How Much does A Chef Make a Year?

how much does a chef make

You know How much deos a chef make a year?

A chef not just cooks food but he also manages the food resources, staff in the kitchen, plans the menu, get the groceries required in the kitchen. Mostly a chef has a 12 hour working time as he has to be there when the kitchen opens and he also has to supervise the closing of the restaurant. He has to be a multi tasker as he has a variety of things to monitor. He also needs to have expertise in human resource management along with the culinary skills. According to the BLS Bureau of Labour Statistics survey of 2011 on how much does a chef make a year, the average yearly income is $46,600. The same survey says the top tier of chefs that is the top 10% earn about $74,060 while the bottom ten percent earn an average of only $24,770 per annum.

how much does a chef make

In US there are a total of about 90, 300 chefs. Their biggest employers of these 90 thousand plus chefs are full service restaurants. The full service restaurants have accommodated more than half of these 90, 000 chefs. Then some of these were hired by certain houses for their day to day cooking’s and some of these found jobs in kitchens of some firms where they prepare the lunch for the office employs. Some also go into the field of teaching and they teach new students how to be a pro cook. Hence the figures shown in the survey have encouraging tidings for the people who are planning to become professional chefs.

What does it take if you want to be a chef?

The educational pathway towards becoming a chef includes a degree in culinary skills. You can either go for a 2-year diploma or a 4-year degree. The latter is the better. In order to get a good job, you must have a good working experience and for that you have to have apprenticeship done and for that program apprenticeship programs are also offered and they are also a must take if you want to be occupying a good post in a famous or elite restaurant or hotel.

Salary Breakdown

Chef get paid according to their job specification. In general, in a kitchen above the cooks there are two types of chefs. One is the executive chef who is in charge of the kitchen and second to him is the sous chef. A souf chef according to a survey is reported to earn an average of $42,501 while the executive chef earns up to 67 K per year and these figures are excluding bonuses.

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High Paying Chefs

All the above mentioned figures don’t mean that there is a limit to the earning of a chef and to prove this statement true here are a few examples. Guy Fieri earned $8 million, Nobu Matsuhisa grabbed $10 million, Alain Ducasse at $12 million, Paula Deen gobbled $17 million, Gordon Ramsay at $38 million and Rachael Ray earned $25 million. These figures are of given 2012 and are given by the Forbes magazine.

Additional Earning

Almost all surveys on how much does a chef make agree that the skilled and experienced chefs earn a lot apart from their basic jobs. They manage to round up even greater amount of money from their recipe books. Moreover, being popular for their culinary skills, they earn even more from their TV shows, TV interviews and delivering lectures at various places. A great deal of money they earn from their endorsements and their percentage. Highly experienced chefs deal with restaurants and hotels according to which the hotel or that specific restaurant is supposed to pay a certain percentage of their profits to the chef.

Specialized Earning Opportunities

Specializing in a certain field of work can also be very beneficial and it may help you earn way more than that you are already earning. As of 2012 statistics, an average per year earning of an executive chef was $83,086 while a pastry chef earned just around $57,764 per annum. In same way, if you look at the sushi chefs, they earned around $42,350in the year 2011 when on average the chefs were getting $46,600. A sushi chef at the peak of his career even manages to round up as much as $70,000 a year. So you can say that a sushi chefs earning potential is greater than that of a pastry chef.

Best paying Sites and Hourly Income

The state of California had the most jobs to offer to chefs according to a survey in 2011 and they gave $23.21 to 11 percent of the chefs that is around $48 490 per year. It was due to the fact that California is the most populous state. The state which paid the most to chefs was New York which offered an average of $67,950 at $32.67 per hour and the city which gave the most salary was New York city at an average of $80 000 which is around $38.46 per hour.

Job Prospects in Future

The BLS (bureau of Labour statistics) discussing how much do chefs make reported that from 2010 to 2020 the jobs of chefs will decrease by 1 percent and this will be due to the saturation in market of already present chefs. Due to this factor the competition will be very strong in the race to acquire better or high paying jobs. Those in advantage will be the chefs having relatively high experience and better culinary degrees. Due to economic recession and high prices the restaurants will try to cut their expenditure by limiting the number of jobs as a result the number of jobs will decrease as well.

In the coming future, this field is going to become very tough and competitive as well. The thing that counts more than study in this field is experience. As cooking is not something that you can learn by book. It is a trial and error procedure and you might not always have to go by book. Most of the things you learn are by practical and situation might not be the same always and many a times you have to improvise and for that purpose your experience counts. The more your experience the better the results.


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