Hanoi - Post Report Question and Answers

What is the availability and cost of household help, and what types of help are typically employed by expatriates?

We do not use household help, but it is readily available and affordable. People utilize drivers, gardeners, housekeepers, and nannies regularly in our community. - Aug 2021

There is lots of household help around. We had a great housekeeper/nanny that was excellent with our kids. One of the more recent posts summarized this issue well. Rates depend on knowledge of English/experience/full vs part time. A ballpark figure would be US $400/month (+/- $50) full-time for an English-speaking housekeeper/nanny with experience, maids might be slightly less. Many will want payment in US$, which can be a major pain if you don't have ready access to dollars. - Dec 2019

Housekeepers, nannies, cooks, and drivers are all available and reasonably priced. Many want to be paid in US dollars. A PT housekeeper around $325/month. A FT driver around $400/month. - Jul 2019

Available, but quality totally depends on luck. We’ve had some not-so-great experiences. After a few trials, we’ve found help that makes us happy. Cost varies wildly depending on employer, job description, hours, language, and quality; there’s no real standard. In my mind, most are overpaid, and it ruins the market. There’s a nanny mafia and they ALL talk and make ridiculous demands. Nannies/helpers (regardless of quality) earn an upper-middle class living and earn more than locally employed staff at the embassy. Salary can range from $300-$550+ USD (hopefully paid in VND, not USD)/month, plus an annual month’s pay bonus for Tet. The end-of contract bonus of an additional month’s pay and annual raise (of up to 10%) are negotiable items. We’ve been happy for the help for shopping, cleaning, and watching our kids, but I haven’t been overly impressed. - Apr 2018

Plentiful. US embassy families tend to use the same pool of maids/nannies -- on the one hand they (usually) are experienced, but on the other hand are overpaid compared to wages from other expats (at $300+ a month full time). If you speak some Vietnamese and don't mind training up your own help, you can find excellent employees for $200-250 a month who speak limited English. Some families had drivers as well. - Dec 2017

Very good quality, honest, hard working. We pay about US$600 a month for full time cook, cleaner, pet minder, house fixer, translator (you will need this). We pay more than we should (average is US$450 - $550) - we only wanted one person to work for us, so we paid up. - May 2016

Readily available and inexpensive. Part-time, non-English speaking cleaner is probably US$200 a month. For a full-time professional, English-speaking nanny with experience it's US$450-500. Full-time drivers are about US$300/ month, again more if they have good English and lots of experience. A yearly Tet (Lunar New Year) bonus of one extra month's salary is expected. Severance pay of 1 month's salary for each year worked is also expected. - Aug 2015

Maybe US$250/month full time. - Mar 2015

Readily available and inexpensive. US$120-200/month. - Aug 2014

Help is really cheap. Good help can take a little time to find. English- speaking help is rarer, but the CLO keeps track of the helpers who have worked for embassy personnel in the past. Having a helper is a life-saver if you do not speak Vietnamese, as they will do your shopping, pay your bills, and deal with the maintenance guys for you. - Dec 2011

Domestic help is very easy to find. Most seem to pay somewhere between $250 - $350 a month for a full time maid. Many folks have drivers - not sure of the costs for them. - Aug 2011

Domestic help runs about $250 a month, but the quality is not high. You get what you pay for. - May 2010

Fulltime $200-300/month. - Dec 2009

Reasonable and readily available. - Feb 2009

Domestic help is cheap but annual inflation of 35% has impacted on the local popluation and begun something of a wage-price spiral. Full time maids/nannies/drivers all cost about US $200 per month (for a limited English speaker) but have local workers been demanding higher salaries due to inflation. Part-time or cooks that only work afternoons are about US $100-150 a month. There is also growing wage gap as those that speak English demand about 20-50% higher wages than those that do not. We have fired three maids and interviewed about a dozen before finding one that would work full time for a reasonable wage. Many wanted to work short hours of 9-3 including lunch and one hour siesta for full time wages. - Sep 2008

Maids are plentiful, they will find you shortly after your arrival, most will have worked for a departed expat. CLO also maintains lists of maids and drivers on file. Average cost, about US$150 per month, full time which may even include cooking. Most also have at least limited English. We pay ours US$170 a month, she started at US$120 2 years ago. She is extremely reliable, extremely honest, very protective of the children and has truly become a part of the family. Live-in maids are extremely rare. - May 2008

Subscribe to our newsletter

New book from Talesmag! Honest and courageous stories of life abroad with special needs.

Read More