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How much does a chef earn in the US by the hour: what is the average salary in 2023?

Chefs are expected to be in higher demand with job growth much faster than average over the next decade. But salaries can vary significantly. Here’s a look…

A chef's salary in the US

One service industry job that is expected to grow faster than others over the next decade is that of chefs. The Labor Department predicts that the number of jobs available will increase by 23,600, a 15% growth for the industry. But not all jobs related to food preparation pay the same as the job description can be more far reaching than one sees at first glance.

Chefs do not just cook and prepare meals, but they also manage kitchen staff and resources. Salary ranges can vary drastically depending on several important factors like education, certifications, gender, and other additional skills. Additionally, the number of years spent in the profession and the location make a huge difference.

Executive chefs have more responsibility than regular chefs. Some of their duties include creating and updating menus that will appeal to customers, utilizing seasonal ingredients, and maximizing profits. They also develop and test new recipes while following up on customer feedback to maintain high standards of quality and satisfaction. They have to comply with all safety, and food sanitation laws and regulations, as well as train, supervise, and mentor staff.


What is the average salary for chefs in the US?

There are several different sources online that dictate how much a chef earns in the US. But according to Glassdoor, the average chef’s salary in the US in 2023 is $41,872 a year between base pay ($39,003 per year) and estimated additional pay ($2,869 per year); that works out to $20.13 per hour, but the timetable can be long and hectic. A Head Chef on average makes nearly $8,000 more from base pay and over $3,000 more in estimated additional pay bringing home around $53,000 but can reach up to $79,000. The average Executive Chef salary, however, is $60,310 per year, but again, the salary can range depending on which level you have acheived.

Where are chefs paid the most?

According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the top five states where chefs earn the highest salaries are New Jersey, Hawaii, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Maryland. Based on numbers from May 2021, the annual mean wage ranged from $79,190 in New Jersey to $32,750 in the lowest paying state.


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