Head Chef Salary

Just under two-thirds of Head Chefs in the United States are seasoned employees who have more than 10 years of experience in the field. Pay ranges from $25K to $61K per year, and the average comes out to $42K per year. Including potential for bonuses and profit sharing — peaking near $6K and $15K, respectively — total cash payment to Head Chefs can bottom out near $25K or peak near $61K depending on individual performance. Geographic location and years of experience each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. The vast majority (81 percent) of Head Chefs who answered the questionnaire are male. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. Health benefits are not enjoyed by everyone in this line of work, and slightly more than half lack any coverage at all. Medical benefits are reported by slightly less than half and dental coverage is claimed by just under one in three. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.
Read More
$29,379 - $61,821
(Median)
$29K
$42K
$62K
MEDIAN: $42,264
10%
50%
90%

Add this chart to your site: 640px    300px

$9.81 - $20.32
(Median)
$9
$15
$20
MEDIAN: $14.00
10%
50%
90%

Add this chart to your site: 640px    300px

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$21K$42K$63K
Salary
$29,379 - $61,821  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $6,112  
Profit Sharing
$515 - $15,050  
Commission
$2,449 - $10,113  
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).
)
$25,244 - $60,773  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 620
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$11$22$33
Hourly Rate
$9.81 - $20.32  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $5.03  
Overtime
$11.56 - $29.35  
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$22K$44K$66K
Bonus
$0.00 - $6,112  
   
Commission
$2,449 - $10,113  
Profit Sharing
$515 - $15,050  
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).
)
$25,244 - $60,773  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 300
United States (change)

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)


Comp Managers: Start Here »

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...

Head Chef 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


Add this chart to your site:   640px 640px    300px 300px


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 $53K per year. Given that the median pay is $31K, it may be surprising to find that a Head Chef & Cook is the most common role for Head Chefs to subsequently assume on their way up the ladder. Transitioning into an Executive Sous Chef role — which pays $46K — is also typical for Head Chefs, though less common by comparison.

Head Chef Job Listings

Search for more jobs:

Popular Skills for Head Chef


Head Chefs who responded to the survey report just a handful of professional skills. Most notably, skills in Menu Planning, People Management, Order Inventory, and Food Preparation are correlated to pay that is above average. The majority of those who know Food Preparation also know People Management.

Pay by Experience Level for Head 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. Salaries for the relatively untried average out to around $34K, but survey participants with five to 10 years of experience earn a significantly higher median of $39K. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $41K in this role. Veterans who have surpassed the 20-year mark may make only slightly more than those who are navigating the mid-career stage; the more senior group reports median earnings of around $44K.

Pay Difference by Location


For Head Chefs, Houston provides a pay rate that is 31 percent greater than the national average. Head Chefs will also find cushy salaries in Las Vegas (+26 percent), Boston (+24 percent), New York (+23 percent), and Seattle (+20 percent). The lowest-paying market is Milwaukee, which sits 11 percent below the national average. Employers also pay below the national average in Miami (9 percent lower) and San Diego (5 percent lower).

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)


Comp Managers: Start Here »

Experience Affects Head Chef Salaries



National Average
$40,000



Skills That Affect Head Chef Salaries

People Management
up arrow 2%

Menu Planning
up arrow 2%

Order Inventory
up arrow 1%

National Average
$40,000

Food Preparation
up arrow 1%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 161 votes.

Gender

Female
19 %
Male
81 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1%
1-4 years
17%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
39%
20 years or more
23%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 46% dental benefits Dental: 30%
vision benefits Vision: 21% employee benefits None: 53%
ADVERTISEMENT