What is the Yearly Salary for Chefs?
Apr 11, 2015 | 10:00 am
Wondering if becoming a chef is worth it? What will you be paid and will it be enough to justify the investment of college? The chef yearly salary is by no means easy to predict. You have to take into consideration factors like job position, region, and levels of experience. For instance, sous chefs (or assistant chefs to the executive chef) make $35,000 yearly, on average, but that’s not the same as what a fast food chef would make, or a pastry chef who travels around town. However, the evidence shows that if you do strategize early in your career, you can find a well paying chef job.
Chef Yearly Salary by U.S. Statistics
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistic, a chef can expect to make a mean annual wage of approximately $46,620 per year. However, this number is only the average, and doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be your starting salary or your career ending salary. There is a great potential to branch out in many different avenues of this profession. Your choices will directly affect the potential to earn.
For instance, restaurant chefs make $43,870. However, travel accommodation chefs can make $52,750. Grocery store chefs are certainly underpaid at $39,180, but working for the federal executive branch gives you a hike of up to $65,350 per year.
As far as employment opportunity, states with major tourist and business cities fared the best, including California ($47,540), New York ($56,470), Texas ($45,410), Florida ($51,660) and Pennsylvania ($43,090). The chef yearly salary was also higher and the jobs are more plentiful in big city states like Nevada, Vermont and Connecticut. Even Hawaii was performing well, and not surprisingly, given the tourist market there.
Your Future Plans
It does seem that if you want to make more money, you have to move to a big city, at least to gain valuable work experience. Your future is entirely yours to influence. You may later decide that you prefer to open your own restaurant and exercise greater control over your services and menu selections. Or, you may want to leave the city, after gaining managerial experience, to apply for an executive cook position in a smaller town. The possibilities are endless.
According to the BLS, though restaurants are the avenues with the great potential for steady work, you can also venture out into special food services, amusement parks, scenic and sightseeing transportation, and water transportation. If you are willing to learn about business as well as cooking finesse, don’t underestimate the managerial route. Managers of companies and enterprises made $58,310 per year. Some cooks even have arrangements where they earn a salary plus a percentage of the revenue.
If you are interested in following your passions and making a career out of your talents, then becoming a chef is a great move. Study well and seek out all the experience you can get during training. By the time you are done with school, you may qualify for an even “tastier” job position that pays well.