Minimum Wages in North Carolina

Check the latest minimum wages for North Carolina

Standard Minimum Wages


per hour

Tipped Minimum Wages


per hour


Business owners, organizations and corporations must stay updated and compliant with minimum wages in North Carolina to avoid any legal issues. Staying aware and updated helps to plan better for the future of business. Minimum wages in North Carolina are closely linked to the cost of living and inflation rate in North Carolina so everyone can afford a standard of living. These minimum wages increase annually based on the inflation rate in the economy and measured by the Consumer Price Index. 

What is the Minimum Wage in North Carolina in 2024?

The minimum wage for all employees paid on an hourly basis is $7.25 per hour (applicable from January 1, 2024) irrespective of company size. This rate of minimum wage in North Carolina is the same as the federal minimum wage of $7.25. In 2023, the minimum wage in North Carolina was also $7.25. The minimum wage rate in North Carolina is decided by the North Carolina Department of Labor. Employers must provide minimum wages to employees unless they are working in a profession which is exempted from minimum wages. The minimum wages are entitled under the Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA).

The tipped employees are paid a minimum wage of $2.13 per hour along with the tip amount. However, the tipped minimum wage can vary in some professions.

Employees who get minimum wages in North Carolina are also entitled to overtime pay if they work for more than 40 hours per week or 8 hours a day. The amount for overtime pay is a minimum of 1.5 times of an employee’s regular payout which is $10.87 per hour.

There are certain exemptions for North Carolina minimum wages and you are paid minimum wages if you fall in the category:


1. Minimum wage for employees under 20 years of age- Those employees who are under the age of 20 are entitled to a training wage of $4.25 per hour for the first 90 employment days.


2. Minimum wage for students in North Carolina- Those students who have completed their high school and are serving as full-time employees or part-time college students in North Carolina are paid 85% of the minimum wage (which is as little as $6.16 per hour) for up to 20 hours of work per week. 


3. Tipped minimum wage in North Carolina- Those employees who earn tips every month are paid less than the minimum wage of North Carolina (but a minimum amount of $7.25 per hour is included with the hourly tip).

How can small business owners tackle an increase in minimum wages?

In North Carolina, the minimum wage rate is revised as per the inflation rate of the state. Big businesses and corporations can tackle the rise in minimum wages but it becomes difficult for small business owners to tackle the rising minimum wage of employees.

To tackle the rising wages here are some ways they can consider:

1. Right hiring- It is necessary to ensure that small businesses make the right hiring decisions. Replacing an employee costs a lot for the employer. Before hiring make sure that the employee is a good fit for your business. After completing the onboarding process it is necessary to maintain healthy relationships. Moreover, it is necessary to provide a clear path of growth and success to the employees so that they are likely to stay long with your business.


2. Increase the price of product/service-  One of the other ways to tackle the rising minimum wage is to increase the price of the product/service in which the business deals. But it’s necessary to stay with the market trends and the rise should be optimal.


3. Recheck your expenses- Before making hiring decisions it’s necessary to recheck the financial statements of the business. Sometimes hiring temporary or contractual employees proves to be less costly as compared to hiring full-time employees.


Using the above methods small businesses can tackle the increase in minimum wages. 

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

The minimum wage in North Carolina in 2024 is $7.25 per hour.

Full-time high school students and part-time college students are paid a minimum wage of $6.16 per hour in North Carolina.

The minimum wage for tipped employees in North Carolina is $2.13 per hour.

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