How Much Does a Sous Chef make?




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The main chef might be the boss of any professional kitchen, but a sous chef has the most crucial role to play. If you think sous chefs cut vegetables and works under the head chef, you are mistaken. Sous chefs design the menu, train other junior chefs, help the head chef, and take care of all the negotiations inside and out of the kitchen.

Do you think this is an easy task? But all this hard work will soon pay off as they advance their career and get promoted to be the chef de cuisine.

If you are a beginner sous chef or want to pursue your career as one you must want to know how much does a sous chef make right? Know all about how much a sous chef makes all clearly explained in our article!

What is a Sous chef?

‘Sous’ is a French word that means under. A Sous chef is someone who works under the chef, it also means he is the assistant to the head chef in a professional kitchen. If you are a Sous chef, it means you are the second in command in a kitchen. A sous chef has the most challenging and exciting job where not any two days are equal.

A Sous chef’s regular activities depend on what the head chef needs and on the size of the chef’s brigade. For instance, a 5-star hotel’s kitchen will have more activities and requirements that are more than a regular catering company’s kitchen.

Where does a sous chef work?

In absence of a chef, a sous chef is the one who oversees all the work done in the kitchen. He is responsible for maintaining food supplies, taking care of food hygiene, and makes sure food orders are being sent properly. He also trains his team to improve their cooking techniques and maintain professionalism on behalf of the whole restaurant.

Sous chefs also deals with the paperwork and handles ingredient suppliers and also invoices. As for his place of work, sous chefs can work anywhere in the kitchen, and work along with as many people as he/she needs.

Places where you can apply as a sous chef

You can apply in any five-star hotel, any restaurant, a gastropub, a boutique bistro, or in any beach resort. You can also apply as a sous chef at a catering company, or at a private household. 

How Much Does a Sous Chef make?

Photo credit- Hygeia Analytics

How much does sous chefs get paid?

Most sous chefs in the United States have a national annual income of $46,635 – $47,578. This average income was estimated by Glassdoor based on a survey from 2867 sous chefs employees from restaurants from around the country.

However, their salary also depends widely on important factors such as their educational degrees, certifications, recommendations, additional management skills, experience levels, etc.

Depending on these factors some sous chefs are paid $16,000 to $47,000 per year. This might be wide range but beginner sous chefs are not paid as much as a veteran sous chef who has years of experience.

However, recent survey claims 48% of the sous chefs working in the United States are satisfied with their salaries and claim it is enough to fulfill their living costs. 

Top 5 States in the United States that pay salaries to Sous chefs

We have listed down 5 states in the United States where Sous chefs are paid more than the national average. Los Angeles is the highest paying state, where sous chefs earn $55000+. Sous chefs in Chicago earn $54000 and hold the position of the second most paying state. Washington comes in third by paying $53000 yearly to their sous chefs.

Miami and New York come in 4th and 5th as they pay $52500 and $51000+. Among these 5 states, Chicago offers the most jobs for sous chefs to choose from. Currently, they have 72 job positions for sous chefs to apply for.   

Degree & Experience

You should have a four year degree in culinary. High-end restaurants and 5-star hotels often hire sous chefs with both experience and proper training. A degree in culinary is the least of their requirements.

However, a college degree is not mandatory for all sous chefs, you can also apply to any restaurant with a high school diploma or a General education development (GED) certificate. The perks with a degree is that you will get hired as a top sous chef employee and will have more chances of getting a promotion.

A degree will teach you all the basics of culinary arts, but the real art of preparing classical dishes come from training. If you work under a chef as an apprentice, or receive special training experience you will get to learn more about kitchen techniques, key ingredients and have all the proper knowledge about sanitation, food safety, and hygiene.

If you are someone who does not have a degree or any training, you need to start you way from the bottom. Join at any restaurant as a helping hand or as a dishwasher and climb your way to being a sous chef. However, this process will take many years.

Career paths for sous chefs

Sous chefs with proper training and years of experience can be promoted to an executive chef position. He or she can also apply as the head cook or as the chef de cuisine of another restaurant. After several years of training, sous chefs can also open their own restaurant and become a chef plus restaurateur.

Bottom Line

Now that you have read this article, you are ought to how much do sous chefs make you can follow your dreams of becoming a chef. It takes a lot of determination and patience to be sous chefs. And being the second in command at a professional kitchen is quite a notable position.

You may also like to read: Restaurants with Outdoor Drinking in NYC

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