These Are The 10 Highest Server Salaries By State

Chris Kolmar
by Chris Kolmar
Best States For Professions, Rankings - 10 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 servers 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 servers 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 servers 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 servers after this adjustment? That would be Waiters And Waitresses.

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

  1. Washington
  2. Florida
  3. Vermont
  4. Texas
  5. Utah
  6. West Virginia
  7. Nevada
  8. Virginia
  9. Michigan
  10. Wyoming

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 servers 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 $30940, so our index value would be:

$30,940 * (100 / 135.9) = $22,766

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

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

For more reading, check out:

Detailed List Of Server Salaries By State

Rank State Adjusted Salary Average Wage Cost Of Living
1 Washington $29,600 $31,140 105.2
2 Florida $27,324 $26,860 98.3
3 Vermont $26,234 $31,770 121.1
4 Texas $25,633 $23,250 90.7
5 Utah $25,430 $23,650 93.0
6 West Virginia $24,817 $23,180 93.4
7 Nevada $24,695 $25,510 103.3
8 Virginia $24,513 $24,710 100.8
9 Michigan $24,393 $21,710 89.0
10 Wyoming $24,302 $22,310 91.8
11 Indiana $23,854 $21,350 89.5
12 Oklahoma $23,834 $21,260 89.2
13 Alaska $23,821 $31,230 131.1
14 Ohio $23,560 $22,100 93.8
15 Illinois $23,382 $22,120 94.6
16 Arizona $23,163 $22,700 98.0
17 Nebraska $23,089 $21,150 91.6
18 New York $22,885 $29,980 131.0
19 Idaho $22,855 $21,050 92.1
20 Iowa $22,802 $20,750 91.0
21 California $22,766 $30,940 135.9
22 Oregon $22,698 $26,240 115.6
23 Mississippi $22,514 $19,340 85.9
24 North Carolina $22,332 $20,970 93.9
25 Kansas $22,324 $20,070 89.9
26 Missouri $22,323 $20,180 90.4
27 Delaware $22,209 $22,520 101.4
28 Minnesota $22,172 $22,350 100.8
29 Arkansas $22,158 $19,300 87.1
30 Colorado $22,148 $22,990 103.8
31 New Mexico $22,134 $21,360 96.5
32 Wisconsin $22,097 $21,390 96.8
33 Hawaii $22,096 $37,100 167.9
34 Kentucky $22,022 $19,930 90.5
35 Tennessee $22,002 $19,670 89.4
36 Pennsylvania $21,785 $22,090 101.4
37 Alabama $21,688 $19,780 91.2
38 New Hampshire $21,555 $25,220 117.0
39 Montana $21,418 $21,590 100.8
40 North Dakota $21,227 $21,100 99.4
41 Massachusetts $21,109 $28,160 133.4
42 Georgia $21,006 $19,200 91.4
43 Maine $20,758 $23,000 110.8
44 New Jersey $20,582 $25,090 121.9
45 South Dakota $20,559 $21,320 103.7
46 South Carolina $20,292 $20,130 99.2
47 Rhode Island $19,759 $23,850 120.7
48 Louisiana $19,398 $18,390 94.8
49 Maryland $18,948 $23,780 125.5
50 Connecticut $18,809 $24,020 127.7