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Salary Expectations for Chefs in Texas

Career News July 12, 2014

When most people think of a lucrative location to work as a chef, they think of New York, Los Angeles, or Chicago. What about Texas? With large cities like Austin, Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio, it’s no wonder why more chefs don’t look to the this state as a land of opportunity. How much does a chef in Texas actually make?

Different Ranks and Types of Restaurants Affect Your Pay

The culinary field, of course, has different ranks, from executive chefs who run the kitchen to line cooks who work at their stations, and each of these pays differently. A line cook in Texas could expect on average to make $25,000, but a normal sous chef salary will be about $43,000, while executive chefs make around $58,000 to $61,000 on average.

You will notice that the above quotes are all averages because depending on the type of restaurant, the pay can greatly fluctuate. An executive chef in a fine dining restraint restaurant will make much more than one working at a mom and pop location, regardless of food quality.

Not only can the kind of restaurant affect pay, but the town you work in is a concern as well. Sous chefs in the Dallas area average $44,744, which is above the national average, and it’s even better for executive chefs who make around $66,846. In Houston, wages for chefs also beat the national average, but if you look beyond Dallas and Houston, chefs make below the national average with Austin coming in at $64,028.

For most of the state of Texas, chef salaries will be below average, but with a lower cost of living. Look at the larger cities if money is a priority in your current career outlook.

Are Wages Growing or Shrinking?

As more people are moving to Texas and the job market there is looking good, the amount of disposable income in the state should be on the rise, and that translates to an increase in demand for restaurants and thus chefs.

The average wage for the state has grown each year for the past 4 four years, and that has to certainly benefit the culinary industry. While there isn’t any direct numbers for how much chef wages are going up or down in Texas, all the trends look good for chef’s pay to grow in the coming years.

If you are looking to move to Texas to break into the culinary world and earn a good chef salary, the Lone Star State will be hospitable. Stay close to Dallas or Houston and be aware that with more people moving to the state, which will mean a slight change in regional tastes. Despite what you have heard, that Texas is mostly all “steak houses,” there’s plenty of opportunity for chefs of all types, from Asian to Vegan, to Mexican and Italian, and everything far and in between.

This is a career that rewards determination, but also smart planning. Think in advance where you want to work and for what patrons. This is the best way to chart a successful career.

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