Updated August 22, 2022

Average Cook Salary

$15.29hourly

$31,803 yearly

Entry level Salary
$25,000 yearly
$25,000
10 %
$31,803
Median
$40,000
90 %

How much does a Cook make?

Cooks make $31,803 per year on average, or $15.29 per hour, in the United States. Cooks on the lower end of that spectrum, the bottom 10% to be exact, make roughly $25,000 a year, while the top 10% makes $40,000.

Location impacts how much a cook can expect to make. Cooks make the most in Hawaii, New Jersey, Washington, Massachusetts, and New York.

Highest Paying States For Cooks

The darker areas on the map show where cooks earn the highest salaries across all 50 states.

  • State View
  • County View
Average Salary:

Cook average salary by State

Rank  State  Avg. Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Count  
1Hawaii$44,295$21.30109
2Connecticut$35,991$17.30505
3Nevada$33,011$15.87416
4Washington$36,804$17.69843
5New Jersey$37,026$17.801,014
6Massachusetts$36,549$17.571,045
7New Hampshire$35,492$17.06189
8Minnesota$33,535$16.121,093
9Arizona$30,480$14.651,542
10New York$36,236$17.421,669
11Vermont$35,225$16.9475
12California$35,925$17.274,300
13Michigan$30,431$14.631,561
14Maine$33,797$16.25148
15Colorado$31,042$14.921,373
16Oregon$33,951$16.32480
17Pennsylvania$30,693$14.761,912
18Illinois$31,121$14.962,097
19Rhode Island$33,277$16.00131
20Delaware$32,066$15.42166
21Florida$28,804$13.854,400
22Alaska$29,681$14.27177
23Ohio$28,477$13.691,950
24Wisconsin$29,602$14.23908
25North Dakota$29,754$14.30130
26District of Columbia$35,312$16.9895
27Utah$28,848$13.87529
28Tennessee$25,967$12.481,518
29North Carolina$27,257$13.101,925
30Indiana$26,872$12.921,469
31Maryland$31,887$15.33816
32Wyoming$27,476$13.21105
33Virginia$29,793$14.321,387
34South Dakota$28,688$13.79130
35Iowa$27,561$13.25560
36Idaho$28,114$13.52246
37Nebraska$27,461$13.20314
38Texas$25,763$12.395,425
39New Mexico$27,029$12.99371
40South Carolina$26,048$12.52907
41Missouri$25,785$12.401,355
42Kentucky$25,289$12.16881
43Georgia$26,650$12.811,858
44Arkansas$23,591$11.34752
45Montana$26,577$12.78190
46Kansas$23,414$11.26662
47Alabama$24,383$11.72854
48Oklahoma$23,081$11.10801
49Louisiana$23,280$11.19760
50Mississippi$21,950$10.55601
51West Virginia$23,234$11.17286

Highest Paying Cities For Cooks

Rank  City  Avg. Salary  Hourly Rate  
1Seattle, WA$37,003$17.79
2San Francisco, CA$36,696$17.64
3Boston, MA$36,587$17.59
4New York, NY$36,239$17.42
5Washington, DC$35,335$16.99
6Portland, ME$33,922$16.31
7Portland, OR$33,804$16.25
8Saint Paul, MN$33,515$16.11
9Las Vegas, NV$32,833$15.79
10Baltimore, MD$32,072$15.42
11Chicago, IL$31,331$15.06
12Denver, CO$31,009$14.91
13Philadelphia, PA$30,892$14.85
14Phoenix, AZ$30,519$14.67
15Washington, UT$29,800$14.33

Here Are The Five Most In Demand Cities Right Now:

  1. Seattle, WA
  2. San Francisco, CA
  3. Boston, MA
  4. New York, NY
  5. Washington, DC

Cook Salary Details

Average Cook Salary Graph
Average Cook Salary Graph, Trends, and Summary

What is a Cook's Salary?

Percentile  Annual Salary  Monthly Salary  Hourly Rate  
90th Percentile$40,000$3,333$19
75th Percentile$35,000$2,917$17
Average$31,803$2,650$15
25th Percentile$28,000$2,333$13
10th Percentile$25,000$2,083$12

Average Salary By Related Titles

Job Title  Annual Salary  Monthly Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
Line Cook, Prep Cook$32,982$2,748$15.86164,756
Line Cook/Dishwasher$34,435$2,870$16.56133,370
Prep Cook/Dishwasher$31,687$2,641$15.23126,351
Mexican Food Cook$31,039$2,587$14.92275,588
Short Order Cook$30,734$2,561$14.78176,187
Cook/Dishwasher$31,703$2,642$15.24133,000

Which Companies Pay Cooks The Most?

The highest paying companies for cooks are University of California, Berkeley and Kemps according to our most recent salary estimates. In addition, companies like University of Massachusetts Boston and ZS report highly competitive wages for cooks.
Rank  Company  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  Job Openings  
1University of California, Berkeley$40,923$19.67
2Kemps$40,839$19.63
3University of Massachusetts Boston$40,784$19.6111
4ZS$40,223$19.34
5Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics$39,711$19.09
6Columbia University in the City of New York$39,679$19.082
7Uline$39,241$18.879
8Aspen Snowmass$39,101$18.8025
9Bertucci's$39,083$18.79197
10National Pancake House$38,501$18.5142
11Palmetto$38,470$18.509
12University of California$38,437$18.4851
13State Bar of Michigan$38,413$18.4719
14On The Border$38,386$18.45172
15Kohler Co.$38,240$18.3819
16J.F. Shea Co$38,040$18.2934
17Zoës Kitchen$38,016$18.28149
18Marquis Companies$37,941$18.2423
19UC Santa Barbara$37,783$18.16
20Resorts World Catskills$37,761$18.155

How Much Do Cooks Make In Different Industries?

Cook salaries can vary depending on the industry. In fact, our data shows that the government, health care, and retail industries tend to offer much higher salaries for cooks. For example, cooks make a whopping average salary of $34,114 while working in the government industry. Meanwhile, other people in this field are making $32,562 in the health care industry and $30,606 in the retail industry.

Cooks may want to avoid working in the hospitality industry as it offers the lowest average salary of $27,814.

Highest Paying Industries For Cooks

Rank  Industry  Average Salary  Hourly Rate  
1Government$34,114$16.40
2Health Care$32,562$15.65
3Retail$30,606$14.71
4Hospitality$27,814$13.37

High Paying Cook Jobs

Cook Salary Trends

The salary for a cook can vary depending on the years of experience that a person has, from entry level to senior level. 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.

Cook Salary By Experience Level

Experience Level  Avg. Salary  Hourly Rate  
Entry Level$23,800$11.46
Mid Level$28,800$13.85
Senior Level$34,200$16.45

Average Cook Salary Over Time

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

    Cook Salary By Year

    Year  Avg. Salary  Hourly Rate  % Change  
    2022$31,800$15.29+3.5%
    2021$30,700$14.75+4.5%
    2020$29,300$14.08+5.1%
    2019$27,800$13.37+4.1%
    2018$26,700$12.82+4.3%

    Recently Added Cook Salaries

    Company  Job  Location  Date Added  Salary  
    SodexoCook IIMountlake Terrace, WA07/26/2022$52,175
    Remote In Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaCook-HeritageVicksburg, MS07/26/2022$22,227
    The Salvation ArmyCookAllentown, PA07/26/2022$27,131
    Omni Hotels & ResortsBroiler Cook 1Broomfield, CO07/26/2022$45,914
    Oakleaf Village of RaleighCookHilliard, OH07/26/2022$33,392
    Hallmark Management ServicesCook Opportunity at Wells College!Aurora, NY07/26/2022$40,216
    Remote In Philadelphia, PennsylvaniaCook 1 Casual DiningKane, PA07/26/2022$33,392
    Morrison HealthcareCookCharleston, SC07/26/2022$29,218
    Saint Luke's Health System Kansas CityCook-Saint Luke's South PRNOverland Park, KS07/26/2022$39,653
    Morrison HealthcareCookHuntersville, NC07/26/2022$34,436

    Cook Salaries FAQs

    What state pays Cooks the most?

    Hawaii pays Cooks the most in the United States, with an average salary of $44,295 per year, or $21.30 per hour.

    How do I know if I'm being paid fairly as a Cook?

    You know if you are being paid fairly as a Cook 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 $37,026 per year.

    What type of Cook gets paid the most?

    Head Cook gets paid the most. Head Cook made a median salary of $44,412. The best-paid 10 percent make $52,000, while the lowest-paid 10 percent make $37,000.

    What is a good starting salary for a Cook?

    A good starting salary for a cook is $24,000 in the United States. That puts you in the 10th percentile of annual income for a cook in the U.S., which is about what you would expect if you were new to the field. The average salary for cooks is $30,564, but that normally requires some level of experience to achieve. Furthermore, a good starting salary for a cook can vary by state.

    Do line cooks make good money?

    No, most line cooks do not make good money. The average pay for a line cook is around $12 an hour. If you have earned a degree or have a background in culinary school, you can earn up to $18 an hour as a line cook.

    How much does a professional cook make a year?

    A professional cook makes around $32,000 a year. Your salary as a cook will vary due to many factors, some within your control while others are not.

    Differences in Salary Include:

    • Location

    • Type of establishment

    • Experience

    • Education

    • Specific responsibilities

    What is the highest-paying cooking job?

    Working as a private chef is the highest-paying cooking job. Private chefs make over $65,000 a year on average and are responsible for cooking in-house for their client(s).

    Private chefs usually live on-site so that it's easy to provide multiple meals a day. Your daily job will more likely be less hectic than working in a commercial kitchen. You'll be familiar with your client(s) likes and dislikes, as well as food allergies and complications.

    Where do cooks get paid the most?

    Cooks get paid the most in the North and Northwest states.

    The Top Highest-Paying States For Cooks:

    • Wyoming at $33,000

    • Minnesota at $32,000

    • Washington at $32,000

    • Delaware at $32,000

    • Michigan at $31,000

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