Occupational Employment Statistics

Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2003

35-3031 Waiters and Waitresses

Take orders and serve food and beverages to patrons at tables in dining establishment. Exclude "Counter Attendants, Cafeteria, Food Concession, and Coffee Shop" (35-3022).

National estimates for this occupation
Industry profile for this occupation
State profile for this occupation
Metropolitan area profile for this occupation

National estimates for this occupation: Top

Employment estimate and mean wage estimates for this occupation:

Employment (1) Employment
RSE (3)
Mean hourly
wage
Mean annual
wage (2)
Wage RSE (3)
2,125,100 0.8 % $7.58 $15,780 0.4 %

Percentile wage estimates for this occupation:

Percentile 10% 25% 50%
(Median)
75% 90%
Hourly Wage $5.64 $6.07 $6.78 $8.10 $11.08
Annual Wage (2) $11,720 $12,630 $14,100 $16,840 $23,050

Industry profile for this occupation: Top

Industries with the highest levels of employment in this occupation:

Industry Employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage Employment rank Wage rank
Full-service restaurants 1,509,920 $7.49 $15,580 1 43
Limited-service eating places 158,820 $6.99 $14,530 2 61
Traveler accommodation 134,620 $8.04 $16,710 3 30
Drinking places, alcoholic beverages 79,880 $7.03 $14,620 4 57
Other amusement and recreation industries 71,580 $8.88 $18,460 5 17

Top paying industries for this occupation:

Industry Employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage Employment rank Wage rank
Other personal services 110 $14.42 $29,990 58 1
Rail transportation 1,040 $13.33 $27,720 25 2
Federal government (OES designation) (6) $12.02 $25,000 (6) 3
Travel arrangement and reservation services 130 $11.13 $23,150 57 4
Fruit and vegetable preserving and specialty 70 $11.08 $23,040 64 5

State profile for this occupation: Top

States with the highest concentration of workers in this occupation:

State Employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage Percent of State employment Wage rank within State
Nevada 33,100 $7.68 $15,970 3.107% 608
Hawaii 14,770 $10.59 $22,030 2.671% 451
Rhode Island 10,260 $7.99 $16,610 2.164% 545
Montana 8,420 $6.45 $13,420 2.130% 570
Wyoming 5,040 $7.09 $14,750 2.092% 477

Top paying States for this occupation:

State Employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage Percent of State employment Wage rank within State
Hawaii 14,770 $10.59 $22,030 2.671% 451
Massachusetts 56,670 $9.97 $20,740 1.785% 658
New York 119,730 $9.11 $18,940 1.450% 705
Washington 44,490 $9.04 $18,810 1.737% 693
Vermont 5,640 $8.96 $18,640 1.942% 482

Metropolitan area profile for this occupation: Top

Metropolitan areas with the highest concentration of workers in this occupation:

MSA Employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage Percent of MSA employment
Myrtle Beach, SC MSA 4,710 $7.56 $15,720 4.635%
Atlantic-Cape May, NJ PMSA 6,560 $9.07 $18,870 3.581%
Las Vegas, NV-AZ MSA 26,690 $7.98 $16,600 3.332%
Naples, FL MSA 3,660 $9.13 $18,980 3.229%
Flagstaff, AZ-UT MSA 1,730 $6.56 $13,640 3.202%

Top paying Metropolitan areas for this occupation:

MSA Employment Hourly mean wage Annual mean wage Percent of MSA employment
New York, NY PMSA 48,230 $11.49 $23,900 1.213%
Pittsfield, MA MSA 770 $11.06 $23,000 1.842%
Honolulu, HI MSA 8,820 $10.39 $21,600 2.197%
Danbury, CT PMSA 1,890 $10.17 $21,160 2.123%
Boston, MA-NH PMSA 34,160 $10.17 $21,160 1.778%

About May 2003 National, State, and Metropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

To see profiles of other occupations, select from the major groups below:

These estimates are calculated with data collected from employers in all industry sectors in metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas in every State and the District of Columbia. The top five employment and wage figures are provided above. The complete list is available in the downloadable Excel files(XLS).

Percentile wage estimates show the percentage of workers in an occupation that earn less than a given wage and the percentage that earn more. The median wage is the 50th percentile wage estimate—50 percent of workers earn less than the median and 50 percent of workers earn more than the median. More about percentile wages.


(1) Estimates for detailed occupations do not sum to the totals because the totals include occupations not shown separately. Estimates do not include self-employed workers.

(2) Annual wages have been calculated by multiplying the hourly mean wage by a "year-round, full-time" hours figure of 2,080 hours; for those occupations where there is not an hourly mean wage published, the annual wage has been directly calculated from the reported survey data.

(3) The relative standard error (RSE) is a measure of the reliability of a survey statistic. The smaller the relative standard error, the more precise the estimate.

(6) Estimates not released.

All Food Preparation and Serving Related Occupations

2003 May National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

2003 May State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

2003 May Metropolitan Area Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

2003 May National Industry-Specific Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates

List of Occupations in SOC Code Number Order

List of Occupations in Alphabetical Order

Download May 2003 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates in Zipped Excel files

Technical notes

Last Modified Date: May 7, 2004

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