Server Salary (United States)

Servers get a nice boost in their paychecks from tips, which can typically amount to about two-thirds of their total hourly pay of $14.79. The range in hourly base pay spans from $2.15 per hour to $9.78. The company is the main element affecting pay for this group—geography and experience level are driving factors as well. About one in five report receiving medical coverage from their employers and 14 percent collect dental insurance. Women account for the majority of Servers—64 percent to be exact. For the most part, Servers enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. The figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.
Server Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$7,176 - $48,272
(Median)
7K
14K
24K
35K
48K
MEDIAN: $23,737
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
Add this chart to your site: 640px    300px
Server Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$2.15 - $9.78
(Median)
2
4
8
9
MEDIAN: $4.00
10%
50%
75%
90%
Add this chart to your site: 640px    300px

National Salary Data

 (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$17K$34K$51K
Salary
$7,176 - $48,272  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $492.12  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$8,372 - $38,619  
PayScale
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 163
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$7$14$21
Hourly Rate
$2.15 - $9.78  
   
Hourly Tips
$2.88 - $17.83  
Overtime
$0.00 - $16.89  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$14K$28K$42K
Bonus
$0.00 - $492.12  
   
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$8,372 - $38,619  
PayScale
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 1,150
Is Server your job title? Get a personalized salary report!
Location:
United States (change)
Years in Field/Career:

Job Description for Server

A server works in a restaurant or bar, acting as the go-between from the guests at a table and the kitchen or bartender. He or she takes orders, delivers food and beverages, and helps ensure quality standards. In many establishments, the server also furnishes a bill and facilitates payment for the guests.
Read More...
Server Tasks
  • Present check for payment and provides change as needed.
  • Take food and beverage orders, give food orders to kitchen and deliver orders.
  • Maintain table appearance by pre-bussing, check drink levels and remove clutter.
  • Keep station clean, set up and take down station tables appropriately.

Server Job Listings

Search for more jobs:
job title / company
location

Popular Employer Salaries for Server

Well-known firms with a reputation for hiring numerous Servers include Olive Garden Restaurants, Applebee's Neighborhood Grill and Bar, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Red Lobster Seafood Restaurants, and Buffalo Wild Wings, Inc. The Cheesecake Factory, Inc. leads the field in terms of pay, with a median salary of $28,919. Servers will also find cushy salaries at Chili's Grill & Bar (+$24,441), Denny's (+$24,441, $22,592), and Buffalo Wild Wings, Inc. (+$22,183).
Pizza Hut, Inc. offers the lowest pay in the field by far, with a median salary 157 percent less than the top paying company ($11,240). Employees at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store and Texas Roadhouse, Inc can also expect below-average earnings of $14,979 and $16,972.

Pay by Experience Level for Server

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Salaries start at $18,405, which grows to $25K after five to 10 years. After 10 to 20 years, compensation comes in at $25K. Paychecks show no signs of slowing down as Servers approach two decades on the job—pay continues to accelerate and typical earnings come to $26K. Experienced employees who have 10-20 years of experience make up 16 percent of the workforce; inexperienced individuals who have been working for less than one year comprise less than 10 percent, and senior people with more than 20 years under their belt fill out the remaining less than five percent. Most employees in this workforce have between one and nine years of experience; most of those surveyed fall within this distribution.

Pay Difference By Location

Seattle
up arrow 64%
Chicago
up arrow 55%
Las Vegas
up arrow 41%
New York
up arrow 39%
Orlando
up arrow 29%
Miami
up arrow 29%
Houston
up arrow 27%
Los Angeles
up arrow 24%
Denver
up arrow 22%
Charlotte
up arrow 22%
San Diego
up arrow 15%
Dallas
up arrow 12%
National Average
$20,000
San Antonio
up arrow 3%
St. Louis
up arrow 5%
Austin
up arrow 16%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
Home to some of the best pay for Servers, Seattle offers exceptional salaries, 64 percent above the national average. Those in search of high salaries should also consider checking out cities like Chicago, Las Vegas, New York, and Orlando, top-paying markets where Servers rake in more than the national norm (+55 percent, +41 percent, +39 percent, and +29 percent). Austin ranks last in the field for pay, reporting salaries 16 percent below the national average. Below-median salaries also turn up in St. Louis and San Antonio (-5 percent and -3 percent, respectively).

Server Reviews

What is it like working as a Server?
Server in Lubbock:
"Its A College Job."
Pros: Flexible for me to study. Makes good money during college football season.
Cons: Nothing.
Server in Lee's Summit:
"Amazing."
Pros: I not only get to serve the residents up their food but I also make their day and make them as happy as possible.
Cons: I dislike the way some of my coworkers don't respect that its the residents home and we are there to help them not just get paid.
Server in Flourtown:
"A Work Environment That Can Be Very Stressful With Low Pay."
Cons: Other department's work is frequently shirked onto my department. We are one of the hardest working part-time departments, and also the lowest payed.

Experience Affects Server Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 29%
Experienced
up arrow 22%
National Average
$20,000

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied Image
Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5 based on 272 votes.

Gender

Female
64%
female alumni
 
Male
36%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
9%
1-4 years
49%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
16%
20 years or more
5%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 20% dental benefits Dental: 14%
vision benefits Vision: 11% employee benefits None: 78%
Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid
Job Title:
Years in Field/Career:
Location:
United States (change)
- OR -