These are the States with the Highest Paid Bartenders

Chris Kolmar
by Chris Kolmar
Best States For Professions, Rankings - 8 months 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. Florida
  2. Washington
  3. Virginia
  4. Texas
  5. Utah
  6. Nevada
  7. Arizona
  8. North Carolina
  9. Vermont
  10. Illinois

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 2016 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 $32280, so our index value would be:

$32,280 * (100 / 135.9) = $23,752

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 Florida $29,837 $29,330 98.3
2 Washington $29,562 $31,100 105.2
3 Virginia $29,553 $29,790 100.8
4 Texas $29,547 $26,800 90.7
5 Utah $29,268 $27,220 93.0
6 Nevada $27,028 $27,920 103.3
7 Arizona $25,755 $25,240 98.0
8 North Carolina $25,729 $24,160 93.9
9 Vermont $25,549 $30,940 121.1
10 Illinois $25,539 $24,160 94.6
11 Oklahoma $25,145 $22,430 89.2
12 Michigan $25,044 $22,290 89.0
13 Indiana $24,804 $22,200 89.5
14 Hawaii $24,514 $41,160 167.9
15 Colorado $24,470 $25,400 103.8
16 New Mexico $24,455 $23,600 96.5
17 Alaska $24,073 $31,560 131.1
18 Arkansas $23,880 $20,800 87.1
19 Wyoming $23,867 $21,910 91.8
20 Alabama $23,859 $21,760 91.2
21 California $23,752 $32,280 135.9
22 Tennessee $23,668 $21,160 89.4
23 Missouri $23,584 $21,320 90.4
24 New Jersey $23,552 $28,710 121.9
25 Nebraska $23,406 $21,440 91.6
26 Idaho $23,224 $21,390 92.1
27 Ohio $22,942 $21,520 93.8
28 Mississippi $22,782 $19,570 85.9
29 Delaware $22,721 $23,040 101.4
30 Kentucky $22,629 $20,480 90.5
31 Georgia $22,428 $20,500 91.4
32 Massachusetts $22,203 $29,620 133.4
33 Kansas $22,057 $19,830 89.9
34 Maine $22,030 $24,410 110.8
35 Iowa $21,956 $19,980 91.0
36 New York $21,938 $28,740 131.0
37 Oregon $21,877 $25,290 115.6
38 Minnesota $21,726 $21,900 100.8
39 South Carolina $21,633 $21,460 99.2
40 West Virginia $21,381 $19,970 93.4
41 Pennsylvania $21,321 $21,620 101.4
42 Wisconsin $21,270 $20,590 96.8
43 South Dakota $21,080 $21,860 103.7
44 Louisiana $20,717 $19,640 94.8
45 North Dakota $20,553 $20,430 99.4
46 Montana $20,436 $20,600 100.8
47 Maryland $19,808 $24,860 125.5
48 Rhode Island $19,743 $23,830 120.7
49 New Hampshire $19,059 $22,300 117.0
50 Connecticut $18,739 $23,930 127.7
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