Head Chef/Cook Salary

Head Chefs & Cooks in the United States can expect wages of $12.04 per hour on average. Residence is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career duration. The majority of Head Chefs & Cooks claim high levels of job satisfaction. Although the greater part lack health benefits of any kind, nearly two in five do enjoy medical insurance, and just under one in three get dental coverage, too. Male Head Chefs & Cooks who responded to the survey are more common than women; more than half (65 percent) are men. This report is based on responses to the PayScale salary survey.

$23,773 - $53,840

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$8.99 - $17.14

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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$18K$36K$54K
Salary
$23,773 - $53,840  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,046  
Profit Sharing
$495.79 - $3,931  
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).
)
$19,956 - $46,801  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 262
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$10$20$30
Hourly Rate
$8.99 - $17.14  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $3.70  
Overtime
$7.35 - $27.40  
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$20K$40K$60K
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,046  
   
Profit Sharing
$495.79 - $3,931  
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).
)
$19,956 - $46,801  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 648
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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

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

Common Career Paths for Head Chef/Cook


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It's not very common for Head Chefs & Cooks to move on to become Hotel Executive Chefs. Average pay for a Hotel Executive Chef is $59K annually. It is quite typical for Head Chefs & Cooks to transition into roles as Executive Chefs or Sous Chefs, where reported median earnings are $24K and $6K higher per year.

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Popular Skills for Head Chef/Cook


Head Chefs & Cooks only report a few specific skills. Most notably, skills in Inventory Management, Menu Planning, Order Inventory, and Food Preparation are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Food Preparation. Most people familiar with Food Preparation also know Menu Planning.

Pay by Experience Level for Head Chef/Cook

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


For Head Chefs & Cooks, experience does not seem to be a major factor in determining pay. Although individuals who have less than five years' experience earn $26K on average, people with five to 10 years benefit from a notably larger average of $30K. Head Chefs & Cooks claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $30K. Old hands boasting more than twenty years of relevant experience report pay that is more or less commensurate with that extensive experience; average earnings for this group come out to approximately $33K.

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Experience Affects Head Chef/Cook Salaries




National Average
$29,000


Skills That Affect Head Chef/Cook Salaries

Inventory Management
up arrow 11%

Menu Planning
up arrow 3%

Order Inventory
up arrow 1%

National Average
$29,000

Food Preparation
up arrow 3%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 172 votes.

Gender

Female
35 %
Male
65 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1%
1-4 years
23%
5-9 years
22%
10-19 years
33%
20 years or more
21%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 40% dental benefits Dental: 29%
vision benefits Vision: 23% employee benefits None: 58%
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