Updated February 6, 2023

Average Chef Salary


$22.51 hourly

Entry level Salary
$31,000 yearly

How much does a Chef make?

Chefs make $46,824 per year on average, or $22.51 per hour, in the United States. Chefs on the lower end of that spectrum, the bottom 10% to be exact, make roughly $31,000 a year, while the top 10% makes $68,000.

Location impacts how much a chef can expect to make. Chefs make the most in Hawaii, New Jersey, Washington, Massachusetts, and California.

Highest Paying States For Chefs

If both location and money are important to you, then you might want to check out moving to Hawaii, New Jersey and Washington, as these three states offer the highest salaries throughout the U.S. for chefs. Quite opposite of that list is the lowest paying states, which are Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
  • State View
  • County View
Average Salary:

Chef average salary by State

RankStateAvg. SalaryHourly RateJob Count
3New Jersey$66,145$31.80402
10Rhode Island$51,863$24.9366
17New Mexico$46,088$22.16135
21District of Columbia$51,291$24.6698
25North Dakota$46,969$22.5839
26West Virginia$43,797$21.0696
30New Hampshire$45,875$22.0696
33New York$44,972$21.62809
36North Carolina$40,324$19.39791
45South Carolina$33,257$15.99401
51South Dakota$34,538$16.6036

Highest Paying Cities For Chefs

RankCityAvg. SalaryHourly RateJob Count
1Urban Honolulu, HI$71,516$34.381
2Seattle, WA$57,286$27.544
3Redwood City, CA$55,617$26.74
4Boston, MA$55,491$26.687
5Austin, TX$53,145$25.554
6Philadelphia, PA$52,140$25.07
7Washington, DC$51,303$24.665
8Las Vegas, NV$51,263$24.659
9Columbus, GA$49,011$23.56
10Portland, ME$48,340$23.24
11Phoenix, AZ$47,666$22.921
12Chicago, IL$47,597$22.885
13Denver, CO$45,825$22.032
14Portland, OR$45,821$22.03
15Saint Louis, MO$45,144$21.704

Here Are The Five Most In Demand Cities Right Now:

  1. Urban Honolulu, HI
  2. Seattle, WA
  3. Redwood City, CA
  4. Boston, MA
  5. Austin, TX

Chef Salary by Years of Experience

The salary for a chef can vary depending on the years of experience that a person has, from entry level to senior level. An accountant with 0-2 years of experience earns an average salary of $46,496, a mid-career professional with 3-6 years of experience makes $46,824 a year on average, and a senior level accountant with 7-12 years of experience enjoys an average annual salary of $54,691. Data on how experience level affects total compensation is provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) as part of their National Compensation Survey, which is based on factors such as knowledge, complexity, contacts, and environment.

Chefs Salary Details

Average Chef Salary Graph
Average Chef Salary Graph, Trends, and Summary

What is a Chef's Salary?

PercentileAnnual SalaryMonthly SalaryHourly Rate
90th Percentile$68,000$5,667$33
75th Percentile$57,000$4,750$27
25th Percentile$38,000$3,167$18
10th Percentile$31,000$2,583$15

Highest Paying Types of Chefs

Job TitleAnnual SalaryMonthly SalaryHourly RateJob Openings
Pastry Cook$34,858$2,905$16.76136,754
Line Cook$32,895$2,741$15.81168,993
Head Cook$44,412$3,701$21.35156,227
Line Cook, Prep Cook$32,982$2,748$15.86164,756
Culinary Internship$31,368$2,614$15.0893,844
Chef De Cuisine$51,926$4,327$24.9618,300

Which Companies Pay Chefs The Most?

According to our most recent salary estimates, Bridgewater Associates and Ncar - The National Center For Atmospheric Research are the highest paying companies for chefs.

How Much Do Chefs Make In Different Industries?

Here are some examples of how much a chef salaries can based on different industries:

  1. The health care industry pays chefs an average salary of $46,349

  2. The hospitality industry pay $45,408

  3. The lowest paying industry for chefs is the retail industry. Chefs in this industry earn an average salary of $40,116

Highest Paying Industries For Chefs

RankIndustryAverage SalaryHourly Rate
1Health Care$46,349$22.28

High Paying Chef Jobs

Chef Pay Trends

Average Chef Salary Over Time

Compare salaries for individual cities or states with the national average.

    Chef Salary By Year

    YearAvg. SalaryHourly Rate% Change

    Recently Added Chef Salaries

    CompanyJobLocationDate AddedSalary
    EnlivantChef at Allen Place |Atlantic, IA11/28/2022$33,392
    The Corner CafeChefMarshfield, MA11/27/2022$52,175
    Dig Inn (Harvard Square)Chef In TrainingCambridge, MA11/26/2022$35,479
    Steamboat Ski ResortFull Service Restaurant Chef-Winter SeasonalDenver, CO11/26/2022$55,000
    Delaware NorthChef Opportunities, Lambeau FieldGreen Bay, WI11/25/2022$50,000
    Careerbuilder-UsChef TournantLas Vegas, NV11/25/2022$50,000
    Dig Inn-BoylstonChef In Training (Boylston STBoston, MA11/25/2022$35,479
    Covenant Living of Golden ValleyChefGolden Valley, MN11/24/2022$40,884
    EnlivantChef at Park Creek Place | andNorth Wales, PA11/23/2022$37,566
    EnlivantChef at Miller PlaceCelina, OH11/23/2022$37,566

    Chef Salaries FAQs

    What State Pays Chefs The Most?

    Hawaii pays Chefs the most in the United States, with an average salary of $71,544 per year, or $34.40 per hour.

    How Do I Know If I'm Being Paid Fairly As A Chef?

    You know if you are being paid fairly as a Chef if your pay is close to the average pay for the state you live in. For example, if you live in New Jersey you should be paid close to $66,145 per year.

    What Is A Good Starting Salary For A Chef?

    A good starting salary for a chef is $32,000 in the United States. That puts you in the 10th percentile of annual income for a chef in the U.S., which is about what you would expect if you were new to the field. The average salary for chefs is $47,396, but that normally requires some level of experience to achieve. Furthermore, a good starting salary for a chef can vary by state.

    Do Chefs Make Good Money?

    Yes, chefs make good money. The average annual salary of a chef in the United States is $52,160. This role's average is at an all-time high and surpasses the average national wage.

    Chefs are also paid differently according to state. Here are some of the states that have the highest annual salary averages for chefs...

    How Much Do Hibachi Chefs Make?

    Hibachi chefs make an average annual salary of around $50,000 in the United States. On the low end, a hibachi chef may only earn up to $30K to $35K per year. These low-end earners have hourly wages around the $20 range.

    How Much Do Professional Chefs Make?

    Professional chefs make an annual salary of $52,160 in the United States. This role's average is at an all-time high and surpasses the average national wage.

    Chefs are also paid differently according to state. Here are some of the states that have the highest annual salary averages for chefs:

    • Hawaii - $75,510

    • New Jersey - $70,260

    • Nevada - $56,290

    • Missouri - $55,300

    • West Virginia - $54,500

    Chef salaries also depend on the job title the chef holds. Executive and head chefs tend to make the most money. The average salary of an executive chef in the United States is $74,331 per year.

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