Highest-paying Culinary Jobs. To become a cook, you should try to gain experience in a restaurant kitchen in any role you can. Learn about cooking techniques, restaurant kitchen operations, best professional practices for restaurant management, and food safety guidelines.

Highest-paying Culinary Jobs
Highest-paying Culinary Jobs

You can attend culinary school to complete professional training in running a kitchen, creating a restaurant menu, and preparing meals in compliance with food safety guidelines.

Highest-paying Culinary Jobs

Many culinary arts programs have externship requirements that will help you get a foot in the kitchen door. Your culinary arts training can help you advance from line cook to kitchen management positions, though in most kitchens, proven talent and work ethic on the job are the most important factors to help you find success in this career.

A culinary arts career is an inviting prospect for many people. For one thing, demand is up as people’s busy lives cause them to eat out more and more. For another, a culinary education opens up a variety of possible careers, from running the kitchen in a top restaurant to the very desirable option of owning your own business.

What is Culinary Job?

Culinary jobs involve the arts of preparing, cooking, presenting, and serving food. This may often be in the form of meals in a restaurant, but culinary arts can refer to all professions that involve preparing, cooking, and presenting food.

7 Highest-paying Culinary Jobs

Below is a list of the seven highest-paying culinary careers available to those with the appropriate education and experience.

  • Sous Chef

A sous chef plays an important role in the formal hierarchy of a kitchen team, acting as the executive chef’s second-in-command, supervising cooks, and overseeing day-to-day operations. The sous chef must be versatile, creative, and possess a mastery of the culinary arts.

As the second-in-command in a kitchen, the sous chef is in charge of managing daily activities such as managing workers, preparing meals, and making sure that food quality and safety regulations are met. A sous chef’s annual salary typically ranges from $49,796 to $58,000. Sous chefs who work in top restaurants or hotels, as well as those with years of expertise or who possess specific certificates, may make more money.

  • Food Stylist

Food stylists work in conjunction with food photographers to ensure that food looks attractive in the finished product. Food stylists prepare and arrange food for the photography seen in cookbooks, magazines, commercials, and more. A chef is primarily concerned with how great a dish tastes and a food stylist is with how good it looks. The average food stylist’s salary is $71,999 as of May 1, 2023, but the salary range typically falls between $64,961 and $80,472.

  • Private Chefs

A private chef will prepare meals for private clients in home kitchens or commercial kitchens, depending on their client’s needs or preferences. This can be done daily, or the meals can be cooked, frozen, and reheated weekly. They are in charge of shopping for ingredients, cooking, and cleaning up after meals. They frequently collaborate closely with the family or home to understand their dietary requirements. Particular dietary requirements, such as paleo, vegan, or vegetarian diets, are particularly the focus of personal chefs.

The average private chef salary in the United States is $85,921 as of May 1, 2023, but the salary range typically falls between $73,966 and $99,244.

  • Food scientist

A food scientist studies the deterioration and processing of foods by using microbiology, engineering, and chemistry. Food scientists and technologists use chemistry, biology, and other sciences to study the basic elements of food. They analyze the nutritional content of food, discover new food sources, and research ways to make processed foods safe and healthy. Food scientists make an average of $56,000 to $72,000 annually.

  • Food service manager

Food service managers are responsible for the daily operation of restaurants or other establishments that prepare and serve food and beverages. They direct staff to ensure that customers are satisfied with their dining experience, and they manage the business to ensure that it runs efficiently.

The manager directs staff during service as part of their ongoing training. The average salary of a food service manager ranges from $77,359 to $89,588 per year.

  •  Executive Chef

An executive chef is the head of the entire kitchen operation of a restaurant. Executive chefs manage inventory, budgeting, menu planning, training, plating, and all kitchen staff, from sous chefs to dishwashers. They ensure a high standard of food quality and that service runs smoothly and efficiently. Executive chefs are the highest level of management in the kitchen, and they are ultimately responsible for its success or failure.

Executive chefs oversee all kitchen staff, food preparation, and cooking activities in a facility or for several restaurants in an establishment or chain. The average salary of an executive chef is $88,000–$132,000 per year.

  • Pastry Chef

A pastry chef’s annual salary often ranges from $50,000 to $74,000, depending on their level of expertise, region, and type of workplace. Pastry chefs who work in top eateries or hotels, as well as those who specialize in making custom wedding cakes or other pricey sweets, may make more money.

A pastry chef, or pâtissier, is a station chef in a professional kitchen, skilled in the making of pastries, desserts, breads, and other baked goods. They are employed in large hotels, bistros, restaurants, bakeries, and some cafés.


Where do chefs get paid the most?

According to a study published in 2022, Switzerland was the world’s best-paying country for chefs and head cooks between 2019 and 2020. In those years, a cook in a European country could earn on average more than 56 thousand U.S. dollars annually.

What type of chef gets paid the most?
  • Banquet Chef.
  • Culinary Chef.
  • Chef Manager.
  • Food Stylist.
  • Sushi Chef. Salary range: $32,500–$48,500 per year.
  • Culinary Specialist. Salary range: $27,000–$40,000 per year.
  • Pizza Chef. Salary range: $27,000–$39,500 per year.
  • Chef Assistant. Salary range: $23,000–$33,500 per year.
How much are chefs paid in Nigeria?

The salary range for the majority of workers chefs: from 28,831 to 85,760 per month in 2023. A chef typically earns between 28,831 and 57,482 net per month at the start of the job. After 5 years of service, this is between 31,866 and 66,932 per month for a 40-hour working week.

What makes the most money in culinary?
  • Pastry cook.
  • Culinary specialist.
  • Purchasing coordinator.
  • Wine sommelier.
  • restaurant bar manager.
  • Sous chef.
Can I make a career out of cooking?

You could work in the kitchen at a restaurant, resort, hotel, casino, cruise ship, grocery store, or bakery! If you thrive in a fast-paced environment, then you could start out as a cook. If you’re creative or love to make delicious desserts, you could train to become a pastry chef or baker.


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