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Sous Chef Salary in the United States

How Much Does a Sous Chef Make in the United States?

The average base salary for a Sous Chef in the United States is a month or $56,013 per year, according to the most recent data gathered using our salary estimate methodology.

Average Sous Chef Base Salary:
What can I earn as a Sous Chef?Your salary is 0 the US national average
$26.93
$26.93
26.93

How Much Does a Sous Chef Make Hourly?

The average wage for Sous Chefs working in the U.S. is $26.93 per hour.

However, the usual case is that Sous Chefs are paid annual salaries rather than hourly wages.

How Much Does a Sous Chef Make Weekly?

The average weekly pay for Sous Chefs in the U.S. is $1,077.17.

That said, many Sous Chefs are considered “learned professionals” under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Learned professionals are those who make at least $684 per week and whose regular tasks require having advanced knowledge.

As such, employees like Sous Chefs who fall under this FLSA category may be exempt from overtime pay.

Sous Chef Salaries Across the US

Below is a map showing the average salaries for Sous Chefs in all 50 states plus Washington, D.C.

[Calculated using Salary.com, Talent.com, Indeed and ZipRecruiter data]

This map is interactive. Hover your mouse over different parts of the map to see detailed data. 

As you can see, the average Sous Chef salary varies per state or district because of factors like local economic conditions.

For example, in the District of Columbia, Washington and California, Sous Chefs are likely to receive higher salaries that would help them keep up with costs of living. This is especially true if they are based in a major metropolitan area like Greater Los Angeles.

Moreover, these three places are known for having lively tourism industries, as they receive plenty of local and foreign tourists each year. As such, many of the dining establishments in these areas are more inclined to look for highly skilled Sous Chefs to keep up with the high number of visitors.

On the other hand, Sous Chefs working in states like Arkansas, Mississippi and West Virginia often earn relatively lower salaries due to the cheaper costs of living.

State Avg. Salary
Alabama $ 50,790
Alaska $ 54,924
Arizona $ 52,153
Arkansas $ 43,845
California $ 61,531
Colorado $ 54,364
Connecticut $ 51,834
Delaware $ 53,590
Florida $ 49,708
Georgia $ 51,294
Hawaii $ 58,434
Idaho $ 51,927
Illinois $ 54,869
Indiana $ 51,798
Iowa $ 49,244
Kansas $ 48,777
Kentucky $ 47,945
Louisiana $ 49,687
Maine $ 53,525
Maryland $ 54,498
Massachusetts $ 59,018
Michigan $ 48,239
Minnesota $ 54,106
Mississippi $ 45,837
Missouri $ 49,482
Montana $ 50,155
Nebraska $ 49,458
Nevada $ 53,498
New Hampshire $ 53,831
New Jersey $ 57,150
New Mexico $ 51,036
New York $ 61,386
North Carolina $ 50,597
North Dakota $ 52,283
Ohio $ 51,207
Oklahoma $ 46,502
Oregon $ 53,577
Pennsylvania $ 53,396
Rhode Island $ 56,038
South Carolina $ 50,502
South Dakota $ 49,853
Tennessee $ 51,086
Texas $ 54,863
Utah $ 48,546
Vermont $ 53,391
Virginia $ 52,916
Washington $ 62,578
West Virginia $ 45,863
Wisconsin $ 52,516
Wyoming $ 53,206
District of Columbia $ 63,015

Sous Chef Salary in Major US Cities

When it comes to the four major U.S. cities, NYC is where Sous Chefs are most likely to earn the highest salaries. There, the average annual salary for Sous Chefs is $67,503.

Miami

Annual mean wage

$60,151

New York City

Annual mean wage

$67,503

Chicago

Annual mean wage

$58,638

Los Angeles

Annual mean wage

$62,954

[Calculated using Salary.com, ZipRecruiter, Indeed, Glassdoor and Talent.com data]

Factors That Affect a Sous Chef’s Overall Earnings

Aside from geographic location and cost of living, here are other factors that may influence how much money a Sous Chef makes.

1. Benefits and other compensation

Oftentimes, a Sous Chef’s base salary is not the only compensation they receive from employers. They also get several benefits and perks, which are part of their overall compensation package. Some of these may significantly boost a Sous Chef’s overall income, while others are meant to help cover certain personal expenses.

Full-time employees within the U.S. culinary industry usually get healthcare insurance, 401(k) plans, paid time off, discounts on company products and employee assistance programs.

However, those in supervisory roles like Sous Chefs may also receive additional perks and benefits such as bonuses, equity or profit sharing, travel opportunities and possibly even educational assistance.

2. Experience and industry background

Sous Chefs with more years of culinary experience have higher chances of being offered competitive salaries and generous benefits packages.

The same can also be said for Sous Chefs who work or have previously worked in reputable dining establishments.

3. Culinary education and additional qualifications

Sous Chefs with formal culinary education or certifications are more likely to receive higher compensation, given their credentials.

4. Particular establishment or company

A company or establishment’s scale of operations and budget might also determine how much they pay their Sous Chefs.

For example, a Sous Chef employed in a restaurant company that has many stores across the U.S. would typically earn more than one who works in an independent establishment.

Additionally, companies or establishments with bigger budgets are more likely to offer higher salaries and more benefits for supervisory employees like Sous Chefs.

5. Negotiation skills

A Sous Chef can also gain a competitive salary and benefits package if they are able to negotiate effectively during the hiring process.

Meanwhile, Sous Chefs who are not applying for a new job could ask for a raise during performance reviews or separate discussions with their employer.

In both cases, a Sous Chef must be able to articulate their culinary skills and experience, as well as their contributions to current and previous kitchen teams that they’ve been part of.

factors affecting sous chef income

How To Estimate Your Take-Home Pay

If you’re a Sous Chef working in the U.S., you can use our Paycheck Calculator — which is designed to help you accurately determine your take-home pay.

Paycheck Calculator







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Your estimated take home pay:

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Net pay
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Disclaimer: Please note that this paycheck calculator is designed to provide an estimate and should not be considered as professional tax advice. The actual withholding amounts and taxes owed may vary depending on individual circumstances and other factors. For accurate and personalized tax advice, we recommend consulting with a tax professional.

If your gross pay is 0 per in the state of F, your net pay (or take home pay) will be $1,343.17 after tax deductions of 0% (or $ 156.83). Deductions include a total of [1] 0% (or $0.00) for the federal income tax, [2] 0% (or $0.00) for the state income tax, [3] 6.20% (or $0.00) for the social security tax and [4] 1.45% (or $0.00) for Medicare.

The Federal Income Tax is collected by the government and is consistent across all U.S. regions. In contrast, the State Income Tax is levied by the state of residence and work, leading to substantial variations. The Social Security Tax is used to fund Social Security, which benefits retirees, persons with disabilities and survivors of deceased workers. Medicare involves a federal payroll tax designated for the Medicare insurance program. As of 2022, Alaska, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wyoming do not levy a state income tax.

How Much Do Careers Similar to a Sous Chef Get Paid?

In the United States, Sous Chefs generally earn more than Prep Cooks and Line Cooks but slightly less than Sushi Chefs.

Job TitleAverage Salary
Prep Cook
Line Cook
Sushi Chef

Sous Chef Salary FAQ

No. It is quite rare for Sous Chfs to receive tips directly from customers or take a share from tip pools with the front-of-house staff.

Yes, Sous Chefs earn relatively high salaries — especially compared to other kitchen staff members.

Since Sous Chefs hold a supervisory role that requires more years of experience and a higher level of culinary skills, they are often paid more than the likes of Line Cooks and Prep Cooks.

Oftentimes, no. A Sous Chef is directly under the Head Chef and Executive Chef within a kitchen’s organizational structure. That said, Head Chefs and Executive Chefs have higher average salaries than Sous Chefs.

For context, the average annual salary for Sous Chefs ($56,013) is lower than that of Head Chefs ($73,632) and Executive Chefs ($80,040).

Apart from the salary and benefits they receive from their main job, a Sous Chef can also take up side projects to make extra income.

Here are some common options that you might want to consider doing during your free time if you’re a Sous Chef:

  • Start a food- or cooking-centric social media account, blog or YouTube channel. With these, you may have opportunities to earn commissions through affiliate marketing.
  • Sell ready-made meals in small batches. If your employment contract allows you to, you can offer packaged homecooked meals to people within your local area.
  • Teach a cooking class or facilitate culinary workshops. These can either be a single session on how to make certain types of dishes or a multi-week program that covers various culinary techniques.