Sommelier Salary

Sommeliers in the United States take home an average $46K per year. Geography and career length each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Some workers in this field — around two in five — are not awarded benefits. Medical coverage is reported by a majority and dental plans are enjoyed by nearly one-third. The majority of workers are highly satisfied with their job. Generally, women make up less than a third of all Sommeliers who answered the questionnnaire. This report is based on answers to PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$24,920 - $65,952
(Median)
$25K
$46K
$66K
MEDIAN: $45,548
10%
50%
90%

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$4.00 - $18.43
(Median)
$4
$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
$24,920 - $65,952  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $9,500  
Commission
$0.00 - $10,174  
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).
)
$25,408 - $66,988  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 97
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$15$30$45
Hourly Rate
$4.00 - $18.43  
   
Hourly Tips
$3.15 - $20.27  
Overtime
$3.49 - $43.63  
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$30K$60K$90K
Bonus
$0.00 - $9,500  
   
Commission
$0.00 - $10,174  
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).
)
$25,408 - $66,988  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 39
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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 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 $43K on average. Median compensation in the five-to-10 year group, however, is higher at approximately $46K. For Sommeliers, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $50K. 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 $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)

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

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Comp Managers: Start Here »

Experience Affects Sommelier Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 11%

Experienced
up arrow 9%

Mid-Career
up arrow 1%

National Average
$46,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 5%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 17 votes.

Gender

Female
25 %
Male
75 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
36%
5-9 years
25%
10-19 years
26%
20 years or more
10%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 58% dental benefits Dental: 34%
vision benefits Vision: 23% employee benefits None: 40%
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