Head Chef/Cook Salary

Head Chefs & Cooks in the United States take home approximately $12.69 per hour on average. Location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by career length. Health benefits are not enjoyed by everyone in this line of work, and a majority lack any coverage at all. Medical benefits are reported by over a third and dental coverage is claimed by roughly a fourth. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Head Chefs & Cooks. Women are just slightly outnumbered, with male Head Chefs & Cooks making up 59 percent of survey respondents. The figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$20,375 - $56,376
$20K
$34K
$56K
MEDIAN: $34,481
10%
50%
90%

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$9.30 - $17.56
$9
$13
$18
MEDIAN: $12.84
10%
50%
90%

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$0$56K
Salary $20,375 - $56,376
Bonus $20.13 - $10,213
Profit Sharing $2,150
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).
)
$19,860 - $43,956
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 18 Nov 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 185
Hourly Data $0$26
Hourly Rate $9.30 - $17.56
Hourly Tips $0.00 - $2.60
Overtime $11.98 - $26.32
Annual Data $0$43K
Bonus $20.13 - $10,213
Profit Sharing $2,150
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).
)
$19,860 - $43,956
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 18 Nov 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 835

Job Description for Head Chef/Cook

Head chefs/cooks are responsible for overseeing the quality of food as it leaves the kitchen. They must ensure that their kitchens meet the health standards set in place by governmental agencies. Additionally, they are responsible for making sure that other kitchen personnel follow food safety guidelines and meet hygiene standards. Head chefs/cooks must understand how kitchen equipment functions and ensure that it is operable and in safe working condition. Additionally, a head chef/cook often supervises the rest of the kitchen staff. Head chefs/cooks are typically responsible for ordering, inventorying, and keeping detailed records of food items and their costs. They must have experience creating menus that assist owners in attracting and maintaining clientele. They also may be responsible for setting menu prices.

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Head Chef/Cook Tasks

  • Manage kitchen operation including food purchases and preparation, record keeping, quality standards, and sanitation.
  • Train employees in cooking methods, plate presentations, portions, and cost control.

Common Career Paths for Head Chef/Cook


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Head Chefs & Cooks sometimes assume positions such as Hotel Executive Chefs. That role pays $60K per year on average. The most common next step for a Head Chef & Cook is to become an Executive Chef or a Sous Chef. The former position pays an additional $25K per year on average, and the latter position pays $7K more per year.

Head Chef/Cook Job Listings

Popular Skills for Head Chef/Cook


Head Chefs & Cooks seem to require a number of specific skills. Most notably, skills in Inventory Management, Order Inventory, Menu Planning, and Team Leadership are correlated to pay that is above average. Those listing cooking as a skill should be prepared for drastically lower pay. Customer Service and Food Safety also typically command lower compensation. For most people, competency in Food Preparation indicates knowledge of Menu Planning.

Pay by Experience Level for Head Chef/Cook

Pay by Experience for a Head Chef/Cook has a positive trend. An entry-level Head Chef/Cook with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $24,000 based on 251 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Head Chef/Cook with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $28,000 based on 286 salaries. An experienced Head Chef/Cook which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $30,000 based on 354 salaries. A Head Chef/Cook with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $31,000 based on 188 salaries.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $28,750

Larger city markers indicate a job is popular in that location.

Los Angeles, New York, and Chicago, the three biggest cities in America, are lucrative areas where pay is higher than the national average. In San Diego, salaries are 18 percent below the national average and represent the lowest-paying market. Employers also pay below the national average in Orlando (11 percent lower) and Atlanta (1 percent lower).

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Head Chef/Cook

Gender

Female
40 %
Male
60 %

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 188 votes.
Less than 1 year
1%
1-4 years
23%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
33%
20 years or more
23%

Experience Affects Head Chef/Cook Salaries

▲6%

▲5%

National Average
$29,000

▼4%

▼15%

Skills That Affect Head Chef/Cook Salaries

Inventory Management
▲12%



Team Leadership
▼0%

National Average
$29,000

Training
▼2%


Cook
▼11%

Food Safety
▼11%

Customer Service
▼17%

cooking
▼28%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 188 votes.

Gender

Female
40 %
Male
60 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1%
1-4 years
23%
5-9 years
21%
10-19 years
33%
20 years or more
23%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 38%
dental benefits
Dental: 29%
vision benefits
Vision: 24%
no benefits
None: 58%