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The Salaries of Live-In Caretakers

Growth Trends for Related Jobs

With an aging society and more families operating in a two-income capacity, the occupation of live-in caretaker is growing in importance and employees. There are several types of live-in caregivers who specialize in caring for various situations. The salary of these positions varies greatly based on experience, formal education and job training.

Home Health Aide

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated in May 2010 that 982,840 people were employed as home health aides, many of whom live in the home of a client. The average income for these positions was $10.46 an hour, or $21,760 annually. These employees may range from inexperienced but licensed live-in nurses caring for elderly or convalescent patients to more specialized medical professionals who administer drugs or therapy. Since most home health aides work for certified home health or hospice agencies, they usually receive an array of benefits, including health insurance and retirement.

Personal Care Aides

The BLS estimated in 2010 that 686,030 people were employed as personal care aides, some of whom work in a live-in capacity. This position is similar to a home health aide, and their duties may overlap, but a personal care aide typically is responsible for less medical and more personal care. Duties often include maintaining housework and preparing meals. The average salary for a personal care aide is $9.82 per hour, or $20,420 annually.

Resident Childcare

Another category of live-in caregiver is in childcare, or in a nanny capacity. BLS reported that average income for childcare workers in 2010 was $21,110, although this number is skewed by those working outside the home or in a day care., in its "2010 International Nanny Association Salary and Benefits Survey," listed the most common pay range for a nanny to be between $600 and $650 a week, or between $31,200 and $33,800 annually. Experience and having a degree in a relevant field also influence this wage.

Other Considerations

Live-in caretakers fall under the Fair Labor Standards Act, which means they qualify for the federal minimum wage, which became $7.25 per hour on July 24, 2009, and remains that amount at the time of publication. They also are entitled to overtime differential for hours worked in excess of 40 at a rate 1.5 times the base pay rate. The client must quantify the time when the caregiver is "working" or create a schedule that validates this pay scale. A caretaker may be self-employed, requiring that he withhold this own taxes, or he may be an employee of his client, with taxes withheld from his check. These salary figures do not include the benefit of free living arrangements and food, although these benefits will likely be calculated in figuring a starting wage.