Waiters & waitresses

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2019 Workforce
2.16M
Average Age
29.9
Estimated Job Growth
3.73%
10-year projection
Average Salary
$18,359
Average Male Salary
$21,413
Average Female Salary
$17,012

About

Waiters & waitresses are most often employed by the Restaurants & Food Services industry. The average yearly wage for Waiters & waitresses was $18,359 in 2016. The top 3 most similar occupations to Waiters & waitresses by wage are Food servers, nonrestaurant, School bus monitors, and Library technicians.

The top 3 locations that employ the most Waiters & waitresses are Spring Valley & Summerlin South PUMA, NV, Paradise (South) & Enterprise PUMA, NV, and Boone County PUMA, MO. The top 3 locations with a relatively high concentration of Waiters & waitresses are East Baton Rouge Parish (South) PUMA, LA, Collier County (Southwest) PUMA, FL, and Collier County (East) PUMA, FL.

Employment

Information on the businesses and industries that employ Waiters & waitresses and on wages and locations for those in the field. Restaurants & Food Services is the industry that employs the most Waiters & waitresses, both by share and by number, though the highest paid industry for Waiters & waitresses, by average wage, is Other administrative & other support services. Waiters & waitresses are paid most in Malden & Medford Cities PUMA, MA but are relatively concentrated in East Baton Rouge Parish (South) PUMA, LA.

Wages

Yearly Wage

$18,359
AVERAGE SALARY
± $277

In 2019, Waiters & waitresses earned an average of $18,359, $37,165 less than than the average national salary of $55,524.

Food servers, nonrestaurant make somewhat more than Waiters & waitresses while School bus monitors make somewhat less. This chart shows the various occupations closest to Waiters & waitresses as measured by average annual salary in the US.

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Wage Distribution

0.394
WAGE GINI

In 2015, Waiters & waitresses had a wage GINI coefficient of 0.394, which is lower than than the national average of 0.478. In other words, wages are distributed more evenly for Waiters & waitresses (shown in red) than for the overall labor force (shown in gray).

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Wage by Location

This map shows the Public Use Microdata Areas (PUMAs) in the United States shaded by average annual wage for Waiters & waitresses.

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Spatial Concentration

This map displays which Public Use Microdata Areas (PUMAs) in the United States have a relatively high population of Waiters & waitresses.

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Industries

Most Common

The most common industries employing Waiters & waitresses, by number of employees, are Restaurants & Food Services, Traveler accommodation, and Amusement & Recreation.

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Highest Paying

The highest paying industries for Waiters & waitresses, by average wage, are Other administrative & other support services, Travel arrangements & reservation services, and Traveler accommodation.

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Industries by Share

2.16M
2019 Workforce
± 35,860
−3.12%
1 YEAR GROWTH
± 2.4%

The number of people employed as Waiters & waitresses has been declining at a rate of −3.12%, from 2,233,949 people in 2018 to 2,164,243 people in 2019.

This graphic shows the share of Waiters & waitresses employed by various industries. Restaurants & Food Services employs the largest share of Waiters & waitresses at  92%, followed by Traveler accommodation with 2.5% and Amusement & Recreation with 2.06%.

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Diversity

Demographic information on Waiters & waitresses in the US. The average age of male Waiters & waitresses in the workforce is 29.1 and of female Waiters & waitresses is 30.3, and the most common race/ethnicity for Waiters & waitresses is White (Non-Hispanic).

Gender Composition

662k
MALE WORKFORCE
± 19,938
1.5M
FEMALE WORKFORCE
± 29,939

69.4% of Waiters & waitresses are Female, making them the more common gender in the occupation. This chart shows the gender breakdown of Waiters & waitresses.

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Race & Ethnicity

Most Common Race or Ethnicity of Waiters & waitresses
  1. White (Non-Hispanic)
  2. White (Hispanic)
  3. Black (Non-Hispanic)

57.4% of Waiters & waitresses are White (Non-Hispanic), making that the most common race or ethnicity in the occupation. Representing 14.4% of Waiters & waitresses, White (Hispanic) is the second most common race or ethnicity in this occupation. This chart shows the racial and ethnic breakdown of Waiters & waitresses.

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Age by Gender

29.1
AVERAGE MALE AGE
± 0.355
30.3
AVERAGE FEMALE AGE
± 0.261

The median age of Waiters & waitresses is 29.9, and Male employees are generally 1.11 years younger than than their Female counterparts.

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Education

Data on higher education choices for Waiters & waitresses from The Department of Education and Census Bureau. The most common major for Waiters & waitresses is Business but a relatively high number of Waiters & waitresses hold a major in Visual & Performing Arts.

Majors

ACS PUMS data only shows the major for bachelor's degrees. However, we can filter the data based on highest degree obtained.
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Skills

Data on the critical and distinctive skills necessary for Waiters & waitresses from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Waiters & waitresses need many skills, but most especially Active Listening, Service Orientation, and Social Perceptiveness. The revealed comparative advantage (RCA) shows that Waiters & waitresses need more than the average amount of Service Orientation, Social Perceptiveness, and Coordination.

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Bar Chart

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Projections

Projections on job growth for Waiters and Waitresses from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The 10-year national workforce is projected to grow 3.71%, but Waiters and Waitresses are expected to see a growth of 3.73% over the same period. This occupation is expected to grow more than the national average.

Job Growth

For growth projections, the closest comparible industry reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics is Waiters and Waitresses.
3.73%
Estimated Job Growth
10-year Projection
3.71%
National Growth
10-year Projection

This line chart shows the projected 10-year growth in the number of jobs for Waiters and Waitresses. This profession is expected to grow more than than 3.71%, the average rate of national job growth.

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