20 Things You Should Never Even Think of Tipping On

In some industries, tipping just doesn’t make sense; sometimes, it could even be considered illegal or a form of bribery! Just think of doctors and nurses who save people’s lives and police officers who uphold the law—these people shouldn’t expect and accept tips. So, instead of giving cash gifts, consider showing gratitude by respecting their hard work, effort, and skills; sometimes, saying a quick “thank you” will even do the job!

Postal Delivery Personnel and Couriers

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It might seem like a no-brainer to tip your couriers or give them a small gift during the Christmas season. However, we will stop you right there because companies, such as USPS, have a policy that prevents clients from giving their employees gifts or tips. Reader’s Digest explains, “By accepting a cash tip, no matter how small, your mail carrier could actually find themselves in a lot of trouble. They could lose their job or even be fined far more than the amount they accepted.”


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Dentists are registered medical technologists (RMT), and these people shouldn’t be tipped. This is especially so when the service is done in a more medical setting, such as an actual hospital. Dentists’ rates should include all the costs of doing business, and if they don’t, then it’s a bad business practice—not something that entitles someone to get tipped.

Doctors and Nurses

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Like dentists, nurses and doctors also have salaries and rates covering all their professional and business expenses. They should already be earning enough—or maybe even more than enough—to not need tips. In fact, for many, aside from being weird, tipping your doctors or nurses can be seen as something unethical, like a bribe.

Maintenance Workers

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Utility workers and service technicians, especially when booked through legitimate companies, are usually full-time workers who earn a relatively good salary that’s not on an hourly basis. Because of this, tipping them is not required or expected. What’s highly appreciated, though, is a bottle of cold water or some snacks they can munch on after fixing whatever it was you needed to get fixed.

Event Caterers

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Caterers give their clients a price that includes everything they need to cover. They usually charge you the price they expect, and you should pay only that. Aside from this, caterers usually include a gratuity or a service charge in their contract. If the contract doesn’t say so, you should only tip the servers and delivery personnel—not the company as a whole.

Public Transportation Drivers

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Unlike Uber and Lyft drivers, tipping isn’t customary and expected for public transit drivers like bus drivers. The Regional Transportation District, which operates the transit system in the Denver, Colorado, metropolitan area, actually forbids tipping. Additionally, a user on Reddit explained, “Tipping is not a thing. Maybe if you ride the same route every day and got friendly with them over time, you’d give them like a $10 gift card at Christmas or something, but that would be out of the ordinary.”

Cabin Crew

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Airline unions and airline management aren’t keen on tipping, and this includes tipping flight attendants or cabin crew. However, they allow a meaningful note to be given to flight attendants after the flight. Aside from this, many believe that tipping flight attendants makes up for an inconsistent flying experience for every passenger. After all, we’re only human and generally lean more toward those who show appreciation for us.

Museum Personnel and Guides

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Like most establishments, museums have their own rules and policies regarding tipping. People from an online forum shared that most museum staff and guides are usually volunteers. So, instead of getting tipped, they encourage clients to donate the money directly to the museum. A user on the forum added, “In the museum field, we are usually subject to intellectual property rules and that the information you impart on your tour is owned by the museum you work for and therefore tips on such should also go to them; unfortunately, one of the downsides of museum work is that we do it for the love of history—or art—and not for the financial gain.”

Self-Service Gas Station Attendants

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In the US, you have a choice of going to either a full-service gas station or a self-service one. In general, tipping isn’t expected in either, but it’s even more so not required in self-service gas stations where you get out of your car and pump the gas yourself. Additionally, there aren’t that many full-service gas stations in America anymore, and most people even have trouble remembering where one is!


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Like caterers, photographers usually give you a rate encompassing all their professional and business needs. Most of the time, they own their own companies, too, and therefore, they are their own employees. Instead of leaving a tip, if you liked their service and the quality of the photos you’ve received, leave them a five-star Google review to help them gain more clients! You may also share the images they took online and tag them for better online exposure.

Law Enforcement Officers and Government Employees

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Government employees and law enforcement officers or the police usually follow a strict code of conduct, and accepting tips is generally considered against this code. Tipping them may also be seen as a bribe, which can significantly harm their reputation in the industry. City Ethics notes, “No one can supplement a government employee’s salary for work he or she has done for the government.”

Airport Security Officers and Customs Agents

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Airport security and customs agents are also part of the government, so they should never be tipped. Bribery is one of the top-of-mind consequences when tipping happens here, as they are the frontliners when it comes to border control and ensuring nothing dangerous comes into the country.

Grocery Store Baggers and Cashier Personnel

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Many might find this surprising, but tipping is actually forbidden and against the company policy for some of the biggest US retailers, such as Walmart. They implement this policy to ensure a fair and consistent work environment for all employees. Aside from this, tips can create disparities among employees, leading to favoritism, conflicts, and unproductiveness at work.

Taxi Dispatch Staff

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While it’s common for taxi drivers to get tipped, like Uber or Lyft drivers, it’s not normal, nor is it expected that someone will tip a taxi dispatcher. These people are the ones who arrange the ride for you, but they’re not the ones bringing you where you need to go. Whatever help and assistance they offer are part of a taxi company’s services, so they are properly compensated through their salaries; you already contribute to their pay by paying the taxi fare!

Librarians or Library Personnel

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Library staff are usually employed by local or city governments; therefore, they are still government employees. As such, there are usually some strict policies and rules regarding receiving and accepting tips and gifts.

Bank Tellers

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Bank tellers are salaried employees who earn an average of $15.58 per hour, or over $32,000 annually. Though it’s not considered a job that pays well, tipping is generally not considered appropriate in this sector. In fact, a concern over tipping bank sellers was raised on an online forum. According to the forum’s online advisor, “Every bank we checked said that tipping is absolutely not permitted; your father obviously has some memory issues, and unless the bank tellers are depositing those tips back into Dad’s account, they are taking advantage of him.”


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Tipping mechanics isn’t usually done because it’s generally understood that their labor costs are built into the charges you’re asked to pay. Additionally, mechanics are typically paid a fair wage for work, and tipping them might create awkward situations wherein the mechanic feels obliged to give preferential treatment to customers who tip them. Instead, you can return for future business, provide a good review, and recommend them to friends and family.

Electronic Technicians

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Tipping is usually considered against company policy for these types of services. Additionally, electronics installers or repairers already receive a standard wage and need not rely on tips for their income. So, instead of giving them cash tips, recommend their service to family and friends who need help, as this could be considered a more meaningful way to support their work and expertise.

Technical Support Specialists

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Like electronic installers or repairers, technical support specialists are already well-compensated through their company’s salary system. Tipping could often be seen as bribery or a way to get preferential treatment. To avoid anything negative happening, express your gratitude through a positive review that might help them get a bonus or promotion.

Tailors and Seamstresses

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Tailors and seamstresses usually include whatever fees they need to include in their rates. Most of the time, their rates already cover all the labor, expertise, and time costs. So, instead of giving cash tips, just become a loyal repeat customer! This is the best way you can show them your gratitude for a job well done.

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Author: Karen Danao


Karen is a writer and also a marketing and advertising professional. Beyond the keyboard and the screen, she is someone who’s out to enjoy every bit that life has to offer!

Poetry, philosophy, history, and movies are all topics she loves writing about! However, her true passion is in traveling, photography, and finding common ground to which everyone from different cultures can relate.