Best countries to Au Pair based on pay, hours, and benefits

Career By Stefan Zechner September 5, 2017

Between finding a job, securing housing, meeting new people, and adjusting to life as an expat, moving overseas is a daunting task.

But what if you could tackle all of these challenges in one fell swoop? We’re talking accommodations, pocket money, and a family to call your own. If it sounds too good be true, it’s not. This is the life of an au pair.

Of course, it’s not all fun and games, but with days off and the possibility of a rent-free budget, you’ll have plenty of room to immerse yourself in your new home.

And better still – as more women enter the workforce, the demand for au pairs is increasing. Think: nearly 300,000 au pair jobs around the world. So with all these opportunities, you might be wondering how to narrow down your choices. Don’t fret, we’ve done the work for you! Here are the best places be an au pair, based on pay, hours, and benefits.


Pay: $650-$900 a month

Hours: 30 hours per week

Benefits: If you’ve always wanted to explore the land Down Under, becoming an au pair is your front row ticket. Australia not only allows Work and Holiday visas, but has cultural exchange programs to make your transition easier. Plus, when all is said and done, you’ll get a $250-$500 completion bonus on your way home.


United States

Pay: $850 a month

Hours: 45 hours per week

Benefits: There are 17 agencies authorized by the U.S. government to administer J-1 visas and help pair you with a host family. Some agencies, like Au Pair in America, even offer a free month at the end of their program so you can explore the country.



Pay: $650 a month

Hours: 18-30 hours per week

Benefits: Imagine working in the happiest place on Earth. If you find a host family to sponsor your one-year residence permit, your dream can become reality. If approved, programs like Scandinavian Au Pair Center will help you get acclimated by sending you a list of other local au pairs to network with.



Pay: $450 a month

Hours: 25 hours per week

Benefits: No visa necessary — all you need is a work permit. With a 25-hour workweek, you’ll have plenty of time to immerse yourself into Scandinavian culture (and maybe even get the chance to taste lutefisk, if you dare). To top it off, au pairs are entitled to a two-week holiday every six months.


South Africa

Pay: $375-$525 a month
Hours: 40 hours per week

Benefits: If you’re looking to embark on a safari or stuff your face with South African cuisine, then this one’s for you. Through programs like Go Au Pair, you’ll have two weeks of paid vacation every 12 months to explore South Africa’s marvels. Just make sure you give yourself a year to get a work permit.



Pay: $360 a month
Hours: 30 hours per week

Benefits: Proximity to Berlin and Oktoberfest might be reason enough, but a speedy au pair visa process is the icing on the cake. All you need is basic comprehension of German for the application exam. Plus, learning the language will help you acclimate to the local customs.



Pay: $250-$300 a month
Hours: 30-40 hours per week

Benefits: Home to the famous Atacama Desert, Chile is ideal for the adventurous type. You’ll be perfectly situated between the Andes and the Pacific since most host families live in the capital, Santiago. That means skiing and sunbathing opportunities right at your fingertips.



Pay: $100-$300 a month
Hours: 30 hours per week

Benefits: In China, F-visas allow you to stay for up to six months; while X-visas are available for extended stays. Though applying for a visa can be difficult, you’ll have resources to help you out once accepted. Programs like Smaller Earth have agents to assist with placement and the rest of the process. They’ll also provide history and Mandarin courses to help you acclimate to Chinese culture.

If being an au pair doesn’t sound like your thing but you like working with children, teaching English could be your expat calling. Regardless of what you’re looking for abroad, there are plenty of online resources to help you get started.