Babysitting can be a lucrative part-time job while you're in school. But is it really a career that you can do for the rest of your life?
Can babysitting be a career? Babysitting can be an excellent career choice because you can start without spending years and thousands of dollars to go to university first, you also make decent pay in a fulfilling role with plenty of job security, plus you can easily transition to another childcare career at any time in your future.
Still not sold on the idea of being a full-time babysitter for the rest of your life? Keep reading to find out why babysitting might actually be the dream career you've always hoped for.
Can Babysitting Really Be A Career?
You might have started babysitting just because it seemed like a good part-time job to pick up in high school. Maybe it just seemed like the better job alternative to spending your evenings flipping burgers. But now you're reaching the end of school, and it's time to decide what career you're going to pursue for the rest of your life.
Do you really need to head off to college or university to get a degree in another field, or is continuing to babysit really a good long-term plan?
The truth is that if you love kids, then you can easily turn babysitting work from something you do for a few hours per week into a full-fledged career.
Still not convinced? Read my full article - Is Babysitting a Real Job? - to learn more.
Why Babysitting A Great Career Choice
There are a bunch of reasons why babysitting has the potential to be far more than just a source of part-time or side income. Here are our top 8 reasons why babysitting is a great career choice:
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1. You Make Decent Pay
The US national average rate for a babysitter in 2018 was about $16.75 per hour for one child and $19.26 per hour for two.
That's over double the current federal minimum wage of $7.25!
That means if you babysit full-time for 40 hours per week, and take two weeks of vacation per year, you'd be earning between $33,500 and $38,500. In the United States, that's enough to put you in the lower middle class and live reasonably comfortably in most parts of the country.
2. Little To No Education Is Required
A university education can cost you $100,000 or more by the time you have your degree in hand! Plus those years that you're in college or university is a time that you're not earning money, which puts you even further behind.
Parents put a huge emphasis on going to college on their kids. But sometimes, going to school isn't the right answer for you.
If you live at home for a few years and babysit full-time instead of going off to college, you can save up a significant amount of money. By the time your friends are done with school and have their degree, you'll likely have saved up enough money to make a sizeable down-payment on your first home! Plus you won't be paying off tens of thousands of dollars in student debt for years to come.
Of course, getting more qualifications means that you can charge a higher rate for your babysitting services. But none of those qualifications are really mandatory. I would recommend that all full-time babysitters be fully certified in First Aid and CPR, but beyond that, everything else is fairly optional. (See our full list of babysitting qualifications to learn what other credentials are available.)
3. You Make A Difference In Children's Lives
Babysitting might feel like just a job for you some days. But on a deeper level, you're probably making a much more significant difference to a child's life than you think.
You may never realize all of the ways that you're contributing to a child's feelings of self-worth, confidence, and self-esteem. Each activity and outing and interaction helps them grow as a person.
The children you babysit will learn how to develop bonds with adults in their life, which is a healthy sign of normal development. In fact, toddlers will often become really attached to their caregivers.
Is babysitting as easy of a job as it seems? Find out by reading my article Is Babysitting an Easy Job? (The truth is, it's up to you)
4. There's Lots of Job Security
As long as people keep having kids, there will still be a need for babysitters. And I don't think that's a trend that's going to change any time soon!
Even though the average number of children in a family has gone down from a few decades ago, there's no sign that people are going to ever stop having kids entirely. It might just mean that you're more likely to be babysitting one child instead of two.
Some jobs might be more geographically restrictive. For example, if you want to work in the tech industry, you pretty much need to live within commuting distance of Silicon Valley. But babysitters can find jobs in literally any city they decide to move to.
During a recession, parents might be less likely to go out for dinner in an attempt to save money. So part-time babysitters might get less work. But as someone with a full-time babysitting career, you're most likely watching kids during the day while their parents are at work. Which isn't really a service they can suddenly try to cut out of their lives.
5. You'll Stay In Shape
Working at a sedentary desk job is likely to lead to weight gain and lower physical fitness. But as a babysitter, you're going to be on your feet all day, always trying to keep up with kids and provide for them.
After consistent 8 hour days of babysitting, you probably aren't going to need that gym membership anymore! Kids are so full of energy that you'll be getting all the cardio you need.
Being around kids will also keep you in touch with your more youthful side and keep you mentally more healthy too. You might be getting older and your bones might even be starting to creak a bit. But it's hard not to stay young at heart when you're constantly surrounded by the innocence and curiosity of children all day. Compare that to working in a stuffy office surrounded by depressed grown-ups in suits!
Make sure you've dressed appropriately for physical activity when you're babysitting! Read my article What to Wear When Babysitting (How to be Professional and Practical) to learn more.
6. You'll Develop Excellent Problem-Solving Skills
When you're babysitting kids all day, you'll naturally develop a bit of a sixth sense for detecting where a problem might arise. You'll automatically avoid potential accidents before they happen. And your negotiation skills will definitely be put to the test most days!
7. Babysitting Can Offer Great Job Perks
The average job might provide you with free coffee and other small perks, but nothing really compares to some of the benefits that you'll receive from a career in babysitting.
Households that hire full-time babysitters or nannies are normally pretty well off, so it's a pleasant environment to work in.
Some employers will provide you with free food, as long as you're making lunch for their kids as well.
If the family you're babysitting for goes on a trip, they might offer to take you along! That means free paid vacations to fancy destinations, museums, amusement parks, and more.
Some well-off families will even offer their full-time babysitters or nannies a car or free place to live as part of their compensation.
8. Babysitting Can Lead To Other Childcare-Related Careers
Wanting to work with kids opens up a lot of other potential career opportunities for you as well. Having experience as a babysitter puts you in an excellent position to move on to other future careers.
The most logical step after being a babysitter for several years is probably to become a nanny. Nannies are essentially full-time babysitters, with maybe some additional household duties mixed in. It can be a very profitable career, as long as you're okay devoting most of your waking hours to raising another family's children.
Babysitting experience also looks great on a resume if you're applying to work at a daycare or some other organization that specializes in childcare. (See our tips for adding babysitting experience to your resume.)
If you go to school for a degree, you can become a teacher. With a career in teaching, you'll make good money, get the summers off, and also have a notoriously great pension for when you retire.
Many people think of babysitting as just a part-time career that teenagers do before heading off to college or finding a "real job." But the truth is that babysitting is a great career all on its own!
It pays well, there's lots of job security, and you can really make the difference in children's lives. So if babysitting is your passion, don't worry about what others say, it can make a fulfilling lifelong career for you!
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