Sommelier Salary

Average Sommeliers in the United States make around $46K annually. Geographic location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by years of experience. Some workers in this field — about two-fifths — are not awarded benefits. Medical coverage is reported by more than half and dental plans are enjoyed by approximately one-third. The majority of Sommeliers claim high levels of job satisfaction. Male Sommeliers are far more common among survey respondents than their female counterparts, who typically comprise less than one-third of the field. The figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.
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$24,960 - $65,793

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$3.93 - $18.49

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$23K$46K$69K
Salary
$24,960 - $65,793  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $9,274  
Commission
$4,861 - $10,279  
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: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 98
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$15$30$45
Hourly Rate
$3.93 - $18.49  
   
Hourly Tips
$3.13 - $19.70  
Overtime
$3.49 - $43.63  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$30K$60K$90K
Bonus
$0.00 - $9,274  
   
Commission
$4,861 - $10,279  
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: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 38
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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 does not seem to be a strong driver of pay increase in this role. Salaries of relatively inexperienced workers fall in the neighborhood of $43K, but folks who have racked up five to 10 years see a notably higher median of $46K. Sommeliers bring in $50K after working for 10 to 20 years. 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.

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Experience Affects Sommelier Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 11%

Experienced
up arrow 9%

Mid-Career
up arrow 2%

National Average
$46,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 5%

Job Satisfaction

Extremely satisfied
Rated 5 out of 5
based on 16 votes.

Gender

Female
25 %
Male
75 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
3%
1-4 years
35%
5-9 years
26%
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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