Find Schools

Study Area & Zipcode

Waiter or Waitress

Find Schools Near

What You Need to Know About Waiter or Waitress

Waiter or Waitress Example Take orders and serve food and beverages to patrons at tables in dining establishment.

A Day in the Life of a Waiter or Waitress

  • Perform food preparation duties such as preparing salads, appetizers, and cold dishes, portioning desserts, and brewing coffee.
  • Clean tables or counters after patrons have finished dining.
  • Serve food or beverages to patrons, and prepare or serve specialty dishes at tables as required.
  • Describe and recommend wines to customers.
  • Prepare checks that itemize and total meal costs and sales taxes.
  • Roll silverware, set up food stations, or set up dining areas to prepare for the next shift or for large parties.

Qualities of a Waiter or Waitress

Waiters and Waitresses state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.

Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Other Waiter or Waitress Job Titles

  • Headwaiter
  • Banquet Waiter/Waitress
  • Formal Waiter/Waitress
  • Food Runner
  • Dining Car Waiter/Waitress

Is There Going to be Demand for Waiters and Waitresses?

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 2,600,500 jobs in the United States for Waiter or Waitress. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 7% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 182,500 new jobs for Waiter or Waitress by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 522,700 job openings in this field each year.


The states with the most job growth for Waiter or Waitress are Utah, Washington, and Arizona. Watch out if you plan on working in Ohio, West Virginia, or Maine. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Waiter or Waitress Salary

The average yearly salary of a Waiter or Waitress ranges between $17,330 and $40,780.


Waiters and Waitresses who work in Hawaii, Vermont, or District of Columbia, make the highest salaries.

How much do Waiters and Waitresses make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $19,750
Alaska $25,610
Arizona $30,220
Arkansas $20,040
California $30,250
Colorado $25,510
Connecticut $26,350
Delaware $23,690
District of Columbia $48,120
Florida $26,120
Georgia $20,280
Hawaii $52,110
Idaho $20,780
Illinois $22,900
Indiana $22,300
Iowa $21,850
Kansas $20,140
Kentucky $19,450
Louisiana $18,630
Maine $27,550
Maryland $24,160
Massachusetts $31,920
Michigan $23,920
Minnesota $25,540
Mississippi $20,560
Missouri $21,420
Montana $20,990
Nebraska $25,610
Nevada $24,980
New Hampshire $24,850
New Jersey $27,530
New Mexico $20,770
New York $34,460
North Carolina $22,400
North Dakota $21,140
Ohio $22,650
Oklahoma $20,060
Oregon $28,640
Pennsylvania $24,850
Rhode Island $27,380
South Carolina $20,290
South Dakota $21,930
Tennessee $19,870
Texas $23,520
Utah $24,000
Vermont $34,560
Virginia $24,070
Washington $35,930
West Virginia $23,140
Wisconsin $23,330
Wyoming $23,670

What Tools do Waiters and Waitresses Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Waiters and Waitresses:

  • Facebook
  • Point of sale POS software
  • The General Store
  • Intuit QuickBooks Point of Sale
  • NCR NeighborhoodPOS
  • MICROS Systems HSI Profits Series
  • NCR Advanced Checkout Solution
  • Compris software
  • Compris Advanced Manager’s Workstation
  • Hospitality Control Solutions Aloha Point-of-Sale

How do I Become a Waiter or Waitress?

Individuals working as a Waiter or Waitress have obtained the following education levels:


How Long Does it Take to Become a Waiter or Waitress?


Who Employs Waiters and Waitresses?


Waiters and Waitresses work in the following industries:


Similar Careers

Those interested in being a Waiter or Waitress may also be interested in:

Are you already one of the many Waiter or Waitress in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:


Image Credit: via

More about our data sources and methodologies.

Featured Schools

Find Schools Near You

Our free school finder matches students with accredited colleges across the U.S.