Goodbye Minimum Wage and Hello Big Bucks: NAHS Students Switch to Babysitting


Kate Davis

Babysitting Benefits: Many working Warriors have started to realize the benefits of babysitting such as greater pay, no taxes, and better hours. Babysitting has grown in great popularity recently and Dubs are no exception to this trend.

Putting toys away, diffusing temper tantrums, and playing Legos and Barbies is becoming more and more appealing to some North Atlanta students as they are beginning to stray away from slaving for minimum wage at more traditional jobs. As the allure of making double the minimum wage outweighs bagging groceries at Publix, packing orders at Chick-fil-A, or lifeguarding at a local pool, more students are making the switch to babysitting. 

Many students are hired for their first jobs throughout their four years of high school, whether it be just for the summer months or continuing it into the school year. Students get jobs to learn responsibility and make some extra cash on the side, and they work their jobs throughout the school week while keeping up with homework. A perk to babysitting is that no set schedule or hours are made too far ahead of time, and you can decide on your own to take up the job offer or decline if prior plans were made for that day.

Another main attraction to babysitting, especially in the eyes of teenagers, is the money you can make within just a few hours. Rather than working a tireless five hour shift and making the Georgia minimum wage of a little bit over $7.00, students can replace those numbers by charging $10 to $20 dollars an hour, and make significantly more money. While babysitting, there is plenty of downtime, especially after kids are put to bed, which allows the babysitter to have time to finish up schoolwork while still on the job. “For me, switching from lifeguarding to babysitting was an easy decision,” said junior Josie Bird. “I get paid more per hour, don’t have any tax deductions, and receive payment immediately rather than bi-weekly.”

What entices highschoolers to continue to babysit is the fact that it can be fun. Yes, changing diapers and preventing sibling fights can seem like a downside, but being able to play games again, like hide-and-go-seek or constructing a Lego tower definitely makes up for it and most would probably say that it is more fun than sitting on top of a lifeguard stand or stuffing Publix bags with fresh produce and snacks. “The kids you babysit become like little friends to you and you get to be a mentor to them so it’s cool to see your impact on a younger kid,” said junior Emma Adamson. “Plus it allows me to have an excuse to be a kid again!”

Along with a considerable difference in pay and overall enjoyment of the job, the flexibility that comes with babysitting is hard to pass up when it comes to the life of a busy and overworked highschooler.