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Hourly Wage Index
Discover how your pay practices stack up against other regions, positions, and industries. 
HOURLY WAGE INDEX

Let’s talk wages in Iowa

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$7.25

What is the minimum wage in Iowa?

What is the minimum wage in Iowa? The current Iowa minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. This is the same as the federal minimum wage. This is for all employees, except for tipped employees. Tipped employees are only required to be paid $2.13 per hour, but if their tips do not bring their total earnings up to the Iowa minimum wage, the employer must make up the difference.

The minimum wage in Iowa has not increased since 2009. However, there have been several proposals to increase the minimum wage, but none of them have been successful.

Here are some of the exceptions to the minimum wage law in Iowa:

  • Learners: Employers may pay learners a sub-minimum wage of $4.25 per hour for the first 90 consecutive calendar days after the learner is initially employed by the employer.
  • Certain workers with physical or mental limitations: Employers may pay sub-minimum wages to workers with physical or mental limitations that limit their ability to do the job.
  • Employees under 18 years old: Employers may pay employees under 18 years old a sub-minimum wage of $4.25 per hour for the first 90 consecutive calendar days after the employee is initially employed by the employer.
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$21.72

What is the average wage in Iowa?

The average wage in Iowa is $20.70 per hour. 

However, wages vary greatly depending on the type of job and the location. For example, jobs in Des Moines tend to pay more than jobs in other parts of the state. And, jobs in the construction and manufacturing industries tend to pay more than jobs in the retail and service industries.

Wages aren’t everything!

While pay is one of the main factors that hourly employees consider when choosing to join (or stay at) a company, it’s not the end all be all. Research shows that advancement opportunities, supportive management, and schedule flexibility are all incredibly important as well.

Want to learn more about this trend? We dive deep into the data behind which perks and benefits matter most to hourly workers. Check out our full conversation with expert Sara Wasserteil of Cara Collective.

Frequently asked questions

What is the difference between gross wages and net wages?

It's important to remember that the Hourly Wage Index data above reflects gross wages, or the amount of money an employee earns before accounting for payroll deductions like taxes, benefits, or wage garnishments. Due to variability in tax rates across locations, slightly lower gross wages in a certain location might result in higher take home pay, or vice versa.

What is a good hourly wage?

This question is a difficult one to answer, as a "good hourly wage" is highly subjective according to experience, work responsibilities, cost of living, and other factors. We recommend using Hourly Wage Index data as a starting point. Once you have established a baseline for certain positions, do further research into similar businesses in your area.

Lastly, consider surveying your employees. They're the best resource to help you know what is a good hourly wage, what competitive pay looks like in your location, and how competitive wages change in your industry over time.

Offering competitive pay is one of my top priorities—what other resources do you have that might help?

We know that getting applicants to pay attention to your business can be extremely challenging, and that offering competitive pay is a huge part of that. Wages aren’t everything, however! Applicant experience is another important factor that can help set you apart from your competition. A few examples include:

  • Short, easy to understand job descriptions
  • Mobile-friendliness
  • Quick communication
  • Streamlined interview stages
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A Workstream hiring specialist can help you identify high impact ways to improve your applicant experience, and even help you determine what is a good hourly wage for your location and business.

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