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Babysitters Are Making Bank

Topics: Data & Research
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Wages have been slow to recover from the last recession, and real pay is still 7.4 percent less than it was in 2006. Of course, not all jobs experience the same pay growth. If you’re a babysitter, for example, you might be doing OK.

Average wages for babysitters now sit at $13.97 per hour, according to a new report from That’s a 26 percent increase since 2010.

CBS News reports:

Babysitters are enjoying healthy wage growth partly because parents expect more from the role, said Joyce Hodel,’s data scientist. While many families still hire the local teenager to watch their kids on date night, parents are also searching for adults with college degrees in early education or specialized skills, such as first-aid or CPR certification.

“It’s a professionalism of babysitting,” Hodel said. Parents “will pay more if a sitter has safety training or an early education degree.”

Pay Factors for Babysitters

Along with special qualifications like CPR certifications or foreign language skills, geography has a big impact on babysitters’ wages.’s data shows that these are the five cities in which babysitters can expect to make the highest wages:

  1. San Jose, California: $16.68
  2. San Francisco: $16.52
  3. Bridgeport, Connecticut: $15.74
  4. Boston: $15.51
  5. New York City: $15.23

Of course, cost of living is also a factor. Even $16 an hour won’t go very far in San Jose or San Francisco, where tech workers with six-figure salaries sometimes find it hard to make ends meet. (If that seems ridiculous, consider this 2016 story about Silicon Valley residents who were forced to live in their cars, because their otherwise middle-class wages wouldn’t stretch to cover skyrocketing rents.)

Do You Know What You're Worth?

On the other hand, if you’re not a babysitter seeking the highest wages, but a working parent trying to find affordable (but still top-quality childcare), one secret is to plan ahead. CNBC recently ran a list of the times when parents are most likely to pay a premium for babysitting. Holidays and summer vacation ranked high on the list, but the factor that’s within your control — OK, some of the time, at least — is planning.

Hodel told CNBC that half of parents were prepared to pay sitters an extra $3 an hour for last-minute help.

Tell Us What You Think

What do you think is a reasonable wage for babysitters? We want to hear from you. Share your thoughts in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter.

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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