Updated August 18, 2021
Average Line Cook Salary
$13.26 hourly
$27,000 yearly

Entry level Salary
$23,000 yearly
$23,000
10 %
$27,000
Median
$32,000
90 %
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PercentileascdescAnnual SalaryascdescMonthly SalaryascdescHourly Rateascdesc
90th Percentile
$32,000
$2,667
$15
75th Percentile
$30,000
$2,500
$14
Average
$27,579
$2,298
$13
25th Percentile
$25,000
$2,083
$12
10th Percentile
$23,000
$1,917
$11

Average Line Cook Salary By State

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

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Average Salary:

Line Cook average salary by State

StateascdescAvg. salaryascdescHourly rateascdescJob Countascdesc
Alabama
$22,039
$10.60
Alaska
$30,382
$14.61
Arizona
$28,056
$13.49
Arkansas
$22,391
$10.76
California
$32,370
$15.56
Colorado
$28,399
$13.65
Connecticut
$29,008
$13.95
Delaware
$26,166
$12.58
District of Columbia
$29,555
$14.21
Florida
$27,006
$12.98
Georgia
$22,620
$10.88
Hawaii
$34,831
$16.75
Idaho
$22,902
$11.01
Illinois
$26,686
$12.83
Indiana
$23,629
$11.36
Iowa
$23,838
$11.46
Kansas
$22,266
$10.70
Kentucky
$22,538
$10.84
Louisiana
$22,483
$10.81
Maine
$29,189
$14.03
Maryland
$26,927
$12.95
Massachusetts
$32,008
$15.39
Michigan
$24,049
$11.56
Minnesota
$27,993
$13.46
Mississippi
$19,851
$9.54
Missouri
$24,232
$11.65
Montana
$20,504
$9.86
Nebraska
$26,219
$12.61
Nevada
$29,381
$14.13
New Hampshire
$28,899
$13.89
New Jersey
$29,616
$14.24
New Mexico
$23,289
$11.20
New York
$29,855
$14.35
North Carolina
$23,120
$11.12
North Dakota
$25,527
$12.27
Ohio
$25,036
$12.04
Oklahoma
$23,582
$11.34
Oregon
$30,680
$14.75
Pennsylvania
$25,681
$12.35
Rhode Island
$32,196
$15.48
South Carolina
$22,625
$10.88
South Dakota
$24,176
$11.62
Tennessee
$23,068
$11.09
Texas
$25,373
$12.20
Utah
$26,678
$12.83
Vermont
$31,968
$15.37
Virginia
$23,993
$11.54
Washington
$32,481
$15.62
West Virginia
$20,342
$9.78
Wisconsin
$25,543
$12.28
Wyoming
$25,485
$12.25

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Highest Paying Cities For Line Cook

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CityascdescAvg. salaryascdescHourly rateascdesc
San Francisco, CA
$34,460
$16.57
Seattle, WA
$33,252
$15.99
Portland, OR
$30,469
$14.65
New York, NY
$29,881
$14.37
Plainfield, NJ
$29,619
$14.24
Washington, DC
$29,571
$14.22

The largest raises come from changing jobs.

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How much does a Line Cook make?

The average line cook salary is $27,579 per year, or $13.26 per hour, in the United States. People on the lower end of that spectrum, the bottom 10% to be exact, make roughly $23,000 a year, while the top 10% makes $32,000. As most things go, location can be critical. Hawaii, Washington, California, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts provide the highest line cook salaries.

Average Line Cook Salary Over Time

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

Location
    YearascdescAvg. salaryascdescHourly rateascdesc% Changeascdesc
    2021
    $27,600
    $13.26
    +5.1%
    2020
    $26,200
    $12.58
    +4.1%
    2019
    $25,100
    $12.06
    +4.3%
    2018
    $24,000
    $11.54
    +2.6%
    2017
    $23,400
    $11.24
    +1.5%

    Average JOB Salary by Field

    Prep Cook/Dishwasher

    Avg. salary: $25,533

    A prep cook and dishwasher is responsible for cleaning and sanitizing kitchen items and utensils, and performing basic cooking tasks under the supervision of chefs or cooks. It is also their responsibility to prepare ingredients by washing, chopping, weighing, and ensuring that they are the correct quantity and quality. Furthermore, a prep cook and dishwasher may also have to maintain cleanliness in the kitchen, clear tables, monitor inventory of ingredients in storage, coordinate with the kitchen staff, and meet all health standards and policies.
    65,665 Prep Cook/Dishwasher Jobs
    Short Order Cook

    Avg. salary: $25,326

    A short-order cook takes responsibility for preparing foods in cafes and restaurants. Usually, they fry eggs, cook fries, and prepare sandwiches. Short order cooks work alongside line chefs in the foodservice market. Their manner of preparing food is quick, easy, and simple. They plan and handle work orders ensuring that all orders are complete and served on time. Strong communication, customer service, a good sense of taste, and the ability to work efficiently are necessary requirements for the job.
    98,891 Short Order Cook Jobs
    Mexican Food Cook

    Avg. salary: $27,666

    A Mexican Food Cook works at restaurants or similar establishments that specialize in Mexican cuisine. Their responsibilities revolve around cutting meat and vegetable in portions, cooking and preparing according to company menu and guidelines, monitoring the supply of ingredients, and maintaining the cleanliness of work areas. There are also instances where they must delegate tasks among staff, coordinate with managers, and resolve order problems. Mexican Food Cooks must work while adhering to the company and the government's health and safety regulations and standards.
    124,309 Mexican Food Cook Jobs
    Fry Cook

    Avg. salary: $26,038

    Generally, a fry cook works in a kitchen specializing in fried foods and operating the deep fryer. Fry cooks or chefs cook food by submerging in boiling oil. They prepare food to be fried, work with frying pans, and watch over deep fryers. The skills they need to establish include food preparation, dexterity, physical stamina, and comprehension. They are also expected to be understanding and patient, noting that these qualities help impress the customers.
    117,162 Fry Cook Jobs
    Cook

    Avg. salary: $27,995

    Cooks are responsible for preparing meals for guests or employers. They must be knowledgeable about the different recipes and ingredients needed. They are also responsible for managing the inventory and ensuring that the pantry is well-stocked. They prepare meals from scratch, cutting ingredients, measuring them, and following recipes. Cooks should be creative, especially when ingredients are lacking, and they must find alternatives that will not compromise the food taste. They should be precise, imaginative, and patient. Cooks should also have good time management skills and decision-making skills.
    103,733 Cook Jobs
    Line Cook, Prep Cook

    Avg. salary: $26,821

    A line cook/prep cook is responsible for assisting with food preparations, ensuring that all ingredients are readily available and stored safely. Line cook/prep cook tasks also include reviewing and updating menus to keep the customers' patronization. Their duties also include researching the current food industry trends, managing customers' inquiries, resolving serving complaints, monitoring food supplies and inventories, and complying with sanitary regulations. A line cook/prep cook must have excellent time-management and multi-tasking skills to perform various tasks under strict time demands and a fast-paced environment.
    112,975 Line Cook, Prep Cook Jobs
    Job TitleascdescAnnual SalaryascdescMonthly SalaryascdescHourly RateascdescJob Openingsascdesc
    Prep Cook/Dishwasher
    $25,534
    $2,128
    $12.28
    65,665
    Short Order Cook
    $25,326
    $2,111
    $12.18
    98,891
    Mexican Food Cook
    $27,666
    $2,306
    $13.30
    124,309
    Fry Cook
    $26,039
    $2,170
    $12.52
    117,162
    Cook
    $27,996
    $2,333
    $13.46
    103,733
    Line Cook, Prep Cook
    $26,822
    $2,235
    $12.90
    112,975
    Job Openings

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    Line Cook Salaries By Years Of Experience

    The salary for a line 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.

    Which Companies Pay Line Cooks The Most?

    If you want to get paid the most as a line cook, being employed by a company such as Logan's Roadhouse or IHOP would be a smart choice, as they are the highest paying companies in this field. Additionally, companies like The Cheesecake Factory and Cala Co also report highly competitive salaries for line cooks.
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    Recently Added Line Cook Salaries

    Location
    CompanyascdescJobascdescLocationascdescDate AddedascdescSalaryascdesc
    Red Robin Gourmet Burgers
    Line Cooks Incentive*-Start at !
    Line Cooks Incentive*-Start at !
    Carmel, MI
    08/31/2021
    $25,044
    08/31/2021
    Delaware North
    Line Cook, Buffalo Airport
    Line Cook, Buffalo Airport
    Buffalo, NY
    08/31/2021
    $37,566
    08/31/2021
    Elysian Fields
    Host, Busser, Line Cook
    Host, Busser, Line Cook
    Seattle, WA
    08/31/2021
    $34,832
    08/31/2021
    54Th Street-24 Alliance
    54Th Street-24 Alliance-Line Cook
    54Th Street-24 Alliance-Line Cook
    Fort Worth, TX
    08/31/2021
    $27,131
    08/31/2021
    Chopan Kabob House
    Chopan Kabob House-Line Cook
    Chopan Kabob House-Line Cook
    Sugar Land, TX
    08/31/2021
    $27,131
    08/31/2021
    Red Robin
    Line Cook
    Line Cook
    Papillion, NE
    08/31/2021
    $25,044
    08/31/2021
    Hibachi Bros
    Skilled Chef and Line Cook
    Skilled Chef and Line Cook
    Houston, TX
    08/31/2021
    $25,044
    08/31/2021
    TrÈS La Catering
    Line Cook for A Tech Company-MON-FRI With Evenings and Weekends Off
    Line Cook for A Tech Company-MON-FRI With Evenings and Weekends Off
    Los Angeles, CA
    08/30/2021
    $41,740
    08/30/2021
    Tucci Restaurant
    Experienced Line Cook
    Experienced Line Cook
    Lake Oswego, OR
    08/30/2021
    $37,566
    08/30/2021
    Red Robin International, Inc.
    Line Cooks-Start at !
    Line Cooks-Start at !
    Albuquerque, NM
    08/30/2021
    $25,044
    08/30/2021

    Average Line Cook Salary by Demographic

    Line Cook Gender Pay Gap

    male-income
    Male Income
    $28,247
    female-income
    Female Income
    $27,559
    Genderascdesc
    Incomeascdesc
    Male$28,247
    Female$27,559
    Median Line Cook Income by Race
    Asian line cooks have the highest average salary compared to other ethnicities. Black or african american line cooks have the lowest average salary at $27,573.
    $30,000
    $24,000
    $18,000
    $12,000
    $6,000
    $0
    White
    Black or African American
    Asian
    Hispanic or Latino
    Ethnicityascdesc
    Salaryascdesc
    White$27,595
    Black or African American$27,573
    Asian$28,298
    Hispanic or Latino$28,102
    Average Line Cook Salary by Education Level
    Line cooks with a Bachelors degree earn more than those without, at $29,239 annually. With a Associate degree, line cooks earn a median annual income of $29,225 compared to $28,247 for line cooks with an High School Diploma degree.
    $30,000
    $24,000
    $18,000
    $12,000
    $6,000
    $0
    High School Diploma or Less
    Bachelor's Degree
    Some College/ Associate Degree
    Educationascdesc
    Salaryascdesc
    High School Diploma or Less$28,247
    Bachelor's Degree$29,239
    Some College/ Associate Degree$29,225

    Line Cook FAQs

    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.

    Line cooks can share tips with servers or eat for free during their shifts, depending on the restaurant. Although you may not make a lot of money as a line cook, many benefits can make up for that.

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    How much do line cooks make per year?

    Line cooks make $24,000 to $34,000 a year, or between $11 and $16 per hour. Pay varies on location, experience, and restaurant demographics. You can earn more with a culinary arts degree or simply through impressing your team. Line cook work is both a fast-paced practical skill, but also an art.

    Locations such as Hawaii, New York, Washington, and California show annual averages of $27,300, that's $14.00 an hour. As hourly employees, line cooks are entitled to earn overtime for their work, compared to chefs, who are often salaried employees.

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    How much do line cooks work?

    Line cooks work consistently. Line cook positions may be part-time or full-time. The hours are highly varied compared to the 9 AM - 5 PM workday. Work is scheduled around meals such as breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Some restaurants may host events or stay open 24 hours, and you can find a position with plenty of hours if you look.

    Restaurants that hire line cooks will stay busy. Line cooks are hired to work certain stations in a larger restaurant setting, and while serving in this position, the demands will keep you working throughout your shift. Line cook work is considered fast-paced, variable, and an important part of the kitchen.

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    What is a good wage for a cook?

    A good wage for a line cook is anything from $15 an hour upwards, the more common salary for a line cook is $13 an hour. If you are serving expensive dishes in a prime area at a thriving restaurant, your pay should reflect this by being higher.

    A head chef in the kitchen is paid between $25-30 dollars an hour. The head chef typically has a culinary art degree and full vision and direction over what dishes are made. The head chefs are sometimes even the founders of the restaurants.

    Learn more about this question