How Much Do You Pay a Teenager to Babysit?

Getting out of the house without the kids is a must for any parent. But before you can head out on your own, you have to find a babysitter!

One of the biggest questions parents have when hiring a sitter for the first time is “how much do you pay a teenager to babysit?”

And while you might think there’s an easy answer to this question, there are a few different factors that go into determining how much you should pay your sitter.

Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about hiring a teenage babysitter for your kids.

teenage girl babysitting a toddler

How to Decide How Much to Pay a Teen Babysitter

Before you can figure out how much you should be paying your teenage sitter, there are a few different things to consider.

From the amount of experience they have, to their professional qualifications, each of these factors will go into determining the going rate for a teenage babysitter in your area.

The Babysitter’s Age

One of the biggest factors to consider is how old your babysitter will be. Younger sitters won’t cost as much as older ones because they don’t have as much experience.

Take a look at these age ranges to figure out a starting rate for your teenager.

  • 12 to 14 year olds: Kids as young as 12 can start babysitting, which means you’ll be able to hire younger teens and preteens to watch your kids. Younger babysitters are great for watching your kids for a few hours during the day, when you need to run errands without the kids. And since sitters in this age range are often less experienced and have less monetary responsibilities than older teens, you can expect to pay a lower hourly rate. Babysitters who are between 12 and 14 can earn between $5 and $8 per hour.
  • 15 to 17 year olds: As your teenage babysitters get older and more experienced, they’ll probably start charging a higher hourly rate. Kids in this age range often have bills of their own to pay (car insurance, cell phone, etc.) or could be saving for bigger expenses down the road, like college. That means they’re more conscientious about how much money they’re earning from each job they take. It also means that their job market is much more open than kids in the younger age bracket. When hiring a teenager that’s 15 to 17 years old, it’s common to pay them approximately minimum wage (or slightly under minimum wage). That could range from $7 to $15 per hour.
  • 18 years and older: Once your babysitter reaches the age of 18, you can expect to pay a premium price for their services. On top of being much more experienced than younger teens, older teenagers are often able to work longer hours and stay later than teens younger than 18. That’s why most adult sitters charge no less than minimum wage. So, when hiring an experienced teenager that’s 18 years old or older, you’ll probably pay at least $10 but up to $25 per hour.
Teenage girl sitting on the floor with a young girl

The Number of Children

Once you have a base rate based on your babysitter’s age, you’ll have a good idea of the starting hourly rate for your sitter.

But there are a few other factors to think about before you come up with the best rate to pay a babysitter for your kids.

Another important thing to think about is the number of kids your sitter will be watching.

If you only have one child, sticking to the base rate is a good option. But if you’ll be asking your sitter to watch more than one child at a time, most sitters charge $1 to $2 extra per hour per child.

So, if you have four kids at home, you’ll pay an additional $3 to $6 more per hour.

Experience Level

While most younger babysitters are less experienced than older sitters, that fact isn’t always the case. That’s why it’s always a good idea to discuss your sitter’s experience before you finalize a rate.

More experienced sitters will often charge a higher rate than less experienced ones.

During your interview, make sure to ask your candidates how long they’ve been babysitting, how much experience they have with children in your kids’ age range, and if they have references who you can contact to learn more.

Teenage girl babysitting 3 children

Qualifications and Certifications

Earning specialized certifications designed for babysitters and other caretakers is another thing to consider when figuring out what to pay your sitter.

Many teenage babysitters take babysitting classes, first aid training, and other trainings to help them become better sitters.

And those extra classes give them the opportunity to charge more for their services.

Since many of these trainings are aimed at helping keep your kids safe while they’re in a babysitter’s care, the higher hourly rate is warranted.

And since there is no set rate to charge based on the certifications and qualifications your sitter holds, it’s a good idea to discuss any additional charges when you’re negotiating their rate.  

Other Factors to Consider

While the biggest things to think about when it comes to a babysitter’s wage are factors like age and experience, there are a few smaller variables that can also affect their hourly pay rate.

Mom waving goodbye to a teen girl babysitter who is walking with two children

While not all families will need to think about these items, it’s important to consider the factors that apply to you when coming up with a base rate for your sitter.

  • Additional tasks. Typically, when you hire a teenage babysitter, you expect them to simply watch the children. But some sitters are available for additional tasks while they babysit. If you expect your sitter to do extra work around the house, like cleaning or laundry, make sure to factor those extra tasks into their hourly rate.
  • Travel. Although most teen sitters will watch your kids at your home, you may need your sitter to travel occasionally. If you expect your babysitter to pick up your kids from school or take them to activities outside the home, it’s important to factor the cost of gas and milage into your pay rate.
  • How often you hire them. The pay rate for a regular sitter that is used several times per month will probably be higher than a sitter who comes once a month for date night. That’s because a regular sitter will probably require regular pay raises over time.
  • Time of day. The amount of work your sitter does while they’re watching your kids often depends on the time of day that they’re babysitting. Watching your children after school will take much more effort than babysitting them at night while you’re out on a date. Use the time of day to help you determine if your pay rate is fair or if you need to pay your sitter more for a more difficult job.
  • Ages of the children. In addition to the time of day, think about how your kids’ ages will factor into your pay rate. Kids of different ages will require different levels of work and attentiveness. It’s much more difficult to take care of a baby or toddler than a middle schooler, for example. As you’re planning the pay rate for your teen babysitter, don’t forget to think about how your kids’ ages will factor into the work your sitter will need to do.

These tips should make it easier for you to figure out how much do you pay a teenager to babysit your kids.

Always check your state laws to make sure you’re hiring a teen that is old enough by law to babysit alone. And always talk with the teen’s parents to make sure they are aware of the arrangement you’ve made.

Once you follow these simple steps, you’ll be ready to hire a teen babysitter.

Looking for chores for your teen? Check out this ultimate chore list for teens.

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