How to Become a Nanny

Nanny Key Stats
Avg. Salary / year $20,970
Avg. Pay / hour $10.08
Education 4+ Years
Job Outlook 6.9%

A Nanny is a childcare professional that provides care taking services for busy parents at work.

A Nanny can also be referred to as a Child Care Worker.

Nannies can work directly for families or work through a childcare company.

Some nannies find their current family by applying to child care agencies.

These agencies are responsible for accepting applications, interviewing candidates, checking background and qualifications and matching the perfect nanny to their family.

This ensures that families hire a nanny who is reliable and is able to work well with kids.

If you enjoy working with kids and are interested in becoming a Nanny, continue reading the information below.

You will find information regarding education requirements, a general job description, salary and wage data and the expected job growth for this profession.

Education Requirements to Become a Nanny

Candidates who want to become a Nanny need a variety of skills in order to succeed in this profession.

The majority of candidates need a minimum of a high school diploma or less in order to become a Nanny.

However, candidates should consider securing a license or certification in order to find better job prospects.

Some states mandate child care workers to secure licensure or certification; consult your state for specific qualifications.

Nannies working for a child care center may need to secure licensure depending on the state they reside in.

Child care centers may also ask candidates to complete a background check and fulfill training sessions.

In addition to licensure, candidates may also need to seek certification.

There are two nationally recognized certifications available to candidates: Child Development Associate, CDA or the Child Care Professional (CCP) certifications.

In addition, candidates should also make sure that they are CPR certified in case an emergency arises while they are taking care of children.

Acquiring this certification will depend on the state, family or agency a professional works for.

However, candidates who seek this certification will stand out among other candidates and show potential employers that they are able to handle emergencies more easily.

A variety of organizations offer CPR classes and certification.

The most recognized organization to provide CPR training and certification is the Red Cross.

Nanny Job Description

Nannies can provide childcare services for children whose parents are not able to do so themselves due to work or other obligations.

These professionals may work at a client’s home performing all their functions there, or take care of children in their own homes; nannies may also work in a child care facility.

Nannies can take care of children as young as a few months to children who are school aged.

School aged children will need care before and after school.

A nanny is responsible for overseeing a child’s health, routine, nutrition and safety.

Specifics will depend on the age of the child with younger children needing the most supervision.

Nannies are also responsible for organizing and creating activities, whether leisure or educational.

Educational activities will focus on curriculum geared to help a child develop in a healthy manner.

For school aged children, nannies may provide tutoring services if it is needed.

Nanny Salary and Career Path

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median wage for all childcare workers in 2008 was approximately $9.12 per hour.

The wage range for these professionals during the same year was approximately $7 to $14 per hour worked.

Wages will depend on the childcare worker’s geographical location, education level, years of experience and the industry they are employed in.

The industries that pay the highest wages include private family care as well as elementary and secondary schools.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics also reports that the job outlook for these professionals is expected to grow about average compared when compared to other professions.

Employment opportunities for nannies and related professions will grow by about 11 percent through the year 2018.

Job prospects should be good for candidates who want to become a Nanny due to high replacement levels.

There will also be an interest for professionals who can offer early childhood education services.

Parents are not only looking for professionals who can take care of kids, but who can also teach some basic educational concepts.

Candidates who can provide these services in addition to being licensed will be more competitive candidates in this field.

BLSThe below information is based on the 2021 BLS national averages.

  • Annually
  • Monthly
  • Hourly

National Average Salary


Average Salary by State

StateAvg. Annual Salary
District of Columbia$37,300
New Hampshire$24,490
New Jersey$31,450
New Mexico$25,120
New York$33,060
North Carolina$24,820
North Dakota$25,410
Rhode Island$29,710
South Carolina$23,120
South Dakota$23,720
West Virginia$22,130
Puerto Rico$19,920
Virgin Islands$26,430

The top earning state in the field is District of Columbia, where the average salary is $37,300.

These are the top 5 earning states in the field:

District of Columbia - $37,300
California - $35,390
Massachusetts - $34,920
Washington - $34,020
Colorado - $33,340
* Salary information based on the May 2021 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Childcare Workers, OCC Code 39-9011, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a nanny do?

In a nutshell, a nanny is an in-home childcare provider.

In most cases, nannies act not only as childcare workers but also as housekeepers and even personal chefs.

The ultimate goal of the professional is to provide excellent care to the child.

The main difference between a nanny and the people that work in various childcare centers is that nannies can be asked to live in the family house.

The typical responsibilities of a nanny usually include entertaining the children; cleaning their room and doing their laundry; caring for the children; teaching them manners and disciplining them, and so on.

Some parents choose to hire certified nannies so that the professionals can provide the child with advanced learning opportunities.

How much do nannies make?

On average, a nanny can make a little less than $26.000 per year in the United States.

In case you decide to follow this career path, you can expect to earn anywhere between $20.000 and $34.000 annually.

The salary would certainly depend on a variety of factors – your education and experience level, the number of clients, the location and so on.

Nannies that work in Massachusetts, Vermont, and the District of Columbia, for example, have the highest average salaries.

An entry-level nanny can make around $9.50 per hour, while a top-level professional with plenty of experience can earn $16 and more on an hourly basis.

How much does it cost to become a nanny?

You do not necessarily need to earn an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in order to become a nanny.

However, a degree in childhood education will make you more competitive in the job market.

A year in a university can cost you anywhere between $8.000 and $45.000 (and more); the cost depends on a variety of factors (the books, supplies, and accommodation expenses are not included).

You can also earn a professional nanny certificate (an online option can cost you around $70, for example).

Become a member of the International Nanny Association (starting from $55 per year) to earn professional credentials after passing certain examinations.

What is the demand for nannies?

Between 2016 and 2026, the nanny job market is expected to grow by 6.9%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

That is close to the national average for all occupations in the United States.

Those who possess a degree, certification and plenty of experience will have better job prospects.

Bear in mind that the industry is mainly concentrated in Texas, New York, and California.

How long does it take to become a nanny?

It will take you 2 years to acquire an associate’s degree in childhood education and 4 years to obtain a bachelor’s degree.

There are plenty of nanny training programs available online; the Nanny Training certification course, for example, consists of 13 lessons and can be completed at your own pace.

All you would have to do to apply for the membership in the International Nanny Association is register on the website.

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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