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

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


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