Learn what it takes to become a professional nanny or au-pair for rich families living overseas, while making up to $100,000 a year. Where to find jobs, qualifications needed, and more.
Looking to change up your job this year? Maybe find one that lets you travel more? Do you enjoy working with children?
What if you could do all of the above, while making great money in the process. Welcome to the world of VIP Nannies & Au-Pairs.
In this guide I’ll explain the best way of finding and getting hired for VIP tutor, au-pair, or nanny jobs, and – in the process – why you might (or might not) want to work in this industry.
If you’re not yet convinced that this whole thing is doable, get on Google and do a quick search for ‘VIP nanny agency’, or check out the salaries for nanny, governess and tutor jobs.
You’ll see that salaries of £1000 or $1400 per week are fairly commonplace for full-time positions.
But if you want to reach the coveted 6-figure bracket of English teaching, tutoring and nannying jobs, you’ll need to do a little extra research into particular locations, and understand what exactly the work entails.
All of these terms are describing a similar role. Getting paid to take care of other people’s kids while also living (and traveling) with the family. These jobs are for both women & men.
The highest paying jobs are usually private, overseas positions tutoring or nannying kids for an UHNW (Ultra High Net Worth) family. It’s a pretty simple concept.
Wealthy families understand that English is a valuable language for their children to learn.
They know their children will have better opportunities to study or work abroad, or simply be more comfortable traveling if they speak English well.
For families that don’t have English as their first language but DO have the financial resources to pay for top-notch education, hiring a private tutor or nanny from the United States, Canada, or United Kingdom is often the answer.
A native-level English nanny or tutor working with their kids on a 40-50 hour per week basis can give these VIP children the kind of immersive experience that gets them fluent fast, and ultimately they are brought up speaking English with a clean accent, like a native.
For many wealthy families overseas, this is quite a prestigious matter.
The day-to-day experience for a nanny will include getting the charge (or charges) up in the morning, washed, dressed, fed breakfast and off to kindergarten or nursery, then probably a break.
In the afternoon perhaps walks, games, small trips and then the evening routine of getting the child ready for bed.
A tutor (or ‘governor’) might focus more on after-school sports, games, homework support and reading, whilst speaking English all the while. And, of course, tagging along on all the family’s vacations.
The pros of this type of work include the obvious great salaries (full-time work usually starts at a minimum of £1000 or $1400 per week), worldwide travel to luxury resorts (the Maldives, South of France and Dubai are popular choices for these types of wealthy families) and even occasional bonuses. Sounds pretty good, right?
This is actually a pretty easy one to answer. The highest paying locations for tutors and nannies working for VIP international families are usually:
Naturally, this list isn’t exhaustive. Whilst the areas listed above are the most common, more niche locations will include places like London or New York (international families that have moved there but haven’t achieved native-level English yet), Paris, Lagos, and plenty more.
Most large international cities will have some sort of market for VIP nannying or tutoring, it’s just a question of looking in the right place.
The bottom line is; almost all of these types of positions involve travel and relocation. If you want a job like this make sure you really are ready to commit to an overseas contract and prepare yourself accordingly.
OK, so you love travel and adventure and you’re cool with working with kids. What’s the next step?
It’s important to be realistic here – it’s very unlikely that you’ll find a wealthy VIP employer ready to pay you $100,000 per year to work with their family if you have zero experience or qualifications.
Time to go and get some! The qualifications to obtain will vary for a nanny or a tutor. A nanny applicant would ideally have a degree in Early Years, Childhood Education or similar to get to a top-level salary.
However it is possible to do shorter nannying courses and certifications. A CACHE certificate would be a good start for nannies based in the UK, but there are a huge variety of options – get on Google to find nanny courses near you.
You would also ideally have some sort of background check done (many agencies will ask for this) and First Aid certification would be helpful too.
For tutors, a couple of years’ tutoring English to your target age group, as well as a TEFL, TOEFL or CELTA certificate is generally enough. You can do these courses either in a school or online. A degree in education, languages or childhood education would be even better.
Full teaching qualifications would allow you to max out your salary potential.
You’ll also need to show at least a couple of years of work experience. The longer-term the better; a year or more in one stable position demonstrates to families or employers that you are reliable and committed and suitable for their family.
Families don’t want a nanny or tutor who leaves after a month or two, unless they are specializing in summer placements.
You’ll need references from previous employers (not necessarily VIP), so check that you have someone ready to speak to the agency or to a potential new boss.
As a general rule of thumb, the better your qualifications and experience, the better chance you have of finding a VIP nanny or tutor position.
The first thing to put on your CV is your qualifications and experience (as above). Family employers will also usually like a photo to ‘visualize’ how you might fit into their lives, so smile in your CV photo and wear something smart and sensible, clean and professional.
Your CV needs to include some personal information about you (but keep it professional, this isn’t the place for sentimental childhood memories) and information on any extra-curricular skills you possess.
The nannies and tutors getting paid the highest salaries usually have musical or sporting ability, or the ability to speak a second or third language on top of English. Anything you can think of here (piano, yoga, chess, Spanish) that you could theoretically teach to a child is a bonus.
When it’s all been put together, your CV should be a maximum of 2 pages (no longer, cut out information that isn’t relevant). Write a cover letter email introducing yourself, add some photos of you working with (or just spending time with) children, attach your CV, copies of your qualification certificates and your references and your application ‘package’ is good to go.
Now that you’ve got your application package prepped you need to start shopping for suitable positions.
One of the best places to get started is, as per usual, the internet. Both job sites and agencies can be your friends here. Job sites like Jobs in Childcare have a variety of positions from VIP agencies.
Alternatively, get on Google and use search terms like ‘VIP nanny jobs’ or ‘VIP tutoring’ to access individual agencies. Your best bet is to upload your CV and documents to job sites or to email them as a package to individual agencies.
Have a browse around the job sites and agencies themselves, scoping out what kind of terms are on offer. Look at schedules, responsibilities and pay careful attention to the charge’s ages and the working requirements, and see if you can find any positions that particularly peak your interest.
We talked about the ‘pros’ above’; this is probably a good moment to mention the dreaded ‘cons’. Working with a family can go either way. You might have a fantastic employer, or a terrible one.
Make sure that:
a) You are comfortable and confident that this is a real job (99% chance it will be, but just in case). Speak to real humans during the process, and do as much background research into the agency/ position as you can.
b) You are ready for what might be a different culture, homesickness, the possibility that people don’t speak good English where you are headed.
c) You are aware of the possibility that the children you nanny or tutor may be badly behaved, badly brought up or just generally unpleasant.
Whilst these are possibilities that you need to be aware of, that’s not to say that working for a family is a bad idea. On the contrary, a good employer with well-brought up children can bring a blissful working life that pays you a fantastic salary, and I personally know lots of people in this situation.
It’s important to be aware of potential pitfalls, to approach this kind of work with an open mind and to be ready to backtrack if the position isn’t quite what you expected. If your interview goes well, try and lock in a fixed trial to give you time to understand if the position is right for you.
A professional interview is the next step if the agency or employer likes your profile. Your job interview will either be in person (if local) or (much more likely post-COVID) on Skype, Zoom or a similar video-conferencing platform.
Make sure you are on time! It is massively unprofessional to be late for your interview, so don’t make this basic mistake.
You also need to be well dressed and suitably prepared. Make sure your WiFi connection is good and make sure nobody will interrupt you, either on the phone or in person. Have sensible lighting and keep a pen and paper nearby to make notes.
If your interview is for a specific position (rather than a general ‘welcome to our agency’ interview), think of questions you might want to ask to demonstrate a little genuine interest in the role).Oh, and remember to smile!
So if you have put together a good CV and interviewed successfully, then it’s time for the final step – a trial period.
If you are local then you will typically make your own way there. If it’s a long way (or overseas) a good employer will generally arrange this and pay for it for you, along with any visas you need.
Trial periods should always be paid; discuss this with the agency you work with.Key tips for your trial would include:
a) Do not be late under any circumstances! Better to be there 15 minutes early and take a book.
b) Be prepared – take suitable books and games for your charge or student’s level, as well as outdoor clothes for yourself in case you find yourself outside
c) Dress appropriately, be clean, don’t wear too much perfume or aftershave, and – again – smile!
At the end of your first day, ask your employer for feedback if you get the opportunity. Remember that the trial is as much for you to see if you are comfortable as it is for the employer. So if you don’t like the position, don’t sign up for it – there will be others!
And if you are offered a job, make sure that the agency you work with provides you with a contract and that the terms are clear and concise, particularly with regards to salary, schedule, working hours and holiday conditions.
I hope you enjoyed my guide on how to become a Nanny or Au Pair! Hopefully you found it useful. Here are a few more wanderlust-inducing articles that I recommend you read next:
Have any questions about working as a nanny or au pair abroad? What about other suggestions? Join the conversation on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter to share!
Leave a Reply