The minimum wage in Houston TX is $7.25 per hour in 2022.

Houston, Texas is undoubtedly one of the most popular cities in the U.S., not just within the state itself. Many people choose Houston as their place to live and work due to continued job growth, affordable housing and overall low cost of living, and its abundance of world-class attractions and restaurants.

Cost of living in Mexico City
Cost of living in Mexico City
The following graphic shows the Houston minimum wage rate over the past several years, which unfortunately for many, has not increased.

Minimum wage in Houston

The weekly minimum wage in Houston equates to $290 ($7.25×40) if you are working a full 40-hour week. There are, however, some exceptions to this hourly wage for student workers, tipped employees, and overtime workers who will all receive different minimum wage rates.

Houston Minimum Wage Exemptions

The state of Texas does not have its own specific minimum wage policy, which is why it defaults to the federal minimum wage rate, and subsequently, so does Houston.

There are rules and laws in place to ensure that employers are paying their employees the minimum wage or above in Houston, Texas unless they are exempt employees.

On February 17, 2022, the Mayor of Houston, Sylvester Turner signed an executive order that would raise the wages of Houston airport workers to $15.00 per hour by October 1, 2023.

Until then, the minimum wage for airport workers in Houston is $13.00 per hour after an April 2022 increase that saw it rise to $13.00 from $12.00 per hour. The next Houston airport worker minimum wage increase is set to take place on October 1, 2022, when the wage will increase to $14.00 per hour.

Also, in late 2021, Houston increased the minimum wage rate for municipal workers in the city, from $14.25 per hour to $15.00 per hour. Below we have listed all the minimum wage rates for exempt employees in Houston.

  • Houston’s minimum wage for tipped employees is $2.13 per hour with a tip credit rate of $5.12.
  • Student-workers (full-time high school or college) in Houston are paid a minimum wage of $6.16 per hour for up to 20 hours of work a week. Any more than this and they are eligible for the full minimum wage of $7.25.
  • The overtime minimum wage in Houston is $10.88 per hour for every hour worked in excess of 40 hours per week.
  • The Houston airport workers’ minimum wage rate is $13.00 per hour.
  • The minimum wage in Houston for municipal workers is $15.00 per hour.

What is the Houston Living Wage?

Due to Houston being such a big expansive city with a large population and competitive job market, you would expect the minimum wage to be higher for the city. But, unfortunately for many, Houston still follows the state minimum wage rate of $7.25 per hour for the majority of its workers.

However, there is a ‘living wage’ for Houston, which is calculated based on how much a person needs to pay their bills, food, and general cost of living expenses while living in the city.

So, the living wage for an adult living alone with no children in Houston is $14.26 per hour (via Living Wage Calculator), which is $7.01 higher than the minimum wage for the state itself.

Living wage in Houston

Fortunately, most employers in Houston take this into account when they contemplate how much they should be paying employees within the city. Taking all of the living expenses into account, the living wage annual salary (for a full-time person) in Houston is $29,661 before state income tax in Texas.

What is the Average Wage in Houston?

Now that we know the minimum wage, exemptions, and the cost of living, or living wage in Houston, it makes sense to take a look at what the average wage is for employees in Houston.

According to payscale.com, the average base hourly rate is $19.42 per hour in Houston. If you worked full-time (40 hours per week or 2080 hours per year) the average annual income would be $40,394. So, as an employee or future employee in Houston, you have a good chance of being paid a higher wage than the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

If the living wage in Houston is $14.26 and the average salary equates to an effective hourly rate of $19.42 per hour, Houston can be considered a good choice for those seeking a move to the Lone Star State.

Houston Minimum Wage History

The table below displays the historical minimum wage rates in Houston since 1983. As you can see on the table, we have included percentage increases as well as the dollar increase per year.

StateWage Year$ Wage Increase% Increase
Houston Minimum Wage 2022$7.252022$00%
Houston Minimum Wage 2021$7.252021$00%
Houston Minimum Wage 2020$7.252020$00%
Houston Minimum Wage 2019$7.252019$00%
Houston Minimum Wage 2018$7.252018$00%
Houston Minimum Wage 2017$7.252017$00%
Houston Minimum Wage 2016$7.252016$00%
Houston Minimum Wage 2015$7.252015$00%
Houston Minimum Wage 2014$7.252014$00%
Houston Minimum Wage 2013$7.252013$00%
Houston Minimum Wage 2012$7.252012$00%
Houston Minimum Wage 2011$7.252011$00%
Houston Minimum Wage 2010$7.252010$00%
Houston Minimum Wage 2009$7.252009$0.7010.6%
Houston Minimum Wage 2008$6.552008$00%
Houston Minimum Wage 2007$6.552007$0.7011.96%
Houston Minimum Wage 2006$5.852006$0.7013.59%
Houston Minimum Wage 2005$5.152005$00%
Houston Minimum Wage 2004$5.152004$00%
Houston Minimum Wage 2003$5.152003$00%
Houston Minimum Wage 2002$5.152002$053.73%
Houston Minimum Wage 2001$3.352001$00%
Houston Minimum Wage 2000$3.352000$00%
Houston Minimum Wage 1999$3.351999$00%
Houston Minimum Wage 1998$3.351998$00%
Houston Minimum Wage 1997$3.351997$00%
Houston Minimum Wage 1996$3.351996$00%
Houston Minimum Wage 1995$3.351995$00%
Houston Minimum Wage 1994$3.351994$00%
Houston Minimum Wage 1993$3.351993$00%
Houston Minimum Wage 1992$3.351992$00%
Houston Minimum Wage 1991$3.351991$00%
Houston Minimum Wage 1990$3.351990$00%
Houston Minimum Wage 1989$3.351989$00%
Houston Minimum Wage 1988$3.351988$00%
Houston Minimum Wage 1987$3.351987$1.95139.28%
Houston Minimum Wage 1986$1.401986$00%
Houston Minimum Wage 1985$1.401985$00%
Houston Minimum Wage 1984$1.401984$00%
Houston Minimum Wage 1983$1.401983$00%

Final Thoughts

The minimum wage in Houston is the same rate as the Texas state minimum wage, which also follows federal guidelines, resulting in an hourly wage for both Houston and Texas of $7.25 per hour. As an employee in Houston, you must be paid this wage or higher by law.

The living wage is significantly higher than the minimum wage within the city, which is why the majority of Houston employers will pay more than $7.25 per hour to their employees despite not being legally obliged to.