Culinary Career Salaries

There’s a wide spread of salaries and jobs in the culinary industry. Wages can vary by occupation, venue, experience, even the city of employment.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average yearly wage for a chef or head cook was about $44,780. The average hourly wage was about $21.53.

Top earners are the chefs we see on TV, who earn their money not just through restaurants and cooking shows, but also through marketing their brands. Without the branding chefs like Wolfgang Puck, Gordon Ramsey and Mario Batali can earn high pay, but the TV shows, books and product lines can increase their earnings into the millions.

Of course, earnings also varied by their place of employment. Workers in high-end restaurants, resorts and five-star hotel restaurants tend to earn more than those who worked in the institutional setting, like the cafeterias of schools and hospitals. The earnings personal chefs and caterers vary according to the events and the private households. Workers in the fast food industry and basic food preparation fields tend to earn the least.

Workers in metropolitan cities also tended to earn more than their counterparts in smaller cities and towns. Top-paying cities for cooks and chefs, according to BLS statistics, included the New York City and New Jersey area; the Naples-Marco Island, area in Florida; New Haven, Connecticut; and Ann Arbor, Michigan.

All Figures courtesy of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Employment & Wages database.


  • #1 written by Erick_castro2011
    about 8 years ago

    I think that it’s a good help to other people that have the pashiton to cook or be a chef

  • #2 written by Yamikani Bema
    about 6 years ago

    what are the prerequisites for a culinary art designing?

  • #3 written by Micaah SoReal Williams
    about 5 years ago

    I love I cooking so its awsome

  • #4 written by shannon
    about 5 years ago

    I am not in it for the money i just enjoy cooking and people have to eat….

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