The Jobs That Get You The Biggest Tips

[If you guessed sex, booze, and gambling, you’d be right ;)]

Saw this video on CNN about Apple stock and home ownership predictions for 2014 (more on that later), but then at the end it threw in a zinger on the people who get paid the MOST via tips at their jobs. Which is always fun to see for some reason? :)

And, as we all know, sin definitely sells.

Here are the top gigs that’ll get you the most tips (*per hour*), according to

  1. Exotic dancers (aka strippers) @ $25.40/hour
  2. Game dealers (like in casinos) @ $12.80/hour
  3. Sommeliers (aka wine choosers) @ $10.10/hour
  4. Bartender (aka… umm.. bartender) @ $9.50/hour

Waiters came in at #7, Chauffeurs at #9, and Tattoo artists at #12. Maybe because new people don’t know you’re supposed to tip for tattoos?? I didn’t when I got mine :( Here’s the rest of the list:

  1. Musician @ $8.80
  2. Banquet Captain (?) @ $7.50
  3. Waiter @ $7.40
  4. Bar Manager @ $6.50
  5. Chauffeur @ $6.30
  6. Beautician @ $5.30
  7. Room Service @ $5.10
  8. Tattoo Artist @ $5.00

Prettying interesting. Not that it makes me want to change jobs or anything… Remember when bloggers used to have a Paypal “tip jar” in all their sidebars though? Cuz we all thought people would just love to donate money to us cuz our stuff was so life changing?? That was fun, haha… NOT. (If only it worked! ;))

CNN also shared Zillow’s thoughts in the video on what they predict for real estate in 2014:

  • Home values will increase 3% on average. That would be good!! (Unless you’re a buyer)
  • Mortgage rates will reach 5%. That would be not-so-good (unless you’re a saver, cuz it usually means interest rates on cash money will go up too – woo!)
  • It’ll be *easier* to get mortgages. That would be good! (Unless it start’s forming another bubble again when lenders get all loosey goosey as they tend to do…)
  • Homeownership rates will be the lowest in two decades. Hmm… Not sure how I feel about this one really. I’m definitely over owning a home myself, but for the general public I think it’s a wise thing. So, I guess this is bad?

Anyways, a few nuggets of info for you today… Perhaps you can use ’em in one of your 84 meetings this week to impress the boss. Or, even better, score a date with that hot colleague of yours who also happens to be intellectually intimidating too!

Go get ’em tiger, rawr.

Photo cred: brh_images

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  1. Michelle December 16, 2013 at 8:20 AM

    Wow I figured all of these numbers would be higher! Whenever W gets a tattoo (and he has a lot), he always tips at least $50, and sometimes it’s in the hundreds.

    1. J. Money December 16, 2013 at 8:28 AM

      Hundreds?? Is he COVERED in tats?? Haha… I really want a sleeve of ’em myself, but not sure I have the cajones to pull it off… everything I seem to like doesn’t really go together either so not sure how pretty of a picture it would make all mushed together :)

  2. Holly@ClubThrifty December 16, 2013 at 8:36 AM

    When my husband asked me to marry him, I made him promise that I would never have to work in food service again…or for tips! I hated it. Of course, I wasn’t a stripper making the big bucks. I worked at Outback, haha.

    1. J. Money December 16, 2013 at 8:50 PM

      If you worked their while naked you would have made more ;)

  3. Brian@ Debt Discipline December 16, 2013 at 8:52 AM

    I have no idea what a Banquet Captain is. Does it come with an eye patch? I don’t know why but the few times I’ve played blackjack at a casino I tipped the dealer. The gave the guy/girl taking my money more of my money. Must of been the “free” drinks.

    1. J. Money December 16, 2013 at 8:52 PM

      I once won a huge ass pot while playing Hold ’em in Vegas, and then felt bad and tried dividing up the money and giving it back to everyone at the table, haha… turns out they don’t appreciate such nice deeds – they took it as rubbing in their faces :( And yes, I was wasted.

  4. DC @ Young Adult Money December 16, 2013 at 8:58 AM

    Like Michelle, I would expect these numbers to be higher. I think that one thing that may bring these numbers down is the workers who work at places that aren’t busy and/or during the “dead” times. I know some waiters/waitresses/bartenders who work during the day at places that really aren’t that busy. I know for a fact that the bartenders working on Fri/Sat night in downtown MPLS/ST. Paul are definitely making a WHOLE lot more haha.

    1. J. Money December 16, 2013 at 8:53 PM

      That’s probably true. There’s def. ways of making more bang for your buck in a lot of these professions. And, as well, the sex industry (bah dum-ching).

  5. Mark Ross December 16, 2013 at 9:45 AM

    Interesting list J! Those in the entertainment/casino/gambling industry really get more tip, isn’t it? I wonder why. :)

  6. John S @ Frugal Rules December 16, 2013 at 9:53 AM

    Very interesting on the tips. We have a good friend who is a dealer at a local casino and he was doing pretty good on the tips but ended up having to leave because the smoke was impacting his health too much. Good to know about tipping the tattoo artist. My wife and I are going to Vegas in January and she’s lobbying hard for us to get tattoos together. She has one already and I don’t. We’ll see who wins out. ;)

    1. J. Money December 16, 2013 at 8:54 PM

      HAH! Awesome! I love your wife – tell her to come convince mine, will ya?

  7. Debt BLAG December 16, 2013 at 9:53 AM

    I didn’t even know I was supposed to tip sommeliers! And yet here they are #3 on the list.

    Also, I wonder why taxi drivers aren’t on there. Rides take a few minutes and they usually get 20% of what are pretty high fares… unless they’re counted among chauffeurs

    1. J. Money December 16, 2013 at 8:54 PM

      Yeah? What the heck?

  8. Lance @ Money Life and More December 16, 2013 at 10:12 AM

    If I ever had to work for tips again I could, but I’d prefer not to. The only time I worked for tips was at a Pizza Hut and people don’t seem to tip well when they dine-in there. I’d pick a higher end place if I ever had to go to tip work agian.

    1. J. Money December 16, 2013 at 8:58 PM

      Or be a delivery guy, yeah?

  9. Debt and the Girl December 16, 2013 at 10:57 AM

    I never had a tip jar on my home page. I always wondered if people actually donate to those things. I did give to one blogger once but that was because she was in a tough spot with little kids. I have adverts on my page though and I guess thats a little like “payment” for the stuff I write.

    1. J. Money December 16, 2013 at 9:00 PM

      Well that’s nice of you! I had it up for like 3 months and didn’t get a penny, haha… and I’m sure most others too :) But yes – ads on the site are different. Companies with money are paying you vs readers, which makes more sense really.

  10. maria@moneyprinciple December 16, 2013 at 11:52 AM

    Gosh, I knew I should stay ‘Nevada’ ;).

    1. J. Money December 16, 2013 at 9:01 PM

      HAH! You totally need to bring out your alter-ego, Maria. THAT would be some juicy blog content!

  11. Rick December 16, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    Since it’s somewhat common knowledge for the IRS to flag certain occupations for their historical under-reporting of earned income, I’ve spent a few brain cells looking for work-arounds for some job description to assist those that receive the bulk of their earned income “off the books” (aka tips).

    Tax Preparer (aka me): “And the next quetion … Your occupation ma’m?”
    Client (aka stripper): “Why, I’m a Choreographer, of course!”

    1. J. Money December 16, 2013 at 9:01 PM

      Haha… love it.

  12. Jessica O. December 16, 2013 at 12:07 PM

    Those rates seem extremely low. I was in food service from high school through post-college. I waited tables/bartended at a casual dining place and made significantly more than the rates listed. In fact, for a brief time, I worked at a high-end inn/resort. I made $900 on Thanksgiving as a banquet server. I worked about 12 hours and I literally poured water all day.

    1. J. Money December 16, 2013 at 9:02 PM

      Wowwwwwww…. imagine if you could do that 5 days a week? :)

  13. Brian December 16, 2013 at 12:17 PM

    I smell a business Idea… Stripper Sommeliers… not only would you get a nice wine pairing with dinner but you get a lap dance… fancy steakhouses will never be the same. Now who wants to front me some money to make this happen?

    1. C The Writer December 16, 2013 at 2:48 PM

      I knew this post would be a chance for commenters to demean and insult sex workers, in this case, dancers.

  14. Anne @ Unique Gifter December 16, 2013 at 12:19 PM

    So that’s how people pay for college? haha.
    I guess those are large averages, because it really depends on where you work! A friend of mine makes about $80K working as a sommelier and waiter at a Fairmont hotel, which is quite a lot of money!!

    1. J. Money December 16, 2013 at 9:05 PM

      Nice!!! I don’t know jack about sommeliers, but apparently I need to!

  15. snarkfinance December 16, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    A stripper’s average income is $25.40 + base rate (depends on club)… so conservatively speaking, that is about $53K/year plus base pay. Not bad. A girl could easily pay their way through college with that kind on money if she isn’t shy. In other words, I no longer feel bad about going to strip clubs.

    1. C The Writer December 16, 2013 at 2:55 PM

      It isn’t just about not being shy. I am a cashier and I deal with mentally unbalanced people in my face all day every day. I am able to do so because I have the temperament and fortitude to withstand rudeness all day long. I am able to brush it off and ignore it. This is not a trait many people possess. People think of my job as “unskilled,” but in actuality, only a fraction of the population has the ability to stay calm when someone is in their face calling them a bitch because a bottle of ketchup is 3.00 instead of 2.75.

      A woman must have the right temperament to be a dancer. In some ways my job is comparable, because you’re dealing with people who aren’t always mentally stable. I frequently have creepy men staring at me, making comments, being creeps, and I’m not even in the sex industry, so I have a shadow of an inkling what these women go through in their jobs, but not even remotely a real idea. I do know, however, that most women cannot and will not do it.

      I think my pet peeve now is reading comments on the internet from women who disparage, demean and insult women who work in the sex industry. It’s disgusting and truly sad. I expect to see some of that here.

  16. Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life December 16, 2013 at 1:12 PM

    I wonder what the base salary is for all those jobs. For instance, I know waiters essentially live off tips, what is the base hourly for the stripper getting those $25 tips?

  17. Nick @ Step Away from the Mall December 16, 2013 at 1:22 PM

    I bartended for about 6 years. There’s a ton of range, even within a bar. But the proper hustle and fire-spitting helped me fill up the tip jar quite nicely… I miss it every once in a while… then I realize I now go to bed when I used to be leaving for work… I like sleeping when the sun’s down.

    1. J. Money December 16, 2013 at 9:09 PM

      I bet! Every now and then I have a burning desire to go out and bar tend and I’ve never done it before! :) Just seems like a perfect match for me really, minus maybe the hours now that I have a kid…

  18. Squirrelers December 16, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    I’ve never worked for tips, so the whole concept has been quite interesting to me. $25+ per hour shows the value of having a nice figure and the guts/mentality to have that job. Not that I qualify, as guy approaching middle age in not too distant future :)

  19. Micro December 16, 2013 at 8:48 PM

    I listed to a really interesting episode on Freakonomics the other day that went into some stats on tipping for servers. According to the research, women made more than men, blondes made more than red heads, physical contact yielded higher tips (like a touch on the shoulder, don’t be a perv :). I wonder if the stats are similar for other professions. Like would a woman blackjack dealer get better tips than a male dealer?

  20. Chuck @ Tortoise Banker December 20, 2013 at 3:11 PM

    Oh yeah! Love the stats… I would have thought Strippers would make way more than that an hour!


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