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Sommelier Salary

Sommeliers in the United States can expect wages of $45K per year on average. Making up 77 percent of those who took the survey, male Sommeliers greatly outnumber their female counterparts. Not all workers are lucky enough to have benefits; in fact, more than two-fifths are without coverage. Medical insurance is claimed by the larger part and dental insurance is reported by nearly one-third. Most Sommeliers report high levels of job satisfaction. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.
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$24,710 - $65,742
(Median)
$25K
$45K
$66K
MEDIAN: $44,870
10%
50%
90%

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$7.64 - $17.88
(Median)
$7
$12
$18
MEDIAN: $12.00
10%
50%
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$23K$46K$69K
Salary
$24,710 - $65,742  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $9,060  
Commission
$1,800 - $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).
)
$25,218 - $67,276  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 95
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$12$24$36
Hourly Rate
$7.64 - $17.88  
   
Hourly Tips
$2.47 - $20.20  
Overtime
$7.36 - $27.37  
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$24K$48K$72K
Bonus
$0.00 - $9,060  
   
Commission
$1,800 - $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).
)
$25,218 - $67,276  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 31 Mar 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 42

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Job Description for Sommelier

A sommelier is also known as a wine steward, and is someone who is trained and knowledgeable when it comes to all aspects of wine service, including wine and food pairing. The position is usually found at fine dining establishments, and is more specialized than the job of a wine waiter. A sommelier also works for the restaurant to procure and store wines, and see that the wine cellar is kept in good rotation. The employee will develop wine lists for the establishment and train other restaurant staff in the wine selections offered. A wine steward will work with the chef's team to pair and suggest wines that will go well with each item on the menu, and will also work on the main floor of the restaurant to speak with patrons to recommend wines that match their menu selections, taste preferences, and budgetary parameters. A broader role for the sommelier may include working with all aspects of the services offered by a restaurant. While anyone can claim to be a sommelier, becoming a certified sommelier requires coursework and an examination. The program takes approximately six months to complete and is offered by many different educational facilities. The exam is offered by the Court of Master Sommeliers. A sommelier should have excellent communication and customer service skills, and should be able to work evenings and weekends as required by the restaurant's staffing needs. As many wines originated in other countries and are named in other languages, a rudimentary knowledge of French is helpful when working as a sommelier.


Sommelier Tasks

  • Develop strategies and train employees in order to increase wine sales.
  • Maintain and update wine costs an inventory lists.
  • Select and purchase wines within budget parameters.
  • Help guest select wines.

Sommelier Job Listings

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Pay by Experience Level for Sommelier

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


Sommeliers with a lot of experience do not necessarily enjoy more money. Relatively untried employees who have fewer than five years of experience earn around $42K on average. People who have worked for five to 10 years can expect a higher median salary of $46K. Sommeliers bring in $50K after working for 10 to 20 years. Individuals who have achieved more than 20 years of experience don't seem to earn much more than people who have 10 to 20 years under their belts; the more senior group reports an average income of $51K.

Sommelier Advice

What do you wish you knew about your job when you first started out?

Sommelier in San Diego:
Study, read, look at maps, join a tasting group, make flashcards, draw maps, ask questions, know that everyone who is of a higher certification level was at your level in the past. They (we) are willing to help. Paying it forward is important as a Sommelier.

United States (change)

Experience Affects Sommelier Salaries

Experienced
up arrow 12%

Late-Career
up arrow 12%

Mid-Career
up arrow 2%

National Average
$45,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 7%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 23 votes.

Gender

Female
23 %
Male
77 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
4%
1-4 years
34%
5-9 years
27%
10-19 years
28%
20 years or more
7%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 57% dental benefits Dental: 33%
vision benefits Vision: 23% employee benefits None: 42%