Most of us get into this profession for love not money. And according to a new study from the American Culinary Federation, that is probably a good thing. The study found that of all the chefs who responded, restaurant chefs were paid the least.
On average, line cooks make reported making a whopping $23,000 a year; sous chefs take home around $38,000. And things are not that much richer at the top: Male executive chefs earned on average $71,000 average. (With 80% working more than 41 hours per week and 23% working over 60 hours a week)
There was also a significant gender disparity — female executive chefs annually earn $52,000 on average, a $19,000 difference when compared to their male counterparts. And life is not sweeter in the pastry kitchen — pastry chefs had a median total compensation of $40,000, while bakers earned a median $24,282.
Other areas of the culinary industry reported paying more. Culinary educators have an average salary of $65,415, health care workers take in an average of $63,994, and chefs at private clubs averaged $83,753. The best paid job according to the survey? Research chef where the median pay is $100,000.
The good news? There is relatively low unemployment in the kitchen. Only 3% of respondents were both out of work and actively seeking work, compared to 8.3% of the general population.