Preface: This article will help you know the salaries most people get after completing their culinary degrees. Please understand that this is an estimated figure and your exact salary may differ from what is written here.
Article updated: Jan 2005
What is the salary range for graduates of culinary school?
Average pay ranges in the United States:
Pastry Chef: between $30,000 and $64,000 per year.
Food Scientist: between $42,000 and $63,000 per year.
Food Writer: between $40,000 and $54,000 per year.
Restaurant Manager: between $34,000 and $60,000 per year.
Sous-Chef: between $30,000 and $45,000 per year.
Hospitality Manager: between $30,000 and $42,000 per year.
Cook: between $28,000 and $32,000 per year.
Sources: National Restaurant Association, Salaries.com, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and Bizstats.com. January 2002.
Fast food cook: Fast food cooks prepare a limited selection of menu items in fast-food restaurants. They cook and package batches of food, such as hamburgers and fried chicken, which are prepared to order or kept warm until sold.
Food scientist: Food scientists apply scientific and engineering principles in research, development, production technology, quality control, packaging, processing, and utilization of food.
Food stylist: Food stylists arrange food for photo shoots for magazines, newspapers and books.
Garde manger: Garde mangers create salads, hot and cold appetizers, sandwiches, and table decorations.
Institution and cafeteria cook: Institution and cafeteria cooks work in the kitchens of schools, cafeterias, businesses, hospitals, and other institutions. For each meal, they prepare a large quantity of a limited number of entrees, vegetables, and desserts.
Line cook: Line cooks are assistant cooks each with a specialty. Grill cooks, fry cooks, sauce cooks, and sauté cooks are also known as line cooks.
Patisserier: Pastry chefs coordinate events, create dishes, and prepare a specialty of desserts, pastries, and baked foods. Requires formal training and accreditation from an accredited culinary institute in addition to two to four years of experience. Generally, pastry chefs supervise kitchen and cook assistants.
Prep cook: Prep cooks generally assemble, decorate and garnish all prepared foods. They are responsible for quality and quantity of production of cold foods.
Private household cook: Private household cooks plan and prepare meals, clean the kitchen, order groceries and supplies, and also may serve meals.
Restaurant cook: Restaurant cooks usually prepare a wider selection of dishes, cooking most orders individually.
Room service manager: Manages the daily operations of room service operations.
Short-order cook: Short-order cooks prepare foods in restaurants and coffee shops that emphasize fast service. They grill and garnish hamburgers, prepare sandwiches, fry eggs, and cook french fries, often working on several orders at the same time.
Sous-chef: A sous-chef is the head chef's assistant; she plans and supervises the daily operations of a kitchen.
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