Restaurant Cooks Salary 2018: How Much Money Do They Make

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hourly pay for Restaurant Cooks
do Restaurant Cooks make a lot of money

Restaurant Cooks

Other names for this job might include Back Line Cook, Banquet Chef, Banquet Cook, Breakfast Cook, Broiler Chef or Cook, Chef, Chef de Froid, Chef De Partie, Cook, Cook Apprentice

  • $25430
  • 51%
    Job satisfaction
  • Easy
    Becoming one
  • High
    Job growth
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How Much Do Restaurant Cooks Make In 2018

In this salary guide, you will find out how much do Restaurant Cooks make.

After reading this, you will be able to make a decision if working as a Restaurant Cook will suit your financial goals (e.g: buying a home, BMW or just your target salary goal).

Average salary

Annual salary
$25430 per year

Hourly wage
$12.230 per hour

One of the most popular questions we get from our readers here at OwlGuru is how much do Restaurant Cooks make per year and what is their hourly wage.

According to BLS, the average annual salary of Restaurant Cooks is $25430. Their salary can also be as low as $18170 if you’re still a newbie with no experience to over $35090 if you have a ton of experience under your belt.

The typical hourly pay is $12.230 and can range from $8.730 to $16.870 which also depends if you’re a newbie or a professional.

Just like any other job, the salary of A Restaurant Cook will vary based on your education and experience level.

# = Over $100 per hour or $200,000 per year.
Salary rank

We wanted to make it easy for our readers to compare the salary of A Restaurant Cook to all the other careers out there. So we created Salary Rank.

This compares the salary of all careers and we give them a rank of A, B, C or D depending on how high or low is their average salary.

After comparing how much do Restaurant Cooks make with other careers, they have a salary rank of D.

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Salary range

Highest (Top 10%)$16.870$35090
Senior (Top 25%)$14.050$29220
Middle (Mid 50%)$11.610$24140
Junior (Bottom 25%)$9.870$20530
No experience (Bottom 10%)$8.730$18170

Entry-level Restaurant Cooks who starts out at $20530 can expect to make $24140 after 3-5 years of experience in the field.

The bottom 10% makes less than $8.730 per hour while the top 10% makes over $16.870 per hour.

While the median wage is $24140 per annum or $11.610 per hour.

Depending on who you work for, you might also get overtime pay.

# = Over $100 per hour or $200,000 per year.

Highest paying industries

Industry nameHourly wageAnnual salary
Hospitals (including private, state, and local government hospitals)15.7832830
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals (including private, state, and local government hospitals)15.7832830
Hospitals, Privately owned15.632450
General Medical and Surgical Hospitals, Privately owned15.632450
Casino Hotels15.2331690
Facilities Support Services14.6330430
Grocery Stores14.429960
Transportation and Warehousing14.2929720
Food and Beverage Stores14.0729270
Home Furnishings Stores14.0329190
Traveler Accommodation13.8128730
Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools (including private, state, and local government schools)13.5928270
Promoters of Performing Arts, Sports, and Similar Events13.5128100
Scenic and Sightseeing Transportation, Land13.4628000
Travel Arrangement and Reservation Services13.427880
Other Personal Services13.2127470
Colleges, universities, and professional schools, Privately owned13.1327310
Scenic and Sightseeing Transportation13.0227090
Fitness and Recreational Sports Centers12.9826990
Personal and Laundry Services12.9526930
Merchant Wholesalers, Nondurable Goods12.8726760
Motor Vehicle and Parts Dealers12.8426700
Educational Services (including private, state, and local government schools)12.7926600
Health Care and Social Assistance (including private, state, and local government hospitals)12.7526530
Scenic and Sightseeing Transportation, Water12.7426490
Personal Care Services12.6226250
Social Assistance12.626210
Federal, state, and local government, including government owned schools and hospitals, and the US Postal Service12.5926180
Local government, including schools and hospitals12.5726150
Community Food and Housing, and Emergency and Other Relief Services12.5726140
Business, Professional, Labor, Political, and Similar Organizations12.5326060
Furniture and Home Furnishings Stores12.5126020
Amusement, Gambling, and Recreation Industries12.4825950
Retail Trade12.4725940
Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation12.4525900
Other Amusement and Recreation Industries12.4425860
Educational Services, Privately owned12.4225840
Other Services (except Federal, State, and Local Government)12.4225830
Religious, Grantmaking, Civic, Professional, and Similar Organizations12.4125810
Civic and Social Organizations12.3925780
Nursing and Residential Care Facilities12.3925770
Continuing Care Retirement Communities and Assisted Living Facilities for the Elderly12.3425660
Special Food Services12.2725510
Management of Companies and Enterprises12.2525470
Museums, Historical Sites, and Similar Institutions12.225370
Lessors of Real Estate12.1525280
Specialty Food Stores12.1125200
Nonstore Retailers12.1125190
Real Estate12.0625080
Real Estate and Rental and Leasing12.0525060
Religious Organizations11.9724900
Performing Arts, Spectator Sports, and Related Industries11.9524860
Theater Companies and Dinner Theaters11.8924730
Performing Arts Companies11.8824710
Department Stores11.8424630
Activities Related to Real Estate11.7724470
Spectator Sports11.6824280
Beverage and Tobacco Product Manufacturing11.5724060
Beverage Manufacturing11.5724060
Pharmacies and Drug Stores11.5223950
Wholesale Trade11.4523810
Federal, State, and Local Government11.4223750
Federal, State, and Local Government, excluding state and local schools and hospitals, and the US Postal Service11.4223750
Other Support Services11.4123740
All industries11.423700
All industries, private ownership only11.3923690
General Merchandise Stores11.3823670
Local Government, excluding schools and hospitals11.3823670
Accommodation and Food Services11.3523600
Sporting Goods Stores11.3223550
Sporting Goods, Hobby, Musical Instrument, and Book Stores11.2723430
Sporting Goods, Hobby, and Musical Instrument Stores11.2723430
Full-Service Restaurants11.2323360
Sector 56- Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation Services11.2123310
Administrative and Support Services11.2123310
RV (Recreational Vehicle) Parks and Recreational Camps11.1923280
Food Services and Drinking Places11.1823260
Restaurants and Other Eating Places11.1723230
Employment Services11.1423170
Food Manufacturing11.1323160
Health and Personal Care Stores11.1223140
Drinking Places (Alcoholic Beverages)11.0923070
Bakeries and Tortilla Manufacturing11.0723030
Office Supplies, Stationery, and Gift Stores1122880
Clothing Stores10.9922850
Clothing and Clothing Accessories Stores10.7822420
Miscellaneous Store Retailers10.722260
Other General Merchandise Stores10.4721780
Gasoline Stations10.4321690
Motion Picture and Sound Recording Industries10.4321690
Motion Picture and Video Industries10.4321690
Motion Picture and Video Exhibition10.4321690
Merchant Wholesalers, Durable Goods10.3321490
Furniture Stores9.7120190
Lawn and Garden Equipment and Supplies Stores9.619960
Building Material and Garden Equipment and Supplies Dealers9.5619890

Not all industries pay the same for Restaurant Cooks.

One of the easiest way to increase your salary is to change industries and find a higher paying one.

Highest paying states


Another simple way to boost your pay as A Restaurant Cook is to move to a higher paying state. However moving to a higher paying state like HI doesn’t mean you will make more overall. This is because the expenses at HI may be 2x higher than where you are currently living at right now.

According to the BLS, the highest paid / most successful Restaurant Cooks are in the states of HI, NV, NJ, AK and DC. The average salary in HI is $31540.

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Rank: D
Salary: $24970

They prepare and cook large quantities of food for institutions, such as schools, hospitals, or cafeterias.
Rank: D
Salary: $25550

They mix and bake ingredients to produce breads, rolls, cookies, cakes, pies, pastries, or other baked goods.
Rank: D
Salary: $30380

They cut, trim, or prepare consumer-sized portions of meat for use or sale in retail establishments.
Rank: D
Salary: $28750

They operate or tend machines to wash or clean products, such as barrels or kegs, glass items, tin plate, food, pulp, coal, plastic, or rubber, to remove impurities.
Rank: D
Salary: $21340

They perform a variety of food preparation duties other than cooking, such as preparing cold foods and shellfish, slicing meat, and brewing coffee or tea.

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Career type

Food and Hospitality
Restaurants and Food/Beverage Services

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