6 High-Paid Chef Jobs (With Salaries and Primary Duties)

Updated October 4, 2022

Food preparation careers can provide people who enjoy working in the culinary industry a rewarding career path to pursue. Chef positions often focus on not only properly preparing food but creating meals that appeal to a wide range of customers. If you're interested in pursuing a chef job in the culinary industry, it may be helpful to learn about ones that offer high salaries.. In this article, we list six high-paid chef jobs, including their average salaries and primary duties.

Related: What Are the Different Types of Chefs?

6 high-paid chef jobs that you can pursue

Here are six high-paying chef jobs that professionals interested in culinary positions can pursue. For the most up-to-date Indeed salaries, please click on the links below:

1. Sous chef

National average salary: $60,145 per year

Primary duties: Sous chefs typically work under the supervision of an executive chef in a kitchen. They often handle daily tasks, such as ingredient preparation, meal designs, cooking, hiring new staff and providing safety training. Additional duties often include:

  • Creating and maintaining safety standards and procedures throughout their kitchen

  • Properly handling tools and kitchen equipment, such as stoves and grills

  • Supplying their kitchen with proper ingredients and tools for food preparation

  • Storing food at appropriate temperatures to avoid bacterial infections

  • Opening and closing their kitchen every shift

  • Maintaining their workstation's cleanliness and safety throughout a workday

Some sous chefs also work beside their chefs and function as the primary food preparation professional in a kitchen. Many complete assisting tasks for their chefs, including suggestions for food preparation and even extra training to improve their skills. Successful sous chefs may advance to an executive position in their careers after gaining experience and developing new skills.

Related: Learn About Being a Sous Chef

2. Director of food and beverage

National average salary: $60,426 per year

Primary duties: Food and beverage directors work within an organization to plan their culinary requirements, such as menu planning, food purchases, safety guidelines and meal preparation. Directors may cook food themselves or direct a team of chefs through a cooking process. Additional duties may include:

  • Adhering to proper health and safety regulations

  • Developing a culinary budget

  • Presenting food and drinks to clients

Food and beverage directors may work in different environments, including hospitals, hotels, malls, business centers and business offices. Some may even work privately, providing individuals with assistance when planning parties or large events. In addition, independent food and beverage directors may own a business that offers these services.

3. Executive chef

National average salary: $66,211 per year

Primary duties: Executive chefs oversee an entire kitchen's operations and provide general management and planning guidance to personnel. They remain available at all times of a kitchen's functioning hours to respond to emergencies, prepare food and direct meal plans. Executive chefs also complete other managerial tasks, including:

  • Managing scheduling and training for all employees, including sous chefs

  • Writing recipes as determined by the client for whom they work

  • Training and managing new hires to determine whether they fit well within a team's culture

  • Referencing proper safety and training regulations

  • Maintaining a kitchen's inventory

An executive and sous chef perform similar tasks, but an executive chef has an advanced position within the hierarchy of a kitchen's personnel. They also perform fewer tasks related to daily food preparation, usually leaving the cooking of daily meals to short-line cooks. Executive chefs may cook more complex meals, such as extensive buffet options for a party, though.

Related: Learn About Being an Executive Chef

4. Food scientist

National average salary: $68,830 per year

Primary duties: A food scientist works in a laboratory setting to improve the quality of food. Their duties are similar to a food technologist but more focused on research. They measure all aspects of food development, including improving sustainability, taste and nutritional value. Additional duties for these professionals include:

  • Developing better ingredients and healthier recipes

  • Producing studies on new methods to enhance food growth speeds

  • Increasing shipping and processing efficiency to restaurants and stores

  • Enhancing manufacturing procedures with new food growth techniques

  • Monitoring food safety and creating new protective protocols

Some chefs interested in the scientific processes of gastronomy may seek food scientist positions after gaining experience in a kitchen.

Related: How To Become a Food Scientist in 3 Steps

5. Food technologist

National average salary: $73,450 per year

Primary duties: Food technologists complete many tasks, including researching food alternatives, creating safe recipes for public consumption and adjusting the types of food a corporation manufactures and sells. Additional tasks that a food technologist might complete include:

  • Working with product development teams to gauge food safety measurements

  • Creating new recipes that may replace outdated ones

  • Examining food regulations to ensure that meals adhere to these guidelines

  • Cooking food and testing it for safety and nutrients in a research-oriented environment

A food technologist may collaborate with chefs and other culinary professionals to produce improved recipes for new meals. For example, restaurants may hire a food technologist to visit their facility, gauge their food quality and create new meals that provide a higher level of nutrition to customers. Other food technologists work more often in a laboratory setting as research specialists.

6. Private chef

National average salary: $95,307 per year

Primary duties: Private chefs work directly in the homes or businesses of their clients. Their duties often include:

  • Buying and storing food safely and adequately for their client

  • Collaborating with their employer to produce a regular meal list

  • Preparing foods and meals to adhere to exact client standards

  • Serving meals to individuals or multiple people, such as in a party setting

  • Managing kitchen staff, including supplementary chefs and preparation experts

  • Adjusting meal plans to improve a client's health and well-being

  • Understanding the unique needs of a client, including potential allergens

These professionals often solely have one or two clients because most clients provide them with enough tasks to be full-time employees.

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