These Are The 10 Best States For Chefs

We used the most recent data to determine the best states for Executive Chefs to open up shop.

Chris Kolmarby Chris KolmarBest States For Professions, Rankings - 1 year ago




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Chefs are one of the most common jobs in America. Additionally, a significant number of people work as chefs in every state in the union — it’s not like they are all just concentrated in California or the South.

Since chefs are such a prominent occupation, we at Zippia wanted to look at where chefs have it the best: where there are plenty of jobs to go around, and people get paid what they deserve during every phase of their career.

To that end, we dove into the numbers from the BLS to figure out which states have the best opportunities for chefs. After all the numbers had been crunched, we were left with this list of the best of best for America’s chefs:

  1. Nevada
  2. Florida
  3. Rhode Island
  4. New Jersey
  5. Wyoming
  6. Kentucky
  7. Massachusetts
  8. West Virginia
  9. Vermont
  10. Ohio

So there you have it — Nevada is the best of the best when it comes to being a chefs.

How did it end up here and does it really deserve this ranking? Read on to see how we completed our research on the best states for chefs and for more on the top ten states.

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How we determined the best states to be a chef

Here at Zippia, we talk to a lot of people of all different backgrounds looking for jobs. Our research has concluded that there are two common things people want in a job:

  • Availability of jobs
  • Pay

So in order to find out the best states for chefs in America we needed to figure out where the jobs are and how well chefs get paid. This led to the following criteria taken from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’s Occupational Employment Statistics for 2015:

  • Location quotient. A measure of how common a job is a given state.
  • Average annual salary.
  • Average annual salary for entry level work.
  • Average annual salary for experienced professionals.

To make all the salary numbers more apples to apples across states, we compared the salary data relative to the state’s cost of living.

Applying this standardization allows us to account for that fact that it costs more to live in certain in states. For example, the average salary for chefs in California is $45,810 and the average salary in Illinois is $44,350, but the Illinois salary actually goes further in paying for life’s essentials.

In order to develop and overall ranking, we ranked each state for each criteria from 1 to 50 where 1 was the best.

We then averaged all the rankings for a state into a Job Score with the state having the lowest overall Job Score earning the distinction of being the best state for chefs in America.

So without further ado, let’s get into just what made each state so great for chefs.

1. Nevada

Best States For Executive Chefs

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 3,400
Average Annual Salary: $51,380
Average Entry Level Salary: $31,670
Average Experienced Salary: $77,470
Location Quotient: 2.94

2. Florida

Best States For Executive Chefs

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 7,800
Average Annual Salary: $54,820
Average Entry Level Salary: $30,280
Average Experienced Salary: $85,280
Location Quotient: 1.05

3. Rhode Island

Best States For Executive Chefs

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 610
Average Annual Salary: $53,480
Average Entry Level Salary: $32,580
Average Experienced Salary: $76,950
Location Quotient: 1.38

4. New Jersey

Best States For Executive Chefs

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 3,690
Average Annual Salary: $58,200
Average Entry Level Salary: $34,190
Average Experienced Salary: $82,040
Location Quotient: 1.01

5. Wyoming

Best States For Executive Chefs

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 280
Average Annual Salary: $46,750
Average Entry Level Salary: $31,790
Average Experienced Salary: $63,760
Location Quotient: 1.05

6. Kentucky

Best States For Executive Chefs

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 750
Average Annual Salary: $45,970
Average Entry Level Salary: $29,520
Average Experienced Salary: $71,020
Location Quotient: 0.43

7. Massachusetts

Best States For Executive Chefs

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 4,510
Average Annual Salary: $55,840
Average Entry Level Salary: $31,730
Average Experienced Salary: $83,270
Location Quotient: 1.42

8. West Virginia

Best States For Executive Chefs

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 330
Average Annual Salary: $49,100
Average Entry Level Salary: $27,580
Average Experienced Salary: $69,810
Location Quotient: 0.49

9. Vermont

Best States For Executive Chefs

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 290
Average Annual Salary: $46,310
Average Entry Level Salary: $32,620
Average Experienced Salary: $71,370
Location Quotient: 1.03

10. Ohio

Best States For Executive Chefs

Source: Wikipedia

Total Jobs: 3,300
Average Annual Salary: $44,170
Average Entry Level Salary: $28,610
Average Experienced Salary: $68,740
Location Quotient: 0.67

There You Have It

If you’re looking to start out your career as a chef these are the states that should be at the top of your list. You’ll find high pay, available jobs, and chances for career advancement.

If you’re curious, here are the worst states to be a chef in America:

  1. Iowa
  2. Wisconsin
  3. Tennessee

Detailed List Of The Best States For Chefs

Rank State Average Salary Entry Level Salary # Of People
1 Nevada $51,380 $31,670 3,400
2 Florida $54,820 $30,280 7,800
3 Rhode Island $53,480 $32,580 610
4 New Jersey $58,200 $34,190 3,690
5 Wyoming $46,750 $31,790 280
6 Kentucky $45,970 $29,520 750
7 Massachusetts $55,840 $31,730 4,510
8 West Virginia $49,100 $27,580 330
9 Vermont $46,310 $32,620 290
10 Ohio $44,170 $28,610 3,300
11 Washington $52,700 $28,860 2,100
12 Alabama $47,530 $27,560 660
13 Pennsylvania $47,590 $28,460 4,130
14 Nebraska $51,340 $22,090 460
15 North Carolina $47,470 $30,790 2,030
16 Delaware $47,540 $34,430 370
17 Minnesota $46,620 $28,440 2,330
18 Michigan $45,780 $22,030 3,050
19 Arizona $45,300 $25,100 2,310
20 Maryland $52,140 $27,350 2,510
21 Colorado $48,070 $27,720 2,320
22 Missouri $43,710 $22,230 1,810
23 Texas $43,380 $21,620 8,140
24 Arkansas $38,520 $24,860 670
25 North Dakota $41,390 $27,340 350
26 South Dakota $40,480 $28,460 80
27 Oregon $45,920 $26,650 1,330
28 Illinois $44,350 $24,010 4,560
29 Maine $40,970 $26,810 780
30 New Hampshire $43,440 $28,870 970
31 Louisiana $39,440 $21,820 1,500
32 Mississippi $38,660 $20,470 990
33 Virginia $44,790 $19,820 3,190
34 New York $46,720 $19,100 13,840
35 California $45,810 $24,140 19,290
36 Connecticut $47,350 $27,970 2,040
37 South Carolina $36,330 $20,290 2,480
38 Montana $38,030 $23,800 350
39 New Mexico $40,710 $20,200 620
40 Alaska $41,970 $24,170 470
41 Utah $39,340 $25,260 990
42 Oklahoma $37,800 $20,440 1,250
43 Hawaii $44,650 $24,160 1,860
44 Indiana $39,300 $22,790 1,630
45 Georgia $34,880 $20,320 3,670
46 Kansas $35,750 $21,490 1,180
47 Idaho $32,360 $18,390 740
48 Tennessee $31,120 $17,410 3,120
49 Wisconsin $39,420 $19,830 1,880
50 Iowa $35,500 $19,880 1,060

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