February 18th, 2013
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Find Out How Much Money You Could Be Making as a Chef
The salary of a chef is often dependent on many factors including experience, the type of location they work in and the amount of recognition they obtain. For those who wish to work in this field, experience is a critical component of salary. Those chefs with ample head chef experience, such as managing a full kitchen of a restaurant, are going to make significantly more than line cooks or even head chefs in a smaller establishment.
In the United States, as of May of 2010, the median annual wage for a head chef was $40,630. This means that half of all chefs make more than this and half make less. The lowest earning chefs in this field earned as little as $23,000. The top ten percent earned nearly $71,000. Keep in mind that chefs earn significantly more than sous chefs or those who work in line work.
Where the Highest Paying Jobs Are
In this field, you will learn more depending on where you work. Those who earned the most worked in traveler accommodations such as working in top end hotels or resort-like facilities. Those who worked in special food services earned the next highest amount. Those working in full service restaurants earned slightly less than this.
What Factors Affect Pay in This Field?
Aside from experience and training, other factors can affect the average salary of a chef. This includes location. Those who work in high-end facilities and in top notch restaurants in larger cities earn significantly more than those who work in smaller, family style locations in the Midwest. The highest pay tends to be in the more established, higher end restaurants and hotels. Those who work in the field of executive chefs, such as those who work in corporations, tend to earn more when they work in major metropolitan areas, compared to those who worked in smaller communities.
How Many Hours Do You Work
The most common complaint about being a head chef is working at night. This is when most people will come in to restaurants for meals and, as a result, those who work in this field will often work at night, during the weekend and even on holidays. Most will work at least 40 hours per week, though many work significantly longer. Some work 12-hour days to ensure that customers are satisfied with their meals and receive expert attention no matter what time of the day they work in.
For those who wish to work as chefs or head cooks, education is a critical factor and first step. Those who hold culinary degrees earn more because of their knowledge. Those with work experience and a proven track record tend to earn more as well, since on the job, in the kitchen work is often very important in this industry. Head chefs are often required to prove themselves and their skills time and time again by creating new menus and meals around food trends. The most sought after chefs earn significantly more for their creations.
Chef Salary Details
The minimum wage you should expectto earn as a chef is $23,000
Top chefs earn in excess of $70,000 per annum
On average as a chef you can earn about $40k per year