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Researching and Found Something Odd, Need Help From Chefs In US, UK, Aus, Can

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Hey guys, I am starting culinary school next week and have been doing a little research on what jobs are out there, and the salaries of different parts of the world. I found something that struck me as odd, and was wondering if you guys could sort it out for me.
I have been considering moving out of the country after culinary school and was searching salaries at different parts of the world. I noticed that salaries are *a lot* higher outside of the U.S. and was wondering if this is true.

Here is what I found.

Average salary, 1 year experience as a chef (all in USD):
Orange County, CA - $42,000
Miami, FL - $38,000
New Orleans, LA - $37,000
Sydney, Australia - $75,000 ($105,000 AUD)
London, UK - $100,000 ($55,000 GBP)
Vancouver, BC - $55,000 ($72,000 CAD)


Is the pay really that much better outside of the states or is this a mistake?

Thanks.
post #2 of 24
I don't know too many chefs in Canada who make 72K after one year. Where did you get those figures?
post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
Sorry, maybe not one year.

Got the US numbers from salary.com
International numbers from careerbuilder.com

For the US job, sous chef. I thought this was an entry level job, but after reading up on the site, apparently I am wrong.
For the internation jobs they only had a 'chef' option, so I guess that is an average of all chefs.

I guess my question is; Is the money better in or out of the states?

BTW -- I don't want to sound like I am in it for the money, I just want to have myself in the best possible position. I would also like to live in another country for at least a little while in my life, and am searching for excuses to leave.
post #4 of 24
As we speak there's less than 2% of the Executive Chef earning that much in Canada, if you have talent and a great work ethic your salary will go up fast!
the average for salary for a Chef is 52K cad in the province of quebec, salaries are much better in the bahamas :bounce:
There is food and there is people... I choose food!!!!
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There is food and there is people... I choose food!!!!
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post #5 of 24
oh mate, i can tell you entry level jobs in sydney are a lot less lower than $105,000 per year (AUD), because if it was the case, then there would be a definite glut of chefs in australia.

a more conservative amount (read realistic) for an entry level job in australia would be more circa $28,000 to $35,000 AUD.

In my circumstances, its around $45,000 to $60,000 after 5 years experience (post apprenticeship)

i used the same sight and got a unrealistic average of $112,500 for sydney chefs. obviously there are a few who are getting extremely high pay rates.
"Nothing quite like the feeling of something newl"
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post #6 of 24
We have to make the distinction here between entry level cook and a chef. You don't become a chef (or sous-chef) after culinary school, or an apprenticeship. You will toil many years for very little pay before you can earn that title. Or you can skip ahead and be an executive chef for a second rate diner, where you will again be making nowhere near those figures.

Good on you for doing some checking on these figures...
post #7 of 24
when you get out of school you will (probably) be employed as a cook. If you are good and lucky maybe a lead cook but most probably not a Chef or Sous Chef.
Cooks wages range from $8/hour to $16/hour.
post #8 of 24
The Average wage in england for a Head chef is about £30k there's a shortage of good chef's at the moment so wage's have gone up ..I'm based in Liverpool and trying to find chef's who can cook and not just "ping" is hard work..
I always drink with a friend That way you always have somebody to carry you home..Or Actually it only takes one drink to get me loaded....trouble is ,Ican't remember if it's the thirteenth or the fourteeth....
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I always drink with a friend That way you always have somebody to carry you home..Or Actually it only takes one drink to get me loaded....trouble is ,Ican't remember if it's the thirteenth or the fourteeth....
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post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 
That's what an executive chef makes? That's horrible compared to here...
post #10 of 24

Vancouver

Hello there Ive been working in Vancouver for 8 years now and The most I ever got paid was 36k but mind ya no hoilday pay and no time off. I also notice that aveage term of a chef in this town it 2-3 years unless you own your own place then its a toss up.
post #11 of 24
That's for a Head Chef..not en exc'..london will be alot higher. but the northwest is still tring to catch up with the south of england in terms of pay structure.There's a huge divide in uk in terms of pay and the cost of living..
I always drink with a friend That way you always have somebody to carry you home..Or Actually it only takes one drink to get me loaded....trouble is ,Ican't remember if it's the thirteenth or the fourteeth....
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I always drink with a friend That way you always have somebody to carry you home..Or Actually it only takes one drink to get me loaded....trouble is ,Ican't remember if it's the thirteenth or the fourteeth....
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post #12 of 24
I wouldn't figure anyone in the restaurant industry here in Kamloops makes that much, I could be mistaken, but that's my theory.
post #13 of 24
Thread Starter 
Oh ok, that's cool. You wouldn't happen to know what the pay in London would you?
post #14 of 24

UK jobs I had

when i was in N. Ireland I got paid 28kGBP for a sous chef and when I was in Sommerset I got 10gbp and hour but I worked for 6 hours a day mind ya it was a pub.
post #15 of 24
Remember, you won't start as a Chef. I'm only stating this because too many recently graduated students think they are going to be chefs right out of school. Besides a diploma, work experience is thouroughly expected before one can reach that title.
post #16 of 24
Experienced executive chefs in the Midwest USA (at a top line country club or national foodservice account only) make from $47, 500 to $60,000 per year plus some places- national accounts- you can make $5,000 or more per year as bonus for making food cost and labor requirements. (Yay I am going to make bonus this fiscal year- going straight to student loans!!!)
Yes, a culinary degree helps tremedously in getting your foot in the door, but the rest is up to you, how fast you succeed, is how you teach, lead and manage your people and your business.
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post #17 of 24

How Goddam Much

I,m sorry but them figures are way out ,i only wish i was earning 55,000 GBP as chef de partie i,m only on 20,000 GBP thats including about 10 hours overtime a fortnight,but if u find a job paying that much give me a call i,ll be interested
post #18 of 24
Hey
In New Zealand you'd be lucky to be getting NZ$22000 for 1 year after graduation, Chef de parties average around $28K and sous $45K to $55K Head chefs $32K to 60$ Exec Chefs $65K up
Hope this helps, have you thought about cruise ships.
Cheers
GC :chef:
post #19 of 24
Thread Starter 
I have actually.

I have decided I want to end up in Australlia. I was thinking about working a cruise ship or two to save up a little money. Maybe working a couple of years before I move.

I still don't know what to expect in the field and am kind of taking it all in as I go along. I know I definately want to end up in Australlia when all is said and done.
post #20 of 24
If your in this for the money then you're making a big mistake. And also most countries have their own labor and immigration issues so getting a visa to work is pretty much out of the question, immigration authorities are brutal to restaurants that hire illegals. And if you can worm your way in, it'll be for immigrant pay. And cruise ships? They serve 24/7, you bunk communally, no days off while at sea, can't frat w/ anyone, sightseeing? please....your prepping for the next meal. Your ideas are romantic but not reality, sorry.
post #21 of 24
"BTW I'm not in it just for the money" unfortunately this is not a recognised professional industry as some. It's still work and it's still a career. MONEY is a huge part of life. Statistics are worth as much as the paper they are written on. There is pleanty of money if you back yourself with a business education and be creative.
Just my 2 cents
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #22 of 24
You need to decide what you want, money or experience:

I have worked several places and here is the rates and year and position held....


Chef de partie 16.00/hr Canadian 94
Chef de partie 4200/month Swiss francs 95
Pastry Sous chef Cruise ship 3700/month american 97
Consulting chef Australia 28$hour mon- fri/ 32 on saturday/ 36 sunday and holidays 98
Pastry Chef Salary in Canada 74000 year plus grats in a hotel 99
just turned down a job as pastry chef on a cruise ship for 4400/ month american


You never get the top job without experience... in the end, the earlier in your career you are; the less money you should try to make... go for experience... donate your time... yes, that means give it away... in return you may be taught a dying art like ice carving or sugar pulling or chocolatiering. In five years, as you experience grows the fact that you know those things will make you very employable, for more money.


TAKE PICTURES..... I haven't had a resume for five years. I simply go in with my pictures, ask for the Chef and show it to him, it is so much better than letters on a white page. As you talk to him. he sees what you are and you see what he is.


If I could go anywhere right now it would be to australia..... when you work for a consultant agency and if you are good; you get wicked placements... it is never the same twice... sometimes boring, other times your hair is on fire. but in Oz there is a shortage of qualified chefs and in my opinion the best produce, seafood and meat in the world. In Europe its the ole "MY way or the highway." sucks *** unless you are building a resume.

Cruise ships are a great experience because its like a intense schooling program where you are involved for 14 hours a day in hands on experience. any weaknesses you have are ironed out in no time at all (in the average day you will be responsable for four seperate desserts plus extras then do it again for nighttime service)... not for newbies trying to understand basics.


When you get experience you find the most money in remote locations... or hard working locations. If you go remote,you have the benefit of not spending money while you work yourself to the bone. If you want the latest in trendy cooking .... go to a big name restaurant in a city near you and work for peanuts (gain experience). If you want to get a good resume. go to Europe, even though you have no room to move creatively.

I hope this helps...


Sorry I am a chef nota typist or English major

:chef:
post #23 of 24
That's the fact Jack! Well said.
post #24 of 24

salary?.....

i'm a headchef and i make 2500 euro a month (2700 usd ) after 16 years of hard work.
here in belgium the rates are lower the higher the restaurantstatus .
someone younger then me ,and workin in a trendy eatery,might have the same salary......crazy? thats the way it is .
after reading smiley's, i would say you're probably right,but everyone makes his own choices.if it's your goal to work in french laundry's or el bulli's,go to europe and built that golden resume...
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