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How Much Do UK Chefs Earn?

Sometimes,  we can't help but compare what we earn with others. Especially others within the same field. We have done some research and collected the data so that you can see if you're "keeping up with the Jones's" and whether you're getting a fair deal. So, how much do UK chefs earn?


How Much Do Chefs Earn?

  • Trainee or Commis Chef £13,000-£18,000

  • Section or Chefs de Partie £16,000-£21,000

  • Sous Chef £22,000-£26,000

  • Head Chef/Chefs de Cuisine anywhere between £20,000-£30,000

These salary averages are based on UK Chefs.


There are lots of variables in play here; experience, responsibility, work place, geographical region - so we will try to keep it simple. First, we will look at average wages for each level of chef across the UK as a whole and then compare regions and sectors.



Trainee or Commis Chef £13,000-£18,000

As an entry-level, trainee or commis chef you can expect to be earning as little as £13,000 when you first start training. Though popular job website Reed put the figure a little higher at £18,000, but this includes London's wages.


You will be attending college (most probably) so, in that respect, it's a very good wage as you will be learning and progressing your skillset whilst you earn.


Being an out-and-out apprentice could provide wages at half this, but this depends on your age.




Section or Chefs de Partie £16,000-£21,000

As you progress to being a section chef, you can expect a pay rise of around 15% in order to match your growing responsbilities and skills.



Sous Chef £22,000-£26,000


As second chef, you should be commanding a wage in the mid-twenty thousand pounds vicinity.


You will have some managerial responsibilities so should be rewarded as such.



Head Chef/Chefs de Cuisine anywhere between £20,000-£30,000


In the big cities, you can expect to earn above this average and - of course - there are a number of much higher paying Head Chef roles at the top restaurants and hotels. There are also lots of Head Chefs earning less than this.


When you look across the whole of the UK, the average wage for a Head Chef is £24,810. Though the types of roles and responsibilities will vary massively.


As a general average though, low-to-mid thirty thousands is typical for a Head Chef at a busy, multi-staffed kitchen at a reputable restaurant or hotel.


Top Executive Chef £40,000-£50,000+


Again, there are a certain number of "once-in-a-lifetime" roles at this level which are another 50% above these average estimates.

Typically though, fulfilling this role anywhere will put you in the top tax band, with London and then Manchester leading the way with the biggest paychecks.



Differences in Salary Depending On Area of the Industry


Figures from



Head Chefs can work in all sorts of different types of kitchens for all sorts of different employers. Based on findings from PayScale which were published on Monster, here are the average Head Chef salaries in seven typical areas of work.



Differences in Salary Depending On Area of the Country



Based on a Total Jobs survey, the average salary for chefs as a whole can vary massively depending on your location.


As expected, wages in London are higher than other areas; what is surprising is by how much.


The average salary when looking at all types of chefs in Central or West London is £29,000; but the chefs in Reading have an average wage of £23,724.


As you head further north, the chefs in Lutterworth, Leicestershire, have a lowly average wage of £15,000.


Even though some of the top positions are well paid in Manchester, the average wage across all levels is £23,000. So, in real terms, this suggests the junior positions are quite low pay when you factor in city-living costs.



If You're Happy With Your Wage


What about your chef's shoes? We offer a range of options for all types of chefs and everybody working in the catering and restaurant industry.



Want The Complete Guide To Chef Jobs? All The Jobs In One Book


There are many different chef roles in the culinary industry. That's why we've created a Complete Guide that has all the jobs. From Commis Chef to Head Chef, read about each job role and discover what skills and experience you need to prepare yourself for the next step in your career:




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