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In 2009, one unassuming waiter received a whopping $4,000 tip from the iconic Hollywood actor, Johnny Depp. Now, some would say it was a stroke of luck. But we like to think of it more as a smart career choice.
No doubt, modest jobs like waiting tables might not seem particularly lucrative on the surface.
But, if you play your cards right, they can earn you big bucks in the form of tips.
If you’re hoping to bump up your income with a high-tipping gig, you can start today with zero experience.
Here are 8 of the best simple jobs that pay out the highest tips.
Simple Jobs with the Highest Tips:
1. Waiter or Waitress
Anyone can wait tables. Most restaurants have pretty modest requirements for their wait-staff. As long as you’ve got a pleasant disposition and long-wearing patience. In fact, you could probably walk into most restaurants right now, and get hired on the spot.
Why is waiting table top on our list of jobs that pay the best tips? We as Americans have collectively adopted a culture that makes tipping workers in the foodservice industry a customary practice. Basic etiquette teaches us that leaving a little bonus that’s at least 10% of your final bill is a necessary expense associated with restaurant dining.
On top of the typical 10% tip, there’s the potential of serving high-profile patrons. Working at posh, high-end establishments won’t only bump up your salary, but it could improve your chances of crossing paths with more generous diners.
The job is simple—provide security and courtesy to residents and guests who pass by your door. You’ll usually find a doorman at luxury hotels or residential condominiums, and they’re there to maintain peace and safety and to provide assistance when needed.
Needless to say, this relatively simple job doesn’t ask for a lot of technical skill or knowledge. But, the potential of serving high-end clients—especially if you’re hired at a luxury hotel—can significantly increase your chances of earning a handsome tip.
Keep in mind that the value of the service you provide can affect your chances of getting an impressive bonus. Being friendly, informative, and enthusiastic to help, even before you’ve been asked, will make your guests feel more inclined to hand you a better tip.
So, how much can you earn as a doorman? According to Business Insider, the average doorman tip can range from $25 to $150 per guest, but that total can shoot up to $1,000 or more on a good day.
3. Golf Caddie
Golf caddies are the unsung heroes of the golf course. Without their efforts, most golfers would be left to lug their heavy irons all on their own. But, for as indispensable as a golf caddie might be, they don’t really need any specific skills to succeed in the job.
If you’ve got the upper body strength for it, and if you can remain relatively silent during those pivotal swings, you’d do well as a golf caddie. More experienced caddies can even offer their golfers valuable advice, making them even more helpful on the green.
What’s especially desirable about caddying is that most golf courses will provide a tipping scheme for their patrons. Of course, the numbers are not set in stone. But, working with a golf course that encourages tipping means you’ll probably get more out of a day’s work.
According to Golf Advisor, a caddie can earn a $40 to $50 tip per player. If you’re carrying bags for two golfers, they might give you a little less—around $30 each. But, you still end up earning $60 for the whole round.
4. Taxi Driver
Got a driver’s license and basic interpersonal skills? Taxi driving could be a suitable line of work for you. These days, it’s becoming harder and harder to find personable taxi drivers, especially in densely populated urban areas.
With rude, unfriendly, and unreasonable drivers on the rise, people are becoming more open to rewarding those who still manage to remain courteous and fair despite the harsh collective culture.
Another reason we’ve included taxi driving on this list of jobs is that tips tend to be steep of the profession’s inherent base of foreign clients. Foreigners are often relatively unaware of the tipping rates in your area, so this group is more likely to tip higher to satisfy the local standard without having to ask.
USA Today states that the average tip for a taxi driver can be anywhere from 15 to 20% of the fare. But, good manners and a friendly personality can earn you much more than that.
People will pay big bucks to look good. And, if you go above and beyond their expectations, they might be willing to pay a little extra. Beauticians offer a range of services—from hairdressing to mani-pedis—and most of them can be mastered without much more than a crash course on YouTube.
According to Carrie Sloan—Editor in Chief at LearnVest—the appropriate tip for any beauty service stands at 20% of the total service cost. So, whether it’s a modest manicure or a full-on Brazilian blowout, you can expect a fifth of the service price in the form of tips.
But, there are ways to earn more than that. Working at high-end, posh beauty salons and spas can give you access to a more gracious clientele. Knowing when to chat up a customer can also mean the difference between an eye-popping tip and a penniless thank you.
Some clients don’t want you to talk, and some of them would probably spill their guts if you let them. Adapt to your patrons and engage depending on their preference to match the kind of service for which they’d be happy to tip.
6. Pizza Delivery Guy
Got a bike and a basic geographical knowledge of your area? Pizza delivery should be a total no-brainer. Even minors can get jobs as delivery people, making it a great gig if you’ve got zero background or experience.
Sure, tips in the pizza delivery service might not be quite as impressive as what you’d make as a caddie or doorman. But, for what it lacks in value, it makes up for with bulk. For orders less than $20, a pizza delivery guy should receive a standard $3 tip.
Any amount over $20 warrants 10 to 15% of the order cost in the form of a tip. And, fortunately for you, most people are accustomed to tipping pizza delivery guys—it’s basic etiquette in America.
If you’re working in an area that’s big on pizzas, you can average up to four deliveries every hour. That totals $12 hourly in tips alone, excluding whatever wage you make.
Up until this point, all the previous jobs we’ve listed have required that you work with one customer or client at a time. Bartenders, however, get to work an entire bar full of merry-making patrons, significantly increasing the potential to earn big in tips.
As a general rule of thumb, patrons are encouraged to tip $1 for every drink they buy. Those paying with a card are likely to tip 20% of their final tab. High-end bars with more affluent patrons and more expensive cocktails can earn you a tip of $2 to $4 per glass.
Then, there’s the factor of dense patronage. Remember that bartenders respond to the needs of more than a handful of guests at a time. Even if there were just five people at your bar, you would expect a pretty handsome sum at the end of the busy evening.
Finally, you can’t discount the fact that alcohol can make people feel more generous. So, the more your patrons drink, the more you stand to earn in the form of tips.
8. Dog Groomer
For some pet owners, finding the perfect groomer can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. Dogs can be especially sensitive, feeling uncomfortable, stressed out, and scared in the presence of a complete stranger and his arsenal of odd tools.
So, when a pet owner finds a groomer who doesn’t trigger his dog’s anxiety, they’re more likely to express their gratitude with a fat tip. Add in the ability to polish a pup to perfection, and you’ve basically cemented your clients’ patronage.
For the most part, requirements for getting a job as a dog groomer are pretty straightforward. They change from employer to employer but will usually include:
- A high-school diploma
- A completed dog grooming apprenticeship (6-10 weeks)
On average, you can expect to make 15 to 20% in tips on top of your salary. If you’re lucky enough to work with dogs from high-end neighborhoods, you can earn two-fold the expected tip.
Supplement Your Income With a Job That Pays in Great Tips
You don’t need an executive job title with a six-figure salary to earn big bucks. Even the most modest, menial jobs can earn you an impressive profit.
Find one of these easy jobs that deliver big tips at FlexJobs to get started on your brand new, money-making gig.