The 10 Best States For Servers In 2019

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

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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:

  1. Florida
  2. Michigan
  3. Arizona
  4. Washington
  5. Vermont
  6. Maine
  7. Colorado
  8. Nebraska
  9. Hawaii
  10. Texas

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:

How we determined the best states to be a server

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:

  • Availability of jobs
  • Higher Pay

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 2018:

  • Location quotient. A measure of how common a job is a given state.
  • Average annual salary.
  • Average annual salary for entry level work.
  • Average annual salary for experienced professionals.

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 $30,250 and the average salary in Illinois is $22,900, 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.

1. Florida

Best States For Servers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 211,860
Average Annual Salary: $26,120
Average Entry Level Salary: $17,870
Average Experienced Salary: $45,670
Location Quotient: 1.38

2. Michigan

Best States For Servers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 80,880
Average Annual Salary: $23,920
Average Entry Level Salary: $19,280
Average Experienced Salary: $36,020
Location Quotient: 1.05

3. Arizona

Best States For Servers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 48,830
Average Annual Salary: $30,220
Average Entry Level Salary: $21,850
Average Experienced Salary: $48,620
Location Quotient: 0.98

4. Washington

Best States For Servers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 54,770
Average Annual Salary: $35,930
Average Entry Level Salary: $24,260
Average Experienced Salary: $61,830
Location Quotient: 0.94

5. Vermont

Best States For Servers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 5,590
Average Annual Salary: $34,560
Average Entry Level Salary: $21,850
Average Experienced Salary: $52,260
Location Quotient: 1.03

6. Maine

Best States For Servers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 12,890
Average Annual Salary: $27,550
Average Entry Level Salary: $20,810
Average Experienced Salary: $41,140
Location Quotient: 1.19

7. Colorado

Best States For Servers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 50,390
Average Annual Salary: $25,510
Average Entry Level Salary: $21,220
Average Experienced Salary: $38,410
Location Quotient: 1.08

8. Nebraska

Best States For Servers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 15,480
Average Annual Salary: $25,610
Average Entry Level Salary: $19,080
Average Experienced Salary: $40,370
Location Quotient: 0.89

9. Hawaii

Best States For Servers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 19,130
Average Annual Salary: $52,110
Average Entry Level Salary: $22,150
Average Experienced Salary: $84,600
Location Quotient: 1.67

10. Texas

Best States For Servers

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 216,670
Average Annual Salary: $23,520
Average Entry Level Salary: $16,410
Average Experienced Salary: $39,750
Location Quotient: 1.0

There You Have It – The Best States To Be A Server

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:

  1. Alaska
  2. Maryland
  3. North Dakota

For more reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best States For servers

Rank State Average Salary Entry Level Salary # Of People
1 Florida $26,120 $17,870 211,860
2 Michigan $23,920 $19,280 80,880
3 Arizona $30,220 $21,850 48,830
4 Washington $35,930 $24,260 54,770
5 Vermont $34,560 $21,850 5,590
6 Maine $27,550 $20,810 12,890
7 Colorado $25,510 $21,220 50,390
8 Nebraska $25,610 $19,080 15,480
9 Hawaii $52,110 $22,150 19,130
10 Texas $23,520 $16,410 216,670
11 Wyoming $23,670 $16,420 4,880
12 Minnesota $25,540 $20,840 50,490
13 Oregon $28,640 $21,610 33,390
14 Ohio $22,650 $17,990 94,720
15 New York $34,460 $21,640 167,250
16 West Virginia $23,140 $18,990 11,800
17 Indiana $22,300 $16,410 49,530
18 Illinois $22,900 $17,990 83,910
19 North Carolina $22,400 $16,450 82,600
20 Massachusetts $31,920 $23,720 66,250
21 Mississippi $20,560 $16,380 18,520
22 Virginia $24,070 $16,520 72,420
23 Utah $24,000 $16,620 17,770
24 Missouri $21,420 $17,150 48,060
25 Nevada $24,980 $16,740 37,400
26 Iowa $21,850 $16,410 23,550
27 Rhode Island $27,380 $21,270 9,950
28 Delaware $23,690 $18,200 8,010
29 Oklahoma $20,060 $16,280 29,400
30 Pennsylvania $24,850 $16,870 98,970
31 Wisconsin $23,330 $16,570 43,630
32 Tennessee $19,870 $16,210 53,200
33 New Mexico $20,770 $16,740 16,730
34 Georgia $20,280 $16,290 81,920
35 Idaho $20,780 $16,230 12,630
36 Arkansas $20,040 $18,350 18,720
37 New Hampshire $24,850 $16,520 12,510
38 Montana $20,990 $17,860 10,260
39 South Dakota $21,930 $18,810 7,540
40 Kansas $20,140 $16,210 21,200
41 Alabama $19,750 $16,210 34,020
42 California $30,250 $22,370 286,930
43 Louisiana $18,630 $16,210 38,950
44 Kentucky $19,450 $16,260 31,250
45 South Carolina $20,290 $16,250 37,810
46 Connecticut $26,350 $21,460 29,660
47 New Jersey $27,530 $18,930 58,820
48 North Dakota $21,140 $16,380 5,950
49 Maryland $24,160 $19,300 41,730
50 Alaska $25,610 $21,250 3,970
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