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Executive Chef Salary (United States)

With over three-fourths of Executive Chefs in the United States reporting more than 10 years of experience in the field, this area is heavily weighted toward experienced professionals. Pay ranges from $35K to $86K per year and averages out to $55K annually. Individual bonuses, profit sharing and commission for Executive Chefs — as high as $12K, $10K and $22K, respectively — each contribute to the degree of variation within overall compensation, ranging from $35K to $86K. While geography and years of experience impact pay for this group, the company is the most influential factor. Most workers in this position report high levels of job satisfaction. Health benefits are not claimed by all — slightly less than a third lack any form of coverage — but a majority have medical insurance, and more than half have dental, too. The figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.
Executive Chef Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$37,160 - $81,792
(Median)
37K
45K
55K
69K
82K
MEDIAN: $54,881
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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Executive Chef Salary (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$10.08 - $23.95
(Median)
10
12
15
19
24
MEDIAN: $15.00
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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National Salary Data

 (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$29K$58K$87K
Salary
$37,160 - $81,792  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $11,900  
Profit Sharing
$202.38 - $10,318  
Commission
$0.00 - $22,000  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$35,349 - $85,694  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 4,584
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$15$30$45
Hourly Rate
$10.08 - $23.95  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $4.97  
Overtime
$1.39 - $33.42  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$30K$60K$90K
Bonus
$0.00 - $11,900  
   
Commission
$0.00 - $22,000  
Profit Sharing
$202.38 - $10,318  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$35,349 - $85,694  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 358
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Job Description for Executive Chef

The job of executive chefs is to share their knowledge and experience with employees under them, delegate tasks, and ensure the quality of all food produced in their kitchens. An executive chef needs expert culinary knowledge and insight into how to run a kitchen. They must also be knowledgeable of needed kitchen equipment and able to track inventory. Those working under the executive chef must be able to follow the executive chef’s orders; that means an executive chef must train his or her team in accordance with what the kitchen needs.
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Executive Chef Tasks
  • Manage all food and beverage operations, quality and related costs.
  • Oversee back of house labor percentages and budgets, cost of goods sold and other expenses.
  • Develop menus, special dishes and supervise food preparation.

Common Career Paths for Executive Chef

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As Executive Chefs transition into upper-level roles such as Corporate Chef, they may see a strong upturn in salary. Corporate Chefs on average earn $70K per year. When Executive Chefs are ready for the next step in their careers, they often become Hotel Executive Chefs or Food and Beverage Directors. Those roles pay an additional $4K and $5K, respectively.

Executive Chef Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Executive Chef

Leading companies who hire large numbers of Executive Chefs include Sodexo, Inc., Compass Group, Compass Group Usa Inc, Aramark Food Services, and Morrison Healthcare. Executive Chefs in search of the best pay head to Marriott International, Inc., where the median salary rolls in at $74K. Although pay is top-notch overall, it does seem to be curbed at $89K, which isn't dramatically higher than the lower-end figure of $66K. Those in search of high salaries should also consider Morton's the Steakhouse, Hilton Worldwide, and Aramark Corporation, top-paying firms where Executive Chefs rake in a $71K, $69K, or $67K, respectively.
While select Holiday Inn employees may bring in up to $63K, a median salary of only $50K — the lowest in the field — suggests a serious lag in the earnings department. Also sliding in at the lower end of the scale are Compass Group Usa Inc ($51K), Unidine Corporation ($53K), and Aramark Food Services ($57K).

Popular Skills for Executive Chef

Executive Chefs seem to exploit a large range of skills on the job. Most notably, skills in Organizational Development, Product Development, Operations Management, and Budget Management are correlated to pay that is above average, with boosts between 8 percent and 11 percent. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Menu Planning. The majority of those who know Food Preparation also know Budget Management, Inventory Management, and Inventory Control.

Pay by Experience Level for Executive Chef

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Experience does not seem to be a strong driver of pay increase in this role. The median compensation for relatively untried workers is $43K; in the five-to-10 year group, it's higher at around $50K. Executive Chefs claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $57K. Executive Chefs with more than 20 years of experience report incomes that are only modestly higher; the median for these old hands hovers around $61K.

Pay Difference By Location

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National Average
$55,000
up arrow 3%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
Surpassing the national average by 38 percent, Executive Chefs in New York receive some of the highest pay in the country. Executive Chefs can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like San Francisco (+37 percent), Boston (+29 percent), Los Angeles (+29 percent), and Dallas (+18 percent). Trailing the national average by 3 percent, Denver is the market with the smallest paychecks.

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Experience Affects Executive Chef Salaries

National Average
$55,000

Skills That Affect Executive Chef Salaries

Quality Assurance / Quality Control
up arrow 4%
Inventory Control
up arrow 3%
Food Preparation
up arrow 1%
Inventory Management
up arrow 1%
Order Inventory
up arrow 1%
National Average
$55,000
Menu Planning
up arrow 11%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied Image
Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5 based on 771 votes.

Gender

Female
11%
female alumni
 
Male
89%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
0%
1-4 years
8%
5-9 years
15%
10-19 years
41%
20 years or more
36%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 68% dental benefits Dental: 52%
vision benefits Vision: 41% employee benefits None: 30%