Servers are one of the most common jobs in America. Additionally, a significant number of people work as servers in every state in the union — it’s not like they are all just concentrated in California or the South.
Since servers are such a prominent occupation, we at Zippia wanted to look at where servers have it the best: where there are plenty of jobs to go around and people get paid what they deserve during every phase of their career.
To that end, we dove into the numbers from the BLS to figure out which states have the best opportunities for servers.
After all the numbers had been crunched, we were left with this list of the best of best for America’s servers:
So there you have it — Waiters And Waitresses is the best of the best when it comes to being a server.
How did Waiters And Waitresses end up here and does it really deserve this ranking? Read on to see how we completed our research on the best states for servers and for more on the top ten states.
If you’re interested, you can read more about the job scene here:
Here at Zippia, we talk to a lot of people of all different backgrounds looking for jobs. Our research has concluded that there are two common things people want in a job:
So in order to find out the best states for servers in America we needed to figure out where the jobs are and how well servers get paid. This led to the following criteria taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’s Occupational Employment Statistics for 2016:
To make all the salary numbers more apples to apples across states, we compared the salary data relative to the state’s cost of living.
Applying this standardization allows us to account for that fact that it costs more to live in certain in states. For example, the average salary for servers in California is $30,940 and the average salary in Illinois is $22,120, but the Illinois salary actually goes further in paying for life’s essentials.
In order to develop and overall ranking, we ranked each state for each criteria from 1 to 50 where 1 was the best.
We then averaged all the rankings for a state into a Job Score with the state having the lowest overall Job Score earning the distinction of being the best state for servers in America.
So without further ado, let’s get into just what made each state so great for servers.
Total Jobs: 217,790
Average Annual Salary: $26,860
Average Entry Level Salary: $17,700
Average Experienced Salary: $44,680
Location Quotient: 1.45
Total Jobs: 219,680
Average Annual Salary: $23,250
Average Entry Level Salary: $16,290
Average Experienced Salary: $38,850
Location Quotient: 1.02
Total Jobs: 79,900
Average Annual Salary: $21,710
Average Entry Level Salary: $17,980
Average Experienced Salary: $30,160
Location Quotient: 1.04
Total Jobs: 5,370
Average Annual Salary: $22,310
Average Entry Level Salary: $16,210
Average Experienced Salary: $36,280
Location Quotient: 1.06
Total Jobs: 48,380
Average Annual Salary: $31,140
Average Entry Level Salary: $20,520
Average Experienced Salary: $52,880
Location Quotient: 0.86
Total Jobs: 53,580
Average Annual Salary: $22,700
Average Entry Level Salary: $17,490
Average Experienced Salary: $36,240
Location Quotient: 1.11
Total Jobs: 12,110
Average Annual Salary: $23,180
Average Entry Level Salary: $18,470
Average Experienced Salary: $33,430
Location Quotient: 0.95
Total Jobs: 39,450
Average Annual Salary: $25,510
Average Entry Level Salary: $16,540
Average Experienced Salary: $38,830
Location Quotient: 1.7
Total Jobs: 98,150
Average Annual Salary: $22,100
Average Entry Level Salary: $17,590
Average Experienced Salary: $33,340
Location Quotient: 1.01
Total Jobs: 5,400
Average Annual Salary: $31,770
Average Entry Level Salary: $19,980
Average Experienced Salary: $48,950
Location Quotient: 0.97
If you’re looking to start out your career as a server these are the states that should be at the top of your list. You’ll find high pay, available jobs, and chances for career advancement.
If you’re curious, here are the worst states to be a server in America:
For more reading, check out: