Featured Advice
What are your interests?

Naturalist?

Naturalist

Not surprisingly, some aspect of the natural sciences will run through the Naturalist's interests - from ecological awareness to nutrition and health. People with an interest in horticulture, land usage and farming (including fish) are Naturalists.

Some Naturalists focus on animals rather than plants, and may enjoy working with, training, caring for, or simply herding them. Other Naturalists will prefer working with the end result of nature's produce - the food produced from plants and animals. Naturalists like solving problems with solutions that show some sensitivity to the environmental impact of what they do. They like to see practical results and prefer action to talking and discussing.

Salary Range
€k - €k
Career Zone

In Brief...

An Au Pair works in a private home, assisting parents (or a lone parent, guardian or carer) in the daily care of the children and the house.

Knowledge

  • Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Education and Training Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • Public Safety and Security Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • Psychology Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.

Skills

  • Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Service Orientation Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

In Summary - Au Pair

Career Sectors

Au Pairs typically work in the following Career Sectors:

Childcare
Psychology & Social Care

Videos on the Web

The Work - Au Pair

The duties of an Au Pair vary depending on the age and number of children they care for. They may assist in dressing and feeding babies and very young children, and for comforting them when they are upset.  
 
It is strongly recommended that they work under the direct supervision of the parent if the children are under five years of age. They should not be expected to take the place of a professional childminder/nanny. They generally do not have any childcare experience or understanding of child development, safety, health and hygiene (especially related to babies and infants) or understanding and managing behaviour in small children. They may not have good communication skills.  
 
An Au Pair may plan and supervise play activities with older children. If the children are old enough to go to school, the parents' help may take them there and bring them back each day.  
 
Domestic tasks such as cleaning, washing up, cooking, and washing and ironing clothes take up a large part of the day.  
 
It is essential that childcare workers employed as nannies/parent's help/au pairs have a contract of employment and job description in place describing the work and responsibilities expected by each party, the employer and the employee. Domestic workers of all kinds are now within the remit of employment equality legislation.

Most commonly reported Work Tasks

  • Maintain a safe play environment.
  • Dress children and change diapers.
  • Observe and monitor children's play activities.
  • Communicate with children's parents or guardians about daily activities, behaviors, and related issues.
  • Sanitize toys and play equipment.
  • Keep records on individual children, including daily observations and information about activities, meals served, and medications administered.
  • Support children's emotional and social development, encouraging understanding of others and positive self-concepts.
  • Identify signs of emotional or developmental problems in children and bring them to parents' or guardians' attention.
  • Assist in preparing food and serving meals and refreshments to children.
  • Instruct children in health and personal habits, such as eating, resting, and toilet habits.

Most commonly reported Work Activities

  • Assisting and Caring for Others Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
  • Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
  • Training and Teaching Others Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
  • Performing General Physical Activities Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
  • Thinking Creatively Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
  • Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
  • Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Interests - Au Pair

This occupation is typically suited for people with the following Career Interests:

Social

The Social person's interests focus on interacting with the people in their environment. In all cases, the Social person enjoys the personal contact with other people in preference to the impersonal dealings with things, data and ideas found in other groups.

Many will seek out positions where there is direct contact with the public in some advisory role, whether a receptionist or a counsellor. Social people are motivated by an interest in different types of people and like diversity in their work environments. Many are drawn towards careers in the caring professions and social welfare area, whilst others prefer teaching and other 'informing' roles.

Creative

Creative people are drawn to careers and activities that enable them to take responsibility for the design, layout or sensory impact of something (visual, auditory etc). They may be atrracted to the traditional artistic pursuits such as painting, sculpture, singing, or music. Or they may show more interest in design activities, such as architecture, animation, or craft areas, such as pottery and ceramics.

Creative people use their personal understanding of people and the world they live in to guide their work. Creative people like to work in unstructured workplaces, enjoy taking risks and prefer a minimum of routine.

Qualities

As an Au Pair, you must enjoy looking after babies and children. A sense of fun, stamina and lots of energy are useful qualities. You must be flexible, and able to work under the close supervision of the parent.  
 
You must be able to use initiative, and stay calm under pressure and in emergencies. You must be constantly aware of safety and hygiene in the home, and let a parent know if you notice any change in a child's habits or behaviour.

Entry Requirements - Au Pair

Pay & Salary - Au Pair

Labour Market Updates - Au Pair

Useful Contacts - Au Pair

Career News