How much it pays to be an au pair in top destinations – including Canada and the USA

 ·17 Feb 2023

As the world returns to the office in 2023, the demand for au pairs is returning to pre-Covid levels in several countries around the world – offering anything from R6,000 to over R20,000 per month for flexible childcare.

Meanwhile, global inflation remains high, recessionary fears still linger, and parents in a two-parent household are both having to find work to make ends meet.

For these types of households, au pairs offer a unique opportunity for families to receive live-in childcare from a young person from another culture, who can also provide additional support with household tasks.

Au pairs are typically students or recent graduates from another country who are eager to improve their language skills and gain cultural experiences by living with a host family.

In return, they offer child care and light housekeeping services. This exchange of services provides much-needed help for busy families and gives the au pair a chance to experience life in a new country and develop valuable skills that will benefit them in their future careers.

How much it pays

Working as an au pair abroad provides you with a stable job, boarding, and some pocket money to explore your new home.

If you love kids and want to immerse yourself in a different culture, au pairing might be the right choice.

BusinessTech looked at five popular host countries that have established au pair visas and guidelines while at the same time offering high compensation.

While on average, these countries offer less than the average monthly salary in South Africa – which is R14,633, according to BankservAfrica’s BTPI – it comes with great benefits.

According to international au pair placement firm Au, au pairs are not employed by their host family and do not receive a salary.

Rather, au pairs become part of the family as temporary members and help out around the house with light housework. Therefore, in addition to full board and accommodation, they receive pocket money.

The amount may vary depending on the host family, the working hours and the host country.

However, this money is paid on top of provided accommodation, meals, health insurance, and even the trip home at the end of the contract.

The top five host countries and their required age limit, typical working hours, and what they pay and provide are listed below, as outlined by


  • Age limit: To secure a working holiday visa for au pairing, participants must be at least 18 but no older than 30.
  • Typical hours: between 25 to 30 hours a week.
  • Average monthly pay and benefits: Au pairs in Canada are paid the minimum wage for the province where they live. After room and board are deducted, they can earn between $1,219-1,579 CAD (R16,000 to R21,000).


  • Age limit: EU citizens must be between 17-30 years old, and au pairs from non-EU countries must be between the ages of 18 and 25.
  • Typical hours: no more than 30 hours a week.
  • Average monthly pay and benefits: 500-750 CHF (R9,600 to R14,436). The host family also provides room and board and must pay for half of the required language course.

United States of America 

  • Age limit: To be an au pair in the United States, you must be between 18-26.
  • Typical hours: no more than 45 hours a week and no more than 10 hours a day.
  • Average monthly pay and benefits: Min. $783 (R13,900) per month. They are also given two weeks of paid vacation each year, their own bedroom, and three meals daily.


  • Age limit: Au pairs should be between 18 and 30 years old.
  • Typical hours: no more than 38 hours a week.
  • Average monthly pay & benefits: 800-1,000 AUD (up to R12,300) a month in addition to room and board.


  • Age limit: Denmark au pairs must be between 17 and 29 years old.
  • Typical hours: no more than 30 hours a week.
  • Average monthly pay and benefits: 4,050-4,550 Kr (R10,360 to R11,635) a month. Your host family will also pay for insurance, and if you’re from a non-European country, your trip home at the end of your contract.

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