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How Much Do I Pay a Nanny?


Benefits For Full-Time Nannies


Full-time nannies can expect to receive some benefits along with their standard weekly or hourly nanny pay rates. For both live-in and live-out full-time nannies, benefits can include two weeks of paid vacation per year, paid days off during major holidays and health insurance. Live-in nannies get the additional benefit of room and board, including their own room and sometimes a private bath, as well. Some nannies get use of a car and a cell phone, too. These benefits typically apply to nannies who work 40 hours or more a week. Some nannies can work up to 60 hours a week. In exchange for hours in excess of 40 hours a week, nannies get paid overtime or paid time off to compensate them.


Nannies: Employees or Independent Contractor Status?


Hiring a nanny involves adhering to employment regulations just like any other workplace situation. In most cases, nannies are classified as employees and not independent contractors. In order for nannies to be independent contractors, they need to provide their own hours, place of business and their own work tools when they work. Employees, on the other hand, have their hours, place of work, work tools and responsibilities set by their employer. Because by nature, a nanny typically works out of a family’s home and works based on the schedule the family requires, it makes it difficult to qualify a nanny as an independent contractor.


Nanny Taxes: The Breakdown


Figuring out the tax requirements in your nanny’s pay doesn’t have to be complicated once you break down the amounts by category. If your nanny is an employee, you’ll usually withhold anywhere from 15 to 20 percent of her pay in taxes. Here are all the components you need to be concerned about when it comes to nanny taxes.

  • Half of the Social Security and Medicare
  • Federal Income tax
  • State Income tax (in some cases)

When it comes to Social Security and Medicare, you only need to take out nanny taxes during each pay period. If you and your nanny decide to do so, you can withhold federal income taxes on her pay check.


Overtime Pay For Nannies


If your nanny works overtime, you should plan on compensating her for her time. Nannies who work more than 40 hours within a 7-day workweek must get overtime pay, according to the federal government. You should plan on paying overtime pay for nannies at a compensation rate of 1.5 times your nanny’s hourly wage.

Overtime pay for nannies can be built into the salaries. For instance, a nanny who works a 50-hour workweek might get a lump wage based on an hourly rate of 40 hours plus 10 hours of overtime pay. A nanny can work as many hours as you and she agree upon. Although nannies who are live-in often get paid less, they do have the right to get pay equal to that of a live-out nanny.


Paying Taxes With A Nanny Salary


If you’re in the process of setting up your nanny’s pay check, don’t forget that paying taxes is part of your obligation along with the nanny salary. Nannies must pay Social Security taxes as well as federal income taxes on their nanny salary.

As an employer, you’re also obligated by the federal government to pay Social Security taxes on your nanny’s salary. In many states, employers of nannies must also pay the state unemployment taxes, as well.

If you’re having a tough time figuring out how to deal with the set-up, there are services that specialize in handling payroll. Paying taxes for your nanny can be much simpler if you decide to let an outside agency handle the process. One such agency, GTM Household Employment Experts, handles payroll and paying taxes specifically for nannies and their employers.


The Statistics Behind Nanny Compensation


Nanny wages vary across the country, depends on the amount of experience a nanny has and whether you provide housing for her.

According to the 2012 INA Nanny Salary and Benefits Survey:

  • The national average hourly rate for babysitting or short-term assignments is $16 per hour.

  • The national average gross weekly salary for full-time live-out nannies is $705.

  • The national average gross weekly salary for full-time live-in nannies is $652.

The following statistics are national gross weekly salaries for full-time nannies based on years of nanny experience:

  • Full-time nannies with less than 1 year of nanny experience earned on average $521 gross per week.

  • Full-time nannies with 1 year of nanny experience earned on average $529 gross per week.

  • Full-time nannies with 2 years of nanny experience earned on average $603 gross per week.

  • Full-time nannies with 3 years of nanny experience earned on average $600 gross per week.

  • Full-time nannies with 4-5 years of nanny experience earned on average $626 gross per week.

  • Full-time nannies with 5-7 years of nanny experience earned on average $630 gross per week.

  • Full-time nannies with 7-10 years of nanny experience earned on average $677 gross per week.

  • Full-time nannies with 10-15 years of nanny experience earned on average $709 gross per week.

  • Full-time nannies with 15-20 years of nanny experience earned on average $713 gross per week.

  • Full-time nannies with 20 plus years of nanny experience earned on average $734 gross per week.

The following statistics are national gross weekly salaries for full-time nannies based on years of college experience:

  • Full-time nannies with 2 years of college experience earned on average $611 gross per week.

  • Full-time nannies with a bachelor’s degree earned on average $633 gross per week.

  • Full-time nannies with a master’s degree earned on average $725 gross per week.


College Degree Means More Nanny Pay?


Most industries will pay employees more if they have an Associate's degree or higher. The same goes for nannies.

If you are a nanny with a college degree in education, early childhood education or a related field, you can expect a higher nanny compensation. If you have completed coursework toward an early childhood or education degree, you can also receive more pay than someone without those qualifications. Many parents feel reassured by having an experienced and educated person caring for their children. If you have more than two years of experience and a college degree, expect to receive a salary on the higher end of the pay scale.


Full-time Live-In Nanny Pay


If you are looking for a full-time live-in nanny position, you may be wondering what the nanny compensation may be for your work. The pay varies from state to state, but the average range is $250 to $850 per week. If you are working as a nanny in a state with a higher cost of living, you should receive a higher compensation. It's also wise to expect that live-in nanny salaries will be less than a live-out nanny salary since your living expenses are paid for. Many parents will take the cost of your room out of your salary. This matter can be discussed with the parents at the job interview. If you aren't comfortable with the nanny compensation, don't sign the contract to work for that particular family.


Negotiating a Nanny Salary


When you are hired as a nanny, you have the option of negotiating your salary, even if you work with an agency. The nanny agency will place you in a position, but you are free to negotiate your work schedule and pay with the family. You will not want to sign a contract until you have come to an agreement concerning your salary.

If you have very little experience, the family may offer you less pay than you feel you deserve. Don't hesitate to explain why you feel you deserve a bit more pay; such as a good work history or references from people who know you well and can speak of your character and work ethic. If you have a lot of experience, provide references from former families or share references from people in the community who know you as a nanny. You might also want to share your school transcripts that will show your education. Any of these things can be used to negotiate a higher salary as a full-time nanny.

Just remember, everything is negotiable in your job as a nanny. If you feel you deserve more of something, present a counteroffer with the reasons why.


Part-time Nanny Salary


While a full-time nanny position can be a lucrative job, part-time nannies don't do so bad themselves!

Many times, part-time nannies are paid hourly instead of receiving a salary. With a part-time position, you may not have a set schedule. For instance, you might be needed from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. one day and the next day, you will work 8 a.m. to noon. It's important to log your hours each work day and tally them up at the end of the week.

If you are looking into part-time nanny work, you can expect to be paid between $6 and $18 per hour, depending on the area you work and what is being offered by the parents. You can negotiate the cost of your services at the interview.


Pay for Experienced Nannies vs. New Nannies


Just like with other jobs, the longer you've been in the field, the better you'll be compensated and nannies are no different.

If you have been a nanny for less than two years, you should expect to be in the lower pay threshold. On average, you should expect to make between $250 and $400 per week as a less experienced nanny. If you have an education background related to childcare, you may be able to receive better nanny pay even with less experience.

If you are a nanny with many years of childcare experience, don't hesitate to ask for more pay. Generally, a nanny with a lot of experience should average about $350 to $800 or more per week, based on a variety of factors.

If you are just starting out as a nanny, don't be discouraged by the pay for nannies. No matter what job it is, we all have to begin somewhere and work our way up.


What Will Affect Your Nanny Pay


There are a several factors that can affect nanny salaries. Here is a brief rundown:

Since the average nanny salary is based on caring for two kids, you should expect to make more if you are a nanny for a family with three or more children.

If you are a nanny in an area with a strong job market, you might see an increase in your nanny salary. You may also experience a wage increase or decrease depending on how many hours you work. If you aren't required to nanny for more than 40 hours per week, you may be paid as a part-time nanny instead of a full-time one. You may also see an increase or decrease in your nanny salary depending on how much extra work you do, such as cleaning the house and doing laundry.


Where You Live Matters


Where you work and live can be an important factor when it comes to salary. Typically, large metropolitan areas have higher costs of living and therefore, salaries are higher. This holds true even for nanny salaries.

If you live in a large city on the east coast, such as Boston, you can expect to receive more pay as a nanny than you would in a rural Massachusetts town. It costs more for a person to live in the city than it does to live in the suburbs and therefore, they must be compensated appropriately. A nanny in Missouri should not expect as much pay as a nanny in the Chicago area. It is more expensive to live in Chicago (and Illinois, in general) than it is to live in Missouri.

These are some things to keep in mind when discussing a nanny salary with a potential employer. You want to make sure that you are paid enough to live a comfortable life wherever you reside.