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How Much Does a Barista Make Per Hour? (2024 Salary Data)

cropped barista in front of coffee brewers

Do you have a way with coffee? Have you always dreamed of working in your favorite local coffee shop serving your tasty brews to the customers you’ve come to like? If so, then perhaps a job as a barista is right up your alley. Baristas are the cornerstone of any coffee shop. Yes, there are managers tucked away in the back keeping an eye on the bottom line, but it’s the baristas who mingle with the people and give them what they want: great coffee!

If you’ve considered taking on the task of being a barista, then certain questions have crossed your mind. How much does a barista make per hour? What’s the annual salary? Do I need experience? All of these things are important to know before you step into the coffee industry. Let’s take a look at the salary data and determine whether being a barista would be beneficial to your bank account and what’s required to make it big slinging coffee. The average barista makes $12 per hour, though this number can change depending on the company you work for and where you live.

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How Much Do Baristas Make an Hour?

When talking about money, it’s important to remember that every business pays differently. Chain coffee shops such as Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts will offer their team members more cash while locally-owned coffee shops may not have that ability. Different states also have higher averages of pay. You’ll find that this isn’t only in the coffee industry but in many other areas of the service industry as well.

When comparing salaries, most baristas average $12 an hour in pay. However, a Starbucks barista will most likely make more than one who serves up smiles and fresh brews at the corner coffee shop. Let’s take a look at how the overall average salary compares to that of the top chain coffee shops.

Local baristas $12 an hour average
Starbucks baristas $17 an hour average
Dunkin Donuts $12 an hour average
Barista whipping milk
Image Credit: Ketut Subiyanto, Pexels

What Does This Mean Annually?

Annual pay is the amount you make at the end of the year if you make the same salary each week. For example, for a barista who’s making $12 an hour, their annual salary would be $24,960. This amount will change, however, according to your pay per hour. For some lucky baristas, the company they work for sees fit to start them out at a higher pay rate. If that’s the case, let’s see how the different prices pan out below.

$12 an hour salary $24,960
$13 an hour salary $27,040
$14 an hour salary $29,120
$15 an hour salary $31,200

As you can see, even a dollar more per hour can drastically change your annual salary. This is why when you apply for a job, you should always keep this amount in mind and know what you could potentially be earning each year with no overtime or paid bonuses.

Location Matters

The wages people make depend largely on the area where they work. Have you heard people talk about traveling to work for better wages? That’s why. People who live in smaller, less financially stable cities and towns will find the jobs in their local areas offer less when it comes to hourly pay. This difference is often due to lower tax rates, lower costs of living, and less demand in your area.

If you want to be a barista and make top dollar for your work, check out these cities below. They are paying some of the highest salary rates for amazing coffee shop baristas.

San Mateo, CA $13.68 hourly $28,456 annually
Juneau, AK $13.42 hourly $27,912 annually
Boston, MA $13.39 hourly $27,859 annually
New Ulm, MN $13.28 hourly $27,617 annually
Santa Monica, CA $13.23 hourly $27,510 annually
barista making a drink
Image Credit: Lidia Vi, Unsplash

Do I Need Experience?

As with all jobs, if you have the experience to back you up, you have better chances of making more money. While most places hiring baristas are willing to train you, if you have your high school diploma or equivalent and at least some experience in customer service, you should be able to land your dream job. Once you’re hired, having the willingness to learn new things will open doors for you and before long you’ll be one of the best baristas in your town.

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Final Thoughts

If you’re ready to take on the coffee world and become a talented barista, this salary data will come in handy. While you may start at the average of $12 an hour or lower, there is room to grow in this profession. By perfecting your craft, those you work for may take notice and reward you for all your hard work.

See Also: How Much Do Coffee Shop Owners Make?

Featured Image Credit: ClaroCafe, Pixabay


Melissa Gunter

Melissa has been a fan of coffee since the first sip she stole from her Granny's cup when she was just a girl. Now, she spends each morning writing with a hot cup of coffee at her side. With a love of sweet and creamy bliss, Melissa and her daughter, Amber, stop by and try out every local coffee shop they see. Neither are afraid to try something new and have a long list of favorite coffee beverages they simply can't do without. When she's not freelance writing about her 2 passions, coffee, and pets, Melissa spends her time with her husband, 2 kids, and 5 fur babies. She also loves diving into the fiction world under her pen name, Rena Marin. If she isn't at the laptop or with the family, Melissa is out enjoying the mountains of East Tennessee she calls home.

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