Growth Trends for Related Jobs

The Average Salary of a Live-in Caregiver in California

careertrend article image

In some instances, having a live-in caregiver for a disabled, elderly or young individual is the best option, as these caregivers are able to watch over and assist people in the comfort of their own homes. Pay varies across the nation, but in California, live-in caregivers make somewhere between $20,000 and $54,000 a year.

Average Pay

According to the SimplyHired website, the average rate of a live-in caregiver in the state of California was $21,000 in June 2011. This converts to hourly pay of $10.09 under a standard 40-hour work week, but live-in caregivers often are on call and work well beyond 40 hours weekly. According to, 15-hour days with one day off per week are more typical. This source claims that a typical salary in California was $2,000 a month as a base rate, which ends up being closer to $4,500 per month by the time overtime hours are calculated. This would be $54,000 a year, not taking into consideration the costs you have for insurance and payroll taxes.

Caregiver Type

Live-in caregiver pay varies slightly based on the type of individual cared for and the specific skills necessary for care. Home health aides, who have some medical training and can perform tasks like changing bandages, earned an average of $10.96 per hour, or $22,790, in California in May 2010, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They had a range of $8.44 to $14.49 hourly, or $17,560 to $30,150 a year. Personal care aides, who provide help with basics like dressing, eating and doing chores, made an average of $10.53 per hour, or $21,900 yearly, with a range of $8.53 to $13.27 per hour, or $17,750 to $27,600 per year. Child care workers such as nannies earned $11.48 per hour, or $23,870 per year. They earned between $17,880 and $32,220 annually.

Agencies Versus Self-Employed

In California, as in other states, whether your live-in caregiver comes you as a self-employed or agency individual makes a huge difference. For instance, the Caregiver List website reports that, as of 2011, agencies charged between $160 and $250 per day for services. This works out to $58,240 to $91,000 per year. However, the caregiver does not receive 100 percent of the fee; the agency takes a large cut, the exact percentage of which varies based on the company's policies.


Live-in caregivers may receive low salaries in California, but as in other states, live-in caregivers usually receive free room and board. Their meals typically are provided, as well. If a caregiver must care for more than one individual at a time, then they are entitled to a higher wage. The same is true if they have more experience, additional caregiver certifications or have sleep or meals interrupted. Some families provide gifts to their caregivers, as well as annual bonuses.


Wanda Thibodeaux is a freelance writer and editor based in Eagan, Minn. She has been published in both print and Web publications and has written on everything from fly fishing to parenting. She currently works through her business website,, which functions globally and welcomes new clients.

Photo Credits