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Working as a Server

Be our guest! Sure, server's don't typically sing Disney songs to their customers but they do make sure customers get their food as soon as it's ready.

Once you've been serving for awhile, you may be able to impress your guests with taking their food order without writing the orders down. As long as you get the entire order correct, this may score you a nice tip.

Not everyone is going to enjoy their dining experience though, and whether it's your fault or the chef's fault, it is your responsibility to correct any problems. Don't worry, you can go yell at the chef later.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a server. For example, did you know that they make an average of $11.17 an hour? That's $23,225 a year!

Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 6% and produce 170,200 job opportunities across the U.S.

What Does a Server Do

There are certain skills that many servers have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed detail oriented, communication skills and customer-service skills.

When it comes to the most important skills required to be a server, we found that a lot of resumes listed 12.8% of servers included guest service, while 10.8% of resumes included high volume, and 10.4% of resumes included customer service. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.

When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the server job title. But what industry to start with? Most servers actually find jobs in the hospitality and retail industries.

How To Become a Server

If you're interested in becoming a server, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 37.1% of servers have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 2.3% of servers have master's degrees. Even though some servers have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.

Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a server. When we researched the most common majors for a server, we found that they most commonly earn bachelor's degree degrees or high school diploma degrees. Other degrees that we often see on server resumes include associate degree degrees or diploma degrees.

You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a server. In fact, many server jobs require experience in a role such as cashier. Meanwhile, many servers also have previous career experience in roles such as sales associate or hostess.

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the right jobs to get there.

Average Salary$23,225
Job Growth Rate6%

Server Career Paths

Top Careers Before Server

Cashier
18.5 %
Hostess
7.4 %

Top Careers After Server

Cashier
14.8 %

What is the right job for my career path?

Tell us your goals and we'll match you with the rights job to get there.

Average Salary for a Server

Servers in America make an average salary of $23,225 per year or $11 per hour. The top 10 percent makes over $32,000 per year, while the bottom 10 percent under $16,000 per year.
Average Salary
$23,225

Best Paying Cities

City
Average Salary
New York, NY
Salary Range26k - 40k$32k$32,477
Washington, DC
Salary Range25k - 40k$32k$31,985
Los Angeles, CA
Salary Range24k - 39k$31k$31,317
Phoenix, AZ
Salary Range19k - 34k$26k$25,613
Philadelphia, PA
Salary Range19k - 31k$25k$25,001
Virginia Beach, VA
Salary Range19k - 31k$25k$24,704
$14k
$40k

Recently Added Salaries

Job TitleCompanyCompanyStart DateSalary
Server
Streets of New York
Streets of New York
01/31/2021
01/31/2021
$18,78301/31/2021
$18,783
Kick Back Host
Kick Back Host
Drury Inn & Suites Dayton North
Drury Inn & Suites Dayton North
01/30/2021
01/30/2021
$25,04401/30/2021
$25,044
Kick Back Host
Kick Back Host
Drury Inn & Suites Greenville
Drury Inn & Suites Greenville
01/30/2021
01/30/2021
$25,04401/30/2021
$25,044
Host
Host
Peopleready
Peopleready
01/29/2021
01/29/2021
$25,04401/29/2021
$25,044
Server
Server
Peopleready
Peopleready
01/29/2021
01/29/2021
$35,47901/29/2021
$35,479
See More Recent Salaries

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Server Resumes

Designing and figuring out what to include on your resume can be tough, not to mention time-consuming. That's why we put together a guide that is designed to help you craft the perfect resume for becoming a Server. If you're needing extra inspiration, take a look through our selection of templates that are specific to your job.

Learn How To Write a Server Resume

At Zippia, we went through countless Server resumes and compiled some information about how best to optimize them. Here are some suggestions based on what we found, divided by the individual sections of the resume itself.

View Detailed Information

Server Demographics

Gender

female

66.8 %

male

29.7 %

unknown

3.5 %

Ethnicity

White

57.8 %

Hispanic or Latino

17.9 %

Black or African American

10.9 %

Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

64.0 %

French

8.9 %

German

3.3 %
See More Demographics

Server Education

Majors

Business
17.9 %
Nursing
8.3 %

Degrees

Bachelors

37.1 %

High School Diploma

32.8 %

Associate

16.9 %
Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Top Skills For a Server

The skills section on your resume can be almost as important as the experience section, so you want it to be an accurate portrayal of what you can do. Luckily, we've found all of the skills you'll need so even if you don't have these skills yet, you know what you need to work on. Out of all the resumes we looked through, 12.8% of servers listed guest service on their resume, but soft skills such as detail oriented and communication skills are important as well.

  • Guest Service, 12.8%
  • High Volume, 10.8%
  • Customer Service, 10.4%
  • Communication, 9.5%
  • POS, 6.5%
  • Other Skills, 50.0%
  • See All Server Skills

Best States For a Server

Some places are better than others when it comes to starting a career as a server. The best states for people in this position are New York, Oregon, California, and Massachusetts. Servers make the most in New York with an average salary of $32,413. Whereas in Oregon and California, they would average $32,137 and $31,974, respectively. While servers would only make an average of $31,244 in Massachusetts, you would still make more there than in the rest of the country. We determined these as the best states based on job availability and pay. By finding the median salary, cost of living, and using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Location Quotient, we narrowed down our list of states to these four.

1. Arizona

Total Server Jobs:
746
Highest 10% Earn:
$43,000
Location Quotient:
1.3
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

2. West Virginia

Total Server Jobs:
205
Highest 10% Earn:
$34,000
Location Quotient:
1.59
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here

3. Oregon

Total Server Jobs:
279
Highest 10% Earn:
$45,000
Location Quotient:
0.72
Location Quotient is a measure used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to determine how concentrated a certain industry is in a single state compared to the nation as a whole. You can read more about how BLS calculates location quotients here
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Top Server Employers

1. Darden Restaurants
3.7
Avg. Salary: 
$23,976
Servers Hired: 
19,905+
2. IHOP
4.4
Avg. Salary: 
$23,870
Servers Hired: 
13,827+
3. Buffalo Wild Wings
4.2
Avg. Salary: 
$23,007
Servers Hired: 
12,658+
4. Cracker Barrel
3.7
Avg. Salary: 
$24,441
Servers Hired: 
12,216+
5. Red Lobster
4.3
Avg. Salary: 
$24,596
Servers Hired: 
9,435+
6. Denny's
4.6
Avg. Salary: 
$24,306
Servers Hired: 
7,984+

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