The 10 States With The Highest Server 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 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. Hawaii
  3. Arizona
  4. Vermont
  5. Nebraska
  6. Michigan
  7. Florida
  8. New York
  9. Texas
  10. Utah

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 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 $30250, so our index value would be:

$30,250 * (100 / 135.9) = $22,259

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 $34,153 $35,930 105.2
2 Hawaii $31,036 $52,110 167.9
3 Arizona $30,836 $30,220 98.0
4 Vermont $28,538 $34,560 121.1
5 Nebraska $27,958 $25,610 91.6
6 Michigan $26,876 $23,920 89.0
7 Florida $26,571 $26,120 98.3
8 New York $26,305 $34,460 131.0
9 Texas $25,931 $23,520 90.7
10 Utah $25,806 $24,000 93.0
11 Wyoming $25,784 $23,670 91.8
12 Minnesota $25,337 $25,540 100.8
13 Indiana $24,916 $22,300 89.5
14 Maine $24,864 $27,550 110.8
15 West Virginia $24,775 $23,140 93.4
16 Oregon $24,775 $28,640 115.6
17 Colorado $24,576 $25,510 103.8
18 Pennsylvania $24,506 $24,850 101.4
19 Illinois $24,207 $22,900 94.6
20 Nevada $24,181 $24,980 103.3
21 Ohio $24,147 $22,650 93.8
22 Wisconsin $24,101 $23,330 96.8
23 Iowa $24,010 $21,850 91.0
24 Mississippi $23,934 $20,560 85.9
25 Massachusetts $23,928 $31,920 133.4
26 Virginia $23,878 $24,070 100.8
27 North Carolina $23,855 $22,400 93.9
28 Missouri $23,694 $21,420 90.4
29 Delaware $23,362 $23,690 101.4
30 Arkansas $23,008 $20,040 87.1
31 Rhode Island $22,684 $27,380 120.7
32 New Jersey $22,584 $27,530 121.9
33 Idaho $22,562 $20,780 92.1
34 Oklahoma $22,488 $20,060 89.2
35 Kansas $22,402 $20,140 89.9
36 California $22,259 $30,250 135.9
37 Tennessee $22,225 $19,870 89.4
38 Georgia $22,188 $20,280 91.4
39 Alabama $21,655 $19,750 91.2
40 New Mexico $21,523 $20,770 96.5
41 Kentucky $21,491 $19,450 90.5
42 North Dakota $21,267 $21,140 99.4
43 New Hampshire $21,239 $24,850 117.0
44 South Dakota $21,147 $21,930 103.7
45 Montana $20,823 $20,990 100.8
46 Connecticut $20,634 $26,350 127.7
47 South Carolina $20,453 $20,290 99.2
48 Louisiana $19,651 $18,630 94.8
49 Alaska $19,534 $25,610 131.1
50 Maryland $19,250 $24,160 125.5
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