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 2016 and published in April 2017 [1].

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

Percentile BracketAverage Annual Salary
10th Percentile Wage
$23,630
25th Percentile Wage
$32,230
50th Percentile Wage
$43,180
75th Percentile Wage
$59,080
90th Percentile Wage
$76,280

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 $76,280. The median annual salary (50th percentile) is $43,180. The average annual salary for the bottom 10 percent is $23,630. 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 222% higher than that of the bottom 10 percent.

Salary Trend (2012 to 2016)

The following table and chart show the trend of the median salary of chefs and head cooks from 2012 to 2016.

YearMedian SalaryYearly Growth4-Year Growth
201643,1803.89%1.62%
201541,500-0.27%-
201441,610-2.11%-
201342,4900.02%-
201242,480--

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 $64,320. The lowest paying sector is the retail trade sector (annual salary $38,380).

Industry Sector Median Annual Salary
Federal, State, and Local Government
$64,320
Management of Companies and Enterprises
$56,620
Information
$54,160
Other Services (except Federal, State, and Local Government)
$51,870
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation
$50,750
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
$50,580
Wholesale Trade
$49,970
Finance and Insurance
$48,520
Real Estate and Rental and Leasing
$48,030
Transportation and Warehousing
$47,750
Construction
$46,370
Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services
$46,340
Health Care and Social Assistance
$45,080
Manufacturing
$44,740
Accommodation and Food Services
$41,960
Educational Services
$39,860
Retail Trade
$38,380

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 $20,080 to $59,540. The highest paying state for chefs and head cooks is New Jersey with a median annual salary of $59,540. The lowest paying state is Guam with a median annual salary of $20,080. 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
$59,540
District of Columbia
$56,990
Rhode Island
$54,360
Florida
$52,690
Massachusetts
$52,630
West Virginia
$51,610
Alabama
$50,580
Pennsylvania
$50,390
Nevada
$48,580
Delaware
$48,170
Colorado
$48,170
Virginia
$47,900
North Carolina
$47,280
Washington
$46,970
Hawaii
$46,810
California
$46,310
Maryland
$45,220
Connecticut
$45,160
Wyoming
$45,150
North Dakota
$44,930
New Hampshire
$44,790
Oregon
$44,590
Nebraska
$44,520
Michigan
$43,920
Kentucky
$43,810
Vermont
$43,640
Texas
$43,280
Wisconsin
$42,340
Illinois
$41,980
New York
$41,820
Mississippi
$40,220
Maine
$40,120
Missouri
$39,260
New Mexico
$38,820
Utah
$38,630
Minnesota
$38,570
South Dakota
$38,250
Indiana
$37,950
Ohio
$37,920
Oklahoma
$37,210
Montana
$36,460
Arkansas
$36,270
Alaska
$34,650
Louisiana
$34,170
Arizona
$33,800
Kansas
$33,770
Georgia
$31,930
Virgin Islands
$31,680
Iowa
$31,250
Idaho
$31,020
South Carolina
$30,560
Puerto Rico
$29,530
Tennessee
$28,720
Guam
$20,080


Related:

Highest paying states for chefs and head cooks

Highest paying cities for chefs and head cooks

Highest paying industries for chefs and head cooks.