Head Chef/Cook Salary

Earnings for Head Chefs & Cooks in the United States come in at around $12.64 per hour on average. Residence is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career duration. Some workers in this field — the larger part — are not awarded benefits. Medical coverage is reported by over a third and dental plans are enjoyed by nearly one in four. Job satisfaction for Head Chefs & Cooks is high. The data for this synopsis comes from respondents who took the PayScale salary survey.

$20,094 - $58,957
$20K
$35K
$59K
MEDIAN: $34,606
10%
50%
90%

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$9.00 - $17.34
$9
$13
$17
MEDIAN: $12.64
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$20K$40K$60K
Salary
$20,094 - $58,957  
   
Bonus
$70.00 - $12,500  
Profit Sharing
$3,800  
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).
)
$19,312 - $43,685  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 4 May 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 175
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$9$18$27
Hourly Rate
$9.00 - $17.34  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $2.78  
Overtime
$12.23 - $26.55  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$18K$36K$54K
Bonus
$70.00 - $12,500  
   
Profit Sharing
$3,800  
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).
)
$19,312 - $43,685  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 4 May 2017 | Individuals Reporting: 734

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United States (change)

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Job Description for Head Chef/Cook

Head chefs/cooks are responsible for overseeing the quality of food as it leaves the kitchen. They must ensure that their kitchens meet the health standards set in place by governmental agencies. Additionally, they are responsible for making sure that other kitchen personnel follow food safety guidelines and meet hygiene standards. Head chefs/cooks must understand how kitchen equipment functions and ensure that it is operable and in safe working condition. Additionally, a head chef/cook often supervises the rest of the kitchen staff. Head chefs/cooks are typically responsible for ordering, inventorying, and keeping detailed records of food items and their costs. They must have experience creating menus that assist owners in attracting and maintaining clientele. They also may be responsible for setting menu prices.

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Head Chef/Cook Tasks

  • Manage kitchen operation including food purchases and preparation, record keeping, quality standards, and sanitation.
  • Train employees in cooking methods, plate presentations, portions, and cost control.

Common Career Paths for Head Chef/Cook


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Head Chefs & Cooks do not often transition into Hotel Executive Chef roles. The role averages $60K per year. Head Chefs & Cooks typically move into roles as Executive Chefs or Sous Chefs, and those positions pay $25K more and $7K more, respectively.

Head Chef Job Listings

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Popular Skills for Head Chef/Cook


Survey results imply that Head Chefs & Cooks put a diverse skill set to use. Most notably, skills in Inventory Management, Order Inventory, Menu Planning, and Team Leadership are correlated to pay that is above average. Those listing cooking as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Customer Service and Food Safety also typically command lower compensation. It is often found that people who know Food Preparation are also skilled in Menu Planning.

Pay by Experience Level for Head Chef/Cook

Pay by Experience for a Head Chef/Cook has a positive trend. An entry-level Head Chef/Cook with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $24,000 based on 251 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Head Chef/Cook with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $28,000 based on 286 salaries. An experienced Head Chef/Cook which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $30,000 based on 354 salaries. A Head Chef/Cook with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $31,000 based on 188 salaries.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $28,366

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

Top-shelf salaries can be found in the three largest American cities: Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago all offer compensation that exceeds the national average in this field. The smallest paychecks in the market, 18 percent south of the national average, can be found in San Diego. A couple other locations with smaller-than-average paychecks include Orlando (11 percent lower) and Atlanta (1 percent lower).

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Head Chef/Cook

Gender

Female
40 %
Male
60 %

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 147 votes.
Less than 1 year
1%
1-4 years
22%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
32%
20 years or more
23%
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Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Head Chef/Cook Salaries

▲8%

▲7%

National Average
$28,000

▼3%

▼14%

Skills That Affect Head Chef/Cook Salaries

Inventory Management
▲14%



Team Leadership
▲2%

National Average
$28,000

Training
▼1%


Cook
▼10%

Food Safety
▼10%

Customer Service
▼16%

cooking
▼27%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 147 votes.

Gender

Female
40 %
Male
60 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1%
1-4 years
22%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
32%
20 years or more
23%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 36%
dental benefits
Dental: 27%
vision benefits
Vision: 23%
no benefits
None: 62%
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