Minimum Wage in Texas: Texas Minimum Wage in 2024

December 18, 2023

As a restaurant owner or an employer in the Lone Star State, staying informed about the Texas minimum wage is crucial for your business's operational planning and financial management. But what exactly is the minimum wage in Texas, and how does it affect your day-to-day operations? This blog aims to shed light on these questions, offering valuable insights into the current wage standards and their implications for your business.

What is the Minimum Wage in Texas?

As of 2024, the minimum wage in Texas remains aligned with the federal minimum wage, which is $7.25 per hour. This rate has been consistent since 2009, reflecting the federal benchmark. Despite discussions and movements in various states toward adjusting the minimum wage, Texas has yet to introduce any changes to this rate. For restaurant owners and employers in Texas, this means the base hourly rate for employees remains unchanged.

Key Considerations for Employers

  • Negotiation Opportunities: The Texas Minimum Wage Act allows room for collective bargaining, meaning employees can negotiate with you for higher wages.

  • Inclusion of Tips and Other Benefits: In certain circumstances, you can count tips, as well as the value of meals and lodging, towards meeting the minimum wage requirements.

  • Special Provisions for On-Call Employees: If an employee resides on your business premises, you're not obligated to pay them for on-call time beyond their regular working hours.

  • Exceptions to the Rule: You might be permitted to pay below the minimum wage under specific conditions. This exception applies particularly to employees who are clients or patients of the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) or those who face certain age or productivity impairments. Refer to Chapter 62 of the Texas Labor Code for more information.

Texas Minimum Wage for Tipped Employees

The minimum wage calculation slightly differs in the restaurant industry, where tipping is a standard practice. Texas’s minimum wage for tipped employees, such as waitstaff and bartenders, is $2.13 per hour.

How Tip Credit Works

If a tipped employee’s earnings (tips plus the $2.13 hourly wage) fall short of the standard $7.25 per hour, the employer must compensate for the difference. This policy ensures that tipped workers like waitstaff always earn at least the federal minimum wage for their total hours worked.

Texas Overtime Minimum Wage

The overtime minimum wage in Texas is set at $10.88 per hour. This figure represents one and a half times the standard minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Therefore, non-exempt employees who work over 40 hours weekly are entitled to this increased rate.

Who is Eligible for Overtime?

It’s important for you, as an employer, to understand who qualifies for overtime pay. Generally, most hourly employees fall under this category. However, there are notable exceptions. These include salaried employees, outside sales staff, and specialized professionals like teachers, lawyers, physicians, and computer employees earning above a specific salary threshold.

Texas State Minimum Wage vs Federal Minimum Wage

While the Federal Minimum Wage sets the nationwide standard, individual states can establish their own minimum wage rates. Let’s explore how the State Minimum Wage in Texas compares to the federal baseline.

Federal Minimum Wage

At a national level, the United States enforces a baseline wage known as the federal minimum wage. As of 2024, this stands at $7.25 per hour. This rate is the standard minimum compensation for employees across all states, as federal law mandates. It serves as the basic threshold for employee wages, ensuring a uniform minimum wage across the country.

State Minimum Wage

In Texas, the minimum wage aligns with the federal standard of $7.25 per hour. The state does not set a distinct minimum wage law. Instead, it adheres to federal guidelines. Consequently, Texas employers are legally obligated to pay their staff no less than the $7.25 federal minimum wage.

Texas Minimum Wage Exemptions

While discussing the minimum wage in Texas, it is critical to recognize that certain employment scenarios are exempt from the Texas Minimum Wage Act. These exemptions are particularly relevant for employers in the restaurant industry, as they can influence how wages are structured within your business.

1. Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Coverage - The primary exemption pertains to individuals already covered by the FLSA. This federal act often sets standards that supersede state regulations.

2. Specific Exemptions - Various specific roles and organizations are exempt from the state minimum wage requirements. These include:

  • Employees of religious, educational, charitable, or nonprofit organizations

  • Professionals, salespersons, and public officials

  • Domestic workers

  • Certain categories of youths and students

  • Inmates

  • Family members employed directly by the family

  • Staff at amusement and recreational establishments

  • Non-agricultural employers are exempt from state unemployment contributions

  • Workers in dairying and livestock production

  • Employees in sheltered workshops

It is essential to understand these exemptions to determine how they may apply to your employment practices. For instance, different wage standards could apply if your establishment is part of a nonprofit organization.

Texas Workplace Poster Requirements

In addition to adhering to minimum wage laws, Texas employers must also display specific workplace posters to ensure employees are informed about their rights and the regulations protecting them. 

Here's a breakdown of the required posters:

  • Texas Payday and Unemployment Compensation: Includes information on the Payday Law for businesses not liable under the Texas Unemployment Compensation Act and a combined poster for those liable under both regulations.

  • Reporting Workplace Violence: All employers are required to display a mandatory notice informing employees about anonymously reporting workplace violence or suspicious activities.

  • Equal Employment Opportunity: This is required for employers with 15 or more employees, promoting a fair chance to work regardless of various factors.

  • Worker's Compensation: Notices about insurance coverage, the Ombudsman Program, and communicable disease exposure must be displayed to ensure employees are aware of their rights and protections.

  • Earned Income Tax Credit: Employers must inform their employees about the federal EITC by March 1st each year, encouraging eligible workers to claim their benefits.

Federally Required Posters

Aside from state-specific requirements, there are federally mandated posters that small businesses and other employers must display:

Workplace Poster Requirements for Small Businesses and Other Employers: This includes a variety of federal laws concerning family and medical leave, equal employment opportunity, and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which covers the federal minimum wage, overtime pay standards, child labor laws, and recordkeeping requirements.

Additional Posters for Public Employers

Public employers have a set of additional requirements to ensure their employees are aware of specific rights and protections:

  • You Have the Right to Not Remain Silent: Under the Texas Whistleblower Act, employees are protected when reporting wrongdoing, and employers must inform their employees about these protections.

  • Worker Right to Know Notice: Public employers must inform employees about potential exposure to hazardous chemicals as mandated by the Texas Hazard Communication program.

  • Job Service Complaint System: This poster, required by the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration, ensures employees know how to file complaints about job services.

Optional Posters

There are also optional posters that can provide further clarity and support to employees about their rights and protections:

  • Equal Employment Opportunity laws in Texas: These posters can help employers communicate their commitment to a fair and equitable workplace.

  • Child Labor laws in Texas: Offering guidance on the regulations surrounding the employment of minors, these posters can be particularly relevant for businesses that employ young workers.

  • Filing a Wage Claim under the Texas Payday Law: Providing information on how employees can file a wage claim can empower them to understand their rights and the steps to take if they believe those rights have been violated.

These posters must be placed in a visible location where all employees can easily see them, such as common areas, break rooms, or near the entrance. This visibility ensures that your team is aware of the important information and resources available to them, fostering a transparent and informed workplace culture.

Best Practices for Businesses in Managing Current Wage Levels

With the minimum wage in Texas remaining constant, it's essential for businesses to strategize their wage management effectively. Here’s how you can optimize your wage practices:

1. Salary Benchmarking

It’s vital to assess your wage structure against the market regularly. This involves comparing your job roles and pay scales with similar positions in other companies. By doing so, you’re not only ensuring that your compensation packages are competitive, but also that they align with industry standards, enhancing your ability to attract and retain top talent.

2. Compensation Strategies

Adopting a forward-thinking approach to compensation is key. This includes developing adaptable and sustainable strategies, especially in the evolving landscape of work. Your compensation plans should reflect human-centric principles, balancing financial incentives with the well-being of your employees.

3. Management Practices

Effective management practices go a long way in supporting your workforce. This includes fair hiring and recruitment processes, providing stable employee scheduling, and offering paid leave. Such practices are instrumental in promoting economic mobility among low-wage workers, creating a more motivated and loyal workforce.

4. Pay Equity Audit

Conducting regular pay equity audits is essential. These audits help you scrutinize the wages of employees performing similar roles and identify any unjustifiable disparities in pay. By addressing these inequities, you not only comply with legal standards but also foster a culture of fairness and respect in your workplace.

By incorporating these practices, you can effectively manage your wage structures amidst a stable minimum wage environment in Texas, fostering a competitive and equitable workplace for your employees.

Potential Implications for Restaurant Owners

Texas has not mandated an increase in the minimum wage. This decision has various implications for restaurant owners, presenting unique opportunities and challenges.

The Positive Side

  • Reduced Labor Costs: With the minimum wage in Texas remaining unchanged, restaurant owners could see a decrease in their overall payroll expenses. This reduction could free up resources, enabling investment in areas like upgrading equipment, enhancing marketing strategies, or covering increasing rental costs.

  • Boost in Profit Margins: The savings on labor costs have the potential to widen profit margins. This is particularly significant for restaurants operating with slim financial buffers, offering them more financial flexibility and opportunities for growth or expansion.

  • Competitive Edge: Lower labor expenses can provide a distinct advantage in the fiercely competitive restaurant industry. This could manifest in setting more competitive pricing or allocating resources to improve customer experiences, thereby attracting a larger clientele.

The Challenges

  • Staffing Hurdles: Texas restaurants might struggle to attract and retain skilled staff without an increase in the minimum wage. This challenge can lead to higher turnover rates, which might adversely affect service quality and consistency.

  • Employee Morale: Stagnant wages can impact employee motivation and productivity. A demotivated workforce can lead to a decline in service standards, ultimately affecting customer satisfaction and repeat business.

  • Reputation Risks: With a growing public focus on fair worker compensation, restaurants not offering competitive wages may face negative public perception and potential damage to their brand reputation.

Other Key Considerations:

  • Rising Operational Costs: Despite stable wage rates, other operational expenses like ingredients and rent are likely to escalate. This increase could negate some of the financial benefits of lower labor costs.

  • Out-of-State Competition: Higher minimum wages in neighboring states could lure potential employees away, posing staffing challenges for Texas-based restaurants.

  • Future Talent Pool Concerns: Persistently low wages could diminish the appeal of the restaurant industry to skilled professionals. This trend could lead to a long-term decline in talent availability and industry standards.

Overall, the implications of no mandated wage increase in 2024 for Texas restaurants are multifaceted and depend on various factors. While there may be some short-term advantages in terms of cost reduction, the potential drawbacks in terms of recruitment, retention, and overall business performance should also be carefully considered.

How Can I Prepare My Business for Future Minimum Wage Increases?

Although there are no scheduled wage increases in Texas for 2024, forward-thinking business strategies are essential for adapting to potential future changes. Here's a list of proactive steps you can take to prepare your restaurant or business:

1. Anticipate the Ripple Effect: 

It’s vital to recognize that increasing the minimum wage can have a broader financial impact on your business. For instance, raising the wages of entry-level employees might necessitate adjusting the salaries of more experienced staff to maintain a fair and balanced wage structure. This holistic approach ensures employee satisfaction across all levels, safeguarding against any potential internal wage disparities.

2. Enhance Your Competitive Edge:

Enhancing your brand as an employer in a competitive labor market is key. By offering attractive employee benefits and cultivating a positive workplace culture, you can attract top talent and retain your current workforce. This strategy not only prepares your business for potential minimum wage increases but also strengthens your team’s loyalty and dedication.

3. Boost Employee Productivity:

To counterbalance higher labor costs, focus on increasing employee efficiency and quality of work. This can be achieved through comprehensive training programs and promptly addressing any performance issues. A well-trained, high-performing team will contribute significantly to your restaurant's profitability and customer satisfaction.

4. Streamline Operational Efficiency:

Evaluating and optimizing your operational efficiency is another crucial step. By identifying and refining processes that can be made more efficient, you can balance the additional labor costs without compromising the quality of your service. This could involve simplifying workflows or adopting more efficient methods of operation.

5. Managing Workforce Costs:

Adapting to changes in workforce costs involves a strategic approach to increasing revenue and reducing expenses. This might include reevaluating your supply chain, optimizing your menu pricing, and exploring more cost-effective ways of delivering your services.

6. Leverage Restaurant Technology:

Implementing advanced technology solutions can significantly boost efficiency and enhance the customer experience. Here are some technologies to consider:

7. Seek Financial Support:


Look for government tax incentives, grants, or loan programs that are designed to help businesses cope with increased labor costs. These financial aids can provide a cushion, allowing you to make the necessary adjustments without significant financial strain.

8. Implement Strategic Pricing: 

Adjusting your pricing strategy is essential to manage the rise in overhead costs. This requires a delicate balance – you must ensure that your prices reflect your increased costs without driving away your customers.

9. Budget Accordingly: 

Creating a comprehensive budget that includes the potential rise in labor costs is a proactive measure. This should also encompass strategies for managing overtime, ensuring you're financially prepared for any changes.

Preparing for potential minimum wage increases is a wise business strategy. It positions your restaurant or business to navigate future changes efficiently and effectively, ensuring sustained growth and stability.


While the state’s wage rate remains consistent for now, staying informed and preparing for potential changes is essential. By incorporating best practices in wage management and operational efficiency, you can navigate the complexities of the labor market while ensuring compliance and ethical business conduct. Remember, a proactive approach toward workforce management and operational strategies can significantly impact your business’s success, sustainability, and reputation in the long term.

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Frequently Asked Questions About the Minimum Wage in Texas

Explore essential insights about Texas' minimum wage with these frequently asked questions, providing clarity on wages, living standards, and financial viability in the Lone Star State.

Is $15 an Hour Good in Texas?

While $15 per hour is above the federal minimum wage and might be adequate in certain parts of Texas, its adequacy as a "good" wage is subjective and largely dependent on individual circumstances and the specific cost of living in the area of Texas where you live.

What is the Minimum Wage in Texas in 2023?

The minimum wage in Texas for 2023 is $7.25 per hour, which aligns with the current federal minimum wage rate. This rate has not changed since 2009, and there are no current plans to increase it in the state of Texas.

What is a Good Hourly Wage in Texas?

In Texas, as of May 2022, the median hourly wage across all occupations was $20.90, while the average hourly wage was $27.55. This data provides a general idea of wages in the state, although the actual "good" wage can vary significantly depending on factors like the specific job, location, experience, and cost of living​

Is 70k a Good Salary in Texas?

Yes, $70,000 is a respectable salary in Texas. With the state’s average annual income around $52,393 as of December 2023, earning $70,000 places you above the state average. However, it’s crucial to consider the varying costs of living in different areas of Texas. 

In big cities like Houston or Dallas, expenses might be higher compared to smaller towns or rural regions. So, while $70,000 is generally considered good, your living costs and lifestyle choices will impact its value.

Can You Survive On Minimum Wage in Texas?

Surviving on the minimum wage in Texas is challenging, especially in urban areas with higher living costs. For single individuals without dependents, it might be just sufficient to meet basic needs, but budgeting is tight, and there's little room for unexpected expenses. 

For single-parent families or those with dependents, surviving on this income often requires reliance on government assistance programs. The cost of living varies across Texas, but generally, the minimum wage does not comfortably cover the expenses of most households.​

Disclaimer: The information provided in this blog post regarding the minimum wage in Texas is intended for general guidance and informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional legal or financial advice. Laws and regulations surrounding minimum wages are subject to change. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, we cannot guarantee that the information will remain accurate or up-to-date. Employers and individuals are encouraged to consult with legal or financial professionals for specific advice related to their situation.

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