What is the Salary Range for Chefs with a Culinary Arts Degree?

What is the Salary Range for Chefs with a Culinary Arts Degree?

Apr 10, 2015 | 11:00 am

Have you considered becoming a chef? This is certainly a rewarding career, and one capable of giving you job satisfaction well beyond the traditional “office job.” You’ll be doing what you love and will be making your patrons very happy—at least, if the recipe goes well. However, about now as you review the cost of college enrollment, you’re probably wondering about the payoff. What is the culinary chef salary range?

Culinary Chef Salary Range According to Profession

The job you settle for may be a stronger indicator of how much you make rather than strictly a location. For instance, sous chefs and pastry chefs make between $34,000 to $51,000, depending on experience level. Assistant chefs make $35,000 annually, but executive chefs have the potential to make up to $85,000 per year. According to Salary.com, the median average is $66,697.

Line cooks are often the most underpaid of the profession, as they may work with a team, or may even work for a chain restaurant. Still, $22,372 for a starting salary is not too bad. If you remain consistent and do your best to meet the requirements of your employer and the patrons, your name will build value and you can eventually outgrow this starting position.

What Makes the Difference in Determining Salary?

The culinary chef salary range depends on what skill sets you bring to your employer. The highest paid chefs are able to maximize profits for a restaurant, and control costs, all the while managing kitchen staff. He or she also develops menus and ensures local food sanitation compliance.

If you come into the interview with a bachelor’s degree, you are likely to be taken seriously as a candidate for executive cook or a sous chef. However, work experience is just as important, especially managerial training. Seven years of work experience is customary.

When Do You Make More Money?

If you want to make more money then don’t worry too much about the culinary chef salary range, and instead think about what kind of resume you’re building. Knowing when to move on, and when to stay, is part of managing your career. You must stay with a company only so much as you have something to learn, or experience to gain. This is why the highest paid chefs are often making upwards of six figures, because they progress into restaurant management where they own their own kitchen and create their own specialties.

Of course, everyone has to start somewhere. Now is the time to gain real world experience working as a line cook or a sous chef. This is training you must understand, if you are to someday manage a kitchen and delegate work to others. It’s not easy, but it’s definitely doable to students who want to surpass ordinary and become a truly great chef!

Why not start enrolling in college right now? You can gain experience as you learn, so you will be ready for a new challenge when the offer comes along.