HOW MUCH DOES A CHEF MAKE: Chef’s Salary in 2022

how much does a chef make
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In the United States, the average salary for a chef is $51,665 annually. While it may appear to be nothing compared to the stress that chefs undergo daily to meet their demands, there are several ways to increase how much you make per hour, per month, and per year. For instance, a top-level 5-star chef who holds a degree earns over $100,000 annually, which is far above what a pastry chef will make within the same time frame. The good news is that you can always improve your earning potential if you want to, but must learn that it requires hard work, time, and a whole lot of resilience to do that.

How Much Does a Chef Make in a Year?

According to Indeed, the average amount a chef makes in the United States per year is $51,665 as of August 2022. This is a contrast from the update made by Escoffier culinary art. According to their report, chefs and head cooks earn an average of $58,740 per year.

Amidst the variation in the figure provided by these two websites, it may interest you to know that disparity in these amounts is traced to several factors of which location and the place of work are top on the list. But then, a chef can earn as high as $70,000 and as low as

How Much Does a Chef Make in an Hour?

As of August 2022, the average amount a chef in the United States make is $17.85

How Much Does a Chef Make in a Month?

Based on the research conducted by Business Yield, chefs earn an average of $3,567 per month as of August. According to Zip recruiters, chefs in the United States make about $3,481 a month, while Indeed estimated it at $3,658 per month.

While the figures may not agree as a result of the factors used to gather data, it doesn’t change the fact that there’s always a variation in how much a chef makes on a monthly basis. 

How Much Do a Chefs Make with a Degree?

As of August 2022, Business Yield Consult research reveals that a chef with a degree earns more than one without a formal education. While it’s true that one can always start a chef’s career without a formal education, having one is always an advantage. In addition to your experience, certification avails you of more opportunities to earn more. Having a degree as a chef gives you the opportunity to scale beyond the startup and media percentage of earners, and tour with the top 10 percent of chefs that earn above the average in the United States. According to, the average salary of an Executive Chef with a Bachelor’s Degree is $81,197 to $87,957.

How Much Do 5-Star Chefs Make a Year?

A five-star chef makes between $79,500 to $189,780 per year. That’s about $39 per hour and more than $6,680 per month.

ZipRecruiter recently gave a report on a 5-star chef’s earnings. The report uses Michelin star award holders and estimates their earnings to be an average of $79,200. However, it ranges from $45,000 to about $146,000 per year in the United States.

How Much Does a Pastry Chef Make?

When it comes to how much a pastry chef makes in the United States, it varies. It can be as high as $72,458 and as low as $54,787. As of July 2022, the average amount a pastry chef make is about $63,595 in the United States.

Factors That Influence a Chef’s Salary 

Every professional chef would love to be at the top of their game and also earn while living out their passion. But then, there are several factors that limit this dream. This is simply why some chefs are earning below the minimum amount and others are earning above it. The following are some of the factors that affect how much a pastry or every other chef makes in an hour, per month, and in a year with or without a degree;

  • Type of chef
  • Location
  • Year of experience
  • Where you work
  • Certification

How to Raise Your Salary as a Chef

Is it possible to raise how much you make as a chef? Of course, it is. There are several actions that’ll steadily increase your earnings. Among these factors that’ll improve how much you make as a pastry or full-time chef, building experience, investing in education, and honing your culinary skills at great companies and the part of the States where you work are top on the lists.

#1. Industry Experience

In every career path, professionals earn more than anyone in their field. So, when starting out as a chef, you can go as far as applying for internships in major businesses to build your wealth of experience.

#2. Culinary Education

Certification is usually an opportunity for people to increase how much they earn. In general, chefs are no exception. With a culinary certification, you can go beyond the regular deal and invent the ideal healthy recipe for clients. Also, those with certification will generally earn more than chefs without one. So if you are looking to increase how much you make as a chef, getting certified is the first place to start. 

You can start off with a degree or any culinary diploma program and then go on to get certification from professional bodies.

Culinary Diplomas vs Culinary Associate Degree

What’s the difference between a culinary degree and an associate diploma? Let’s first identify what each of these is.

A culinary diploma program runs within a short period. The program focuses on practical teaching, which involves foundational skills. On the other hand, a diploma does not run a general education with their program but will definitely get first-class practice-based teaching.

The culinary associate degree programs cover practical teachings and general education which is an advantage over the diploma program. Degree programs take a longer period than diplomas too.

#3. Location

The location where you render your service, has a great part to play in how much you make as a chef. You can’t compare how much chefs make in California to how much they make in Illinois. Chefs in major cities in the United States will definitely make more than in other cities. 

#4. Where you work

If you are privileged to work for a big establishment, you’ll definitely make more as a chef than working at a random outlet. There are several opportunities ranging from restaurants to cafe shops, retirement homes, hospitals, hotels, and so on. 

What are the levels of Chefs?

  • Junior Sous chefs
  • Station chefs
  • Sous chefs
  • Head chefs
  • Executive chefs

Pros and Cons of Being a Chef

If you intend to start a career as a chef, there’s a need for passion. This is because aside from the fat checks that chefs take home every year, there are low sides to taking up a job as a chef. There are also various benefits that chef enjoys. It’s advisable to create a balance between these and build your career around your passion.


The following are the disadvantages of being a chef;

  • Unpleasant working condition
  • It takes a lot of experience, hard work as well as time to rise to the position of executive chef
  • Low salary compared to the number of hours you’ll have to stand
  • Highly competitive industry


If you are passionate about building your career as a chef, the following are some of the benefits of becoming one.

  • The freedom to express one’s culinary skills
  • You don’t need formal training to begin your chef career
  • Certification programs take a few years

Chefs’ Qualities

A good chef must have the following qualities:

  • Excellent culinary creativity
  • Possess the ability to withstand pressure
  • Ability to endure extra work hours
  • Excellent organizing abilities
  • Superior decision-making abilities

A Chef’s Responsibilities

A chef is a professional, competent cook whose responsibilities range from food preparation to customer satisfaction and personnel management. In terms of personnel management, they work with other professional chefs within a business organization. Their major responsibilities include the following;

  • Maintaining kitchen inventories
  • Preparing meals,
  • Supervising kitchen employees
  • Organizing menus
  • Calculating the cost of each plate of food.

Chefs are found in restaurants, hotels, cruise ships, and several other places.

Is it worth going to culinary school?

A degree from a culinary school is the best choice for someone who is committed to a career in the food industry for the following reasons: With classes, practical food preparation, and a range of abilities, it offers a well-rounded education.

Does Hell’s Kitchen cost money?

However, customers were not required to pay for their meals, which is understandable given that they frequently never receive the food they purchased. Each diner was actually paid $50 as payment for their time. But they were under no obligation to act or respond in any way.

How long does it take to train to be a chef?

Full-time study, including placements, might take anywhere from 1 to 4 years, depending on the university and the subject.

Is culinary degree hard?

Briefly said, the culinary school can push students to learn new vocabulary, new skills, and some of the science underlying those skills. It can be technical and difficult, requiring pupils to simultaneously concentrate on minuscule details and the big picture.

Is Hell’s Kitchen owned by Gordon Ramsay?

Ramsay, Gordon Based on the reality TV series Hell’s Kitchen, the multi-national network of fine dining restaurants called Hell’s Kitchen is owned by British chef Gordon Ramsay. The chain now has five US locations and one in Dubai as of 2022.

Do Hell’s Kitchen winners get paid?

Chefs fight for a coveted position as head chef at a restaurant chosen by presenter Gordon Ramsay on the reality cooking series Hell’s Kitchen. Additionally, the winners receive a monetary award of $250,000.

What does Hell’s Kitchen do with wasted food?

Food banks and local charities frequently receive donations of produce from some pantry sets as well as any goods that aren’t used in the scenes. The surplus food is also used to feed the crew.


Being a chef comes with lots of responsibilities. It isn’t a job that passion can sustain. If you are unable to work under pressure or maintain coordination while trying to, this isn’t for you. But if you can derive satisfaction in making people smile with your culinary skills, then you sure can build a wonderful career as a chef.

How Much Does a Chef Make FAQs

What are the basic things a chef should know?

  • Kitchen safety tips
  • Fundamentals of knife handling.
  • Nut milk expertiseStock expertise
  • Sanitation
  • Dough mastery
  • Grilling mastery

How Much Does a Catering Chef Make with a degree?

On average, a catering chef makes $41,475 per year with a degree. The range variation is as low as $33,000 and as high as $65,000.

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