Do You Tip Gas Station Attendants?

Do You Tip Gas Station Attendants?

Tipping is something that is usually seen as synonymous with baristas, servers, bartenders, etc. However, when you come across a gas station with an attendant, do you tip gas station attendants?

In the specifics of this article, we shall discuss this and a lot more about tipping gas attendants and gas stations.

Let’s begin!

Who Is A Gas Station Attendant?

In the United States and Canada, a filling station attendant or gas station attendant, often known as a gas jockey, is a person in a full-service filling station who assists in pumping gas other than accepting money. Gas station attendants also wipe car windows, monitor car oil levels, etc.

What Are The Responsibilities Of A Gas Station Attendant?

gas attendant pumping gas in a car tank

Credit: Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash 

A gas station attendant is often responsible for a variety of tasks which may include:

  • Selling gasoline at the pump, processing monetary transactions, and keeping gas sales records
  • Washing and managing the facilities, including offering customer service, and conducting maintenance activities like changing light bulbs or cleaning automobile air filters.
  • Routine car maintenance includes monitoring fluid levels, tire pressure, and other elements that might impact performance.
  • Keeping shelves stocked with food, beverages, smoke, and other essentials like oil filters and air filters.
  • Evaluate tire damage and fill, repair, or replace as necessary.
  • Report suspicious activities at the station to the police.
  • Checking for valid ID whenever a customer buys liquor or tobacco at the station.
  • Giving consumers their balance money and a receipt, if a purchase is made at the gas station.

What Is The Work Environment Of The Gas Attendant?

The usual working environment for gas station employees includes bright, airy spaces. However, they might be needed to operate with others peers in confined spaces. Gas attendants could be exposed to gas and oil pollutants. Some gas station employees may be compelled to work overtime.

They are also usually employed full-time and may be forced to do night shifts, weekends, and holidays. 

Do You Tip Gas Station Attendants?

Tipping gas station attendants or just gas attendants is entirely up to you. It is not customary to tip gas station attendants. However, if they provide some service to you, more so if it’s unasked, it is often ideal to tip them.

If you’re seeking some reflection on when it’s appropriate to tip at a full-service gas station and when it isn’t, continue reading.

Do You Tip Gas Station Attendants At Full Service Gas Stations?

You should tip a gas attendant only when you feel their services were far and beyond what was typically expected. Tipping is a unique gesture to honor their extraordinary services in their severe working conditions.

But the question arises: “when do you tip gas station attendants?”

Well, tipping can make a gas station attendant’s day slightly better. Their working conditions are grave – the fumes, the gasoline, the long working hours. 

Nonetheless, we’ve listed a few situations where you can consider tipping your gas station attendant.

When It’s a Full-service Gas Station

Generally, full-service fuel stations mostly provide gasoline pumping services. The gas in these gas stations is pumped for the customers by attendants. These stations are rather uncommon in most places nowadays but are legally required in a few regions.

So, you may come across a full-service gas station in parts of the US, such as Oregon and New Jersey. 

Let’s not lose sight of our humility. Tipping a couple of bucks is appropriate if an attendant goes beyond the ordinary in some way, such as checking the oil, spotting a faulty tyre, cleaning your windows, or guiding you with directions. 

The reason is that they are providing you with these services either at your request or out of kindness — they are not being paid for them.

Furthermore, although it happens seldom, if you’re at a gas station (with both self-serve and full-serve areas) where fuel is priced the same in both self-serve and full-serve parts, we recommend tipping the gas attendant if you use the full-serve areas.

Service In Bad Working Conditions

The same goes true if the working conditions are bad. The weather could be terribly hot, cold, or wet. Or perhaps, the station could be ill-equipped for the attendants.

Therefore, even if a gas station worker merely pumped the gas, tipping them could be a godsend if they are providing you with the best possible service, despite the grueling labor, long hours, risks, and challenging living conditions.

Interactions with the Gas Station Attendant

Many social interactions can commonly occur at gas stations. Nobody wants to feel unappreciated or unwelcome. If they do, they’ll feel isolated and be less likely to provide you assistance.

A simple greeting, pleasant smile, or meaningful conversation works!

So, did you have a wonderful conversation with the gas attendant regarding politics or sports? Or did the attendant greet you? Or did they volunteer for help? Were they courteous? 

If yes, do tip them. This will show your admiration for their initiative and pleasant demeanor.

Whenever You Want To Tip Them

Tipping is a much-appreciated gesture for the one who works long hours in a facility full of fumes and gasoline.

You may want to leave a tip to encourage the gas attendants. Your tip may be a crucial incentive to work motivation. Hence, they might assess the value you place on their services.

Moreover, you may wish to tip them to increase their salary. The means of exchange and the means by which the gas attendant might make purchases to satiate a few of their needs could be your tip.

Or simply, a tip would make them happy! 

Some people leave a tip in the hope of receiving future services. Additionally, some people tip out of obligation.

But there are many who dread others’ judgment. They don’t want the gas attendant to think poorly of them. So, they tip to avoid other people’s judgment. 

When Can You Avoid Tipping The Gas Attendant At A Full-Serve Gas Station?

If you utilize a full-serve gas station on a daily basis, it may seem absurd to tip the gas attendant each time they serve you.

Read More: Why Can’t You Pump Your Own Gas In Oregon?

Should You Tip Gas Attendants During Holidays Or Festivals?

Credit: Photo by Cris DiNoto on Unsplash

Being kind to the helpful people who look out for you always pays off. There is no better time to express your gratitude than around the holidays by offering kind advice. Giving something (often cash) to people who serve you all year long is considered proper holiday tipping etiquette.

The gas attendants are often unable to celebrate certain holidays with their families and friends. So, we can offer them a gratuity to thank them for their assistance. 

Keep in mind that holiday tipping is all about expressing gratitude to people whose services you utilize all year long, including even public employees you see frequently.

Thus, tipping is occasionally appropriate throughout the holiday season because, as we all know, expenses soar at this time of year. The ability to generate some additional money during the holidays can help gas station employees enjoy their holidays to the fullest.

Why Should You Tip Gas Station Attendants?

Tipping gas station attendants is important because of minimum wages, inflation rates, pandemic effects, liabilities, or solely out of gesture. Also, there are many students who work part-time as gas attendants while studying for earning their bread and paying tuition fees.

Here’s why you should tip gas station attendants –

Minimum Wage

Gas station attendants are already struggling with earning a reasonable penny for their services. They stand in harsh climates only to serve you, a tip from your end could add a little extra to their minimum wage and help them afford a few things. 

High Rate Of Inflation

According to US Labour Department, the rate of inflation as of May 2022 is 8.6%, this means that every year the prices of goods are increasing, and the meager wage of the gas attendant could not match the increasing inflation making them hard to get by with day to day life.

Therefore tipping may seem like an efficient way to help them get by with their day-to-day lives.

Pandemic Hit Them Hard

During the pandemic, with the nationwide lockdown, the gas attendants suffered the most. Their source of income was curbed, and many were out of their part-time jobs.

In times like this, a simple tip could make a large difference for them. 

Make Their Day A Little Better

Gas attendants interact with a wide variety of clients every day, some of whom may be impolite or irritable. 

They often struggle with the weather, whether it is scorching heat or bitterly cold. A small tip might express your gratitude for their efforts.

Between The Jobs

Many gas attendants are students or fresh graduates who are struggling with the financial crisis. Most of them do part-time jobs along with being an attendant.

They might be out of it for multiple reasons. 

A tip from your end could help them when they might be in need of some money.  

Multiple Responsibilities

Tipping a few extra dollars is fair if an attendant goes over and beyond in helping you in ways like inspecting the oil or guiding you with directions. 

They even provide you with washing facilities, and it’s a noble thing to do to tip them for their services.

Motivating Factor

Motivation drives everyone. Tipping the gas attendants could motivate them to be more active in their job. 

With the right motivation, they might not indulge in practices such as tampering with petrol while pumping it into your vehicles or gas siphoning.

When Is It Okay To Not Tip the Gas Station Attendants?

Sometimes, it is fine to not tip the gas attendants. So, you may consider not tipping in some situations. These are explained as follows.

High Fuel Price At Full-Service Gas Stations

Mostly, the fuel price at full-service gas stations is higher than that of self-service gas stations. Tips are unnecessary because customers would pay more for gas at a full-service station, particularly if the pump also has a self-serve portion. 

Moreover, service gas attendants in these stations often work under a contract and are well compensated for their time.

So, the majority of the “surcharge” you pay goes toward paying the salary of the gas attendants. Therefore, it is not ideal for you to tip a gas station employee each time you fill up your car with gas.

No Social Interaction

When there is a social link between the customer and the gas attendant providing the service, tipping is more prevalent. You get a great impression of the attendant from the interaction.

Tipping employees who work in fields where social interaction is prominent is also seen as a social responsibility. They could be in the food or hotel industries.

On the other hand, a gas station attendant fills your tank while you sit inside your vehicle. Rarely do you start a meaningful conversation with the gas station attendant or flash them a bright smile (or vice versa).

The notion of leaving a tip whenever a customer interacts with a full-service gas station attendant is strange to many people.

Bad Behavior

When a gas attendant acts rudely or with an unfair tone toward their customers, many people find it difficult to tip them.

People have the option to not tip gas attendants when they treat their customers badly or exhibit poor manners. Keep in mind that recognizing exceptional behavior or service should make you leave a good tip.

Failed Attention To Getting Tips

Tipping the gas attendant is unnecessary if they do not provide you with attentive service. You can also decide against tipping them if they do not hear about your issues.

Customers feel as though they are not being heard when they observe the gas attendants being unfocused. Therefore, they have the option of not tipping the gas attendants.

The job of a gas attendant requires a lot of attention. However, when a client is pleased with the service, that is the major reason why a tip is given.

Illegal Acts

The first and most important justification for not tipping gas attendants is when they engage in illegal activity at gas stations. For instance, attempting to siphon or steal gas in order to defraud their consumers.

There have been numerous instances and stories of gas station personnel being caught doing this. Giving them any advice should not be used to promote this.

Vehicle Damage

Gas station employees need to be very careful and attentive in their work. Any carelessness or negligence on their part could cost you a lot of money.

Therefore, if they intentionally or negligently damaged your car or you, they shouldn’t get a tip.

How Much Do You Tip Gas Station Attendants?

Consider how much you would ordinarily tip somebody for a service. Gas station attendants should ideally be tipped 10% to 15% of the total payable amount at the gas station. If they offer services more than just filling gas, the attendant should receive $3 to $7.

Gas is undoubtedly a service, and it can be rather costly! If you’d tip 10% or more at a cafe, it seems logical that you might do this for someone who assisted you to fill up your tank.

How Much Do Gas Station Attendants Make?

how much do gas station attendants make

Credit: Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash

In the United States, the average salary for a Gas Station Attendant is $25,866. The average incentive for a Gas Station Attendant is $452, or 2% of their pay, with 100% of workers claiming that they receive a bonus every year. 

In New Jersey, the average hourly wage for a gas station attendant is $12.82. 

Gas Station Attendants earn the highest in Boston, at $33,863, with total pay that is 31% more than the national average.

Here is a tabular summary of the average base salary of gas attendants in the different states of the U.S. on an hourly basis.

States/Cities/Territories In The U.S. Average Base Salary (Per Hour)
New York $14.67
California 14.85
Oregon 13.85
New Jersey 14.36
Huntington $13.26
Texas $13.70
Arizona $13.73
Florida $13.19
Boston $15.65
Illinois $14.03
Ohio $13.22
North Carolina $13.41
South Carolina $13.03
Washington $15.88
Delaware $13.52
Michigan $13.35
Maryland $14.29
Massachusetts $14.74
Alaska $13.89
Pennsylvania $13.61
Utah $13.15
Missouri $13.54
Alabama $13.54
Vermont $13.01
Kentucky $12.73
Kansas $12.91
Lousiana $12.98
Oklahoma $12.73
North Dakota $13.27
Kansas $12.91
Georgia $12.91
Maine $13.22
New Hampshire $13.28
Minnesota $13.84
West Virginia $12.62
Rhode Island $13.63
New Mexico $13.22
Wyoming $12.99
Hawaii $13.44
Colorado $14.24

History Of Full Service Gas Stations

The 1950s were a golden age for full-service stations. Interstate roads were built across the United States. 

In general, a gas station attendant should constantly be prepared to give excellent service to his clients. 

Aside from pumping petrol, comprehensive service included wiping the windows, checking the oil and water, examining the gearbox, and assessing tire pressure. 

When business was sluggish, attendants may also clean the carpet in the vehicle. Tires and accessories such as battery and seat coverings were also available at service stations.

The typical portrayal of a station employee in the era of full-service was that a cheerful specialist in a clean white outfit would welcome the customers by their name and then swiftly and effectively attend to each car’s needs.

What Happened To Full Service Gas Stations?

After the 1950s, full-service gas stations became obsolete. Auto parts retailers, brake and exhaust shops, and transmission services competed with the stations. 

Furthermore, automotive parts were progressively designed to survive longer.

Other issues plagued full-service stations. During the early 1970s, the oil crisis caused by OPEC increased the appeal of smaller automobiles that used less gas. 

Furthermore, stricter environmental rules compelled fueling stations to put in double-walled fuel tanks and other costly safeguards. 

The 1970s oil crisis signaled the end of an era for the full-service station. 

Oil corporations reasoned that customers preferred to pump their own fuel in order to save a few pence. The attendants were quickly rendered obsolete. 

Also, obtaining petrol at a full-service station took roughly 10-15 minutes, which is deemed too lengthy in today’s fast-paced, inpatient environment.

The tight employment conditions of the late 1970s and early 1980s also worsened the situation. 

Economic difficulties make it more difficult to recruit people to sweaty, low-paying outside service employment.

Finally, full-service stations, including convenience stores, succumbed to self-service pumps. 

Today, there are very few full-service gas stations that are seen in the U.S., other than a few parts such as Oregon, New Jersey, Huntington, etc.

Do You Tip Gas Station Attendants In Oregon?

sign board with oregon written on it

Credit: Photo by everett mcintire on Unsplash

Tipping your Oregon Gas station attendant is not required, but it is always appreciated and helps motivate entry-level customer service staff to keep up the good job. Remember that the smell of gasoline might induce headaches, and this is not a glamorous job.

Interestingly, in all the trips to Oregon and New Jersey, no one has ever seen or heard of someone tipping the attendant merely for pumping gas, other than leaving them the balance when paying cash.

Have you ever wondered why you can’t pump your own gas in Oregon? Read this article to find out!

Do You Tip Gas Station Attendants In New Jersey?

New Jersey is the sole remaining state in the United States where you will be unable to pump your own gas as a result of this. Tipping is not needed at the petrol pump in New Jersey if you make use of full-serve stations every day. CNN Money, like many other media outlets, supports this stance.

Which States In The U.S. Have Outlawed Self-Service Gas Stations?

Every day, hundreds of Americans refill their automobiles. Have you ever thought about what life would be like if you didn’t have to pump your gas, despite the fact that this is the most frequent practice? What if it were illegal to pump your own gas?

In 48 of the 50 states, stepping out of your car and pumping your own gas is acceptable. However, people in New Jersey and Oregon are prohibited from doing so by law

Why Is It A Must To Let Gas Station Attendants Fill Gas In Some States?

We have summarized the reasons why some states, such as Oregon and New Jersey only have full-service gas stations, where only gas station attendants are allowed to pump gas.

  • Trust on Full-Serve Gas Stations

According to a March study, 73% of them prefer to have their fuel pumped for them. As most customers have busy schedules and need prompt service from others, traditional petrol stations are the only option.

Moreover, full-service gas stations are more conventional. People, especially senior citizens, have been used to full-service gas stations for years. So, self-service does not pique the state’s residents’ interest very much. 

  • Vigilance and Expertise

Safety measures must be taken when handling a class 1 flammable substance. The attendants have a lot of training and expertise with these issues.

The driver can be informed by attendants, who are much more likely to notice safety issues in vehicles like low tyres or damaged windshields. The cashier can’t keep an eye on every pump, thus there are attendants here. By doing this, people can protect themselves from damage or fume exposure.

The law states that another safety risk is the potential for sliding in a downpour. These advantages might reduce the service stations’ insurance liability indirectly.

  • Employment Opportunities

There are full-service gas stations in Oregon. Many Oregonians would rather have someone else pump their gas. Furthermore, the cost of an attendant per gallon was not found excessive because Oregon doesn’t even have a sales tax. The most frequent reason that there are employees working at gas stations is for the job generation. If the minimum wage increases, this might change. 

  • Ease To Senior Citizens and Specially-Abled People 

In every nation, as per human rights, every citizen must be treated equally. It could be far more difficult for an elderly person or someone who has a disability to get out of their vehicle and execute actions like pumping fuel.

They would be forced to pay a fee for a service that isn’t equal. This is unfair. For this reason, full-service gas stations are present.

  • Revenue Generation

Gas stations with full-service are more likely to be profitable than those with self-serve. This is so that those who have received services from the attendants may usually be expected to tip them. 

People are hesitant to tip when there is no such attendant present. Full-service gas attendants are an opportunity to get more revenue. 

What Is The Penalty For Pumping Your Own Gas In These States?

The Oregon State Fire Marshal (OSFM) is in charge of enforcing this law, and violations can result in fines of up to $500. But there’s nothing in Oregon State Statutes that require consumers who pump their gas to pay a fee.

Gas prices in New Jersey are somewhat higher than the national average due to full-service gassing. It does not appear to affect New Jersey residents who prefer having gas workers care for their automobiles when it comes time to fill up. 

A breach of this statute might result in a punishment ranging from $50 to $250. Repeat violations will result in a $500 fine.

To Sum Up!

Tipping can often indicate that one is happy with the kind of service provided. When gas attendants feel that their services are good enough to be paid.

They gain confidence in themselves which in turn helps them carry out their job more efficiently and effectively. 

They will try to better themselves not just in their work but also in their lives so that they can feel more appreciated. 

This can stimulate a good wave of energy in them to carry out their work and build better lives.

As gas attendants are the ones who are least expected of tips, they barely make any extra money so to fulfill their needs they have to work other places or more shifts than required to fulfill their needs. 

However, sometimes when one can be having a hard time or a bad day, a tip from someone can be an act of kindness. 

It can help one cheer up, sometimes all one needs is an extra effort from people to make them happy about their job and to take up their job more seriously so they can dedicate themselves and be more considerate about it.

Swati Jaiswal

Swati Jaiswal is a dedicated traveler and an even dedicated individual who specializes in travel, digital marketing, & health and fitness niches. Passport stamps and coffee stains are her badges of honor.

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