If you work as a server in Maryland or would like to get into the industry, then you should be aware of what the minimum wage is for servers in Maryland to ensure you are being paid the correct amount, or whether this is a job you would like to do. The Maryland server minimum wage rate in 2023 is $3.63 per hour.
The laws surrounding the Maryland minimum wage for servers are designed to create a safety net for those that may not earn enough in tips to meet the minimum wage threshold in the state.
Servers are the lifeblood of the hospitality industry, and they serve their customers with food and beverages in a restaurant or similar type of business where food and drinks are delivered to the table. As part of providing this service, a server will typically receive tips (gratuities) for doing so.
Maryland servers typically rely far less on their low hourly tipped minimum wage and more on the generosity of the guests they serve for their paycheck each week.
Maryland Server Minimum Wage 2023
What is the actual minimum wage for a server in Maryland? The minimum cash wage for servers in Maryland is $3.63 per hour, which is the same as the tipped minimum wage in Maryland.
This is the minimum per hour that a Maryland server must be paid and that a Maryland employer must pay its servers.
As you can see from the following graphic, the minimum wage for servers in Maryland has not increased over the past several years.
However, the tip credit has been increasing within the state each year, and we explain below how much this is and how it works.
Server Minimum Wage in Maryland – Minimum Cash Wage and Tip Credits
$3.63 per hour is not much to be paid an hour, but if a server’s tips are not sufficient enough, Maryland law requires that servers must be supplemented by their employers via “tipped credit.”
In Maryland’s case, this is $9.62 per hour in 2023, making the server minimum wage in Maryland a total of $12.50 per hour.
The regular minimum wage in Maryland for all types of employees does not follow the federal minimum wage guidelines that have been the same since 2008. Instead, Maryland has its own unique minimum wage rate that is calculated via the consumer price index and general inflation within the state.
Based on the tipped minimum wage laws that apply to all states, Maryland employers are required to pay their employees an hourly minimum cash wage with the addition of tip credits.
What tipped credits allow employers to do is pay tipped employees less than the minimum wage so long as they can make up at least the difference via tips per hour during each working week.
Tip credit not only allows server employees to be paid less than the minimum hourly wage, but it is also the same concept with bartenders, hotel workers, airport attendants, other workers in the hospitality industry, and most other roles where tips are the primary income for the employee.
In Maryland, servers must be paid a base minimum cash wage of $3.63 per hour. The expectation is that Maryland servers will make at least an additional $9.62 per hour in tips on average across a working week, and if they do, then the employer is only obligated to pay a Maryland server $3.63 per hour.
Let’s assume that a server in Maryland does not make at least $9.62 per hour in tips as an average over the course of a working week, then the employer must step in and pay the Maryland server a tip credit of up to $9.62 per hour, so the server makes a minimum of $13.25 per hour for the duration of the working week.
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Tipped Employees
The Federal Fair Labor Standards Act, also known as the FLSA, is a federal law from the U.S. Department of Labor.
This law establishes a national minimum wage, defines classifications for employees, and covers other essential standards and requirements for employers.
Federal law requires that employers make tipped employees aware of the cash wage paid (currently, the national direct hourly salary is $2.13 per hour), let them know about the tip credit, and explain any tip pooling systems at the workplace.
Because Maryland’s minimum wage rate is higher than the federal minimum wage rate, the state laws supersede the federal regulations.
Maryland Server Minimum Wage History
The table below showcases the current rate and history of the Maryland server minimum wage over the past 15+ years since 2008.
You can see when there were increases in the server minimum wage, which includes not only the tipped minimum wage rates but the tipped credit rates too.
|State||Tipped server Wage||Tip Credit||Total|
|Maryland server minimum wage 2023||$3.63||$9.62||$13.25|
|Maryland server minimum wage 2022||$3.63||$8.87||$12.50|
|Maryland server minimum wage 2021||$3.63||$8.12||$11.75|
|Maryland server minimum wage 2020||$3.63||$7.37||$11.00|
|Maryland server minimum wage 2019||$3.63||$6.47||$10.10|
|Maryland server minimum wage 2018||$3.63||$5.62||$9.25|
|Maryland server minimum wage 2017||$3.63||$5.12||$8.75|
|Maryland server minimum wage 2016||$3.63||$5.12||$8.75|
|Maryland server minimum wage 2015||$3.63||$4.62||$8.25|
|Maryland server minimum wage 2014||$3.63||$3.62||$7.25|
|Maryland server minimum wage 2013||$3.63||$3.62||$7.25|
|Maryland server minimum wage 2012||$3.63||$3.62||$7.25|
|Maryland server minimum wage 2011||$3.63||$3.62||$7.25|
|Maryland server minimum wage 2010||$3.63||$3.62||$7.25|
|Maryland server minimum wage 2009||$3.63||$3.62||$7.25|
|Maryland server minimum wage 2008||$3.28||$3.27||$6.55|
Average Server Salary in Maryland (2023)
If you are a server or are looking to work as a server in a restaurant or similar service-related business in Maryland, knowing the hourly wage for servers is important, but knowing what you can expect to earn is perhaps even more important for your well-being and livelihood.
Most Maryland servers do not take a position at a restaurant, hotel, or cafe, assuming they can only earn $13.25 per hour, because based on working 35-40 hours a week, they could only earn about $463-$530 per week before taxes. For some, this is fine, but for others that have a family to support, earning more per week is imperative.
What Do Servers Get Paid in Maryland
The average server hourly wage in Maryland, according to the job website Indeed is $17.00 per hour! So, if you were to work an 8-hour shift or a total of 8 hours in a day across a couple of shifts, you could earn (on average) about $136 (8 hrs x $17.00).
If you worked five days per week, then you could potentially earn about $680 per week as a server in Maryland.
If you took worked for about 48 weeks per year, you could potentially earn $32,640 before taxes. This, of course, is before Maryland income tax has been deducted and any federal taxes that you may incur on your income.
The above calculations are just averages to give you an idea of roughly what you could earn as a Maryland server.
The most important aspects of how much you can earn will depend on how good you are at your job, your experience level, what type of food/beverage establishment you work at, and how busy the restaurant/cafe/hotel or bar is on a consistent basis.
Also, many people that work at restaurants or similar establishments are willing to work more than 40 hours per week which may make them qualify for overtime pay.
You also need to be working at an establishment that has enough business to keep you busy for 40 cumulative hours of shifts each week to potentially earn a good living.
If you are a Maryland employer, it is your responsibility to pay your servers a minimum hourly rate + tip credit that at least equals the Maryland minimum wage in the event that your servers do not earn enough to meet the $12.50 per hour threshold. By failing to do so you could be breaking federal and state laws.
Equally, it is important that as a server working in Maryland, you know your rights and how much you should be paid each week based on your hourly wage and tip credits.
If you have specific questions about the laws surrounding the minimum wage for servers in Maryland (tipped employees) from both an employer and employee perspective, you can contact the Maryland Department of Labor Wage and Hour. Additionally, if you are an employee who isn’t being paid what you legally should be, you can make an inquiry or file a complaint with them too.
Maryland Department of Labor
10946 West Golden Drive
Suite 160 Hunt Valley,