Chefs and Head Cooks Salary Information

The salary statistics of chefs and head cooks are shown in Table 1. In the next few tables we compare the average salaries of chefs and head cooks within different industry sectors and in the 50 states of the United States. The chefs and head cooks annual salary statistics are from the national compensation survey conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2017 and published in April 2018 [1].

Table 1. Chefs and Head Cooks Salary in the United States

Percentile BracketAverage Annual Salary
10th Percentile Wage
$25,020
25th Percentile Wage
$33,950
50th Percentile Wage
$45,950
75th Percentile Wage
$61,870
90th Percentile Wage
$78,570

Table 1 shows the average annual salary for chefs and head cooks. The average annual salary for the 90th percentile (the top 10 percent of the highest paid) chefs and head cooks is $78,570. The median annual salary (50th percentile) is $45,950. The average annual salary for the bottom 10 percent is $25,020. It is noted that in the United States, the annual salary of the 90th percentile (the top 10 percent of the highest paid) is almost 214% higher than that of the bottom 10 percent.

Salary Trend (2012 to 2017)

The table and chart below show the trend of the median salary of chefs and head cooks from 2012 to 2017.

YearMedian SalaryYearly Growth5-Year Growth
2017
$45,950
6.03% 7.55%
2016
$43,180
3.89% -
2015
$41,500
-0.27% -
2014
$41,610
-2.11% -
2013
$42,490
0.02% -
2012
$42,480
- -

Table 2. Chefs and Head Cooks Salary by Industry Sector

The average salaries of chefs and head cooks in 17 major industry sectors are shown in Table 2. We note that the salaries vary considerably within different industry sectors. The highest paying industry sector for chefs and head cooks occupations is the federal, state, and local government sector with an annual salary $66,260. The lowest paying sector is the retail trade sector (annual salary $40,860).

Industry Sector Median Annual Salary
Federal, State, and Local Government
$66,260
Management of Companies and Enterprises
$59,050
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
$57,080
Information
$56,710
Other Services (except Federal, State, and Local Government)
$53,490
Transportation and Warehousing
$53,460
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation
$52,780
Construction
$49,280
Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services
$47,730
Finance and Insurance
$47,350
Health Care and Social Assistance
$46,270
Real Estate and Rental and Leasing
$45,060
Accommodation and Food Services
$44,970
Manufacturing
$44,670
Wholesale Trade
$42,880
Educational Services
$40,950
Retail Trade
$40,860

Table 3. Median Annual Wage of Chefs and Head Cooks by States

From the above tables we note that not only chefs and head cooks salaries vary considerably based on one's education and experience, and the industry sectors, they also change considerably from state to state. In the following table we compare the median salary of chefs and head cooks in all 50 states of the United States. We note that the median annual salaries range from $22,000 to $61,880. The highest paying state for chefs and head cooks is New Jersey with a median annual salary of $61,880. The lowest paying state is Guam with a median annual salary of $22,000. For more salary information of chefs and head cooks profession in a specific state, use the links in the table.

State Name Median Annual Salary
New Jersey
$61,880
Hawaii
$59,890
District of Columbia
$59,340
Rhode Island
$59,250
Massachusetts
$57,150
West Virginia
$54,490
Pennsylvania
$53,670
Virginia
$53,080
Wyoming
$52,810
Florida
$51,100
Washington
$50,960
Connecticut
$50,820
Nevada
$50,740
Delaware
$50,560
Colorado
$49,320
South Dakota
$49,180
Alabama
$48,480
California
$48,450
Nebraska
$48,310
New Hampshire
$47,940
North Carolina
$47,770
Texas
$46,700
Vermont
$46,630
Kentucky
$46,520
Maine
$45,680
Michigan
$45,210
Maryland
$44,790
North Dakota
$44,560
Mississippi
$44,340
Illinois
$43,640
New York
$43,320
Oregon
$43,110
Minnesota
$42,970
Georgia
$42,730
Wisconsin
$42,650
Indiana
$41,230
Montana
$40,610
New Mexico
$39,970
Tennessee
$39,910
Louisiana
$39,600
Missouri
$39,520
Oklahoma
$38,310
Ohio
$37,340
Utah
$37,120
Arizona
$36,800
Alaska
$36,060
Arkansas
$35,960
Iowa
$34,700
Idaho
$34,560
South Carolina
$33,910
Virgin Islands
$33,040
Kansas
$31,190
Puerto Rico
$29,360
Guam
$22,000



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