Tips have reached a tipping point. The amount people in the service industry make in tips is up for the first time in three years, according to a report published today by PayScale. The online compensation data company reported that tips fell 5% between 2008 and 2009, remained flat from 2009 to 2010, but rose 4% in the most recent period.
24/7 Wall St. reviewed PayScale data to identify the jobs that make the most money in tips.
Though tips overall have not returned to pre-recession levels, there are signs of recovery in a number of fields. Katie Bardaro, lead research analyst at PayScale, told 24/7 Wall St. that “the increase in tips observed does hint at a recovery in service-heavy industries, such as restaurants, hotels and casinos, but as you can see, not everyone is bringing home more in tips, even when they are at the top of the list.”
In many occupations, workers need tips to survive. Tips make up at least 25% of total hourly income for 19 of the 92 service jobs analyzed by PayScale. In some cases, over 50% of income is made in the form of tips. Waiters and waitresses, for example, can legally be paid less than minimum wage. As a result, median base hourly pay is a mere $4.20 for servers. Median hourly tips, on the other hand, are $7.00.
For other occupations, tips are more of a perk — a big perk, but a perk nonetheless. These generally require a higher level of training than jobs that rely more on tips. For example, tattoo artists require some level of training, skill and talent. They rank high in median hourly tips, but those tips only comprise 18% of total income.
24/7 Wall St. looked at the ten jobs with the highest median hourly tips. We then reviewed the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook for further information on job descriptions and employment outlooks.