15 People You Never Have to Tip (Do You Agree With #9?)

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Don’t feel bad if you don’t tip every worker you encounter each day.
Updated April 9, 2024
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Do you think tipping has become out of control? You’re not alone.

“Tipflation” is invading more interactions at retailers. From asking customers to tip at fast-food self-serve kiosks to being prompted when checking out at retailers where you rarely tipped before, deciding when tipping is necessary can be stressful.

It’s a good idea to still tip some workers like waiters and housekeepers at hotels, but don’t feel guilty about skipping a tip for the following people. This way you can lower your financial stress and save your money instead.

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Anyone where the tip is already included

cherryandbees/Adobe couple paying bill in restaurant

Some restaurants may have a policy to automatically include a standard 20% tip for wait staff, especially if you have a large party. Some restaurants may specifically note that a party of six or more gets an automatic gratuity included.

It may be a nice gesture to add a tip for extraordinary service or if you want to include a little extra, but you don’t have to tip on top of one already included.

Teachers

Drazen/Adobe black teacher and elementary students

Your kids might have some great teachers you want to reward throughout the year for their work.

Specific times of the year, like the holidays or the end of the year, can be great opportunities to give a teacher a gift. Tips, however, are frowned upon and may even be against employment rules for teachers.

Coaches

Drazen/Adobe teacher and students warming up

Like teachers, coaches also shouldn’t be given tips after a sports season or at the end of the year.

Instead, consider a nice gift for a coach who has made a good impression on your kids and their teams.

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Medical staff

JenkoAtaman/Adobe giving high five

It can be tough if you spend time in the hospital and need care from nurses and doctors.

You may appreciate their work, but you don’t need to tip them. Instead, consider giving them a good review or leaving a gift for them to show your appreciation.

Accountants

dikushin/Adobe man consulting male broker at office

You may be pulling together all the documents you need to take to your accountant before the tax deadline, but you don’t also have to bring cash.

Accountants may invoice you for their hourly work on your taxes or accounting documents, but they’re still considered a professional position that doesn’t require an additional tip.

Lawyers

Drazen/Adobe senior couple consulting bank manager

Lawyers are like accountants in that they may charge you by the hour. But like accountants, they’re also considered professional employees who don’t need an additional tip.

You can reward lawyers in other ways, such as with gifts or other forms of appreciation, for the work they have done for you.

Package delivery workers

pikselstock/Adobe delivery man standing

You might get plenty of packages from online retail sites to your home, or you may have a specific person who delivers things to your workplace.

Package delivery workers usually don’t get tipped, so it’s not another expense you have to incur after paying for shipping costs.

Cashiers when you pick up takeout

Gorodenkoff/Adobe barista serves order

Ordering takeout on a Friday night from your favorite restaurant?

You probably want to tip your delivery driver if you choose to have food dropped off at your house. But you don’t have to tip if you’re doing the work of picking up the food yourself.

Bartenders at an open bar

TellingPhoto/Adobe bright cocktails platter at business reception

You might go to a party or wedding with an open bar, which means you don’t have to pay for drinks as the host is covering the cost.

The host is also probably covering the cost of the tip for open-bar service, so while there may be a tip jar on the bar, you don’t have to tip the bartender.

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Buffet attendants

auremar/Adobe checking temperature of chiller unit

You might be used to paying waiters for their services when they bring food to your table, refill water glasses, or fill other requests.

Buffet attendants also may serve you food, but you don’t have to tip them like someone who comes to your table to help you.

Home services technicians

DimaBerlin/Adobe fixing repairing apartment air conditioner

There may be plenty of times when a service technician, such as plumbers, electricians, or HVAC technicians, comes to your house.

Technicians don’t usually expect a tip, so skip that cost after paying a technician to repair or maintain different systems in your home.

Workers in other countries

Kirk Fisher/Adobe waiter rings a full breakfast

Traveling can be a great way to see the world and learn about other cultures, including learning which cultures tip and which don’t.

It’s a good idea to do some research before you visit another country to see what kind of tipping culture they might have, as some places may not tip at all.

Government workers

Tada Images/Adobe dmv entrance sign

Government workers may be helpful when renewing your license at the Department of Motor Vehicles or approving building permits in your local government office.

It’s a good idea to avoid tipping these types of workers. It’s not necessary, and depending on the official you're tipping, it could be perceived as a bribe.

Salary workers

Tylan E/peopleimages.com/Adobe happy receptionist at spa

A good rule of thumb is to tip workers who rely on hourly wages, such as waiters or housekeepers.

Don’t worry about tipping anyone in a position that is usually a salaried job with an annual wage where workers may not be as reliant on extra cash.

Flight attendants

Yakobchuk Olena/Adobe pilot with flight attendants on board

Flight attendants may serve you food on your next travel adventure, but that doesn’t mean you have to tip them the same way you tip a waiter.

Flight attendants are not dependent on tips, and some airlines may even forbid them from accepting tips from flyers.

Bottom line

Krakenimages.com/Adobe shopping holding credit card

Tipping may be good etiquette in some circumstances and required in others, but you don’t always have to tip whenever you’re asked.

Instead, consider saving that money. And don’t forget to use one of the best rewards credit cards so you can earn extra perks or points from the purchase.

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Author Details

Jenny Cohen Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.

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