How Much Does A Chef Make?

A career as a chef may be challenging but it’s definitely a dream job for those who love to eat and find satisfaction in being able to create flavorful meals and delicacies that keep people coming back for second and third servings. For most chefs, the salary is not the main motivation for going into this career—which is just as well since entry-level chefs aren’t paid much.

Those with experience do stand to earn more. It’s also a profession that enables those with the entrepreneurial spirit to establish their own businesses which, if run properly, stand to give chefs better incomes.

Average Chef Annual Salary

$47,390

The average annual salary for chefs is $47,390 a year. Salaries start at $23,630 a year and go up to $76,280 a year.

Average Chef Hourly Wage

$22.79

The average hourly wage for a chef is $22.79. Hourly wages were between $11.36 and $36.67 an hour.

Stats were based out of 134,190 employed chefs in the United States.

Does Your Pay Depend On Your Experience?

Executive Chef

$76,280/year $36.67/hour

(Top 10% of Chefs)


Senior Chef

$59,080/year $28.40/hour

(Top 25% of Chefs)


Mid Level Chef

$43,180/year $20.76/hour

(Median)


Junior Chef

$32,230/year $15.50/hour

(Bottom 25% of Chefs)


Entry Level Chef

$23,630/year $11.36/hour

(Bottom 10% of Chefs)


Chef Average Salary Comparison

Chefs and Head Cooks
$47k / year
$22 / hour
First-Line Supervisors of Food Preparation and Serving Workers
$34k / year
$16 / hour

Top 10 Highest Paying States For Chefs

Top 10 Highest Paying Cities For Chefs

Chef Salary By State

Rank State Hourly Rate Annual Salary
#1 New Jersey $29.79 $61,970
#2 District of Columbia $29.71 $61,800
#3 Rhode Island $27.39 $56,970
#4 Florida $27.20 $56,570
#5 Massachusetts $26.42 $54,960
#6 Nevada $25.55 $53,140
#7 Virginia $25.07 $52,150
#8 Washington $24.94 $51,870
#9 Hawaii $24.76 $51,500
#10 Pennsylvania $24.68 $51,330
#11 Alabama $24.64 $51,240
#12 West Virginia $24.56 $51,080
#13 Delaware $24.52 $51,010
#14 Colorado $24.33 $50,610
#15 Connecticut $24.14 $50,200
#16 North Carolina $23.95 $49,810
#17 California $23.95 $49,810
#18 Maryland $23.91 $49,730
#19 Michigan $23.62 $49,120
#20 Wyoming $23.19 $48,230
#21 Oregon $23.06 $47,970
#22 Wisconsin $22.71 $47,240
#23 Illinois $22.65 $47,110
#24 New York $22.63 $47,070
#25 Vermont $22.54 $46,880
#26 Kentucky $22.48 $46,760
#27 Texas $22.47 $46,730
#28 New Hampshire $22.33 $46,450
#29 North Dakota $21.73 $45,210
#30 Missouri $21.43 $44,580
#31 Minnesota $21.36 $44,420
#32 Mississippi $20.71 $43,070
#33 New Mexico $20.70 $43,050
#34 Utah $20.49 $42,610
#35 Arkansas $20.25 $42,130
#36 Maine $20.22 $42,070
#37 South Dakota $19.97 $41,530
#38 Indiana $19.89 $41,380
#39 Oklahoma $19.32 $40,180
#40 Ohio $19.23 $39,990
#41 Montana $19.16 $39,860
#42 Alaska $18.95 $39,410
#43 Arizona $18.65 $38,790
#44 Louisiana $18.59 $38,660
#45 Virgin Islands $18.50 $38,490
#46 Kansas $17.82 $37,070
#47 Georgia $17.67 $36,760
#48 Puerto Rico $17.41 $36,200
#49 Iowa $16.79 $34,920
#50 Idaho $16.67 $34,660
#51 South Carolina $16.50 $34,320
#52 Tennessee $16.49 $34,300
#53 Guam $13.45 $27,970

Data provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

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