As of May 2009, there were 2,302,070 waiters and waitresses employed in the United States, reports the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. Their median pay is $8.50 per hour, or $17,690 annually working full-time, not including tips. Georgia waitresses can expect to earn a salary less than that of other waitresses around the country.
BLS states that as of its May 2009 salary survey, the average salary of waitresses in the United States is $20,380, or $9.80 per hour. (The median salary previously mentioned is the salary in the middle when all of the reported salaries are lined up numerically. The average is the resulting salary when all of the salaries are added up and then divided by how many salaries were included in the survey.) The 25th percentile earns $15,800, or $7.60 per hour. The 75th percentile earns $22,080, or $10.62, and the 90th percentile earns $30,110, or $14.48 per hour.
Georgia employs 64,680 waiters and waitresses, according to BLS, as of 2009. The average salary of waitresses in Georgia is $18,890 per year -- $1,500 less per year than the national average -- or $9.08 per hour. The median hourly wage is $7.81.
Atlanta and Savannah
Atlanta waiters and waitresses earn a salary less than the national average, but higher than the state average: $19,630, or $9.44 per hour. Savannah waitresses earn an average salary of $20,310, or $9.76 per hour. The cost of living in Atlanta is 2.1 percent lower than the national average, according to the Sperling’s Best Places website as of May 2011. Savannah’s cost of living is 15.4 percent lower than the national average, making it one of the better Georgia cities in which to work as a waiter.
Gainesville and Macon
Waitresses in Gainesville earn an average annual salary of $19,370, or $9.31 per hour. Macon waitresses earn an average salary of just $16,750 per year in comparison, or $8.05 per hour. However, the cost of living in Macon is 27.1 percent lower than the rest of the country, according to Sperling’s Best Places. The cost of living in Gainesville is 12.7 percent lower than the national average.