chef salary, how much money chef makes

How Much Money Does a Chef Make a Year?

Working as a chef is a fulfilling career path for many reasons. The love for food and the satisfaction we get from watching people eat food is another factor that makes this career so great. 

Some who want to venture into this career path wonder, “How much does a chef make.” The average chef salary may differ since there are different hierarchies of chefs. Executive chefs and head cooks earn different average salaries.  

This guide will highlight the average professional chef salary in the world and compare different salaries based on hierarchy. 

how much money chef make

Becoming Chef as a Career Choice

Choosing a career as a chef, whether as sous chefs, or professional chefs, is an excellent career choice. If you are passionate about cooking, you’ll make an excellent chef.

Like art, cooking makes people happy. However, there are other less glamorous aspects of the job. For instance, sous chefs have to work with sharp objects in the kitchen. Head chefs, on the other hand, have to regulate a fast-paced workplace.

An executive chef must know the safety guidelines of the kitchen like every other chef. These long rules and stressful days can be overwhelming. However, some fields in the hospitality industry are less demanding, 

A good example is restaurant reviews and food blogging. Chefs with enough experience can set up their own restaurants as well.

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How Much Money Does a Chef Make a Year?

The average chef salary for a start is considerably lower than in other fields. Also, the average salary depends on several factors, such as the state, qualifications, employer, and experience. 

According to Indeed, an average chef’s salary is $50,208. The salary ranges from roughly $40,000 to $60,000. This means that a chef job pays around $32.45 per hour.

In the restaurant industry, experience trumps certification. Attending a culinary school doesn’t guarantee a higher salary, especially for new cooks. But with skills and experience, you can earn more by working in a fast paced restaurant.

A chef’s earning potential can increase when they learn additional skills. The education level and courses taken also have some impact on your salary. 

This is why experts recommend that chefs continue to update their skills whether they work for a restaurant or a regular establishment. 

So, how much does a chef make? You can get ranges of the average chef salary on the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Job sites like Indeed also provide some insight based on states. 

The pay scale will often be listed on the job description before you apply. 

chef salary

Salary Variation Based On the Types of Chef

The chef’s salary also varies based on their roles in the kitchen. Here is a breakdown of the salaries by hierarchy.

Also Read - Different Types of Chef Knives

Executive chef salary

According to Indeed, the average salary of an executive chef is $76,868. Other job sites place their average salary at $86,238 per annum. Executive chefs can also earn as much as $108,308 for their annual salary. However, the average salary range is from $74,331 to $99,513. 

Sous chef salary

The sous chef assists the head chef in many kitchens. However, their salary is lower compared to the executive chefs. The average salary of sous chefs is $49,480 per annum. 

On the other hand, the salary range starts from $41,970 to $59,234.

Celebrity chefs

Celebrity chefs around $69,491 per year, meaning they earn approximately $29.56 per hour. Some celebrity chefs earn even higher based on their experience and popularity. 

According to Forbes, Gordon Ramsey made approximately $63 million in 2019.

Line cook

Line cooks earn around $31,898 to $39,330 per year. This brings their salary to an average of $34,927.

Head cooks

The head cook or chef makes one of the highest salaries in the kitchen. Their earning potential also increases based on location, industries, and training. On average, these chefs earn $93,800 per year. The general salary range is $80,000 to $108,400. 

Commis chef 

The junior chefs have a lower average annual salary than most of their counterparts. They earn $32,444 on average, with a salary range of $28,000 to $38,000 per year. 

chef salary

Which Country In The World Gives The Highest Salary to Chefs?

Chef salaries may also vary based on the country and how chefs are valued. When it comes to highly competitive salaries for chefs, Switzerland tops the list in this regard. 

Chefs make an average of $56,000 per annum in Switzerland, based on data collected from 2019 to 2020. This payment can be higher for more experienced chefs. The salaries are considerably higher because taxation is lower in the country. 

How Much Chefs Make in US States

The annual salary for chefs is higher in some states than in others. Location is a factor because of the higher standard of living. For instance, San Francisco has considerably higher chef salaries.

Florida, specifically Sebastian, is known for its high chef salaries. Those who work as chefs and head cooks can earn an average of $75,450 annually. This figure is higher than the national average for chefs. 

Media chef earnings

Chefs in the spotlight earn more than their counterparts, regardless of locations or education. These chefs make up to $90,000 per year. As mentioned earlier, popular chefs make millions for their TV appearances.

Guy Fieri, a TV chef and one of the highest earning, also made $63 million in 2019. These chefs also have other streams of income besides TV appearances. Some have cookbooks, while others run YouTube or blogs. 

Platforms like TikTok and endorsements from brands take their wages far higher than the average. Starting by influencing for brands on social media is a good way to gain the exposure you need.

As a new chef, you may not get a feature on the Food Network, but you can use your social media to grow a solid following by showcasing your skills.


Working as a chef in restaurants or other salaried employment is a fulfilling career. However, it can be difficult in the beginning. Dedication and hard work will help you increase your income and skills.

Note that other factors influence how much money chefs make. Industries, locations, cities, and types of restaurants are just a few of them. 

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