Head Chef Salary

About three-fifths of Head Chefs in the United States have been in the field for more than 10 years. Pay can fall anywhere from $25K to $60K per year, but median earnings come to around $44K annually. Geographic location is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by experience level. Work is enjoyable for Head Chefs, who typically claim high levels of job satisfaction. Men account for the majority of Head Chefs who responded to the questionnaire — 81 percent to be exact. Approximately two in five enjoy medical while just over one in five get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to roughly a sixth. Participants in PayScale's salary questionnaire provided the particulars of this report.
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$29,568 - $65,235
$30K
$44K
$65K
MEDIAN: $43,912
10%
50%
90%

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$10.07 - $19.84
$10
$15
$20
MEDIAN: $14.91
10%
50%
90%

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$0$65K
Salary $29,568 - $65,235
Bonus $200.00 - $7,032
Profit Sharing $1,965
Commission $3,600
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).
)
$24,834 - $60,216
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 20 Sep 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 531
Hourly Data $0$29
Hourly Rate $10.07 - $19.84
Hourly Tips $0.00 - $3.96
Overtime $13.68 - $29.24
Annual Data $0$60K
Bonus $200.00 - $7,032
Commission $3,600
Profit Sharing $1,965
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).
)
$24,834 - $60,216
  • Country: United States
  • Currency: USD
  • Updated: 20 Sep 2017
  • Individuals Reporting: 348

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)

Job Description for Head Chef

Head chefs work in restaurants, cafeterias, catering companies, bakeries, and many other other places which serve food. These chefs are generally expected to specialize in the particular cuisines served by their employers in order to prepare and cook food, often with the help of other chefs, and present it in an attractive manner. In some positions, head chefs may also be responsible for creating and modifying the menu or setting prices for selections.

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Head Chef 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


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Head Chefs who move on to become Executive Chefs may enjoy significant pay raises, as Executive Chefs get paid an average of $54K per year. Becoming a Head Chef & Cook is, more often than not, the most common role that Head Chefs move into when they're ready for the next step in their career. A median salary for a Head Chef & Cook is $31K. Another frequent advance is for Head Chefs to assume an Executive Sous Chef role; in this role, workers often take home $47K.

Head Chef Job Listings

Popular Skills for Head Chef


Survey takers working as Head Chefs report using a large range of professional skills. Most notably, facility with Training and chef are correlated to pay that is significantly above average, leading to increases of 36 percent and 4 percent, respectively. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include cooking and Chef. Most people experienced in Food Preparation also know People Management.

Pay by Experience Level for Head Chef

Pay by Experience for a Head Chef has a positive trend. An entry-level Head Chef with less than 5 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $35,000 based on 223 salaries provided by anonymous users. Average total compensation includes tips, bonus, and overtime pay. A Head Chef with mid-career experience which includes employees with 5 to 10 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $39,000 based on 301 salaries. An experienced Head Chef which includes employees with 10 to 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $42,000 based on 429 salaries. A Head Chef with late-career experience which includes employees with greater than 20 years of experience can expect to earn an average total compensation of $43,000 based on 187 salaries.

Pay Difference by Location

National Average: $39,966

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

With a pay rate for Head Chefs that is 48 percent greater than the national average, New York offers a comfortable salary for those in this profession. Head Chefs can also look forward to large paychecks in cities like Los Angeles (+22 percent), Seattle (+20 percent), Chicago (+17 percent), and Portland (+15 percent). The lowest-paying market is Miami, which sits 22 percent below the national average, proving that location is a significant contributor to overall pay. Employers in Rochester and Sacramento also lean toward paying below-median salaries (17 percent lower and 13 percent lower, respectively).

Related Job Salaries

Key Stats for Head Chef

Gender

Female
18 %
Male
82 %

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 154 votes.
Less than 1 year
1%
1-4 years
15%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
38%
20 years or more
22%
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Location:
Years in Fields/Career:
United States (change)

Experience Affects Head Chef Salaries

▲7%

▲5%

National Average
$40,000

▼2%

▼11%

Skills That Affect Head Chef Salaries

Training
▲36%

chef
▲4%

Operations Management
▲3%





Inventory Management
▲1%

Job Scheduling
▲1%

National Average
$40,000

Chef (Opscode)
▼4%

cooking
▼11%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 154 votes.

Gender

Female
18 %
Male
82 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1%
1-4 years
15%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
38%
20 years or more
22%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 39%
dental benefits
Dental: 22%
vision benefits
Vision: 16%
no benefits
None: 61%
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