The Volunteer State holds many business opportunities for entrepreneurs and small business owners. It is important as a business owner to familiarize yourself with the Tennessee minimum wage 2021, and the rules and regulations surrounding it. It is also beneficial as an employee to know your workers’ rights and the minimum rate you should be paid.

It is one thing knowing the minimum wage in Tennessee, but understanding the variations and exceptions due to unique employee/employer situations is a whole other variable.

This information has been created to walk you through the process of understanding the Tennessee minimum wage in 2021, recent and future updates, increases and historical wage rates, and different wage exceptions.



Did the Tennessee Minimum Wage Go Up?

The graphic below highlights the Tennessee minimum wage over the past several years. The minimum wage did not go up and remains at $7.25 per hour in 2021.

Minimum wage in Tennessee

Tennessee Minimum Wage 2021

The Tennessee minimum wage in 2021 is the same as it has been since 2009, $7.25 per hour. Another state that hasn’t increased its minimum wage since 2009 is South Carolina. If you take a look at the SC min wage rate now, and over the past several years, it resembles the Tennessee minimum wage 2021 and previous years too.

Just because the Tennessee minimum wage is $7.25 doesn’t mean that certain cities, counties, and towns within the Volunteer State don’t have their own minimum wage rates, which in some cases may be higher than the TN min wage.

Are you interested in starting a company in Tennessee?

If you would like to register a new business in Tennessee, check out our ultimate guide on How to Register a Business in Tennessee.

TN Min Wage

Although the TN min wage in 2021 sits at $7.25 per hour, there are exceptions to this wage and some additional rules apply to specific types of employees working for different industries:

  • Employers with tipped employees can take a tip credit of up to $5.12. This means that tipped employees may be paid a TN min wage base of $2.13 per hour, as long as their tips ensure that they still make at least $7.25 per hour each month.
  • Workers under the age of 20 can be paid a training wage of $4.25 during their first 90 days of employment.
  • Full-time students may be paid no less than 85 percent of the TN min wage (or $6.16) for up to 20 hours of work per week at certain employers, such as work-study programs.

If you are interested in learning more about the labor laws in Tennessee and how the state helps to protect its workers and employers, visit the TN Department of Labor and Workforce Development website for more information.

In 2021, Tennessee, unlike most states isn’t looking to increase the minimum wage, it will remain the same as the federal minimum wage for the foreseeable future according to the state legislature.

There are many interesting facts about Tennessee that you probably haven’t heard of. Feel free to check out a comprehensive list of them that also includes some very important economic facts if you are looking to start your own business or franchise or get a job in the state.

Tennessee Minimum Wage History

The table below provides the history of Tennessee’s minimum wage over the years since 2008. You can see when there were increases in the minimum wage, how much they were, and what percentage increase it represents.

StateWageYear$ Wage Increase% Increase
Tennessee Minimum Wage 2021$7.252021$00%
Tennessee Minimum Wage 2020$7.252020$00%
Tennessee Minimum Wage 2019$7.252019$00%
Tennessee Minimum Wage 2018$7.252018$00%
Tennessee Minimum Wage 2017$7.252017$00%
Tennessee Minimum Wage 2016$7.252016$00%
Tennessee Minimum Wage 2015$7.252015$00%
Tennessee Minimum Wage 2014$7.252014$00%
Tennessee Minimum Wage 2013$7.252013$00%
Tennessee Minimum Wage 2012$7.252012$00%
Tennessee Minimum Wage 2011$7.252011$00%
Tennessee Minimum Wage 2010$7.252010$00%
Tennessee Minimum Wage 2009$7.252009$0.6712%
Tennessee Minimum Wage 2008$5.582008$00%