A barista creates a variety of espresso and coffee drinks at a coffee bar, customized per customers' requests. Coffee bars are in retail coffee establishments, restaurants, cafés, delis, grocery stores, and other food and beverage service providers. In April 2011, pay scale estimated salaries based on 1,071 baristas reporting their wages.
A barista earns an average hourly rate ranging from $7.86 to $9.37 per hour. Overtime wages -- paid for working over 40 hours per week -- range from $10.91 to $14.44 per hour. Baristas also receive tips from customers averaging from 82 cents to $1.90 per hour. Some employers offer bonuses up to $296 per year. The total average yearly salary including hourly wages, tips and bonuses ranges from $16,990 to $21,004 per year.
Salaries increase as baristas gain professional experience. Those with less than one year of experience earn average salaries ranging from $7.49 to $8.59 per hour. Those with five to 19 years of experience earn average salaries ranging from $7.81 to $10.19 hour. Those with over 20 years of experience earn average salaries ranging from $9.54 to $14.24 per hour.
Of those reporting their wages to PayScale, those who work in grocery stores earn the highest wages, ranging from $7.91 to $9.52 per hour. Restaurants, cafes and delis pay average salaries ranging from $7.19 to $9.33 per hour. Coffee shops pay average salaries ranging from $7.75 to $9.14 per hour.
Salary can vary based on the cost of living where the job is located. The highest wages were in San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose, California, where baristas earn average salaries up to $12.21 per hour. Cities with the highest concentration of baristas include Chicago, Seattle and New York. In Chicago, salaries range from $8 to $9.42 per hour. In Seattle, salaries range from $8.58 to $9.80 per hour and in New York, salaries range from $8.02 to $10.15 per hour.