What is the Annual Salary of a Chef Working in New Jersey?

What is the Annual Salary of a Chef Working in New Jersey?

Mar 28, 2015 | 12:00 pm

New Jersey’s proximity to New York City may partially explain why it ranks number three in the nation for chef salaries. But, even working in markets away from the city, one can enjoy an annual salary as a chef that is above the national average. In all of the markets within New Jersey, reported on Salary.com, only Allentown fell below the national average. We’re going to take a look at some of the markets in New Jersey where chef salaries are well above the national average paying particular attention to executive chefs and sous chefs.

Ranges of Chefs

When you attend culinary school, your aspirations are probably to make it to the level of sous chef or executive chef, which are very good aspirations. Once you make it to this level in your career, as the old saying goes, can be your oyster. Restaurants – especially those in casinos, hotels, and high-end freestanding establishments – typically seek out the best and the brightest culinary talents.

As a fresh out of culinary school chef, you are more likely to start out on the line, doing the day-to-day tasks of cooking the meals to order, and plating them according to the chef’s directions. The typical organization of the professional kitchen runs something like this:

•Executive Chef – The Executive Chef is in charge of the kitchen on both a creative and business level.
•Sous Chef – The Sous Chef is second in command under the executive chef and is the hands on culinary manager of the kitchen.
•Station Chef – These are the people doing the minute-by-minute preparations of the food during a service. This is likely where any new culinary school graduate will start, and the top level typically achievable by cooks who trained on the job.

Annual Salary for a Chef in New Jersey

The overall mean annual wage of chefs working in New Jersey as reported by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics for 2012 is $57,370. Nationally, the mean annual wage for chefs is $46,620. We can quickly see that the annual salary for a chef in New Jersey is $10,750 higher on average than the United States as a whole, which works out to 23% higher than the national average.

Executive Chefs in Atlantic City have a median annual salary of $71,711 and the top 10% earn more than $105,000 per year. While you won’t be at that level starting out, we can calculate the average starting annual salary for a chef in New Jersey by taking the average in the United States ($24,160) and increasing it by 23% (since New Jersey is 23% higher on average than the nation as a whole). In New Jersey, a new chef can expect to earn about $29,716 per year.

New Jersey ranks number three in the nation for chef’s salaries. If you’re in the New York-New Jersey area, it can pay to look in to the suburbs, if you want to earn a little higher salary. Like most things in life, all of this is dependent on your education, if you’re not already there, you should head over to your local culinary school and get more information about their culinary arts program.