PayScale Releases Eighth Annual Year-End Tipping Study

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Study results mirror 2012 tipping levels but remain below 2009 findings; Report also highlights typical tipping behavior across income levels, gender, generations, regions, more.

PayScale, Inc., the world's largest real-time salary data provider, today announced its eighth annual year-end tipping study.

The study can be found at

The comprehensive PayScale tipping study includes: Typical hours (full-time, part-time, and limited time); median hourly tips; median base hourly pay; total typical hourly income; percent of total hourly income from tips; and the frequency of workers reporting being tipped. Data was collected between November 2012 and November 2013.

Some highlights from the study include:

1.    Workers in the entertainment industry earn the most in tips. The three jobs with the highest median hourly tips are Strippers / Exotic Dancers ($25.40/hour), Gaming Dealers ($12.80), and Sommeliers ($10.10).

2.    Gaming Dealers report the biggest percentage of their income from tips: About 63 percent of the total hourly income for Gaming Dealers comes from tips. The only other jobs where more than 50 percent of their total income comes from tips are Waiters / Waitresses (63 percent), Bartenders (58 percent), and Strippers / Exotic Dancers (53 percent).

3.    Nine jobs on the list have less than 10 percent of their income coming from tips: The lowest are Fast Food Worker, Housekeeper, Crew Leader, and Line Cook (all are below 7 percent).

4.    Ten management jobs make the list. Of these jobs, Bar Managers, Salon Managers, and Banquet Managers have the largest percentage of their income coming from tips: 38 percent, 21 percent, and 20 percent, respectively.

5.    Workers in the travel industry rely heavily on tips. Chauffeurs typically earn 32 percent of their total income from tips while Taxi Drivers typically earn 25 percent of their income from tips. Tour Guides earn 21 percent of their total income from tips.

“In uncertain economic times, tipped workers may face reduced incomes due to the decrease in consumers’ discretionary spending,” said Katie Bardaro, lead economist, PayScale. “After two straight years of growth in hourly tips, tips this year are largely unchanged from last year. Additionally, they remain below their 2009 levels on average. However, given recent job gains, GDP growth and stock market improvements, as well as the impending holiday season, we expect to see these tip amounts increase in the coming months.”    

New to this year’s report: PayScale asked users to share how much they tip commonly tipped positions such as wait staff, dog walkers and taxi drivers. PayScale then examined how these amounts differed across generations, genders, income brackets, industries, job families and census regions.

Highlights include:

1.    Both genders tend to tip equally, for the most part. Overall, men and women tip similarly, except when it comes to babysitters. Men typically tip $2.20 and women typically tip $0.

2.    Forget the standard 15 percent for wait staff, 20 percent appears to be the new norm. The majority of generations, locations, job families, income brackets and both genders report a median tip percentage of 19.5 percent or higher.

3.    Younger tippers really appreciate their pizza. Gen Y typically tips Food Delivery Drivers 14.3 percent, while Gen X and Baby Boomers tip 10.3 percent.

4.    As pay increases, so do tips. Babysitters see the biggest increases – workers that earn less than $100,000 typically tip Babysitters $0, but for those who earn more than $100,000 the median amount tipped increases to $4.70.

5.    Baristas benefit from loose change. Respondents across the board report leaving tips under $1.00 (probably whatever loose change is leftover from a coffee purchase).

6.    Tipping is fairly static across most regions, with two noticeable exceptions. Workers in the Mountain Census region tip Food Delivery Drivers 14.5 percent, while all other regions tip around 10 percent. Dog Walkers in New England are typically tipped about 10 percent, while most other regions tip them 0 percent.

7.    Dog Walkers tips are for the dogs. They are the most likely profession of those listed to get tipped $0.

8.    Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports and Media Occupations are the top tippers of Salon Workers (19.2 percent) and Taxi Drivers (14.5 percent), which is unsurprising given that appearance is an important part of their job and they tend to congregate in areas where taxis are an important form of transportation (e.g., New York City).

About PayScale

Creator of the largest database of individual compensation profiles in the world, PayScale, Inc. provides an immediate and precise snapshot of current market salaries to employees and employers through its online tools and software. PayScale’s products are powered by innovative search and query algorithms that dynamically acquire, analyze and aggregate compensation information for millions of individuals in real time. Publisher of the quarterly PayScale IndexTM, PayScale's subscription software products for employers include PayScale MarketRate TM and PayScale Insight TM. Among PayScale's 2,200 corporate customers are organizations small and large across industries including Zappos, Volunteers of America and Manpower.

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