How to Become a


The complete career guide to be a Babysitter: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $22,310
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 5.5%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Flexible Hours
    Career Attribute

Babysitters care for children when parents and other family members are unavailable. They ensure children’s basic needs are met, provide entertainment, enforce rules, and ensure safety. They may babysit on weekends while parents are out or during the week when parents are working.

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What is a Babysitter?

The following job responsibilities are common for individuals in babysitter roles:

  • Provide care for infants, children, and adolescents when parents are unavailable
  • Prevent accidents and injuries to ensure children remain safe
  • Create games, find toys, and visit playgrounds to keep children entertained
  • Ensure basic needs are cared for by changing diapers and preparing meals and snacks
  • Find new clients and collect money owed for babysitting jobs

A Day in the Life of a Babysitter

When people think of babysitters, they usually imagine teenage girls who come over to watch children while parents are out on a date. And while this is certainly one type of babysitter, babysitters can be much more than just temporary help. Some babysitters who enjoy the work turn babysitting into a career and offer their own daycare services out of their home. These babysitters are self-employed and work for parents who do not want to leave their children with strangers in a day care facility.

Babysitters care for one or more children when parents and other caregivers are unavailable. They may go to a family’s house and care for children there, or they may care for children in their own household. Professional babysitters often care for children while their parents are working. They may take children to and from school and after-school activities, help with homework, prepare meals and snacks, and ensure children and safe, happy, and well cared-for.

Often, parents choose to leave their children with babysitters rather than day cares because of trust in the babysitter, an individual relationship with the babysitter, or lower costs. For this reason, babysitters are able to choose exactly when they work and who they care for, enjoying a flexible working schedule and quality clients. For people who enjoy having children around, a career as a babysitter can be a great way earn money while helping children grow and succeed.

Typical Work Schedule for Babysitters

Most babysitters are self-employed and are able to set their own schedules. They may work part-time or full-time, and they may choose to care for children at any time of the day and any day of the week. Some babysitters work primarily on weekend evenings, some work during normal business hours, and some may keep children for days at a time while parents are out of town on business.

Typical Employers

In general, babysitters are self-employed and work on a contract basis for clients. They’re responsible for finding clients, advertising their services, scheduling babysitting appointments, setting rates, and collecting money owed for babysitting responsibilities.

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How To Become a Babysitter

No formal education is required to have a career as a babysitter, and many aspiring babysitters begin their careers in high school while still pursuing a high school diploma. As teenagers, babysitters may be able to find clients through their parents, through a church or other organization, and through referrals. As long as you are trustworthy and have good references, parents may be willing to hire you to babysit their children while they go out in the evenings on dates or on child-unfriendly activities.

With experience as a babysitter in high school or experience working in day cares after high school, you may decide to pursue a professional babysitting career and offer your own day care or nanny services. To operate a day care service out of your own home, you may need to become licensed in your state. Licensing requirements vary by state by usually include mandatory college or vocational coursework in early childhood education, passing background screenings, and possibly passing a written exam.

College coursework in business and marketing can also be beneficial for babysitters who aspire to operate their own babysitting business. Taking business classes can help prepare you for the legal and tax requirements you’ll need to adhere to when running a business, and marketing classes can teach valuable skills for marketing your services and finding new clients. These courses can be taken as part of a certificate or degree program, or you may be able to enroll in individual adult education courses.

Babysitter Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

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High Range


National Hourly Wage

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How do Babysitter salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Babysitter's can make an average annual salary of $22,310, or $11 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $18,290 or $9 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #797 Nationally for All Careers

Highest Education Among Babysitters

  • 0.5%   Doctorate
  • 3.1%   Masters
  • 14.2%   Bachelors
  • 10.1%   Associates
  • 26.6%   College
  • 32.2%   High School
  • 13.3%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Babysitter job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 69,300 jobs for a total of 1,329,900 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 5.5% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #405 Nationally for All Careers

What Companies Employ The Most Babysitters

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Self-employed workers 341,400 15,800 16%
Child day care services 305,500 23,400 24%
Private households 256,000 6,100 6%

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