au pair salary

What is an Au Pair and How Much Do They Get Paid?

An au pair is a young person from another country who lives with a host family and provides childcare services in exchange for accommodation, meals, and a stipend. This cultural exchange program allows young individuals to experience a new country and culture while helping families meet their childcare needs.

How Does the Au Pair Program Work?

The au pair program typically lasts for a year, although some programs offer shorter periods of 6 or 9 months. During their stay, au pairs help with various childcare tasks, including preparing meals, supervising playtime, and assisting with homework. In addition to the childcare responsibilities, au pairs often participate in light household chores.

au pair salary

Host families are responsible for providing a private room, meals, and a weekly stipend for their au pair. The stipend amount varies depending on the country and program, as well as the number of working hours expected from the au pair.

Factors Affecting Au Pair Salary

Several factors influence how much an au pair gets paid:


The au pair salary largely depends on the host country. Countries with higher living costs generally offer higher stipends to au pairs. Scandinavian countries, for example, tend to have higher stipend rates compared to other European countries.

Working Hours

The number of working hours expected from an au pair affects their salary. Programs usually have guidelines on the maximum number of working hours per week, typically ranging from 25 to 45 hours. The more hours an au pair works, the higher their stipend will be.

Experience and Qualifications

Au pairs with previous childcare experience or relevant qualifications may be able to negotiate a higher salary. Families often prefer au pairs who have experience working with children or specific certifications, such as first aid training or teaching credentials.

Language Skills

If an au pair is fluent or proficient in the host country’s language, their stipend may be higher. Host families may value au pairs who can communicate effectively with their children and help them learn a new language.

An Overview of Au Pair Salaries Around the World

While au pair salaries vary across countries, here is a general overview of what au pairs can expect to earn in different regions:


In Europe, au pairs typically receive a monthly stipend ranging from $300 to $600. Countries with higher living costs, such as Switzerland and Norway, tend to offer higher stipends. In contrast, countries like Spain and Italy may offer lower stipends.


Au pair salaries in the United States vary depending on the program. The Au Pair Program, regulated by the U.S. Department of State, requires host families to provide a weekly stipend of $195.75. Participants in other cultural exchange programs, like the J-1 Visa Program, may receive higher stipends depending on the location.

Australia and New Zealand

Au pair salaries in Australia and New Zealand range from $150 to $300 per week, with variations depending on the region and the family’s expectations.

Additional Perks and Benefits

Aside from the stipend, au pairs also receive additional perks and benefits as part of the program:

Accommodation and Meals

Host families provide an au pair with a private room and meals throughout their stay. This helps reduce living expenses for the au pair, allowing them to save a significant amount during their time abroad.

Language Courses

Many au pair programs include language courses or provide opportunities for au pairs to take language classes. This allows au pairs to improve their language skills while immersing themselves in the host country’s culture.

Travel Opportunities

Au pairs often have weekends off and may get some days off during the week. This gives them the opportunity to explore the host country and its neighboring regions, making the most of their international experience.

Cultural Exchange

One of the main benefits of being an au pair is the cultural exchange aspect. Au pairs have the chance to learn about a new culture, traditions, and customs while sharing their own background and experiences with the host family.


Au pair salaries vary depending on factors such as the country, working hours, experience, and language skills. While the financial aspect is important, many au pairs value the overall cultural exchange and personal growth opportunities provided by the program. If you are considering becoming an au pair or hosting one, it’s crucial to research the specific requirements and stipend rates of the country and program you are interested in.

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