The 10 States With The Highest Bartender Salaries For 2019

Chris Kolmar
by Chris Kolmar
Best States For Professions, Rankings - 1 month ago

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Without fail, in surveys across basically every demographic, the number one most important aspect of a job for most people is the salary — how much do bartenders get paid where I live?

And while there are many things to go into how much you, specifically, can expect to make, there’s really good data for average salaries for bartenders by state across America broken down by seniority level. So while your city may be slightly different than the state average, these averages give you a rough sense of what to expect for your salary.

To better understand how salaries change across America, we decided to take a look the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on average pay for bartenders by state.

Additionally, we wanted to adjust the salary based on the cost of living in a state — because your salary goes further in North Carolina than it does in California.

The state with the best salary for bartenders after this adjustment? That would be Bartenders.

Here’s a quick snapshot of the top ten states for salaries:

  1. Washington
  2. Hawaii
  3. Arizona
  4. Vermont
  5. Texas
  6. Missouri
  7. Utah
  8. North Carolina
  9. Michigan
  10. Nevada

Let’s take a look at how we got here and a full ranking of all the states.

If you’re interested, you can read more about the job scene here:

How we determined pay by state

As we mentioned earlier, we took the average annual salary data for bartenders from the 2018 Bureau of Labor Statistics — specifically their ‘Occupational Employment Statistics.’

To make the comparison of salaries apples to apples across states, we also took into account the cost of living in each state.

We then created an index by dividing the average wage for a state by the cost of living relative to average. As an example, the cost of living index in California is 135.9 and the average pay is $30850, so our index value would be:

$30,850 * (100 / 135.9) = $22,700

We then ranked every state on this criteria with the state with the highest salary index ranking as highest average salary for bartenders.

Here’s a look at the full ranking for all states.

For more reading, check out:

Detailed List Of Bartender Salaries By State

Rank State Adjusted Salary Average Wage Cost Of Living
1 Washington $33,640 $35,390 105.2
2 Hawaii $32,793 $55,060 167.9
3 Arizona $31,959 $31,320 98.0
4 Vermont $30,322 $36,720 121.1
5 Texas $30,033 $27,240 90.7
6 Missouri $29,292 $26,480 90.4
7 Utah $28,365 $26,380 93.0
8 North Carolina $27,167 $25,510 93.9
9 Michigan $27,044 $24,070 89.0
10 Nevada $26,708 $27,590 103.3
11 New York $26,564 $34,800 131.0
12 Colorado $26,512 $27,520 103.8
13 Florida $26,490 $26,040 98.3
14 Maine $26,462 $29,320 110.8
15 Virginia $26,210 $26,420 100.8
16 Illinois $25,665 $24,280 94.6
17 Delaware $24,960 $25,310 101.4
18 Idaho $24,885 $22,920 92.1
19 Indiana $24,547 $21,970 89.5
20 New Jersey $24,282 $29,600 121.9
21 Arkansas $24,270 $21,140 87.1
22 Oklahoma $24,248 $21,630 89.2
23 Nebraska $24,170 $22,140 91.6
24 Wyoming $24,030 $22,060 91.8
25 Alabama $23,947 $21,840 91.2
26 Tennessee $23,691 $21,180 89.4
27 Georgia $23,621 $21,590 91.4
28 Wisconsin $23,491 $22,740 96.8
29 Mississippi $23,399 $20,100 85.9
30 Minnesota $23,373 $23,560 100.8
31 Massachusetts $23,365 $31,170 133.4
32 Ohio $23,326 $21,880 93.8
33 Iowa $23,318 $21,220 91.0
34 West Virginia $23,276 $21,740 93.4
35 Oregon $23,062 $26,660 115.6
36 Pennsylvania $23,057 $23,380 101.4
37 California $22,700 $30,850 135.9
38 Rhode Island $22,452 $27,100 120.7
39 South Carolina $22,187 $22,010 99.2
40 Kentucky $21,580 $19,530 90.5
41 South Dakota $21,504 $22,300 103.7
42 Alaska $21,495 $28,180 131.1
43 Montana $21,398 $21,570 100.8
44 New Mexico $21,357 $20,610 96.5
45 Kansas $21,312 $19,160 89.9
46 Connecticut $21,119 $26,970 127.7
47 North Dakota $21,006 $20,880 99.4
48 Louisiana $20,411 $19,350 94.8
49 New Hampshire $20,119 $23,540 117.0
50 Maryland $18,725 $23,500 125.5
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