What is the Starting Salary of a Chef Living in New York?
Mar 30, 2015 | 10:00 am
New York is more than just Manhattan. From the nation’s biggest city, out to the suburbs, and into upstate wine country, New York is a desirable state to live in. It’s also one of the hottest destinations for new chefs – if you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere. Working as a chef at any of New York’s great restaurants will open culinary doors around the world.
When you graduate from culinary school and are starting out as a chef, you’re not likely to be at the median annual wage for chefs in the United States – $42,480. You are, or should be, trying to maximize the starting salary of a chef in your area. The good news is that New York has some of the highest overall salaries for chefs in the United States, and that translates to higher starting salaries as well. We’re going to take a look at the current trends for the starting salary of chefs in New York State and City.
What is a Chef?
Here we’re defining a chef as someone who has graduated from a qualifying culinary arts program. When you begin working in the restaurant industry, you will quickly find that most restaurants and other employers will define a chef in same way. Cooks (sometimes called line cooks) are typically those without culinary arts degrees. As you can expect, chefs typically get paid more than cooks. In New York, entry-level cooks earn less than $20,000 per year. As we’ll see in a moment, entry level chefs get paid quite a bit more in New York than even experienced cooks.
Starting Salaries in New York
The annual mean wage for chefs working in New York is $56,470, which makes New York the fourth highest paying state for chefs in the United States. However, this isn’t likely where you will be when you first start working as a chef. According to the New York Department of Labor, entry-level chefs can expect to earn about $31,400 annually. The entry-level wages are calculated as the mean of the lowest one-third of all wages of all chefs.
Starting Salaries in New York City
Determining the starting salary of a chef in New York City is more difficult since that statistic isn’t calculated by the New York Department of Labor. We can calculate the expected entry level of chefs in New York City by comparing the mean wage in the state to the mean wage in the city, and then extrapolate the number from the New York Department of Labor’s entry-level chef’s salary – $31,400 per year.
The New York Department of Labor reports a mean annual wage for chefs in the state to be $56,910. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a mean annual wage for chefs in the city to be $64,510. Since the mean is 13.35% higher than the state mean, we can expect the starting salary of a chef in New York City to be about $35,593 per year.
While it can be difficult to come up with perfect numbers, you can see that being a chef in New York (state or city) you will earn a higher starting salary than you would get in most other places in the United States. Nevertheless, all these numbers rely on you having a culinary arts degree. The next step for you is to contact your local culinary school and find out more information about their program. Without a culinary arts degree, it’s not likely that you’ll crack the $30,000 salary barrier, even with considerable experience.