Addis Ababa - Post Report Question and Answers

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

Help is plentiful and high quality. Very few Ethiopians speak great English, but we communicate fine. We pay our full-time housekeeper $400 a month but that's on the high side. Many people employ an army of staff- drivers, gardeners, cooks, nannies etc. We have a full-time housekeeper and a part-time gardener who also does the shopping for the housekeeper. - Dec 2023

Household help is plentiful and reasonably priced. - Aug 2023

Most people have a full staff. Driver, gardener, housekeeper, cook, nanny. Depending on their hours it’s anywhere from 150-300 a month per person. - Aug 2023

Cleaning staff are available everywhere. But make sure you find someone trustworthy! Friends have secretly filmed maids stealing money. It is very common. - Aug 2022

Household help is very common! Most expats have guards for their compounds and houseworkers and nannies. I don’t have children so I haven’t found it necessary to have a domestic worker but many of my friends do. I have a guard that I pay 3500 etb each month, which is about $70 usd. - Jul 2022

Cleaners and domestic worker rates are relatively inexpensive. - May 2022

Household help is plentiful, cheap, and, it seems, very often unreliable. - Jun 2021

We had a cleaner/cook, nannie, driver, and day guard or less than US$600 a month. The quality of work was "Addis good." - Feb 2021

Much more expensive than equal quality household staff in Asia. Great quality staff are available, but it can take some trial and error to find the right person for you. - Aug 2020

Most people have at least a housekeeper and a day gardener. Help is completely affordable. - Mar 2020

Salaries are low, about US$250 per month for a full-time housekeeper. Most homes have a gardener/day guard. Some are great, others are ok. We are lucky that we found someone who can work independently, most do not and have to be reminded often to do simple tasks. Also know, they are not afraid to ask for money, so come prepared on what you are and are not willing to do. Many hire a driver. - Feb 2020

Household help is inexpensive but we've struggled finding people who take the initiative and do quality work. We are not a family who would ever use a nanny but there are some good ones out there. People employ day guards, drivers, housekeepers, nannies, cooks. - Feb 2019

Cheap and easy. We paid 50 USD per month for a maid. She came three times a week for a few hours, but I've heard other expats paying the same for a full-time maid. Live-in nannies are paid about the same I think, and night guard as well. - Oct 2018

Plenty of availability and usually under US$200/month, but quality really varies. Most people have a housekeeper, day guard/gardener, cook, nanny and driver or some combination thereof. Just be careful and don't be afraid to fire bad staff or poor performers, as there are plenty of people that need work. - Aug 2018

Household help is available, but we have found that those that seem good and speak English are hard to come by. Household help can cost from 2500 ETB to 9000 ETB per month, 5 days a week (8 to 11 hours a day), at least from what I have seen. They may have bonuses twice a year; some give one month salary each time, some give half of a month salary each time. Some do not pay medical, transportation, and phone card fees, and others do not. Some give Ethiopian holidays off, and others may give US or other holidays off.

The depreciation of the ETB, cost of gas, food, transportation, and rent have gone up, and it seems to make the lives of locals harder. You may want to consider this when you negotiate the salary. It's my understanding that one room rent near Haya Hulet can cost 800 to 1000 ETB per month. A kilo of bananas used to be 15 ETB and sometimes it goes up to 30 to 40 ETB per kilo. Many expats hire day and night guard, a domestic help, a nanny, and a driver. - Jul 2018

Household help is fairly cheap. Some people have a full-time housekeeper and a day guard, and some people hire private drivers for full time or part-time. - Jan 2018

Most people seem to have a day guard and a housekeeper, either full- or part-time. Drivers, cooks, and nannies are also available for those who want them. Quality seems to vary greatly, particularly English ability. So cheap though! My (minimal) staff costs less than $300 a month, total. - Sep 2017

While I've only encountered having to hire domestic household staff at one other post, this has been more challenging. People definitely try to gauge you (expected) but the quality of work has been hit or miss. Also, English is an issue and if you do find someone who speaks English, s/he will expect more. I will say, however, that paying more someone with experiences of having worked with expats is worth it. We do not have a driver but employ a day guard/gardener and a housekeeper/cleaning woman. The embassy provides night guards (non-optional). - Aug 2016

Household help is relatively inexpensive, but you get what you pay for. Housekeepers and nannies command a premium for any amount of English, no matter how slim. We hear constant stories of problems with help. Unless you will be home to supervise, work ethic/standards are unenforceable and pretty much zero here. Our first housekeeper stole from us and skipped out on work regularly. Our current helper is acceptable, but slow and prone to laziness.

Despite the fact that this is not a danger pay post, we are forced to accommodate "night guards" provided/paid by the Embassy, a roving patrol that accesses your compound with no notice throughout the day, and it is strongly suggested that we pay for day guards. This amounts to 24 hours a day of security presence - no privacy, and yet no danger pay. - Aug 2016

Plentiful and really cheap. A full time housekeeper, nanny, or driver will cost around US$175 per month. And that includes the premium that expats pay for someone with good English and previous expat experience. - Feb 2016

Domestic help is very inexpensive but the quality does vary. We paid around US$200/month for full time housekeeper and also had a part time helper and a security guard. - May 2014

Readily available and inexpensive. Most domestic staff members have not received raises in years, yet the cost of living has shot up, so please consider this when paying your staff. Our nanny works five days a week and we pay her 3,500 birr per month. We have two day guards/gardeners that alternate days Monday through Saturday (Sunday no coverage). We pay them 1800 birr each per month. You'll learn it's wise for a number of reasons to maintain coverage at your home during the day. We have a lady come to clean, do laundry, and iron one day a week for 800 birr per month. Some people hire drivers so they don't have to hassle, but I'm not sure how much they pay, probably around 2000 birr per month, but that's just a guess. Get references and take time to conduct proper interviews to get a good fit. People who are unhappy with their staff usually fumbled the interview process. Day guards usually come with the house you move into, so be prepared to continue on with what the previous occupant was paying + benefits (time off - usually holidays). Rarely do people move in and terminate the day guards/gardener that come with the house, which would be considered a heartless low-blow in the community. - Jan 2014

Plentiful but quality varies wildly. As of this writing, part time housekeeper ~US$75/month; full time driver ~US$160/month; full time day guard/gardener ~US$105/month; full time nanny ~US$130/month. - Nov 2013

Inexpensive and it is easy to find qualified people. - Jun 2012

Cheap. Good quality. - Aug 2010

Domestic help is widely available and affordable. - Jun 2010

Super cheap and available. I have 3 domestic helpers. - Mar 2008

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