Waitress Pay Revealed: Find Out Why California is a Dream Destination for Many Servers

Are you a waitress looking to make the most of your earnings? If so, you may be interested to know that California is among the top states for waitressing salaries in the United States.

A recent study commissioned by anti-money laundering experts from revealed the best-paying states for waitresses, taking into account factors such as the annual salary, monthly pay, weekly pay, and hourly wage.

According to the research, Washington ranks as the highest paying state for waitressing jobs, with an annual salary of $28,876, equating to $13.88 per hour. New York and Idaho take the second and third spots, with annual salaries of $26,984 and $26,286, respectively.

California is #4

However, California, known for its beautiful coastline, diverse culture, and thriving economy, comes in at a respectable fourth place. Waitresses in the Golden State can expect to earn an average annual salary of $25,727, which translates to an hourly wage of $12.37.

Before you pack your bags and head to one of these states, it’s crucial to consider each state’s cost of living. While higher salaries can be enticing, a higher cost of living may offset the benefits.

Here’s the breakdown of the top 10 states for waitressing salaries:

  1. Washington – $28,876 annual salary, $13.88 hourly wage
  2. New York – $26,984 annual salary, $12.97 hourly wage
  3. Idaho – $26,286 annual salary, $12.64 hourly wage
  4. California – $25,727 annual salary, $12.37 hourly wage
  5. New Hampshire – $25,059 annual salary, $12.05 hourly wage
  6. Vermont – $24,688 annual salary, $11.87 hourly wage
  7. Maine – $24,275 annual salary, $11.67 hourly wage
  8. Massachusetts – $24,192 annual salary, $11.63 hourly wage
  9. Hawaii – $24,143 annual salary, $11.61 hourly wage
  10. Nevada – $24,010 annual salary, $11.54 hourly wage

Tips, of course, can boost those salaries substantially. Though many engineering interns have them beat, a typical California server can earn an additional $100+ per night in tips, above and beyond the base salary.

For more insights and the full research, visit

In conclusion, if you’re a waitress seeking higher earnings and better opportunities, California is undoubtedly one of the top states to consider. With its favorable salary offerings and diverse job market, the Golden State presents numerous possibilities for those in the service industry.

Thomas Smith

Thomas Smith is a food and travel photographer and writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His photographic work routinely appears in publications including Food and Wine, Conde Nast Traveler, and the New York Times and his writing appears in IEEE Spectrum, SFGate, the Bold Italic and more. Smith holds a degree in Cognitive Science (Neuroscience) and Anthropology from the Johns Hopkins University.

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