Maids sometimes opt to become live-in help if they have a good relationship with their employer and find the provision of free room and board advantageous. Live-in maids tend to make low wages, in part because their employers cover their rent and other utilities -- and often pay for meals, as well. Generally, pay for a live-in maid hovers around minimum wage, but some top-paid maids earn several dollars per hour more than this.
The average compensation for a live-in maid was $15,000 a year in June 2010, according to the SimplyHired website. Converted into hourly pay, this is roughly $7.21 per hour, assuming the standard 40-hour work week. As of 2011, the federal minimum wage is $7.25. This is consistent with data from the HomecleaningMaids website, which states that housekeepers generally made around minimum wage, and that live-in maids make about the same salary as housekeepers in 2008 -- $7.25 multiplied by 2080 hours yields $15,080. The Bureau of Labor Statistics further indicates that, in 2010, the average compensation for maids servicing buildings and dwellings was $20,420 per year, or $9.82 hourly.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, maids in the lowest 10th percentile in 2010 earned $15,980 annually, the same as $7.68 per hour. In the 90th percentile, pay was $29,510. This translates to about $14.19 hourly.
Pay by State
Pay was best for maids in 2010 in the District of Columbia, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This area had compensation that averaged $30,030. Hawaii followed with $29,670. New York paid $28,680, while Nevada and Massachusetts paid $25,850 and $25,780, respectively. The lowest-paying region in 2010 was Arkansas, which paid $17,650. Mississippi was next with $17,830. Annual pay in Alabama was $18,060. In Oklahoma, maids received $18,170. Kansas provided compensation of $18,330.
Comparison to National Data
The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that, in 2010, the average compensation for maids in all sectors was $21,150, or about $10.70 per hour. Those who work in dwellings, by contrast, averaged $20,420. Dwelling maids, including live-in maids, thus appear to have made about $730 per year less than the national average for all maids. Although dwelling maids ranked third in terms of number of maids employed, their pay is well below the pay of maids in the top-paying sector, other financial investment activities. This sector averaged pay of $38,620 in 2010.
Even though the pay of live-in maids is quite low, they do not have to pay rent, and enjoy other benefits, such as meals provided. Even though hours can be long, live-in maids may negotiate some flexibility into their schedules, which is advantageous if the maid wants to pursue education, leisure activities or work a second job.