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Waiters and Waitresses Salary Information

The salary statistics of waiters and waitresses are shown in Table 1. In the next few tables we compare the average salaries of waiters and waitresses within different industry sectors and in the 50 states of the United States. The waiters and waitresses annual salary statistics are from the national compensation survey conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2016 and published in April 2017 [1].

Table 1. Waiters and Waitresses Salary in the United States

Percentile BracketAverage Annual Salary
10th Percentile Wage
$17,090
25th Percentile Wage
$18,360
50th Percentile Wage
$19,990
75th Percentile Wage
$26,590
90th Percentile Wage
$38,460

Table 1 shows the average annual salary for waiters and waitresses. The average annual salary for the 90th percentile (the top 10 percent of the highest paid) waiters and waitresses is $38,460. The median annual salary (50th percentile) is $19,990. The average annual salary for the bottom 10 percent is $17,090. We note that in the United States, the annual salary of the 90th percentile (the top 10 percent of the highest paid) is almost 125% higher than that of the bottom 10 percent.

Salary Trend (2012 to 2016)

The following table and chart show the trend of the median salary of waiters and waitresses from 2012 to 2016.

YearMedian SalaryYearly Growth4-Year Growth
201619,9903.70%7.25%
201519,2502.70%-
201418,7300.75%-
201318,5900.27%-
201218,540--

Table 2. Waiters and Waitresses Salary by Industry Sector

The average salaries of waiters and waitresses in 17 major industry sectors are shown in Table 2. We note that the salaries vary considerably within different industry sectors. The highest paying industry sector for waiters and waitresses occupations is the transportation and warehousing sector with an annual salary $24,210. The lowest paying sector is the federal, state, and local government sector (annual salary $19,020).

Industry Sector Median Annual Salary
Transportation and Warehousing
$24,210
Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services
$23,090
Educational Services
$22,850
Manufacturing
$21,660
Real Estate and Rental and Leasing
$21,300
Other Services (except Federal, State, and Local Government)
$20,820
Health Care and Social Assistance
$20,810
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation
$20,800
Wholesale Trade
$20,670
Management of Companies and Enterprises
$20,130
Accommodation and Food Services
$19,980
Finance and Insurance
$19,560
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
$19,510
Construction
$19,460
Retail Trade
$19,410
Information
$19,150
Federal, State, and Local Government
$19,020

Table 3. Median Annual Wage of Waiters and Waitresses by States

From the above tables we note that not only waiters and waitresses salaries vary considerably based on one's education and experience, and the industry sectors, they also change considerably from state to state. In the following table we compare the median salary of waiters and waitresses in all 50 states of the United States. We note that the median annual salaries range from $17,850 to $34,230. The highest paying state for waiters and waitresses is Hawaii with a median annual salary of $34,230. The lowest paying state is Puerto Rico with a median annual salary of $17,850. For more salary information of waiters and waitresses profession in a specific state, use the links in the table.

State Name Median Annual Salary
Hawaii
$34,230
Vermont
$29,180
California
$25,470
Washington
$24,590
Alaska
$24,550
Massachusetts
$23,420
New Jersey
$23,270
New York
$22,750
Nevada
$22,450
Oregon
$22,090
District of Columbia
$22,010
Virginia
$21,710
Utah
$20,270
Florida
$20,190
Rhode Island
$20,130
Connecticut
$20,120
Pennsylvania
$20,120
West Virginia
$19,670
Minnesota
$19,660
Delaware
$19,540
South Dakota
$19,530
Maine
$19,520
Maryland
$19,520
New Hampshire
$19,520
Nebraska
$19,420
Illinois
$19,200
Michigan
$19,170
Colorado
$19,050
Ohio
$19,040
Texas
$19,020
Arizona
$19,010
Guam
$18,960
Indiana
$18,910
Montana
$18,860
Wisconsin
$18,850
Wyoming
$18,780
North Dakota
$18,750
Iowa
$18,700
North Carolina
$18,700
Missouri
$18,640
Oklahoma
$18,620
Alabama
$18,600
New Mexico
$18,600
Virgin Islands
$18,540
Idaho
$18,510
Kansas
$18,480
Arkansas
$18,450
South Carolina
$18,370
Mississippi
$18,310
Kentucky
$18,290
Tennessee
$18,260
Georgia
$18,170
Louisiana
$17,920
Puerto Rico
$17,850



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Highest paying states for waiters and waitresses

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