Greyscale photo of woman holding a small child - Is Babysitting a Financially Secure Career Choice?

For many people, the teen years are when they get their first taste of working. For some, this means mowing lawns, getting part-time jobs at local businesses, or even babysitting. For most, these jobs teach the value of working and the satisfaction of spending money earned on your own. For a lucky few, these early jobs prove to be something they enjoy and want to make a career out of. Today we’ll look at one summer job that can turn into a financially secure career choice: babysitting.

Is Babysitting as a Career Right for Me?

When it becomes a career, babysitting goes by more professional terms such as child-care, daycare, nannying, etc. Child Care offers many benefits as a career choice, one of which is the fact that unlike some careers, experience and personality count more than formal education. A person can have a college degree in child development, and still not be good with children. For those interested in making a career out of babysitting, the best advice is to get a job at daycare before pursuing higher education in that field. This is because many people find out after the fact that while babysitting was fun, it isn’t the right career for them. In fact, advice from National Debt Relief suggests that thousands of people use their services every year to get out of debt. Much of this debt involves higher education costs associated with a degree or study program people realized too late they didn’t like.

What Does Babysitting Pay, Career-Wise?

So what do jobs in the childcare industry pay? According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean national wage for childcare workers is $11.42/hour, or $23,760/year. To put that number in perspective, a childcare worker getting paid on a monthly basis would make roughly $1,800/month before taxes. This is assuming they work full-time at 40 hours a week. Is that wage enough to live on? In most parts of the country, this is enough to live on, especially if the childcare worker is part of a dual-income household. In some areas, it’s even enough to purchase a home. The financial rule for housing is the 28/36 rule: a household should spend no more than 28% of their gross monthly income on housing. They should also not spend over 36% of their gross monthly income on debt, including housing. So, if a childcare worker is in a dual-income household, and both parties are spending 25% on housing, that means roughly $900 would be available for a mortgage payment. This is assuming a lot of things of course, including:

That the second income-earner makes at least as much as the childcare worker

That the wages for childcare workers in the area are at least as much as the mean national average

That both people in the dual-income household can put 25% toward a mortgage

Is There Room for Advancement in Childcare?

The mean national wage just mentioned is for entry-level positions. There is limited room for advancement in the childcare industry, generally through additional training opportunities as mentioned by Student Scholarships. Some of these opportunities are on-the-job training, while others are employer-sponsored degree programs. Once a person has worked in childcare for a few years, he or she will have a feel for childcare work. This experience will help them decide if childcare work is right for them: if the answer is yes, continuing education will be worth the investment in order to increase earnings.

Going back to the original question we posed, the answer is yes, babysitting is a financially secure career choice. Childcare workers aren’t likely to get rich in the industry. But if childcare still feels right after a few years, then college is worth the time and money, as it will lead to increased wages and financial security.


No Formal Education Required: Is Babysitting a Financially Secure Career Choice?

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