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Sommelier Salary

Median pay for Sommeliers in the United States is around $45K per year. Generally, women make up less than a third of all Sommeliers who answered the questionnnaire. Although a little over a half have medical coverage and more than a third have dental coverage, more than two-fifths claim no health benefits at all. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Sommeliers. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey.
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$25,137 - $67,336
(Median)
25K
31K
45K
53K
67K
MEDIAN: $45,232
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%

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$7.67 - $17.91
(Median)
7
9
13
15
18
MEDIAN: $13.00
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$23K$46K$69K
Salary
$25,137 - $67,336  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $9,658  
Commission
$-0.49 - $14,740  
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).
)
$24,879 - $67,581  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 88
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
$7.67 - $17.91  
   
Hourly Tips
$2.49 - $20.13  
Overtime
$3.59 - $29.80  
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 - $9,658  
   
Commission
$-0.49 - $14,740  
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).
)
$24,879 - $67,581  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 11 Dec 2014 | Individuals Reporting: 43
United States (change)

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 more experience do not necessarily bring home bigger paychecks. In fact, experience in this field tends to impact compensation minimally. People who have worked for fewer than five years bring home $42K on average. Median compensation in the five-to-10 year group, however, is higher at approximately $45K. For Sommeliers, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $50K. 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 $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.

Experience Affects Sommelier Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 12%

Experienced
up arrow 10%

National Average
$45,000

Mid-Career
up arrow 2%

Entry-Level
up arrow 7%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 28 votes.

Gender

Female
27 %
Male
73 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
2%
1-4 years
37%
5-9 years
26%
10-19 years
29%
20 years or more
6%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 54% dental benefits Dental: 36%
vision benefits Vision: 26% employee benefits None: 45%