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Average Prep Cook Salary in Major U.S. Cities

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Whether you’re looking for prep cooks or aspiring to be one, this article answers all the important questions about the prep cook salary and position.

Based on public assessments, the typical prep cook salary in the U.S. ranges from $15 to $17 an hour. For a 40-hour work week, this adds up to around $31,200 to $35,000.

This is slightly higher than the average salary of a fast-food worker and double the U.S. minimum wage.

The prep cook salary brackets fluctuate based on factors such as geographical location, your specific employer and level of expertise.

New prep cooks may start with an annual salary of $28,000, while experienced prep cooks can get $43,000 or more.

bar graph of the average prep cook salary in the United States

1. Prep Cook Salary in New York City

The prep cook salary in New York ranges from $28,000 to $44,000 a year.

In high-end restaurants in Manhattan, prep cooks with several years of experience and specialized skills can command salaries at the higher end of the range.

Prep cooks in smaller neighborhood establishments or those with less experience may start at salaries closer to $28,000 to $29,000.

2. Prep Cook Salary in Miami

While the average prep cook salary in Miami falls between $29,000 to $36,000 per year, those working in upscale waterfront restaurants in popular tourist areas like South Beach may have the opportunity to earn salaries at the higher end of the range.

3. Prep Cook Salary in Chicago

Chicago-based prep cook salaries range from $32,000 to $39,000. Fine dining restaurants in downtown Chicago and other trendy areas offer higher rates, while neighborhood eateries or casual dining establishments will ask new hires to start at $32,000 unless they have exceptional experience or skills.

4. Prep Cook Salary in Los Angeles

The average prep cook salary in Los Angeles ranges from $33,700 to $41,500 per year, with higher salaries typically offered in popular areas like Beverly Hills and West Hollywood.

Prep cooks who specialize in vegetarian or vegan cuisine may find opportunities for higher salaries in health-conscious neighborhoods like Silver Lake or Venice Beach.

The top prep cooks in Los Angeles can earn up to $44,000 or more per year.

graph of prep cook salary in highest paying US states

Find a Prep Cook Position With OysterLink 

Becoming a prep cook is just the first step of your career in the culinary world. OysterLink can provide you with the resources and tools to find opportunities and learn more about the industry.  

Professionals can use our career and salary articles to understand more about the different career pathways and necessary skills.

Restaurant owners and human resource managers can also get industry insights and hiring advice to help build a skilled team and efficient organization. 

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