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Sommelier Salary

The average Sommelier in the United States earns approximately $45K per year. Health benefits are not claimed by all — nearly two in five lack any form of coverage — but a majority have medical insurance, and more than a third have dental, too. For the most part, Sommeliers enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. Making up 76 percent of those who took the survey, male Sommeliers greatly outnumber their female counterparts. The data in this summary comes from the PayScale salary survey.
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$25,034 - $62,530
(Median)
$25K
$45K
$63K
MEDIAN: $45,167
10%
50%
90%

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$7.36 - $18.08
(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
$25,034 - $62,530  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $9,274  
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).
)
$25,680 - $66,073  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 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
$7.36 - $18.08  
   
Hourly Tips
$2.46 - $20.27  
Overtime
$5.35 - $36.00  
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 - $9,274  
   
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).
)
$25,680 - $66,073  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 37

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)


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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.


Experience and pay tend to be weakly linked for Sommeliers — those with more experience do not necessarily bring in higher earnings. Those who have worked for fewer than five years take home a median salary of $43K, and workers with five to 10 years of experience earn a higher $46K on average. People with 10 to 20 years of experience make an average of about $50K in this role. More than 20 years of experience mean a somewhat bigger median paycheck of $51K, but it's not much more than what less experienced people make.

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

Late-Career
up arrow 11%

Experienced
up arrow 10%

Mid-Career
up arrow 2%

National Average
$45,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 5%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 18 votes.

Gender

Female
24 %
Male
76 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
38%
5-9 years
26%
10-19 years
26%
20 years or more
8%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 58% dental benefits Dental: 35%
vision benefits Vision: 22% employee benefits None: 40%
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