Waiters & waitresses

Detailed Occupation

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2020 Workforce
2.12M
Average Age
30
Estimated Job Growth
3.73%
10-year projection
Average Salary
$18,380
Average Male Salary
$21,695
Average Female Salary
$16,933

About

Waiters & waitresses are most often employed by the Restaurants & Food Services industry. The average yearly wage for Waiters & waitresses was $18,380 in 2016. The top 3 most similar occupations to Waiters & waitresses by wage are Tour & travel guides, Library technicians, and School bus monitors.

The top 3 locations that employ the most Waiters & waitresses are Spring Valley & Summerlin South PUMA, NV, Maui, Kalawao & Kauai Counties PUMA, HI, and Hays County PUMA, TX. The top 3 locations with a relatively high concentration of Waiters & waitresses are Elmhurst & South Corona PUMA, NY, Miami Beach City & Miami Shores Village PUMA, FL, and Asheville City PUMA, NC.

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 Legal services. Waiters & waitresses are paid most in Malden & Medford Cities PUMA, MA but are relatively concentrated in Elmhurst & South Corona PUMA, NY.

Wages

Yearly Wage

$18,380
AVERAGE SALARY
± $307

In 2020, Waiters & waitresses earned an average of $18,380, $37,574 less than than the average national salary of $55,954.

Library technicians make somewhat more than Waiters & waitresses while Tour & travel guides 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

0.395
WAGE GINI

In 2015, Waiters & waitresses had a wage GINI coefficient of 0.395, 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

Highest Paying

The highest paying industries for Waiters & waitresses, by average wage, are Legal services, Rail transportation, and Car Dealers.

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Industries by Share

2.12M
2020 Workforce
± 35,479
−4.35%
1 YEAR GROWTH
± 2.45%

The number of people employed as Waiters & waitresses has been declining at a rate of −4.35%, from 2,214,937 people in 2019 to 2,118,567 people in 2020.

This graphic shows the share of Waiters & waitresses employed by various industries. Restaurants & Food Services employs the largest share of Waiters & waitresses at  91.7%, followed by Traveler accommodation with 2.6% and Amusement & Recreation with 2.18%.

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Diversity

Demographic information on Waiters & waitresses in the US. The average age of male Waiters & waitresses in the workforce is 29.2 and of female Waiters & waitresses is 30.3, and the most common race/ethnicity for Waiters & waitresses is White (Non-Hispanic).

Composition by Sex

644k
MALE WORKFORCE
± 19,655
1.47M
FEMALE WORKFORCE
± 29,667

69.6% of Waiters & waitresses are Female, making them the more common sex in the occupation. This chart shows the sex 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)

58.2% of Waiters & waitresses are White (Non-Hispanic), making that the most common race or ethnicity in the occupation. Representing 12.7% 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 Sex

29.2
AVERAGE MALE AGE
± 0.355
30.3
AVERAGE FEMALE AGE
± 0.259

The median age of Waiters & waitresses is 30, and Male employees are generally 1.09 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 Personal & Culinary Services.

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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