National Chef Survey Reveals Salary, Hour Averages


Posted by Jennifer Heigl

New York Magazine reported yesterday that the average executive chef is making $74,000 per year, which is awfully impressive, with New York offering the highest paid culinary positions. According to the 2008 Star Chef survey, the national Sous Chef average salary is closer to $40,000, which is important to keep in mind for those striving culinary students who pay that, or more, for their culinary certificate!

Not unsurprisingly, the survey also revealed that half of  restaurant workers work at least 9 to 11 hours a day, with most working an average of 53 hours per week. That’s an average, folks!

Other interesting facts from the survey:

  • 48% of chefs surveyed do not receive any type of bonus.
  • Salaries are nearly identical across the board, regardless of whether or not you hold a culinary degree.
  • Aspiring chefs should expect to work an average of 20 years before reaching executive chef or chef/owner level, with most chefs reporting 11 years on the line before acquiring  a sous chef position.
  • Only 17% of chefs/owners surveyed are women, with only 3% at the Owner/President status.

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