If you are in college or high school, perhaps you should consider babysitting as a lucrative opportunity. As the wages of teenage babysitters has outstripped inflation 3 to 1 over the last 5 years (See Wall Street Article). It also appears there is a growing number of college or post college older babysitters, who are paid much more. Not surprisingly, the wage depends on the babysitter’s age, experience, and the difficulty of the job. Prices also vary a lot by region.
Although, the article does not mention it I wonder if babysitter wages differ by the sitter’s gender. Even though mannies (male nannies) are apparently all the rage, I still think (and I probably most people) think of babysitter as being mostly female, although I had a couple of cool male babysitters growing up. Checking out a few babysitting website I do not see any male babysitters.
Now to answer that final question what to pay, it seems the going rate for a babysitter is now around $7-10 an hour and close to $15 an hour for a college educated babysitter in her mid 20s.