What Can Chefs Expect for a Starting Salary?
Apr 8, 2015 | 9:00 am
The starting salary for chefs depends on a number of factors, including the location you are working at, as well as the position you are applying for. To some extent, when you begin your career, you have to settle for a starting salary, which is less than ideal. However, you may be able to find some starting positions that pay more than others.
Starting Salary for Chefs
For instance, HCareers states that starting salaries for chefs depends on the position applied for. For pastry chefs, the pay starts at $34,000, but can gradually go up to over $50,000. For sous chefs, who are assistants to the executive chef, $35,000 might be the starting range. Assistant chefs make about the same, but sushi chefs start at $25,000.
If you start as an executive chef then you must undergo training as well as find valuable working experience. Of course, no one simply starts in the role of an executive chef, but works his or her way up to that. They oversee the kitchen and staff, and also prepare menus and new recipes. The executive cook keeps track of the industry and has many responsibilities that qualify him or her for a greater salary.
However, executive chefs who do not have a lot of real world experience in restaurant cooking or managing may start in an assistant’s position, or earn less salary until they can prove themselves capable. A starting executive cook salary could equal to $50,000. The salary can grow, however, and eventually reach $85,000, according to HCareers.
Starting Salary for Chefs
Higher salaries typically come from large brand name companies that can afford to pay guaranteed salaries, such as five-star hotels and resorts. However, some restaurants in larger cities may also pay a full salary for someone with the right credentials.
A starting salary for chefs is also dependent on the duties listed, the number of staff in the kitchen, the neighborhood and region, experience level, and even the restaurant rating. Restaurants pay top dollar for cooks who can keep them on the map and competitive with other restaurants. You also have to factor in the benefits the job gives, since this is relative to the paycheck, which will also hold money for taxes—unless you’re self employed.
There are plenty of logistics to consider. Just remember that in the long run, it’s not about how much money you’re making, but the career progress you are making. With each step, are you stepping up and gaining more valuable experience or are you standing still? Consider this aspect and what your current job (or positions you’re applying for) are going to do for you besides sign a steady paycheck. This is what many chefs concentrate on, especially early in their careers, as they will be able to retire at the top of their game and with a huge salary based on years of training and leadership.
Why not start planning your future right now by enrolling in a school that you trust and can take you places professionally?