Helpful Salary Guide for Culinary Arts

As a waitress or dishwasher, you might only earn minimum wage (plus tips if you’re lucky), but with a culinary education, you can definitely make more money. Let’s take a look at what you can expect to earn in a more advanced position in the culinary field.

Chef and Head Cook Salaries

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, chefs and head cooks earn an average of $44,780 annually, with the middle 50 percent earning between $30,540 and $54,350 annually and the top ten percent earning over $70,000 annually on average. The states where you can earn the most money as a chef or head cook are New Jersey, Connecticut, and Rhode Island; in all of these states, head chefs and cooks earn over $50,000 annually, on average. Specifically, cities where the highest-paying chef and head cook jobs can be found in New York City, Nassau, and Atlantic City.

Food Prep Supervisors

There are other supervisory roles in the culinary field as well. According to studies, food prep supervisors make an average of $31,770 annually, with the middle 50 percent earning between $23,120 and $38,230 annually. Top paying jobs in this field are found in the District of Columbia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.

Private Chefs

Working as a cook in a private household is an option for some culinary school graduates. In this role, you can expect to make an average of $31,110 annually. However, keep in mind that this job often comes with lots of other perks as well. For example, in some cases, you’ll be giving living quarters in the house, and some private chefs even get access to a vehicle. Families who can afford to hire private chefs often travel as well, which means you may have many days off, but they also like to entertain in most cases, so you’ll be responsible for taking a catering role as well.

Other Culinary Jobs

There are many other types of culinary jobs as well. Here are some of the other positions you can consider, along with the average salaries you can expect if you take one of these positions:

  • Food Prep Worker (non-manager): $20,660
  • Short Order Cook: $21,030
  • Restaurant Cook: $23,260
  • Institution or Cafeteria Cook: $24,180
  • Baker: $25,350
  • Butcher or Meat Cutter: $30,190
  • Food Service/Restaurant Manager: $52,220