fields.

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

You also don’t need any certificates to work as a nanny.

While those certificates may increase your credibility, they are not urgently necessary and what’s much more important than looking good on paper is that you have a talent and also passion for working with kids.

How much does it cost to become a nanny?

Since you will not have to spend lots of money on college education but can rather start your nanny career right after finishing high school, you don’t have to spend any money on becoming a nanny and can even start making money at a rather young age.

Is being a nanny a good career?

While many nannies really like the things they do during their workday, most nannies still complain about their poor salaries and a high level of insecurity related to their work and being a nanny can therefore not be considered a good career when all relevant factors are taken into account.

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

It is relatively easy to start your own nanny business since you will not have to spend lots of money on equipment or machinery and can also start out as a small company and once the demand for your services grows, you can scale from there and employ more people.

Can nannies teach themselves?

Nannies don’t have to get fancy education and can teach themselves most things they need to succeed in their jobs. In fact, you will learn many things on the job and don’t need lots of education in this regard.

Do nannies make good money?

Nannies don’t make good money at all.

In fact, many nannies complain about their poor income and are barely able to make a living from what they are doing.

Is it ever too late to become a nanny?

It is never too late to become a nanny since you don’t need to get fancy formal education.

In fact, it can be a plus to be older since older people usually have more experience with kids and how to solve conflicts in general.

Do nannies have to quit their careers early?

Since working as a nanny is not heavily physically demanding, most nannies don’t have to quit their careers early and can work in this field until they reach retirement age.

What is the hardest thing about working as a nanny?

The hardest part about being a nanny is that you have to deal with many new kids over time and all of them will be different and will have different wishes and preferences regarding what they want to do in their leisure.

Hence, you have to be pretty empathetic to figure those things out to keep kids happy in the long run.

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

Due to your pretty poor salary, you will have a hard time providing for your family as a nanny.

In turn, your spouse may have to work as well to pay your bills and may not be able to stay at home and care for your own kids.

Will nannies suffer from old-age poverty?

Nannies often suffer from old-age poverty since their pensions are pretty low and they are also not able to save and invest enough money during their active careers to build a financial cushion for the time they quit their active careers and retire.

Can nannies retire early?

Nannies are usually not able to retire early since they simply don’t make enough money during their active careers and therefore have to work until official retirement age and sometimes even longer.

Do nannies get a fixed or variable salary?

Nannies are often paid on an hourly basis and their income may therefore greatly vary over time.

Thus, the more jobs you have and the more you work, the more money you will be able to make from your nanny career.

Can you get rich as a nanny?

It is impossible to get rich as an employed nanny.

If money is really important to you, you should not become a nanny but rather go for a career as a doctor, investment banker or judge instead.

Do nannies need a second job?

Many nannies need a second job to pay their bills since their salaries from their day jobs will not be high enough to even cover their basic expenses.

Do you get continuous training as a nanny?

You don’t get continuous training as a nanny.

Instead, you will learn most skills you need on the job and it will be on you to get really good at what you are doing in the long run.

Do you get sick pay as a nanny?

Most nannies don’t get paid in case they get sick.

Thus, you should build an emergency fund during good times so that you can use it during times you get sick and no longer get an income so that you are still able to pay the most important bills and don’t get into serious financial trouble.

Do nannies have a high level of responsibility?

Nannies have a pretty high level of responsibility since they deal with kids and their mistakes could lead to catastrophic outcomes.

Hence, you always need to be awake at work to avoid any issues in this regard and to care for kids in a safe manner.

Can nannies work abroad?

Nannies are also able to work abroad.

However, working conditions, wages and educational requirements are often pretty different in foreign countries from what you are used to at home and before deciding on moving abroad, you should inform yourself in this regard to avoid any issues later on.

Is it stressful to work as a nanny?

Working as a nanny is not stressful most of the time.

Even though you might have to coordinate many things, you will still not work in an environment where you have to meet strict timelines on a regular basis but can work in a rather relaxed manner without having that much time pressure.

Is it boring to work as a nanny?

Working as a nanny is not boring since you will experience many new things every day and if you are really passionate about working with children, your job will not feel like work but rather like a hobby to you.

This can be great since you will be able to make money from spending your time in a joyful manner and in such a case, you will never get bored with what you are doing anytime soon.

Is being a nanny hard?

Working as a nanny is not hard.

Even though you will sometimes have to deal with difficult kids, you will still have a rather relaxed time at work most days of the week while many other people who work in demanding office jobs are at great risk of suffering from serious mental issues.

Are nannies at risk of burnout?

Since nannies don’t have to deal with lots of stress at work, they are also not at great risk of burnout or other mental or emotional problems and are often able to stay healthy in the long run.

Is there a dress code for nannies?

There is no dress code for nannies.

Instead, you can wear whatever you want as long as it is child-friendly and doesn’t deter parents.

What kind of nannies are paid the most?

The more experience you have and the more time you spend at work, the more money you can make as a nanny.

However, you should not expect to make really good money from your job as a nanny since your hourly wage is just too low for it.

What percentage of nannies are women?

While 92% of all nannies are women, only 8% are men.

Hence, this industry is dominated by women since much more women strive for a career in this field than men who often go for jobs where they can make more money since they want to provide for their families.

Do I need a mentor to succeed as a nanny?

You don’t need a mentor to succeed as a nanny.

What’s much more important than having fancy contacts is that you have a talent for dealing with the mood swings of kids and also know how to calm them down during difficult times.

Will you be personally liable for mistakes as a nanny?

You will often be personally liable for mistakes you make as a nanny.

Thus, make sure to get proper insurance in this regard so that you are covered in case of emergency.

Do nannies have a high life expectancy?

Nannies have a relatively high life expectancy since they don’t have to work in a risky environment and also don’t have to deal with lots of stress at work which makes it less likely that they suffer from serious mental issues in the long run.

Do nannies suffer from sleeping problems?

Since nannies often don’t have to work at nighttime, they are able to maintain a healthy sleeping pattern and don’t suffer from sleeping problems related to their jobs most often.

What states are best for working as a nanny?

Since you will not be able to make good money as a nanny across states, you should choose as state and a region where living costs and rents are pretty low so that you can make a living from your nanny income and don’t need to get a second job to pay your bills.

Who do nannies work with?

Nannies work with many different kids and parents.

Therefore, it is crucial that you are a friendly and trustworthy person so that parents have faith in your abilities and let you care for their kids.

Is working as a nanny cool?

Working as a nanny is not considered cool by the majority of the general public.

Instead, you will often be belittled but you should still not care about the comments of others but rather do what you feel is good for you instead.

Can you start a side hustle as a nanny?

Since you will have lots of leisure, you can also start a side hustle as a nanny.

However, since you will not learn many important hard skills on the job, you will still need to invest some time to learn something that provides value to the general public to be able to make money from your side hustle.

Do you have to be creative as a nanny?

While you don’t need to be overly creative, creativity can still help to succeed as a nanny in the long run since the more creative you are, the more interesting things you can do with the kids you care for and the more they will enjoy the time they spend with you.

Do nannies suffer from being overweight?

Since nannies don’t exercise much at work, they also don’t burn lots of calories during their workday and are therefore at high risk of suffering from being overweight in the long run.

How employable are nannies?

Since an increasing number of people are able to work from home, there is a decreasing demand for nannies and nannies are therefore no longer that employable and will always have to fear losing their jobs from one day to the other.

Are nannies happy with their jobs?

While most nannies like the tasks and duties they do during their workday, many of them also complain about poor working conditions and low wages since they are barely able to make a living from what they are doing.

Is working as a nanny exciting?

Working as a nanny can be exciting since you will experience many new things on a regular basis and kids will often surprise you with all sorts of unexpected things.

Can you have a positive impact on our environment as a nanny?

As a nanny, you can also have a positive impact on our environment since you can show kids how important it is to protect our planet and to reduce waste to assure a livable future for the next generations.

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

If you still want to become a nanny, you should also have a look at the pros and cons of a nanny career.

Sources

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

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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