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Chef Average Salary in United States 2023

How much money does a person working as Chef make in United States?

Average Yearly Salary
57,400 USD
( 4,780 USD monthly)

All salary figures displayed here are per year except when noted otherwise.
All salary and compensation figures displayed here are gross salary figures, that is the salary before tax deductions. Because taxes may differ across sectors and locations, it is difficult to accurately calculate the net salary after tax for every career.

A person working as Chef in United States typically earns around 57,400 USD. Salaries range from 29,800 USD (lowest) to 87,800 USD (highest).

Salary Variance

This is the average salary including housing, transport, and other benefits. Chef salaries in United States vary drastically based on experience, skills, gender, or location. Below you will find a detailed breakdown based on many different criteria.

Chef Pay Scale and Salaries in United States

Median and salary distribution United States Chef yearly
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Salary Structure and Pay Scale Comparison

5% of people earn
51,900 USD or more
10% of people earn
46,300 to 51,900 USD
20% of people earn
33,800 USD or less
65% of people earn
33,800 to 46,300 USD
Minimum Salary
29,800 USD
52,200 USD
87,800 USD

Median Salary, maximum and minimum salary, minimum wage, starting salary, and the salary range

All salary figures displayed here are per year except when noted otherwise.
  • Salary Range, Minimum Wage, and Starting Salary

    Salaries for the position Chef in United States range from 29,800 USD (starting salary) to 87,800 USD (maximum salary). It should be noted that the given figure is not the legally mandated minimum wage; rather, it represents the lowest figure reported in a salary survey that included thousands of participants and professionals from all regions of the country.

  • Median Salary

    With a median salary of 52,200 USD, half of the professionals who work as Chef in United States earn less than this amount, and the other half earn more. The median salary denotes the middle value of salaries. Ideally, you would want to belong to the group earning more than the median salary, located on the right side of the salary distribution graph.

  • Percentiles and Salary Scale

    The median is closely associated with two other values known as the 25th and 75th percentiles. By examining the salary distribution chart, it can be determined that 25% of professionals employed as Chef in United States earn less than 43,300 USD, while 75% earn more. Similarly, the chart shows that 75% earn less than 59,200 USD while 25% earn more.

  • Pay Scale Structure

    To provide a better understanding of expected salaries, we categorized the frequently occurring salaries into different ranges. This approach provides a more precise representation of salary distribution for the job title Chef in United States compared to simply calculating the average. The majority of reported salaries, approximately 65%, fall within the range of 33,800 USD to 46,300 USD. About 20% of salaries are below the 33,800 USD mark, while 10% fall within the range of 46,300 USD to 51,900 USD. Only 5% of individuals have salaries exceeding 51,900 USD.

Salary Comparison by Years of Experience / Chef / United States

How do experience and age affect pay?

0 - 2 Years
33,900 USD
2 - 5 Years+34%
45,500 USD
5 - 10 Years+30%
59,100 USD
10 - 15 Years+21%
71,600 USD
15 - 20 Years+9%
78,200 USD
20+ Years+5%
82,300 USD
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value
Salary comparison by years of experience yearly United States Chef
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The experience level is the most important factor in determining the salary. Naturally, the more years of experience the higher the wage. We broke down salaries by experience level for people working as Chef and this is what we found.

All salary figures displayed here are per year except when noted otherwise.

Employees with less than two years of experience earn approximately 33,900 USD.

While someone with an experience level between two and five years is expected to earn 45,500 USD, 34% more than someone with less than two year's experience.

Moving forward, an experience level between five and ten years lands a salary of 59,100 USD, 30% more than someone with two to five years of experience.

Additionally, professionals whose expertise span anywhere between ten and fifteen years get a salary equivalent to 71,600 USD, 21% more than someone with five to ten years of experience.

If the experience level is between fifteen and twenty years, then the expected wage is 78,200 USD, 9% more than someone with ten to fifteen years of experience.

Lastly, employees with more than twenty years of professional experience get a salary of 82,300 USD, 5% more than people with fifteen to twenty years of experience.

On average, a person's salary doubles their starting salary by the time they cross the 10 years* experience mark.
* Based on the average change in salary over time. Salary variations differ from person to person.

Typical Salary Progress for Most Careers

Salary Comparison By Experience Level
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Salary Comparison By Education / Chef / United States

How do education levels affect salaries?

Displayed below is the average salary variance between different education levels of professionals working as Chef.

High School
42,600 USD
Certificate or Diploma+68%
71,600 USD
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value
Salary comparison by education level yearly United States Chef
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We all know that higher education equals a bigger salary, but how much more money can a degree add to your income? We broke down salaries by education level for the position Chef in order to make a comparison.

Level 1: High School

Employees at this education level have an average salary of 42,600 USD.

Level 2: Certificate or Diploma

At this level, the average salary becomes 71,600 USD, 68% more than the previous level.

Typical Salary Difference by Education for Most Careers

Salary Comparison By Education Level
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Salary and Compensation Comparison By Gender / Chef / United States

Salary comparison by gender United States Chef yearly
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Though gender should not have an effect on pay, in reality, it does. So who gets paid more: men or women? For the people who work as Chef in United States, the average difference between the salary of male and female employees is 5%.

58,900 USD
56,000 USD
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value

Salary Comparison By Gender in United States for all Careers

Salary comparison by gender yearly United States
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Average Annual Salary Increment Percentage / Chef / United States

How much are annual salary increments in United States for individuals working as Chef? How often do employees get salary raises?

Individuals working as Chef in United States are likely to observe a salary increase of approximately 9% every 16 months. The national average annual increment for all professions combined is 8% granted to employees every 16 months.

Annual Salary Increment Rate United States Chef
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The figures provided here are averages of numbers. Those figures should be taken as general guidelines. Salary increments will vary from person to person and depend on many factors, but your performance and contribution to the success of the organization remain the most important factors in determining how much and how often you will be granted a raise.

United States / All Professions

Annual Salary Increment Rate United States
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The term Annual Salary Increase usually refers to the increase in 12 calendar month period, but because it is rare that people get their salaries reviewed exactly on the one-year mark, it is more meaningful to know the frequency and the rate at the time of the increase.

How to calculate the salary increment percentage?

The annual salary Increase in a calendar year (12 months) can be easily calculated as follows: Annual Salary Increase = Increase Rate x 12 / Increase Frequency

The average salary increase in one year (12 months) in United States is 6%.

Worldwide Salary Raises: All Countries and All Jobs

World Average Annual Salary Increment
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Salary Packages and Schemes

Not all compensation increases are reflected directly in the salary. Some companies offer upgraded packages to their staff instead of cash money. The figures displayed here account only for direct increments to the base salary.

Bonus and Incentive Rates / Chef / United States

How much and how often are bonuses being awarded?Annual Salary Bonus Rate United States Chef
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47% of surveyed staff reported that they haven't received any bonuses or incentives in the previous year while 53% said that they received at least one form of monetary bonus.

Those who got bonuses reported rates ranging from 3% to 5% of their annual salary.

Received Bonus
No Bonus

Types of Bonuses Considered

Individual Performance-Based Bonuses

The most standard form of bonus, where the employee is awarded based on their exceptional performance.

Company Performance Bonuses

Occasionally, some companies like to celebrate excess earnings and profits with their staff collectively in the form of bonuses that are granted to everyone. The amount of the bonus will probably be different from person to person depending on their role within the organization.

Goal-Based Bonuses

Granted upon achieving an important goal or milestone.

Holiday / End of Year Bonuses

These types of bonuses are given without a reason and usually resemble an appreciation token.

Bonuses Are Not Commissions!

People tend to confuse bonuses with commissions. A commission is a prefixed rate at which someone gets paid for items sold or deals completed while a bonus is in most cases arbitrary and unplanned.

What makes a position worthy of good bonuses and a high salary?

The main two types of jobs

Revenue GeneratorsSupporting Cast

Employees that are directly involved in generating revenue or profit for the organization. Their field of expertise usually matches the type of business.

Employees that support and facilitate the work of revenue generators. Their expertise is usually different from that of the core business operations.

A graphics designer working for a graphics designing company.

A graphic designer in the marketing department of a hospital.

Revenue generators usually get more and higher bonuses, higher salaries, and more frequent salary increments. The reason is quite simple: it is easier to quantify your value to the company in monetary terms when you participate in revenue generation.

Try to work for companies where your skills can generate revenue. We can't all generate revenue and that's perfectly fine.

Bonus Comparison by Seniority Level

Top management personnel and senior employees naturally exhibit higher bonus rates and frequencies than juniors. This is very predictable due to the inherent responsibilities of being higher in the hierarchy. People in top positions can easily get double or triple bonus rates than employees down the pyramid.

Average Hourly Wage / Chef / United States

28 USD per hour

The average hourly wage (pay per hour) for individuals working as Chef in United States is 28 USD.This is the rate they get paid for every worked hour.

Hourly Wage = Annual Salary / ( 52 x 5 x 8 )

About The Hourly Pay Rate

The hourly wage is the salary paid in one worked hour. Usually, jobs are classified into two categories: salaried jobs and hourly jobs. Salaried jobs pay a fixed amount regardless of the hours worked. Hourly jobs pay per worked hour. To convert salary into hourly wage the above formula is used (assuming 5 working days in a week and 8 working hours per day which is the standard for most jobs). The hourly wage calculation may differ slightly depending on the worked hours per week and the annual vacation allowance. The figures mentioned above are good approximations and are considered to be the standard. One major difference between salaried employees and hourly paid employees is overtime eligibility. Salaried employees are usually exempt from overtime as opposed to hourly paid staff.

What is the minimum hourly rate of pay?

The minimum pay rate per hour for people working as Chef in United States is 14 USD. This is the minimum as per the gathered data in the salary survey not the minimum hourly rate mandated by law.

Salary comparison with similar jobs

Job TitleAverage Salary
Food / Hospitality / Tourism / Catering-100%
Airbnb Property Manager107,000 USD+87%
All Rounder38,600 USD-33%
Assistant Executive Housekeeper28,500 USD-50%
Assistant Food and Beverage Controller58,000 USD+1%
Assistant Food and Beverage Director119,000 USD+110%
Assistant Hospitality Manager132,000 USD+130%
Assistant Storekeeper25,200 USD-56%
Assistant Tour Manager62,700 USD+9%
Baker and Pastrycook34,500 USD-40%
Bakery Manager71,500 USD+25%
Bakery Superintendent46,100 USD-20%
Banquet Captain38,100 USD-34%
Banquet Manager50,400 USD-12%
Banquet Server32,100 USD-44%
Bar Attendant32,600 USD-43%
Bar Manager67,300 USD+17%
Bar Supervisor43,200 USD-25%
Barista38,000 USD-34%
Bartender35,800 USD-38%
Bellman31,000 USD-46%
Beverage Manager75,300 USD+31%
Bistro Attendant31,400 USD-45%
Buffet Chef57,000 USD-1%
Buffet Host31,400 USD-45%
Buffet Manager72,200 USD+26%
Butcher and Slaughterer25,200 USD-56%
Cafeteria Assistant31,800 USD-45%
Cafeteria Manager59,200 USD+3%
Cafeteria Supervisor43,800 USD-24%
Cake Decorator37,500 USD-35%
Casino Shift Manager111,000 USD+93%
Chain Store Customer Support48,300 USD-16%
Chef57,400 USD+0%
Chef De Cuisine86,200 USD+50%
Club Manager111,000 USD+93%
Cluster Director148,000 USD+160%
Cluster Revenue Manager108,000 USD+88%
Cocktail Server30,500 USD-47%
Coffee Shop Manager107,000 USD+87%
Concierge28,700 USD-50%
Confectionery Baker36,800 USD-36%
Conference and Sales Coordinator55,500 USD-3%
Conference Services Manager70,100 USD+22%
Cook52,100 USD-9%
Corporate Sous Chef88,600 USD+54%
Corporate Travel Consultant88,900 USD+55%
Croupier41,500 USD-28%
Culinary Assistant28,200 USD-51%
Culinary Associate26,300 USD-54%
Culinary Tour Guide71,400 USD+24%
Demi Chef57,800 USD+1%
Dietary Aide58,700 USD+2%
Dining Room Supervisor54,300 USD-5%
Dishwasher25,000 USD-56%
Duty Manager75,000 USD+31%
Events Coordinator46,100 USD-20%
Executive Chef70,400 USD+23%
Executive Pastry Chef54,700 USD-5%
Fast Food Cook50,600 USD-12%
Fast Food Shift Supervisor54,000 USD-6%
Fine Dining Cook83,200 USD+45%
Fine Dining Restaurant Chef90,500 USD+58%
Fleet Manager150,000 USD+160%
Food and Beverage Manager112,000 USD+95%
Food and Beverage Trend Analyst77,200 USD+35%
Food Consultant94,700 USD+65%
Food Photographer59,200 USD+3%
Food Policy Analyst81,900 USD+43%
Food Safety Auditor78,500 USD+37%
Food Safety Compliance Manager93,400 USD+63%
Food Safety Coordinator72,000 USD+25%
Food Server29,600 USD-48%
Food Service Director115,000 USD+100%
Food Service Manager119,000 USD+110%
Food Service Sales76,200 USD+33%
Food Service Worker30,000 USD-48%
Food Stylist48,700 USD-15%
Food Sustainability Consultant88,500 USD+54%
Front Desk Agent34,800 USD-39%
Front Desk Clerk34,300 USD-40%
Front Office Manager65,800 USD+15%
Gastronomy Consultant68,400 USD+19%
Guest Service Executive101,000 USD+76%
Guest Service Representative39,000 USD-32%
Head Chef 70,800 USD+23%
Head Concierge48,100 USD-16%
Hospitality Director176,000 USD+210%
Hospitality Technology Specialist77,700 USD+35%
Hostess / Host34,100 USD-41%
Hotel Desk Clerk33,800 USD-41%
Hotel Maid26,600 USD-54%
Hotel Manager172,000 USD+200%
Hotel Revenue Manager102,000 USD+78%
Hotel Sales Manager135,000 USD+140%
Hotel Service Supervisor99,500 USD+73%
Hotel Staff32,300 USD-44%
Inventory Coordinator37,100 USD-35%
Kitchen Manager56,300 USD-2%
Kitchen Staff31,800 USD-45%
Kitchen Supervisor51,000 USD-11%
Line Cook56,400 USD-2%
Luggage Porter25,800 USD-55%
Molecular Gastronomist86,800 USD+51%
Motel Manager98,300 USD+71%
Pastry Chef49,400 USD-14%
Pastrycooking and Baking Assistant34,400 USD-40%
Personal Chef68,500 USD+19%
Production Operator48,900 USD-15%
Quality, Health and Safety Coordinator56,500 USD-2%
Receptionist34,800 USD-39%
Regional Restaurant Manager133,000 USD+130%
Restaurant Manager116,000 USD+100%
Restaurant Server30,300 USD-47%
Room Reservations Manager118,000 USD+110%
Room Service Manager105,000 USD+83%
Sous Chef69,300 USD+21%
Special Events Coordinator67,200 USD+17%
Supervisor of Food Services79,400 USD+38%
Sustainable Catering Coordinator72,000 USD+25%
Sustainable Tourism Consultant75,000 USD+31%
Tour Consultant86,300 USD+50%
Tour Guide55,600 USD-3%
Tour Manager75,400 USD+31%
Travel Agent61,300 USD+7%
Travel Consultant88,200 USD+54%
Virtual / Augmented Reality Tourism Specialist74,900 USD+31%
Waiter / Waitress31,500 USD-45%
Wedding Planner94,300 USD+64%

Salary Comparison By City

CityAverage Salary
Boston60,300 USD
Chicago67,000 USD
Houston66,400 USD
Las Vegas57,400 USD
Los Angeles70,400 USD
New York71,700 USD
San Francisco62,000 USD
San Jose64,300 USD

Salary Comparison By State

StateAverage Salary
Alabama60,300 USD
Alaska52,200 USD
Arizona61,400 USD
Arkansas56,200 USD
California70,200 USD
Colorado62,800 USD
Connecticut60,300 USD
Delaware55,500 USD
District of Columbia53,800 USD
Florida66,300 USD
Georgia64,400 USD
Hawaii54,500 USD
Idaho53,900 USD
Illinois63,000 USD
Indiana65,900 USD
Iowa60,300 USD
Kansas59,700 USD
Kentucky61,000 USD
Louisiana60,400 USD
Maine55,000 USD
Maryland61,500 USD
Massachusetts60,900 USD
Michigan62,500 USD
Minnesota58,500 USD
Mississippi60,300 USD
Missouri64,000 USD
Montana56,100 USD
Nebraska57,300 USD
Nevada58,000 USD
New Hampshire55,000 USD
New Jersey63,300 USD
New Mexico55,600 USD
New York64,200 USD
North Carolina61,900 USD
North Dakota55,300 USD
Ohio67,700 USD
Oklahoma61,000 USD
Oregon60,400 USD
Pennsylvania66,300 USD
Rhode Island53,800 USD
South Carolina59,700 USD
South Dakota52,800 USD
Tennessee60,800 USD
Texas64,200 USD
Utah59,700 USD
Vermont54,800 USD
Virginia65,800 USD
Washington64,600 USD
West Virginia56,800 USD
Wisconsin61,500 USD
Wyoming51,500 USD

Government vs Private Sector Salary Comparison

Where can you get paid more, working in a private company or the government? The difference between the public or government sector salaries and the private sector salaries in United States is 5% on average across all career fields.

Private Sector
92,800 USD
Public Sector+5%
97,500 USD
Percentage increase and decrease are relative to the previous value

Salary Statistics and Calculation Guide

What is considered to be a good and competitive salary for the job title Chef in United States?

A good and competitive compensation would range anywhere between 52,200 USD and 59,200 USD. This is a very rough estimate. Experience and education play a very huge part in the final earnings.

Gross Salary (before tax) and Net Salary (after tax)

All salary and compensation figures displayed here are gross salary figures, that is the salary before tax deductions. Because taxes may differ across sectors and locations, it is difficult to accurately calculate the net salary after tax for every career.

Base / Basic Salary

The base salary for a careers like Chef in United States ranges from 29,800 USD to 43,300 USD. The base salary depends on many factors including experience and education. It is not easy to provide a figure with very little information, so take this range with a grain of salt.

What is the difference between the median and the average salary?

Both are indicators. If your salary is higher than both the average and the median then you are doing very well. If your salary is lower than both, then many people earn more than you and there is plenty of room for improvement. If your wage is between the average and the median, then things can be a bit complicated. We wrote a guide to explain all about the different scenarios. How to compare your salary

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