Average Salary. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the mean annual wage for chefs working in the United States as of May 2011 was $46,600. The top 10 percent of earners made $74,060 or more, while the lowest 10 percent made $24,770 or less.
Naturally, more experienced chefs were paid more: StarChefs found that pastry chefs started at an average of $28,333 per year, but commanded average salaries of $47,452 after 10 years in the profession and averaged $53,167 after 20 years.
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