Head Chef Salary
|Salary||$29,794 - $65,465|
|Bonus||$294.41 - $10,234|
|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).)
|$25,260 - $61,133|
|Hourly Rate||$10.03 - $20.25|
|Hourly Tips||$0.00 - $4.17|
|Overtime||$13.64 - $31.81|
|Bonus||$294.41 - $10,234|
|Total Pay (||$25,260 - $61,133|
Job Description for Head Chef
Head chefs work in restaurants, cafeterias, catering companies, bakeries, and many other other places which serve food. These chefs are generally expected to specialize in the particular cuisines served by their employers in order to prepare and cook food, often with the help of other chefs, and present it in an attractive manner. In some positions, head chefs may also be responsible for creating and modifying the menu or setting prices for selections.Read More...
Some employers prefer that their head chefs have completed culinary education, though this is not a strict requirement, as other employers prioritize the actual ability to cook food. Head chefs may also have inventory and purchasing duties and work within budgets, so it is important to be able to maintain the best-quality food while staying within them. Managing employees and ensuring that they are working efficiently is also a common part of the job.
Prior to being hired, head chefs should have a health safety certification, and many years of prior experience may be necessary to reach this position. Working hours vary greatly, as these chefs may have to work longer hours when the business is busy, and many jobs require working nights or weekends as such.
Head Chef 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
Head Chefs might see a strong upturn in salary after transitioning into upper-level roles such as Executive Chef, a seemingly popular career choice. People currently working in the latter position report a noticeably higher median income of $54K per year. A Head Chef & Cook role is the most prevalent career advancement for Head Chefs. Paychecks for that role are $31K on average. The Executive Sous Chef position is another common transition for Head Chefs; in this role, salaries are typically at the $47K mark.
Head Chef Job Listings
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Popular Skills for Head Chef
Head Chefs report using a large range of skills on the job. Most notably, facility with Training and chef are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 35 percent and 3 percent, respectively. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include cooking and Chef. Most people skilled in Food Preparation are similarly competent in People Management.
Pay by Experience Level for Head Chef
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For Head Chefs, more experience in the field does not usually mean bigger paychecks. Those in the early stages of their career can expect to make around $36K; however, individuals with five to 10 years of experience bring in $39K on average — a distinctly larger sum. The average pay reported by folks with 10 to 20 years of experience is around $42K. Individuals who report more than two decades of experience seem to make only slightly more than folks in the 10-to-20 year range; the more senior group sees median earnings in the comparatively modest ballpark of $43K.
Pay Difference by Location
Top-shelf salaries can be found in the three largest American cities: New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago all offer compensation that exceeds the national average in this field. Head Chefs in Miami take home the lowest salaries, earning a whopping 21 percent less than the national average. Employers in Rochester and Sacramento also lean toward paying below-median salaries (19 percent lower and 14 percent lower, respectively).
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Key Stats for Head Chef
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