National » Food Preparation and Serving Related » Cooks and Food Preparation Workers

Cooks and Food Preparation Worker Salary Information

The salary statistics of cooks and food preparation workers are shown in Table 1. The average hourly salary of cooks and food preparation workers in the United States is shown in Table 2. In the next few tables we compare the average salaries of cooks and food preparation workers within different industry sectors and in the 50 states of the United States. The cooks and food preparation workers 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. Cooks and Food Preparation Worker Salary in the United States

Percentile BracketAverage Annual Salary
10th Percentile Wage
$17,550
25th Percentile Wage
$19,280
50th Percentile Wage
$22,460
75th Percentile Wage
$27,420
90th Percentile Wage
$33,000

Table 1 shows the average annual salary for cooks and food preparation workers. The average annual salary for the 90th percentile (the top 10 percent of the highest paid) cooks and food preparation workers is $33,000. The median annual salary (50th percentile) is $22,460. The average annual salary for the bottom 10 percent is $17,550. We note that in the United States, the annual salary of the 90th percentile (the top 10 percent of the highest paid) is almost 88% 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 cooks and food preparation workers from 2012 to 2016.

YearMedian SalaryYearly Growth4-Year Growth
201622,4605.12%10.55%
201521,3103.05%-
201420,6601.55%-
201320,3401.23%-
201220,090--

Table 2. Cooks and Food Preparation Worker Salary by Industry Sector

The average salaries of cooks and food preparation workers in 18 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 cooks and food preparation workers occupations is the transportation and warehousing sector with an annual salary $27,660. The lowest paying sector is the retail trade sector (annual salary $21,880).

Industry Sector Median Annual Salary
Transportation and Warehousing
$27,660
Mining
$27,490
Construction
$27,370
Finance and Insurance
$26,370
Federal, State, and Local Government
$26,240
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
$24,840
Management of Companies and Enterprises
$24,510
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation
$24,510
Health Care and Social Assistance
$24,170
Real Estate and Rental and Leasing
$24,160
Other Services (except Federal, State, and Local Government)
$23,940
Educational Services
$23,650
Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services
$23,590
Information
$22,990
Wholesale Trade
$22,720
Manufacturing
$22,590
Accommodation and Food Services
$22,160
Retail Trade
$21,880

Table 3. Salaries of Cooks and Food Preparation Worker Related Occupations

The average annual salary of cooks and food preparation worker related occupations at the national level is given in Table 3. For more salary information about a specific occupation, use the links below.

Occupation Median Annual Salary
Private Household Cooks
$32,060
All Other Cooks
$27,120
Institution and Cafeteria Cooks
$24,750
Restaurant Cooks
$24,140
Cooks
$22,850
Short Order Cooks
$21,890
Food Preparation Workers
$21,440
Fast Food Cooks
$19,860


Related:

Highest paying industries for cooks and food preparation workers.