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Kitchen Chef Salary (United States)

Kitchen Chefs in the United States can expect to earn an average of $11.65 per hour. Geography and career length each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Although just over a half lack health benefits of any kind, more than two-fifths do enjoy medical insurance, and just under one in three get dental coverage, too. Most Kitchen Chefs are fairly content with their jobs, and work satisfaction falls in line with the national average. Participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.
Kitchen 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.
)
$23,575 - $57,507
(Median)
24K
29K
36K
46K
58K
MEDIAN: $35,639
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%
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Kitchen 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.
)
$8.38 - $16.05
(Median)
8
9
12
14
16
MEDIAN: $11.00
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$20K$40K$60K
Salary
$23,575 - $57,507  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,591  
Profit Sharing
$950 - $12,500  
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).
)
$18,486 - $46,348  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 141
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$9$18$27
Hourly Rate
$8.38 - $16.05  
   
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $3.33  
Overtime
$12.77 - $24.81  
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$18K$36K$54K
Bonus
$0.00 - $2,591  
   
Profit Sharing
$950 - $12,500  
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).
)
$18,486 - $46,348  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 3 Sep 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 380
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Job Description for Kitchen Chef

Kitchen chefs prepare foods for other people. They work in both the private and public sectors. When kitchen chefs work in the private sector, they often work for restaurants, entertainment venues, cruise ships and large corporations. Kitchen chefs are also needed in the public sector, including schools and other institutions. They sometimes plan meals and menus, and often supervise kitchen assistants, waiters and hostesses. Many chefs are employed by the owners of the venue where they work, and some of them own the restaurants themselves.
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Kitchen Chef Tasks
  • Utilize extra meat in new menu items.
  • Chop, slice, grind, and garnish meats, vegetables, and cheeses.
  • Prepare appetizers, salads, sandwiches, sauces, stuffing, and glazes.
  • May supervise pantry staff.

Common Career Paths for Kitchen Chef

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Kitchen Chefs usually experience a big boost in pay as they move up the career ladder to upper-level roles like Executive Chef. The average pay for an Executive Chef is $53K annually. Kitchen Chefs typically move into roles as Sous Chefs or Head Chefs & Cooks, and those positions pay $8K more and $4K more, respectively.

Kitchen Chef Job Listings

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Pay by Experience Level for Kitchen Chef

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
For Kitchen Chefs, level of experience appears to be a somewhat less important part of the salary calculation — more experience does not correlate to noticeably higher pay. Those who have worked for fewer than five years take home a median salary of $25K, and workers with five to 10 years of experience earn a higher $26K on average. Kitchen Chefs see a median salary of $30K after reaching one to two decades on the job. Respondents who claim more than 20 years of experience may encounter pay that doesn't quite reflect their extensive experience; these veterans report a median income of around $32K. One to nine years of experience is standard for most employees in this area; more than half of respondents fit between this range. Experienced employees who have 10-20 years of experience make up just over a fifth of the workforce; inexperienced individuals who have been working for less than one year comprise fewer than one in twenty, and senior people with more than 20 years under their belt fill out the remaining roughly one in eight.

Pay Difference By Location

Los Angeles
up arrow 31%
San Francisco
up arrow 14%
Atlanta
up arrow 13%
National Average
$27,000
Austin
up arrow 9%
San Diego
up arrow 25%
Larger circles over a city indicate a job is popular in that location.
Kitchen Chefs will find that Los Angeles offers an impressive pay rate, one which exceeds the national average by 31 percent. Kitchen Chefs will also find cushy salaries in San Francisco (+14 percent) and Atlanta (+13 percent). The lowest-paying market is San Diego, which sits 25 percent below the national average, proving that location is a significant contributor to overall pay.

Kitchen Chef Reviews

What is it like working as a Kitchen Chef?
Kitchen Chef in Saint Ann:
"What Am I Worth?"
Pros: That I please people with my ability and they don't even know me personally.
Cons: That it takes time to excel but your skill level increases through that time.

Related Job Salaries

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Experience Affects Kitchen Chef Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 18%
Experienced
up arrow 13%
National Average
$27,000
Mid-Career
up arrow 3%
Entry-Level
up arrow 9%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied Image
Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5 based on 64 votes.

Gender

Female
30%
female alumni
 
Male
70%
male alumni

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
41%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
23%
20 years or more
12%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 43% dental benefits Dental: 31%
vision benefits Vision: 23% employee benefits None: 55%