High-end hospitality establishments use valet parking attendants to provide guests with convenience and peace of mind by taking care of their vehicles.
Valet parking attendants are in high demand in the United States (U.S.), with around 13,330 employed, according to the latest data.
Additionally, valet parking services in the U.S. had a market size of $1.5 billion in 2022, according to IBISWorld.
If you pay careful attention to detail and have great customer service (and driving) skills, a career as a valet could be right for you. But how much can you expect to earn?
Discover the national valet salary average in four major U.S. cities and what factors can affect your pay rate.
Whether you’re a job seeker or an employer, this is the right place to learn about the valet role in your business.
What Is the Average Valet Salary in the US?
In the U.S., valets earn an average salary of $41,000 per year. However, this can vary depending on various factors such as location, parking capacity of the establishment, amount of overtime worked and tips received.
For instance, areas with high concentrations of hotels and restaurants often have increased demand for valets, leading to higher salaries.
In this context, valet salaries in cities such as New York, Miami, Chicago and Los Angeles can vary from the national average given the concentration of these establishments in those areas.
What Is the Average Valet Salary in New York City?
With its thriving hospitality and entertainment industry, New York City is an excellent place for valets to find work. A valet in New York earns approximately $45,000 annually, which is $4,000 above the national average for this occupation.
What Is the Average Valet Salary in Miami?
Miami, known for its vibrant nightlife and beautiful beaches, is another city where valets can find ample employment opportunities.
Despite earning around $36,000 per year, which is $5,000 below the national average, valets in Miami can take advantage of the city’s bustling hospitality industry and beautiful weather.
What Is the Average Valet Salary in Chicago?
Chicago, a major hub for business and tourism, is also a great city for valets to find work.
A valet in Chicago earns approximately $45,000 per year, which is $4,000 above the national average for this occupation. With its many hotels, restaurants and tourist attractions, valets in Chicago can enjoy a steady stream of customers and opportunities for tips.
What Is the Average Valet Salary in Los Angeles?
Los Angeles, known for its glitz and glamour, is a city where valets can earn a high salary due to the concentration of luxury hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues.
A valet in Los Angeles can make approximately $46,500 per year, which represents a salary of $5,500 above the national average.
What Factors Affect a Valet’s Salary?
1. Geographic Location
Location is a crucial factor that affects valet salaries. Busy cities with high concentrations of hotels and restaurants tend to have a higher demand for valet services. This increased demand could translate into higher earnings, including tips.
However, cities with high living costs may also have a higher cost of living adjustment that could affect the base salary.
2. Establishment Type
The type of establishment that a valet works for can affect their salary. For example, valets who work in high-end hotels and resorts may earn more than those who work in smaller motels or restaurants. This is because high-end establishments often have a larger parking capacity and a clientele that is willing to pay more for parking and tipping.
3. Your Shifts
The specific shift a valet works can impact their pay depending on the demand for parking during those hours, the availability of premium parking services and the willingness of guests to tip.
Valets who work these overnight shifts may be paid a higher hourly wage or receive a shift differential due to less desirable hours. Special events such as weddings and galas can also provide a higher rate of pay, especially if the event attracts wealthy guests who may be inclined to tip generously.
4. Your Performance
To maximize their chances of earning high tips, valets need to treat both guests and their vehicles with care. By greeting customers with a smile, offering to assist them with their luggage and providing clear instructions on how to retrieve their car, valets can hope for higher tips. While the usual tip ranges between $2 and $5, the ultimate decision is up to the customer.
On the other hand, if valets appear disinterested, fail to communicate clearly or handle their vehicles recklessly, guests may be less inclined to leave a generous tip.
How to Increase Your Valet Salary
As a valet, your salary largely relies on tips, so it’s important to find ways to maximize your earnings. Here are some factors that could help you increase the amount you make in tips:
- Providing excellent customer service by being friendly, polite and helpful at all times
- Maintaining a professional appearance by dressing appropriately and keeping your uniform clean
- Staying knowledgeable about the property and surrounding area, so you can answer guest questions and provide recommendations
- Being punctual and reliable, showing up to work on time and being willing to work flexible hours
- Being proactive in finding ways to improve the guest experience, such as offering umbrellas on a rainy day or opening doors for guests
- Taking care of the vehicles you park, treating each car with attention to detail
- Obtaining additional certifications or training to demonstrate expertise and increase your value to employers
- Networking with other valets and industry professionals to stay informed about job opportunities and the best practices
Remember, the more satisfied guests are with your service, the more likely they are to leave a generous tip, which can greatly increase your overall salary.
6 Top-Paying Companies for Valets in the US
The highest-paying employers for a valet job in the U.S. include:
- Rinse, $52,300
- Valet Living, $52,000
- FreedomPark, $50,000
- LAZ Parking, $47,700
- Ace Parking, $45,900
- Towne Park, $44,900
Find a Valet Position With Oyster Link
If you are looking to build a career as a valet, you’re in the right place.
Oyster Link, our soon-to-be-launched platform in the hospitality industry, offers a connection between job candidates and open positions in the restaurant field, ranging from servers and bartenders to managers, chefs and other roles.
With a wealth of resources, including job descriptions, salaries and interview questions and detailed steps of the hiring process, we offer valuable insights into the best-paying jobs in hotels and resorts—and how to get them!