Career Development

What Does an Au Pair Do?

Find out what an au pair does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as an au pair.

Au pairs are young people from foreign countries who live with families in the United States, Canada or Europe. They come to these countries on a cultural exchange visa and work as domestic helpers while they learn about their new country’s culture.

Au pairs typically have their own room in the family’s home and spend most of their time taking care of children or doing household chores. In return for this service, au pairs receive free room and board, a monthly stipend, and an opportunity to experience life in another country.

Au Pair Job Duties

Au pairs typically have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Providing childcare to children of all ages as well as assisting with their homework
  • Acting as a parental figure in a family, including helping with housework and chores such as grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, and laundry
  • Organizing fun activities for the children such as games, sports, arts and crafts, music lessons, and field trips
  • Assisting the host family with child care activities including bathing, dressing, feeding, putting children to bed, supervising kids during playtime, and helping with homework
  • Ensuring that the children are fed, clothed, bathed, and ready for bed at appropriate times
  • Providing general care for children including feeding them meals, putting them to bed, changing diapers, reading to them, playing with them, and putting them to sleep at night
  • Helping the children with their studies, taking them to school or activities, and providing them with entertainment and companionship
  • Helping the parents with tasks such as grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, and laundry
  • Supporting the family by helping with other tasks such as light housekeeping, childcare, and running errands.

Au Pair Salary & Outlook

The salary of an au pair can vary depending on a number of factors, including their level of experience, the size of the family they are working for, and the city or country where they are living.

  • Median Annual Salary: $47,000 ($22.6/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $87,500 ($42.07/hour)

The employment of au pairs is expected to grow at an average rate over the next decade.

A growing number of families want to include children in their activities but do not want to take on the responsibility of caring for a young child. In addition, some families want to learn another language and believe that hiring an au pair is a good way to accomplish this goal.

Related: In-Depth Au Pair Salary Guide

Au Pair Job Requirements

To become an au pair, you may need to meet the following requirements:

Education: Au pairs are not required to have a high school diploma or GED. However, many au pairs have completed high school or have taken classes in high school subjects, such as English, math and science. Some au pairs have also taken college courses or earned a degree.

Training & Experience: Most au pairs will receive training from their host families. This training will help the au pair learn about the family’s daily routines and responsibilities. It will also help the au pair learn the local language.

Some organizations offer training programs for new au pairs. These programs can help the au pair learn about the responsibilities of the role and the culture of the country. They can also help the au pair meet other au pairs and make friends.

Certifications & Licenses: Au pairs are required to complete the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) to demonstrate their English language fluency. The score needed to pass the IELTS will vary depending on the host country. Most require a score of 6.5 or higher.

Au Pair Skills

Au pairs need the following skills in order to be successful:

Language skills: Being able to speak multiple languages is a valuable skill for an au pair. Many families have members who speak different languages, so it’s important for an au pair to be able to communicate with everyone in the household. It’s also important for an au pair to be able to teach their host children English.

First aid and CPR training: First aid and CPR training is another important skill for an au pair to have. This is because they may be the first person to respond to an emergency situation, such as a child falling and hitting their head or a child experiencing a severe allergic reaction. Having this training can help an au pair provide the right care in an emergency situation.

Basic housekeeping: Housekeeping skills can help you keep your host family’s home clean and organized. As an au pair, you may be responsible for cleaning common areas of the home, such as the kitchen and living room, as well as bedrooms and bathrooms. It’s important to know how to properly clean different surfaces and materials, such as wood, tile and carpet. You may also be responsible for laundry, so it’s important to know how to operate a washing machine and dryer.

Cooking: Cooking is a useful skill for an au pair to have, as it can help them prepare meals for their host family. It’s also a skill that can help them save money, as they can prepare their own meals instead of eating out.

Active listening: Active listening is the ability to hear and understand what someone is saying. It’s important for an au pair to be able to listen to and understand their host family’s needs and requests. This can help the au pair to better fulfill their responsibilities and make their host family happy.

Au Pair Work Environment

An au pair typically works for a family for one year, living with them and helping to take care of their children. During the day, the au pair will care for the children, taking them to and from school and activities, preparing meals, and helping with homework. In the evening, the au pair will have free time to pursue their own interests or study for school. The au pair will also have weekends free, although they may be asked to work occasional weekends if the family has events or plans. The au pair must be comfortable living in close quarters with the family and be able to work well with children.

Au Pair Trends

Here are three trends influencing how au pairs work. Au pairs will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

More Cultural Exchange

The trend of cultural exchange is becoming increasingly popular as people become more interested in learning about other cultures. This has led to a growing demand for au pairs, who can provide a unique perspective on life in another country.

As the trend of cultural exchange continues to grow, au pairs will be in high demand as they are able to provide a firsthand account of what it’s like to live in a different country. This makes them an invaluable resource for families who are looking to expand their horizons and learn more about the world around them.

More Families Will Use Au Pairs As Childcare Providers

Au pair programs have been used by families for decades as a way to provide childcare while parents are at work or on vacation. However, this trend is increasing as more and more families realize the benefits of having an au pair in their home.

Au pairs are typically young adults from foreign countries who come to the United States to learn English and experience American culture. They often help with childcare and housework, which allows parents to get much-needed rest and relaxation. In return, au pairs receive room and board as well as a small monthly stipend.

Families Are Looking For More Than Just Child Care

Families are looking for more than just child care from their au pairs. They want someone who can help with homework, keep the kids entertained, and even cook dinner once in a while.

This trend is leading to an increased demand for au pairs who are not only qualified caregivers, but also have skills in other areas such as cooking, cleaning, and babysitting. Au pairs who are able to offer these additional services will be in high demand and will be able to find jobs more easily.

How to Become an Au Pair

An au pair career can be a great way to experience another culture and language, as well as make some money. It’s important to do your research before starting this journey, so you know what to expect and how to find the right match for you.

There are many different ways to find an au pair position, but one of the best is through an agency that specializes in matching au pairs with families. This will ensure that you have all the necessary information about the program and that you meet the requirements of both parties.

Once you’ve found the right family, it’s important to be open-minded and flexible. You may not always agree with the parents or children, but try to see things from their perspective and respect their opinions. The most important thing is to have fun and enjoy the experience!

Related: How to Write an Au Pair Resume

Advancement Prospects

An au pair generally starts out as a live-in nanny, providing childcare and performing light housekeeping duties. As the au pair becomes more experienced, he or she may take on additional responsibilities, such as tutoring the children in English or helping with homework. In some cases, the au pair may also be responsible for driving the children to and from school and extracurricular activities.

After a year or two of experience, an au pair may be promoted to a senior position, such as a nanny-manager or a household manager. In these roles, the au pair is responsible for supervising other nannies and household staff, as well as for managing the household budget. Au pairs with experience working with children with special needs may also find positions as nanny-therapists or nanny-case managers.

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