Best Cities for Waiters and Waitresses

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Source: Wikimedia Commons

10. Modesto, CA
> Avg. annual wage: $30,670
> Avg. hourly wage: $14.74
> Wage exceeds national avg.: 33.2%
> Waitstaff jobs per 1K: 13.7

Waiters and waitresses in Modesto are paid some of the highest wages of any servers nationwide. This is the case in several other cities in California. Waiters and waitresses in Modesto earn an average of $14.74 an hour, $3.67 more than the national figure. In a number of cities where waiters and waitresses tend to earn more, the cost of living is much higher as well, offsetting some of these high incomes. However, the cost of goods and services in Modesto is actually slightly below the average cost of living nationwide.

Source: Thinkstock

9. Olympia-Tumwater, WA
> Avg. annual wage: $31,600
> Avg. hourly wage: $15.19
> Wage exceeds national avg.: 37.3%
> Waitstaff jobs per 1K: 15.2

Olympia is one of many cities on this list located in either California or Washington state, the two states with the highest minimum wage. All businesses in Washington are required to pay their employees at least $11.00 an hour, compared to the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. Waiters and waitresses in Olympia earn an average of $15.19 annually, 37.3% more than the $11.07 national figure.

Source: Thinkstock

8. Anchorage, AK
> Avg. annual wage: $31,870
> Avg. hourly wage: $15.32
> Wage exceeds national avg.: 38.4%
> Waitstaff jobs per 1K: 15.9

Waiters and waitresses earn $31,870 a year on average in Anchorage, roughly $9,000 more than the national median earnings for servers. One reason for the large paychecks may be the high cost of living in the Anchorage metro area. Goods and services in the city cost roughly 10 cents more on the dollar, which means larger tips on more expensive meals for Anchorage waitstaff. However, it also means the earnings for waiters and waitresses are lower when adjusted for the city’s high living expenses. Earnings for Anchorage servers are roughly $3,000 less on average when adjusted for the city’s high cost of living.