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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 2017 and published in April 2018 [1].

Table 1. Cooks and Food Preparation Worker Salary in the United States

Percentile BracketAverage Annual Salary
10th Percentile Wage
$18,000
25th Percentile Wage
$20,160
50th Percentile Wage
$23,620
75th Percentile Wage
$28,710
90th Percentile Wage
$34,740

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 $34,740. The median annual salary (50th percentile) is $23,620. The average annual salary for the bottom 10 percent is $18,000. Take note that in the United States, the annual salary of the 90th percentile (the top 10 percent of the highest paid) is almost 93% 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 cooks and food preparation workers from 2012 to 2017.

YearMedian SalaryYearly Growth5-Year Growth
2017
$23,620
4.91% 14.94%
2016
$22,460
5.12% -
2015
$21,310
3.05% -
2014
$20,660
1.55% -
2013
$20,340
1.23% -
2012
$20,090
- -

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

The average salaries of cooks and food preparation workers in 20 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 utilities sector with an annual salary $34,080. The lowest paying sector is the retail trade sector (annual salary $23,110).

Industry Sector Median Annual Salary
Utilities
$34,080
Finance and Insurance
$29,850
Federal, State, and Local Government
$27,930
Transportation and Warehousing
$27,380
Construction
$27,240
Mining
$26,280
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting
$26,170
Real Estate and Rental and Leasing
$25,820
Management of Companies and Enterprises
$25,440
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation
$25,360
Health Care and Social Assistance
$25,120
Other Services (except Federal, State, and Local Government)
$25,000
Educational Services
$24,880
Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services
$24,540
Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services
$24,130
Information
$24,060
Wholesale Trade
$24,020
Manufacturing
$23,890
Accommodation and Food Services
$23,390
Retail Trade
$23,110

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
$43,150
All Other Cooks
$35,370
Institution and Cafeteria Cooks
$26,450
Cooks
$23,970
Food Preparation Workers
$20,840
Fast Food Cooks
$20,440
Restaurant Cooks
$20,410
Short Order Cooks
$19,040



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