Childcare Workers: Salary Overview
Childcare workers assist young children with basic tasks, such as dressing, feeding, and overseeing play but they may also help preschool children prepare for kindergarten and assist older children with homework.
A childcare worker’s job description typically includes supervising and monitoring the safety of children, helping children keep good hygiene, changing diapers, organizing activities, developing schedules and routines to ensure that children have enough playtime, rest, and physical activity.
They are also responsible for keeping records of the children’s progress.
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median hourly wage for childcare workers was $11.65 in May of 2019 which means that half the workers in this profession earned less than this amount and half earned more.
Salaries vary based upon the childcare worker’s level of experience, his/her education, and the place of employment, among other factors.
The lowest 10 percent made less than $8.65 per hour while the highest 10 percent made more than $17.21.
Their total wage varies depending on the number of hours they work and their hourly rate and can be anywhere between less than $18,000 and more than $35,000 a year.
The median salary for this profession was $24,230 as of May 2019.
Childcare Worker Salary by Industry
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, childcare workers held approximately 1.2 million jobs in 2018.
Their biggest employers were child daycare centers but approximately 25% of all child care workers were self-employed.
Approximately 19 percent of all childcare workers were employed by private households and 8 percent of them worked for elementary and secondary schools.
Some childcare workers care for children in their own homes.
Part-time work is also very common in this profession.
Childcare workers who were employed in the field of child daycare services made, according to BLS, $24,040 a year on average.
Those who worked for elementary and secondary schools made, on average, $28,660 per year and those employed in the field of other amusement and recreation industry made, on average, $23,490 per year.
The “other amusement and recreation industry” includes establishments (other than amusement parks and arcades, gambling establishments, golf courses, country clubs, marinas, bowling centers, fitness centers, and country clubs) that provide recreational and amusement services.
Childcare workers who are employed in this sector can work for a day camp, recreational athletic clubs, or similar settings.
Another field that employs childcare workers is civic and social organizations.
In this sector, the average annual wage for childcare workers was $23,730 in May 2019.
The average annual wage reported by childcare workers who were employed by other residential care facilities was $27,640.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the highest-paying employers for childcare workers were psychiatric and substance abuse hospitals.
In this sector, the average annual wage for this profession was $41,470.
Another field where childcare workers earn more than the average for this profession is the field of performing arts.
Childcare workers employed in this field earned, on average, $37,160 per year.
These higher-paying fields typically have only a few childcare workers on their payroll so we are safe to say that job openings in these sectors don’t occur very often.
Another thing worth mentioning is that even in the highest paying field, childcare workers are not very well paid.
They usually earn less than the average annual salary for all professions in the United States.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for childcare workers is projected to grow 2 percent from 2018 to 2028.
About 177,900 job openings are expected to occur for childcare workers each year.
Childcare workers will continue to be needed to assist busy parents.
The demand will however be tempered by the increasing costs of childcare.
* Based on information from the May 2021 salary report from the BLS. The figures represent accumulated data for all states of employment for Childcare Workers. BLS data represents averages and medians for workers at all levels of education and experience. This data doesn't represent starting salaries.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.