What is the Average Wage of a Chef Living in New York?

What is the Average Wage of a Chef Living in New York?

Apr 10, 2015 | 9:00 am

The average wage of a chef living in New York is dependent upon several factors. Chefs in New York are asked to work in fast-paced, demanding environments with fierce competition at every corner. Because of that, chefs in New York can expect to earn more than chefs in rural cities or states. However, a high salary in New York doesn’t come without an equally high level of commitment and dedication.

In order to earn a decent living wage in New York as a chef, it is important to put in the time and effort to gain the necessary experience, education, and training required. Line cooks in New York will make pennies compared to experienced executive chefs. The difference being executive chefs will be the time spent to perfect their skills through long hours in hot kitchens and likely through a culinary education.

Average Wage from Line Cook to Executive Chef

It is a common practice for chefs to work their way from the bottom up; first, as a line cook, then a specialty chef (such as a pastry chef, sushi chef, etc.) until finally capping their career as an executive chef. Of course, each step up the ladder comes with more responsibility and a higher salary. So, although the average wage of a chef living in New York may start low, there is a great potential for it to increase as the chef gains experience.

According to the website, Indeed.com, the average starting salary for a line cook in New York is around $27,000. A sous chef in New York can expect to earn an average annual salary of $52,644, while an executive chef will earn around $78,643 yearly. The salary jump from line cook to executive chef is quite substantial, but it doesn’t come easily. The only way to earn the lucrative salary of an executive chef is to put in the necessary time and effort to gain experience in the kitchen.

Fine Dining vs. Fast Food Chefs

Another huge factor in determining the average wage of a chef living in New York is the type of establishment where that chef chooses to work. Obviously, fine dining establishments are going to pay better than a place like Burger King or a small family owned restaurant. However, the pressure to perform is a lot higher in a fine dining restaurant, so the salary will reflect the talent and dedication of the chef as well.

Why New York is a Great Place to Work as a Chef

New York is a Mecca for fine dining and exceptional food. The city is filled with an eclectic mix of cultures and this diverse atmosphere is the perfect situation for a chef to shine. A chef in New York can work with foods and ingredients from all over the world in a variety of ethnic restaurants. Everything from Thai food to Indian cuisine is available in the restaurants in New York and this creates a unique atmosphere for a chef to learn valuable skills in mixing flavors and creating innovative dishes.