Do Nanny Salaries Cap-Out? Is There Much Room for Advancement?

Nanny Jobs Provide a Steady Source of Income, Yet Promise Little in the Way of Advancement

Below are some interesting thoughts found in the Huffington Post by Rebecca Carroll comparing nannies today with the movie “The Help.” Click here to see entire article.

I have met a handful of six-figure nannies. Yep, there are a few in-home childcare providers that make $100,000 per year. Despite a college degree and 18-years nanny experience, I’m still not one of those nannies.

As I read this article in the Huffington Post I wonder if it’s true what Enobong Hannah Branch, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst says,“The expectation of the [nanny] job grows, but the salary does not.”

I’m paid well, but didn’t get a cost-of-living raise at my four-year Nanny-Versary. I did get raises other years and a ten-percent increase with the birth of the family’s newborn. I am not complaining since I make a good salary and for a lovely family with great kids. But, the sociologists comments do make me wonder: Do nanny salaries eventually cap-out? How much can we ever actually expect to make? Is there really any room for advancement?

Here are some highlights of the article:
The high-profile success of the movie “The Help” has thrust nannies into the center of the American conversation, while projecting the notion that taking care of other people’s children amounts to a viable early-stage career opportunity, the first step on the pathway to better things.

But this comes as news to real-life nannies encountered this week in the affluent New York City neighborhood of Park Slope, Brooklyn, where women described their work as just that: a basic job in an American economy that does not have enough of them.

Despite the mythologies surrounding the life of nannies, their jobs operate at the intersection of the American underground economy and the homes of wealthier people. Many are employed by white collar professionals who work for major corporations, yet most are paid under the table, without health benefits. In an economy marked by high unemployment, nanny jobs continue to provide a steady source of income for thousands of women, yet these positions promise little in the way of advancement and are rife with exploitation, say labor experts.

“These jobs are not good jobs,” said Enobong Hannah Branch, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and author of the forthcoming book “Opportunity Denied: Limiting Black Women to Devalued Work.” “They are not jobs that are above the table, with set hours, clear expectations, health insurance, vacation, a process for grievances.”

In New York, a law passed by the state legislature last year officially extended myriad labor protections to domestic workers. But many nannies working in the more gentrified areas of New York City are undocumented immigrants from the Caribbean, and many employers pay under the table and are reluctant to renegotiate that arrangement.

Click here to see entire article.


  1. Eventually an individual family can only afford so much. I don't think many nannies even make 6 figures I don't expect to ever. We aren't white collar workers even with education. Never will be.

  2. I think it depends on the family and their needs. I think there are jobs that will pay a lot, just finding them is hard.

  3. I agree with Veronica- Nannies can't expect to earn six figures- unless they are working 24/7- or for a high profile family.I have seen job postings on the top notch nanny agency placement sites for $75,000 to $100,000. But they are few and far between and most nannies can't live up to the families expectations or job requirements.I think most nannies (live- in or live out) who work the standard 45-60 hours per week, in any part of the U.S. can expect to earn $30,000 to $65,000 per year on average- regardless of their exp./ and job duties. If the salary is higher than $65,000 that is for a beck and call nanny with many special skills.The highest salaries from a nanny I know personally is $75,000 to $100,000- but are employed by a very wealthy family and the other by a celebrity. From speaking with them I know they can NEVER say no to anything, or a last min. request- and many times they had to cancel their time off plans to accomodate the family- or they'd be out of a job. So, IMO…a salary of $60,000+ is in exchange for the nannies personal life/happiness.However, a nanny can start at $40,000 and if she stays with a famlily for many years she can work her way up to $60,000. But of course after that time- the children grow up an the family no longer needs a nanny. Then the nanny has to find another job- and most likely she will not find at job starting at $60,000- so she has to lower her salary expectations. This I say, from my own first hand exp.

  4. I was a nanny for a family and I made $70,000/year. I have over 8 years of childcare experience, but only 1 year of full time nanny experience. I think most families are more interested in your personality and how well you fit in than with your experience. I did not have to give up my happiness, but the job was very demanding. I had no set hours, and was paid a flat day rate. BUT I worked 7 days and then had 7 days off, so I was essentially only working for half the year. This made it very easy to plan trips/vacations. They used a payroll company and provided vacation days and health insurance. Not a bad deal. It was a celebrity family.

  5. Nice information about Nanny salaries. Nanny pay is determined largely by location as well as the nanny's experience, education and nanny position type. Thanks a lot for sharing with us…

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