If you have decided that you want to work in the food preparation industry, you should know that the chefs receive the highest salary. You may want to redirect your efforts towards becoming a chef. At the same time, you should know that the chef pay scale differs greatly depending on the state, the employer, the work environment, and the work experience, among other factors.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for chefs is somewhere around $42,480, as of May 2012.
Factors that Influence the Chef Pay Scale
There is no secret that the salary in every industry is dependent on numerous factors. The same applies to the food preparation industry, so you must know that the chef salary you will receive will be customized for you and for your skills.
The work environment is one of the factors that will influence your salary. Thus, if you are looking to earn one of the highest wages in the field, you must look for jobs in fine dining restaurants. Other top employers are tourist resorts and hotels, but you can also look for wealthy persons who hire private chefs. The lowest paying employers are the cruise ships, the fast food restaurants, and the institutional cafeterias.
The work experience is also extremely important when it comes to your wage. It is obvious that the professionals with more work experience will get the highest salaries in the industry. Throughout this experience, you will learn more and more skills that will help you get along in various work situations; not to mention, you will learn how to prepare a wide variety of dishes.
Another important factor is the culinary education. Thus, a culinary degree will always offer you an edge over those who have only learned hands-on. In the mind of your employers, higher education is usually associated with practical courses under the supervision of a reputable chef and with a comprehensive education.
Last, but not least, a chef pay scale depends on your geographic location. The employers in the metropolitan areas are prone to offer better salaries. The same applies to those located in touristic zones. You may want to look for jobs in these areas.
Highest Chef Salaries in the United States
The top 5 states that offer high salaries in this field are Delaware ($53,630 per year), New York ($56,470 per year), New Jersey ($57,370 annually), Connecticut ($57,630 per annum), and District of Columbia ($60,590 per year). At the same time, the top paying metropolitan areas are Beaumont – Port Arthur in Texas, Sebastian – Vero Beach in Florida, and New York – Wayne – White Plains in New Jersey and New York. The highest hourly mean wage is offered in the District of Columbia and it is $29.13.
If you are looking to become a chef, it is extremely important to keep an eye on the chef pay scale and its evolution in order to know where to look for your future perfect job in the food preparation industry.