PayScale Announces Year-End Tipping Guide

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World's largest online salary survey analyzes connection between wages and tips and provides guidance on who to tip and how much

Many employees depend on tips for much of their income. In fact, the minimum wage an employer must pay drops below $2.50/hour in 15 states for workers earning tips

Seattle-based PayScale, possessing the largest real-time salary database anywhere, today announced the availability of new data and advice about tipping workers across various jobs and industries. Questions around tipping weigh heavily on people during this time of year. How much should I give? And from the perspective of a worker: How much will I receive?

PayScale found that many jobs (e.g., restaurant workers, bellman) look to tips to make up a significant portion of the wage. But there are other jobs where tips play an equally large role in raising the salary, yet people don't know that's the case.

"When it comes to tipping, in many respects, people move from the comfort zone of employee to the less familiar employer," said Dr. Al Lee, PayScale's Director of Quantitative Analysis. "Furthermore, depending on where they live, consumers target their tips to different industries at the holidays."

Some of the findings include:

  •     PayScale data shows that hotel bellhops earn an average of 46 percent of their hourly wages from tips or that just 16 percent of babysitters' hourly rates come from tips, yet they receive more gifts than others. Different professions garner different tips at the holidays, and year-round.
  •     In coffee cafes, the average hourly wage for a Barista is $8.10. Tips typically boost their pay rate per hour to $10.35. Coffee Cafe Managers, earn an average hourly wage of about $11.00.
  •     Bellmen at hotels and apartment buildings, bartenders, food-service professionals, for instance, typically get cash tips. Some, such as hair stylists, can receive both cash and gifts, and others, like baby sitters, most often get gifts during the holidays.
  •     Manicurist makes only $11/hour in wages, but tips are $21/hour, increasing pay by 67 percent. Some Manicurists have an opportunity to earn commissions on products and services as well.
  •     Hairstylists earn wages of about $14/hour, but tips increase income by 40% to about $20/hour. Commissions for selling products can also be an important source of income for Hairstylists. Without the tips, a hair stylist compensation drops by nearly half.

"Many employees depend on tips for much of their income. In fact, the minimum wage an employer must pay drops below $2.50/hour in 15 states for workers earning tips," said Lee. "The restaurant customer is more the employer of a waiter than the person who hired him."

About PayScale

PayScale ( is a market leader in online compensation and benefit data for employers and individuals. With the world's largest database of individual employee compensation profiles, PayScale provides an immediate and precise snapshot of current market pay. PayScale's patent-pending real-time profiling technology collects and indexes employee pay attributes worldwide and makes this data available through its online search tools and salary reports at PayScale was founded in 2002 and is headquartered in Seattle, WA.


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