How Much do Waiters Make?

Do waiters make a lot of money? What is the average pay for waiters?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, waiters in the United States earn an average of $26,800 a year, equivalent to $12.88 an hour. Waiters make 50% less than the average American worker.

Waiters in Hawaii are the best paid, making $55,200 a year, while waiters in Louisiana make the least at $19,280.

  • Latest wage data is for May 2019
  • Pre-tax earnings; Wages only - does not include benefits
  • This includes reported tips. It's very likely that a percentage of tips are not reported so real wages are probably higher
Waiter Wages by Percentile
Percentile Hourly Annually
90th $20.65 $42,950
75th $14.24 $29,620
50th $11.00 $22,890
25th $9.11 $18,950
10th $8.37 $17,420
Waiter Wages by State

In what states do waiters make the most? In what states do waiters make the least?

In the map below, green represents higher pay and red represents lower pay. Keep scrolling down to see a table with the average wages in each state.

State Hourly Annually
Alabama $9.41 $19,560
Alaska $12.97 $26,970
Arizona $17.57 $36,550
Arkansas $10.08 $20,960
California $15.55 $32,350
Colorado $12.81 $26,640
Connecticut $13.74 $28,590
Delaware $12.09 $25,160
Florida $12.66 $26,340
Georgia $10.37 $21,570
Hawaii $26.54 $55,200
Idaho $10.84 $22,550
Illinois $11.22 $23,340
Indiana $11.32 $23,540
Iowa $10.61 $22,070
Kansas $10.06 $20,920
Kentucky $9.83 $20,440
Louisiana $9.27 $19,280
Maine $14.02 $29,170
Maryland $12.46 $25,910
Massachusetts $15.85 $32,970
Michigan $12.26 $25,500
Minnesota $13.97 $29,060
Mississippi $10.23 $21,280
Missouri $10.75 $22,370
Montana $10.53 $21,900
Nebraska $12.34 $25,670
Nevada $11.43 $23,770
New Hampshire $12.82 $26,660
New Jersey $13.16 $27,380
New Mexico $9.59 $19,940
New York $17.86 $37,150
North Carolina $10.93 $22,740
North Dakota $11.53 $23,990
Ohio $11.28 $23,460
Oklahoma $9.82 $20,430
Oregon $14.20 $29,550
Pennsylvania $12.20 $25,380
Rhode Island $13.81 $28,730
South Carolina $9.71 $20,200
South Dakota $10.75 $22,370
Tennessee $9.62 $20,020
Texas $10.61 $22,070
Utah $11.78 $24,500
Vermont $16.76 $34,850
Virginia $11.65 $24,220
Washington $18.63 $38,750
West Virginia $11.87 $24,700
Wisconsin $10.93 $22,740
Wyoming $11.07 $23,030
Metro Areas Where Waiters Earn the Most
  • Data is for the entire metro area, not just the city
Metro Area Hourly Annually
Kahului, HI $27.19 $56,560
Honolulu, HI $26.65 $55,430
Kingston, NY $20.67 $42,990
Mount Vernon, WA $20.21 $42,040
Seattle, WA $19.96 $41,520
Bellingham, WA $19.65 $40,870
Phoenix, AZ $18.29 $38,040
San Francisco, CA $18.18 $37,810
Utica, NY $17.93 $37,300
Napa, CA $17.74 $36,900
Waiter Wages by Year
Year Hourly Annually
2019 $12.88 $26,800
2018 $12.42 $25,830
2017 $12.15 $25,280
2016 $11.73 $24,410
2015 $11.07 $23,020
2014 $10.40 $21,640
2013 $10.04 $20,880
2012 $9.95 $20,710
2011 $10.05 $20,890